Saturday, April 04, 2009

Travellogue Taiwan: Kaohsiung

Brekkie was porridge and veg. It was like being vegetarian for breakfast. Pretty helpful in keeping myself awake on the bus actually. First stop for the day was Foguang Shan.

Our local guide made it sound like it was a tough climb up the hill when it really was not at all. When we arrived at the Main Shrine, I was totally taken aback at its grandeur. I thought they have made the place feel majestic and utterly impressive, with the walls lined with small timber Buddha statues right up to the ceiling.

We walked around the gardens and even in the museum, which was partly underground. We only realised that the museum ran under most parts of the monastery upon exit! We did not have sufficient time to climb up to the golden statue:

Xue Er showed us some photographs she took of the place, as she managed to climb to the top while we were underground.

Lunch was early but we were not complaining. There was all sorts served - mushroom, ostrich, fish, abalone, crab, prawn, lobster and even shark. We were saying that it was the best meal so far during the trip. After lunch, we stopped along the roadside to buy some fat, juicy and sweet rose apples.

And then it was the dreaded journey towards the north again. This time, instead of comfortable freeways, we travelled the South Swerve National Road. Gosh, it was not only narrow, it was high up as well! It was a cliffhanger, literally! It was comparable to the Great Ocean Road, just minus the sun and apostles. Oh, and the sand here was black...

The bus was going fast on a very windy road so imagine how insecure most of us felt! Luckily, most of us slept throughout most of the journey.

Just when I thought I've seen most of the paddy fields, I saw even MORE along this route. We were more than relieved when we arrived at Hualien. However, the excitement quickly disappeared as we entered the restaurant where dinner was served. The place was unsightly and crowded. The service was slow and rude. The food was not presentable and not to mention tasteless. Even Alicia could not hide her dissatisfaction!

Redemption: Ami Aboriginal Cultural Show.

Enjoyed it heaps especially the part where Alicia and I joined in the last dance.

We checked into room 6009 of Gold Coast Union Hotel. This time, I shared the room with her. The room I initially had gave me the creeps and yikes, shivers.......

As dinner was bad, all of us (including the local guide) ended up walking to 7-11 to buy supper.

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