Monday, December 29, 2008

From KMT-land in Northern Thailand to a strawberry farm in Miaoli

strawberry picking collage
We went out to Miaoli to pick strawberries on Sunday and got a nice little history lesson thrown in for free. As we were getting our strawbs weighed we got chatting with the owners of the farm. The wife spoke Chinese with a slight accent so my wife asked her where she was from. Turns out she is from Northern Thailand and is a fifth generation descendant of the KMT soldiers who were war refugees after losing the
Chinese Civil War and who basically decided to settle in Thailand (more background of the history here). She married a Taiwanese farmer and has been living in Taiwan since 1995. She talked a bit about the Chinese who migrated to Northern Thailand from Yunnan province and said that the government in Taiwan (or perhaps the KMT party?) has reestablished contact with some families over there and sends small amounts of money every month to help support them.

It was fascinating to hear her talking about Chinese immigrants in Thailand, especially as she is connected to that history...and all the while munching on very delicious Miaoli strawberries!
[Other things I learned that afternoon are strawberry-based factoids. The strawberries at that farm are actually a Japanese strain. Taiwanese strawberries are generally smaller and bruise easily. Chinese strawberries are small, harder and not particularly tasty.]

8 comments:

laowiseass said...

strawberries in taipei are ominously expensive. why zat?

Aditya said...

Aww I love strawberries they are awesome. I think you are leaving in heaven with that many strawberries. Nice pictures

kelake said...

I was lucky enough to meet one of the generals who served with the kmt while in Thailand: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kelake/343941703/

Anonymous said...

Hm, from C I A certified opium farmers to KMT land strawberry farmers, very interesting history. I don't supposed anybody can get high on the later crop...

fvarga said...

Just wondering: did you give up on your blog? If yes, it's a pity. I liked it

John Naruwan said...

Thanks for your comment. My blog's currently in cryostasis! I don't really have much free time for blogging these days, but I may well post something before the year is out.

Carrine & Lawrence said...

hi there, stumbled upon your blog while i was doing research for my taiwan trip this coming December.

Am thinking of doing a farmstay or sorts in miaoli. do u think u can give me more information? the strawberries in your post look so good!

i also wonder how cold taiwan is like in december.

thanks in advance for your help! :)

John Naruwan said...

Thanks for your comment Carrine. Don't know anything about the possibility of doing farmstays in Miaoli, sorry! Temperatures in Taiwan in December rarely drop below 10 degrees Celsius.