烏來温泉鄉 Wulai Hot Springs, Taipei County
Our last trip to Wulai was some years back and it was a very brief one, to admire the sakuras. Alas we were a little too late then and the season was just over. We’d spent a considerably amount of time in 雲仙樂園, a local amusement park with a gondola that leads into the mountains and didn’t get much of a chance to see much of the old and rustic side of this beautiful small town 40 minutes south of Taipei City. So here we are, back again after all these years to find out more about this quaint little place which we passed through, but never got to know…
Wulai is well known for their hot springs and we didn’t waste the opportunity to experience it for ourselves. We booked for ourselves a package at Volando, one of the very many hot springs resort in the area.
A private bathhouse, with a full panel window offering panorama view of the scenery around, but within the comforts of your own private space.
清幽的环境，为了让人们有更舒适的泡汤体验。少了都市里的纷纷扰扰， 换来的是大自然中的虫鸣鸟叫声，万籁俱寂。。。就连树叶随风摆动也充满着禅意。几乎整片的落地窗，屋 外的山水景色一览无遗。玻璃窗用的是反光镜面， 从外头是透不进来的， 不怕被偷窥。如果还是不放心 大可落下纱帘，享有更大的隐私空间。但我们没有。如此天人合一的机会，不可多得啊。 呵呵。
Back to the basics with the choice of materials in cypress and granite. Simple, harmonious, elegant.
There is only one bus service that plys between Wulai and 新店 Xindian. And it is always packed. Thankfully, Volando has their own shuttle service which chauffeured us between the hot spring resort and Xindian.
Street view of Wulai on a weekday afternoon, sparsely dotted with visitors both locally and abroad. The people of Wulai is almost solely dependent on hot spring tourism and related trade and business.
周日下午的老街， 少了周末人潮的熙熙攘攘， 逛起来也格外的写意。
For those who only hope for a mere “brief” enounter with the hot springs, there is a feet soaking trench just outside the Wulai Tourist Information Centre located near the beginning of “Wulai Old Street”.
Young shoots of wild fiddlehead fern available for stir-fry dishes. Known locally as 過貓, they are probably mo.re familiar to us in this region as “pucuk paku”.
米血糕 is a popular snack in Taiwan. It is essentially glutinous rice cooked with the duck’s blood before being compressed into oblongish blocks. A variation of this local delight would be 猪血糕, as the name implies is made with pig’s blood instead. For this particular stall, they have made it extra special by including 马告, a local species of wild pepper for that interesting spicy hue.
马绍应该是这位摊贩大哥的名字吧。售卖的是米血糕， 还堪称是“乌来第一家”。乌来老街上卖米血糕的果真是只有他们这一家。但比较特别的是他们家的米血糕里还加了乌来的另一项特产 “马告”山胡椒。
摊贩大哥坚持为我们示范米血糕的制作过程， 真是盛情难却。托纸底部先铺上一层厚厚的花生末，再来就是米血糕。之后再淋上特别调配的“秘汁”，加上香菜， 酸菜， 最后再撒上一层花生末就大功告成了！
The 米血糕 on its own tastes quite bland. relying almost entirely on the work of other condiments like pickled vegetables, ground peanut and cilantro to flavour it amply, not forgetting a “secret sauce” concocted by the hawker himself. It is quite enjoyable as a snack for those who are keen to try some local fare. Portion of 4 big chunks, best to be shared amongst two people…
米血糕本身没什么特别的味道。全靠的是上面所裹着的厚厚那层花生和香菜来提香，涂抹的酱汁和马告的微辛来刺激味觉上的享受。 还不错吃。建议大家来试试。但一大块的米血糕才要NT35, 所以建议和同行的伙伴share share。两人共享一份应该就ok了。要为后面的美食留位子。。。
Another local snack which is almost synonymous with Wulai is Taiwanese sausages made from wild boar meat. And this particular stall at one end of the old street is particularly famous for some reason and attracted the longest queue. When in doubt, follow the crowd so we just queued on. Thankfully it was a rather quiet weekday afternoon and didn’t have to wait for long before we get to try the “famous delicacy” of this area.
乌来老街上， 摆卖烤香肠的摊贩不尽其数， 但唯独在巷子尾的”雅各道地原住民山猪肉香肠”摊子的人龙最为壮观。招牌上 打着“不一样就是不一样”的字句口气似乎不小。 那我们就来尝尝他们家的到底有什么不一样。
Freshly cured sausages ready to be grilled… A rather high proportion of fatty meat, evident from the bits of white that peek through the casing…
Snipping away the charred bits for a more pleasurable palate experience. Its probably paying attention to details like this that makes this stall stand out among the rest.
And finally we got to enjoy ours. NT 35 for one and 3 for NT 105. We decided to just get one each for ourselves as “savings” of NT5 doesn’t really amount to much. Saving our stomachs for more delicious food to come as well! The sausages were grilled to perfection, save for a few bits of charring, which were probably left on deliberately for that extra smokey aroma. Despite being “touted” as wild boar meat, the sausages weren’t particularly gamey. But it was definitely a tad more fibrous, rendering the sausages chewier with more bite, compared to the regular Taiwanese sausages we are accustomed to eating. The “special sauce” which was brushed onto the sausages was absolutely wicked…a definite must try for those visiting Wulai.
We opt for the honey coated one, using Taiwanese wild honey supposedly. Texture wise, it is far more chewy than the glutinous rice variety, with a slight hint of aroma from millet. The honey was very very sweet!
温泉水煮蛋。。。hard boiled eggs cooked with the hot spring water from Wulai.
Bamboo rice, another delicacy from the locals. 泰雅族人的传统竹筒饭， 另一道当地的传统美食。
浮石用来去角质， 还相当好用！小小纪念品， 一点也不贵。