One of the drinks I was told I needed to try in Taiwan was papaya milk (木瓜牛奶 / mu gua niu nai). After a mediocre experience at Raohe Night Market, I sought better.
Hearing that some of the best papayas come from the eastern part of the island near Hualien, I was excited when I learned that I would be traveling there when papayas are the sweetest (summer).
After a long, heart-stopping trek down highway 9, I found myself just south of Mugumuyu Valley (慕谷慕魚 / mu gu mu yu) alongside Liyu Lake (鯉魚潭 / li yu tan). Here, there are dozens of restaurants with owners trying to get customers to try some of their local cuisine.
After eating some of the local foods, I headed north along 9丙 after seeing this sign:
Figuring A-Ma would treat me better than Raohe, I was excited but cautious. I got the papaya milk which consisted of just papaya, ice, and milk. Many places will add some kind of sugar to make the drink sweeter.
Here’s a stalker photo with A-Ma.
The papaya milk was great. It wasn’t overly sweet and the drink was a refreshing compliment to the warm rain outside.
Apparently, this papaya milk is just okay. There’s apparently better near Tainan. As one minor quest closes, another one opens.
What’s your favorite papaya milk place? Would love to give it a try!