Jan 13, 2010

Taiwan I | Footprints 1 | Urban to Rural

Day 1

I think our round island travel went in few phases. First 2 days was most likely fits the main reason for us going for holiday, besides celebrating our anniversary, it would be to escape from the busy thrill-packed nature of work to a much relaxing background.

Day 1 should be titled as ‘from the most urban to the most rural’ – as we went from heart of city of Taipei to Hua Lien county.

To beat the human traffics and possible confusion in their main train station, we started our journey by bus to the HSR station pretty early – 0630H, a time I believed none of the pampered house officers in my department would be starting their work, except for the ever-hardworking Dr. CS Tan.

We were taken for a ride (technically), on the new Taiwan HSR – high speed rail. Something of a much slower bullet train. Probably it’s speed is midway between an actual bullet train and MRT. But it’s ride really are stable and at such speed, we don’t really feel an inertia whenever it stops and starts.

initial destination

technically bird-brain...

Reaching the Taipei Main Station, I think it is the equivalent of our KL Sentral except the fact that it is so major humongous big that it made KL Sentral looks like a bus stop. Yes, the kind of bus stop without any shelter, with just a plate of black and white sign of a bus diagram. I think you know what I am talking about.

Beside the major size of the station, together with its underground maze of shoplots and exit, it is very organize and there are simple signs anywhere, that even someone like me who can’t really read cubes, can get around. Yes, people were referring to English words as sausage, I refer to Chinese letters as cube.

We took the MRT to Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall. Basically a short stop for photography and I would personally called it an architecture and history stop.

lots of photobomber around... yikes..

The place was preparing itself for a major celebration for x’mas and new year. There was a big lying giant there. Reminds me about Gulliver’s Travel.

arr.. nope, i wasn't doing what you think i am doing...

Then our bus took us to Yehliu Geopark. I guess you can called it the Asian version of the 12 Apostles, except it’s main attraction is the Queen’s head.

According to Fen (our tour guide), the head is estimated by top and experienced geologist, physician and etc (the expert lar basically) to drop in 5 years time. Probably by then, their main attraction would sound something like ‘Queen’s neck & her decapitated head’

I personally named this structure as Queen's buttcrack or cleavage.

Next, our grumbling stomach led us to the Jiu Fen Old street. The whole entrance is so jam-packed that I don’t think anyone needs to do any walking. The crowd will simply push you in further.

Bought nice mochi and great pineapple biscuit from there.

absolutely wonderful pineapple biscuits packed like the powder box...

Ate the famous fishballs. More in later entry. Basically this is a food stop.

all the artists' endorsement of the fresh fishball

Before we travelled long distance to Hua lien, we made a simple toilet stop. Yes, no joke. We emptied our bladder at the toilet behind the Mazu temple. There was nothing really to say bout this stop, except the fact that, by then, everyone wasn’t too happy with the freezing cold.

major reason why arsonists doesn't attack chinese temple...

The long winded east coast was a naturally awesome recipe for vomit induction thanks to its vicious attack on the fluid flow in our semi-circulars. But somehow, Fen was adamant of kept on telling many, many, many, many tales about Taiwan to keep us focus on her. She had a theory that by focusing on an object ie her and not get over thrill by the scene outside, we won’t get ourself sea-sick. I think that is a theory that I gotta read up, when I have the time (If I have the time), but not one of group members vomited. She kept talking for few hours non-stop. I think it won’t be wrong to label her as a workaholic.

We were welcomed in Hua lian by the aborigines of Taiwan in A-Mei Cultural Center.

ready to rock the world...

There were dances, photography session.

And ended with dinner with Lingzhi.

End in our hotel, and like any fresh tourist on their first day, we walked around the night market. Claire got herself good bargain on 2 fashionable scarves and feasted on some nice roadside delicacies.

Two scarves (red & white) = TWD350 = around RM 40

No comments: