Food for Fun #7: A day in Bulau Bulau Aboriginal Village, Yilan
Bulau Bulau Aboriginal Village is the most interesting place I ever visit in Taiwan. What is Bulau Bulau? It literally means idling around in the Atayal language. This villlage was created to recapture the tradition of Atayal tribe, while maintaining everything as close to nature as possible.
It took almost two months for the Food for Fun team to book the seats for us because this tour is very popular. They will only welcome 30 guests on Wednesday to Saturday. Located up in the mountains, you have to take their transport to reach the village. On the way, we passed by the Hanxi Suspension Bridge which is the longest cable suspension bridge in Yilan County.
There are 9 families in the village. Chief Wilang used to be a landscape architect in Taipei. But he decided give up his city life and return to his wife’s Atayal homeland. He took years to gather the aborigines, moved back to the moutains and fulfill the dream.
Our welcome treat was to BBQ our own pork on a stick which took them 4 days to marinate, and has a very special zesty scent to the meat. You are served with some hot ginger tea.
Bulau Village continues to inherit Taiya aboriginal tradition, bringing in simplicity and using the original materials for traditional living philosophy. They adopt LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability) concepts and try to be self sustainable among the village. Everyone has different roles to play. For example, the guy in the picture is a hunter. He was showing us a display of animal skulls on 2 wooden benches as souvenirs from hunting.
They hired craftsman from the city to come to the village once in a while to teach the young boys carpentry. The little furniture they made are then sold to guests like us.
Of course, they also rear chickens.
The women in the village either prepare meals or be involved in weaving.
Because Chef Wilang is a landscape designer, he built a very modern interior for the houses here. Bulau Bulau does not offer homestay, these houses are solely for the aborigines themselves.
After touring the place, it’s time for lunch! Here is how the kitchen looks like! The dining area has 3 long massive wooden tables where they take a maximum of 30 guests.
We then sat down to a lunch prepared by the women of the village. All the ingredients that were used were grown on-site; pictured here are some roasted peanuts.
Some home grown vegetables, picked tomatoes and escargots to begin the meal before we eat the purple yam with ginger. A bite of ginger downplayed the sweetness and added a spicy kick.
Coated with generous amount of salt, this salt grill fish is very soft and tender. The wrapped package is a millet rice dumplings.
The vegetarian friend we met at the village had millet rice dumplings with pumpkin.
This stew is very very good! It came with potatoes, pork (abit tough though), radish, carrot and vegetables.
Main course was lamb shank. You probably do not want to think where did the meat come from.
For people who do not eat lamb, they can choose grilled chicken. Oh I must say, they tweaked their menu everytime so the next time you visit, you may have something different!
Our vegetarian friend had very colourful pot of fried rice.
Lunch ended off with some vegetable soups and dessert.
We took a break from eating and listen to the villagers sing. Then we had to play some games where the losers have to share a bowl of their homemade rice wine.
Of course, I tried some archery…
And was really scared that it will hit my face or eyes. -_-“
The day in Bulau Bulau Village ended very fast. The villagers gather to sing us a goodbye song.
With the handsome hunter.
And here’s Chef Wilang, a man who dare to chase after his dreams and create something which seems impossible.
It was a blast at Bulau Bulau! Everyone was very spontaneous and we just sing and dance together with the villagers! It just made me feel that I want to live here. The journey from Taipei to Yilan is approximately 1.5 hours, and it is another 15 mins before we reach the village. And remember, book early with them to avoid disappointment.
Bulau Bulau Village
Fee: NT$2200 per pax
Reservations: (03)9614198 / 0919090061
This is my last post for Food For Fun Taiwan series. It has been a very fulfilling experience for me and I am thankful to iSee Taiwan Foundation for giving me the opportunity to explore Taiwan.
I have visited many unique restaurants in Taiwan besides eating the usual night market street food. I have get my hands on making bubble tea and learnt about the basics of coffee making. I have even visited the Bulau Bulau Village and experience the culture of aborigines. Above all, I have learnt something new about Taiwan everyday and their attitude towards life.
Every travel makes me grow as a person and I really look forward to sharing my travel stories with all you through my blog. There are definitely so much more things to see and I can’t wait to come back for my next trip. Did I tell you? I have a little ambition. That is, I hope to write a book about Taiwan.
Hope you enjoy my Food For Fun Taiwan blogposts. Here are the Food For Fun posts which I did:
- Food For Fun #1: Tien Ming An (天命庵) – Ex dormitory turned Japanese restaurant
- Food For Fun #2: Shuang Ren Hsu Noodles & Bar (双人徐概念店) – High Class Zha Jiang Mian!
- Food for Fun #3: Quan Hotpot (寬巷子) – When food combines with floriculture
- Food for Fun #4: Coffee Area (珈琲院) – Make your own coffee!
- Food For Fun #5: Carton King Creativity Park (紙箱王創意主題園區) – Everything is made from Cardboard!
- Food For Fun #6: Chun Shui Tang (春水堂)– Make your own Bubble Tea
* Food for Fun (食在有趣) gourmet tour is proudly organized by iSee Taiwan Foundation. Only airfare, hotel accommodation and selected meals are sponsored. For other Food For Fun blogposts, please click here.