Friday, April 03, 2009

Travellogue Taiwan: Taichung

Breakfast service was getting worse by the day. Or at least it felt so to me. Or maybe I was just grumpy from the lack of sleep.

On this day, we headed towards Freeway 1, then onwards to Freeway 3 and then Freeway 6, which was officially opened 2 days before. From the bus, I noticed that most of their rivers were stone rivers. I guess it is natural as they have many marble cliffs in the region. Paddy fields lined the freeways as the green boxes stretch from one side to the other of the freeway.

Interspersing the paddy would be other crops such as yam. I rubbed my eyes when I saw a patch of oil palm trees! It was easy to tell that the locals livelihood came from their fields and orchards - there was an abundance of sugarcane, maize, starfruit, dragonfruit, mango and penang, as well as the occasional grape.

Weaving through tall penang trees brought us to Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village.

We arrived just in the nick of time to catch a cultural performance whereby the performers danced, sang and used bamboo as percussion instruments.

Instead of riding the cable car up to the top of the hill, we took the train. We were glad we chose not to walk up as we realised how steep it was while walking down.

In my opinion, I thought they did a pretty good job with educating the public about the traditional lifestyle of the aborigines of Taiwan. They had houses with real people doing real stuff in them, not just fake puppets.

As there was an amusement park situated within Formosan, Alicia and I decided to have a go at the rides. Uncle and Aunty Ding were great sports as well, as we managed to persuade them to join us on the roller-coaster. We thought Aunty Ding would scream loudly but who knew it was us who were screaming at the top of our lungs! When we've had enough of thrills, we walked back out towards the front. Aunty Ding was telling us that we should visit the garden across the road. I was not really attracted but walked in there with Alicia anyway and lo and behold, it was the place where Romantic Princess (Taiwanese idol drama starring Angela Zhang and Wu Chun) was filmed! Imagine how ecstatic I was...

From a hill, we moved on to a lake. Sun Moon Lake, to me, was nothing special. Perhaps I did not feel it's natural beauty due to my perception that it was being overdeveloped. Or maybe it was because I was feeling nauseous from the windy ride. Even after climbing up to the highest part of Wenwu Temple, I was thinking: Hm, ok la.

I did, however, take plenty of snapshots of the temple...

We made a short stopover at a peacock park. Apparently, the peacocks we saw came from just a pair of peacocks that were presented to the Taiwanese government by our Malaysian government. I'd have to say that they totally put our peacocks to shame! Just look at them!

Lunch was had at a small restaurant nearby, after which we were brought to Mao Wang Yeh's house. I had no idea that this 'house' was where Royal Jelly was sold. I was not paying much attention as the giddiness was really kicking in at that moment. Nicholas and Shirley was so kind - they offered me motion-sickness pills, which had me sleeping on the bus all the way to Kaohsiung.

As we arrived Kaohsiung ahead of schedule, we visited the Spring and Autumn Pavilions.

According to superstition, you are to walk into the dragon's mouth before exiting from the tiger's.

We then headed to Dream for dinner.

If you ask me, Dream looked like the shopping complex where Why Why Love was filmed. Regret not taking more photos of the place. But I did go to the top to ride on the ferris wheel...

On this night, I checked into room 3018 of Citizen Hotel with yet another full stomach.

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