Archive for the ‘Yilan’ Category

Lunch at Bulau Bulau Aboriginal Tribe (Taiwan–Yilan)

Bulau Bulau Aboriginal Village (124)

Lunch at Bulau Bulau Aboriginal Village was a really enjoyable affair. It was everything a good meal should be. Delicious, organic, not overly complicated food, plated beautifully and enjoyed in a picturesque environment. It was certainly worth the long journey to Yilan and a 4 wheel drive up the mountain to be able to partake in this wonderful meal.

Bulau Bulau Aboriginal Village (66)

This is sort of like the main hall to gather and have lunch. Lunch comprised of many rounds of small dishes, just the way I love to enjoy my meal!

Bulau Bulau Aboriginal Village (94)

Escargots wrapped in ginger slices

Almost all the dishes served at Bulau Bulau are organic and grown on site, except for some items which are not possible to grow in Taiwan. I just find it so amazing that simple, natural ingredients can be presented in such an appetising way. The dishes will not look out of place in a fine dining restaurant but if you scrutinise closely, the ingredients used are all very down to earth! Even the escargots!

Bulau Bulau Aboriginal Village (98)

Purple yam with ginger slice and sea salt

We were told that rich Taiwanese businessmen love to eat yams with ginger slices to ward off all forms of cancer. We all know that ginger is good for health, but some people find it too strong tasting.

Bulau Bulau Aboriginal Village (104)

The fish was one of the items not reared at the village. Simply steamed, with just a little bit of salt, I found it really appetising. The glutinous millet rice dumpling on the side was also fantastic. It’s not as sticky as the glutinous rice that we are used to in Singapore, which is good for the stomach.

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Bulau Bulau Aboriginal Village (Taiwan-Yilan)

On our 4th day of our Blogger Sponsored Trip to Taiwan, we spent the bulk of our day at the Bulau Bulau Aboriginal Village in Yilan County. Yilan is about 1.5 hrs drive from Taipei and I heard it is a very pretty place, especially since it is near the coast.

The journey would have taken quite a number of hours prior to 2006, but ever since the Hsuehshan Tunnel 雪山隧道 or Snow Mountain tunnel was built, the journey has been shaved. The Hsuehshan Tunnel is the longest tunnel in Taiwan and is located on the Taipei-Yilan Freeway (Taiwan National Highway No. 5). There is a strict speed limit in the tunnel, and we were told that if you break the speed limit, your car licence plate number will be blasted from the loudspeakers. We were hoping to hear something, but alas, perhaps it’s just a rumour, or maybe everyone observed the speed limit?

Bulau Bulau is a really interesting place to visit. It was totally different from what I had been expecting. I was expecting something very traditional, very tribal and perhaps also very dirty. It couldn’t be further from the truth. What can I say, this is probably one of the most modernised aboriginal village I have ever seen! You need to scroll down to see the pictures to understand.

Bulau Bulau Aboriginal Village (65)

The reason why the village looks so new, is because it IS new. Decades ago, the aborigines were forced to leave the mountains and to assimilate with the Han Chinese. In recent years, as with Australia and New Zealand, the Taiwanese government has tried to ameliorate its wrongdoings by returning some land to the aborigines. The Bulau Bulau Aboriginal Village is owned and operated by the Atayal tribe people, which is the 2nd largest tribal group. Even Jolin Tsai and Vivien Hsu have Atayal blood in them.

Bulau Bulau Aboriginal Village (61)

You get to choose whether to take the suspension bridge or to be driven across the dry river bed. The suspension bridge really shakes!!

After the 1.5 hour journey from Taipei, we still had to transfer to a rickety 4 wheel drive to traverse up the mountain. Luckily this portion was pretty short and not too terrible. I hate having to travel along mountain roads with sheer drops down the side. I think I’ve had my fair share of such experiences, not forgetting the treacherous incident in New Zealand South Island. We were driving on the highway high above the Clyde River when our windscreen decided to fog up. How fun is that?

Bulau Bulau Aboriginal Village (64)

When we got to the top, we had to shout “LOKASO!”, which is something like Hello in the Atayal language.

Bulau Bulau Aboriginal Village (43)

Communal barbequeing of salty pork to kick start a wonderful day on the mountains. For the record it was so hot despite it being winter, I only wore 2 tshirts! It is usually colder on the mountains, guess we were supremely lucky!

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