Yuantong Temple, Taipei County

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Once upon a time I picked up a copy of Taipei Metro’s Guide to Hiking & Cycling at an MRT station. After thumbing through it I told myself that I would hike every trail listed… then again, this was when I was only working 15 hours a week and wasn’t taking Chinese classes. So long story short, about a year after picking the guide up I’m still 0-for-12. Today I was going to change all that, so I took the MRT one stop south to Jingan Station. Almost immediately I encountered two setbacks to my trip:

First, when I got out of the station I could see the number 241 bus in the distance making a stop… I ran as fast as I could with my hand out in hopes that the driver would see me… unfortunately, because I’m in Taiwan a 100 pound woman and her 40 pound child can effectively block an entire sidewalk. As the doors of the bus shut and the bus began driving away I dropped a very audible F-Bomb to commemorate the situation… when I turned it seemed that the woman mistook this F-Bomb as being directed to her. Keeping a story covered by Prince Roy fresh in mind I cleared the scene to avoid a potential public insult charge.

So I walked down the street to the next bus stop and had setback number two… I hardly ever have to take the city bus around but on at least half of all those incidents I manage to hit my head on something in the bus. Today, I managed to strike the end of the metal bar which holds all the plastic handrails on my way to a seat… wonderful.

When I got to the final stop the bus driver pointed me to the direction of Yuantong Temple [圓通寺].

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The temple overlooks Zhonghe however the sky over the city was too hazy to waste my camera’s battery on… but that’s ok, there were enough interesting things besides views of a city.

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Built during the Japanese occupation, the site is a wonderful temporary escape from the city.

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Although it was a Sunday, there were only about a couple dozen people up here. Everyone I encountered was very friendly.

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I was mistaken as being British by a couple of young teenagers… I found it funny… I always thought every white person in Taiwan was mistaken as being American.

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The hiking guide I mentioned earlier had a map for the Hongludi Trail, however, I thought I should save this path for if I come with company and I headed towards the path leading to Zhonghe’s Fuxing Elementary School.

There are a couple sets of stairs like this in the area… I am surprised I made it alive with my astounding coordination.

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Close to the end of the path… I could see the sights and hear the sounds of civilization again.

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Someday I might figure out this whole metric system mess. Until then I’ll just walk not knowing how far I’ve gone and how far I have left.

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