Leofoo Resort

Leofoo Village Trip [bordered]

Room with a View

Our children had a fabulous time during our family adventure to Leofoo Resort in Hsinchu County. The resort’s main attraction is the fantastic view guests have of the hotel’s courtyard. Inside are seven different kinds of animals: giraffes, rhinoceroses, zebras, lemurs, goats, flamingos, and tortoises.
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Taiwan’s Aviation Museum

Taiwan Aviation Museum

Taiwan’s Aviation Museum [航空科學館] is located at Taoyuan International Airport between the main freeway entrance and the airport terminals. It is a worthwhile visit because it’s a lot more interesting than trying to kill time in the airport. The museum is divided into five areas: Civil Aviation, Flying Technology, the ROC Air-Force, Aviation History, and the Space Tunnel Zone. Since it isn’t a large museum, exploring its educational exhibitions won’t require more than two hours. I spent a little more than an hour there while waiting to pick up my family from the airport.

Here’s a collection of photographs from my visit:
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Taipei International Flora Expo

Taipei Flora Expo

The Aeroplane Flies High

Way back in April, Cathy and I each took a day off work to head to Taipei to visit the Taipei International Flora Expo during its final week.  We didn’t have much time to spend there, so we skipped the pavilions and walked three of the four expo areas – Yuanshan Park, Fine Arts Park, and Xinsheng Park.  We thought that by going on a weekday we would miss most of the crowds and were quite stunned by the number of people as we arrived from Yuanshan MRT Station.  Luckily, a lot of the crowd thinned out the further we walked from the main entrance.  Here is a small collection of photographs from our visit:

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Dihua Street

Dihua Street 2010
Yesterday, I visited Dihua Street [迪化街], Taipei’s biggest Chinese New Year market.  The last time I visited was during Chinese New Year, so most of the crowds and many of the stalls were already gone.  This time was extremely busy.  Despite how crowded it was, everyone was in a good mood and in the holiday spirit.  If you visit, be sure to go on an empty stomach, because most of the vendors give out plenty of free samples.
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Images from Bopiliao Old Street

Monga02

Although now a back alley, this Qing Dynasty street used to be an important passage between Monga [present-day Wanhua] and Guting Districts prior to losing its status to Guangzhou Street as the major link between the two districts.

There are conflicting stories as to how Bopiliao [剝皮寮] got its name:  Some sources say that the name originates from when the area was used to peel timber that was imported from Fuzhou Province [Bopi means “to peel”], while another legend suggests that the name comes from the skinning of animal pelts.
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Wulai Trip

Wulai Sign
Wulai [烏來] is a small town nestled in the hills of Taipei County on the Nanshi River [南勢溪].  The town is a great place to enjoy a hot spring, do some nature sightseeing, and experience Atayal aboriginal culture.
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Favorite Posts of 2009

With 2009 coming to a close I thought I would take a moment to highlight some of my favorite posts [in no particular order]:

  • Growing up a short drive from Sandusky, Ohio, I’ve never been too impressed by amusement parks in Taiwan.  The rides at the Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village were really nothing to write home about, but the cherry blossoms sure were nice.
  • Skip the Sitou Forest Recreational Park and go to the Wangyou Forest instead.  It’s a real gem and almost deserted [for now].
  • I visited the Old Taichung Winery with blogger Mark Forman in October and had a great time.  On this trip I learned to love my 50mm f/1.8 all over again.
  • My trip to Kaohsiung with my wife was a blast.  It’s hard to choose one post to highlight here but the one featuring shots from Formosa Boulevard MRT Station’s the Dome of Light really stand out for its panorama goodness.
  • I wrote a short little article about Reverse Lens Macro Photography that you may find helpful.  The examples in the article are fairly dull, but the subsequent Daily Photos came out nice.
  • Surprise!  Nantou had a flower festival!
  • I never knew a ceramics museum could be so interesting!  Now I need to find time to visit Yingge again!
  • Cathy and I had a great time walking around the Gold Ecological Park in Jinguashi.  Check it out to learn about Taiwan’s intriguing mining history!
  • I’ve written a few posts from our honeymoon to the Czech Republic and Austria.  Unfortunately, I’ve experienced quite a delay getting pictures online due to my pre-Intel processor iBook G4 showing its age.  Out of the posts I have made, the one of the Old Jewish Cemetery is my favorite.
  • Can I pick just one cycling post?  Of course not.  My trip on the Northern Cross Island Highway was the most fun I’ve ever had cycling in lousy weather, mainly because of the great people I went along with.  My recent solo-ride to Xinshe was great because it was more challenging than any other ride I had done before.

This year I started doing Weekly Links as a regular feature on the blog.  I hope my readers have found this useful for finding interesting content.   The Daily Photo feature began last year and unfortunately posting has been sporadic at best.  I usually post a Daily Photo if there wasn’t a long post and usually only post a photo on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday [and technically Thursday if you count the Weekly Links header photo].  Regardless, here’s my 10 favorite Daily Photos [sorted by date]:

Anping Tree House

January 22 – Anping Tree House [4]

Cyrestis thyodamas formosana
February 2 – A Sign of Spring

Shaver
March 17 – Electric

Buzzer
April 27 – The Tenth Floor

Bamboo
May 7 – Bamboo

Lotus
May 14 – Lotus

Taiwan Barbet
May 25 – Time to Take out the Trash

Gate
June 8 – Corrosion

Nikon FM2
August 18 – FM2

Skull
October 7 – All Your Weight Falls on Me and Brings Me Down

Notice anything missing?  Yeah, no people.  I’ll try to work on that in 2010.

In personal news, Cathy and I just celebrated our one year anniversary!  I’m looking forward to plenty more anniversaries and travels with my beautiful wife!

Have a Happy New Year!

Weekend Cycling – The Northern Cross

NorthernCross (3 of 41)
I had a fabulous weekend cycling the Northern Cross Island HWY [北橫] from Sanxia to Yilan with Michael T., his son Sebastian, Michael C., Michael F., Jeff, and Kenji.  I met up with Michael, his son, and Jeff in Taipei on Friday evening in Taipei’s charming Wanhua District.  On Saturday morning we took our bikes on the MRT to Yongning Station where we met up with Michael F and Kenji.  In Sanxia we met up with Michael C. and began enjoying a rainy morning along the Northern Cross.  Shortly before getting to a beautiful pair of bridges in Fuxing, the sun came out on cue.  Right in time for photos:
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Tucheng Tung Blossom Festival

Tung Blossoms
On Sunday, we headed to Tucheng for the final day of the 2000 2009 Tucheng Tung Blossom Festival [土城桐花節].  Although the last day of the festival has passed, there should still be plenty of blossoms to see if you head over there in the next week or so.
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Sending Roses

Shilin Residence (31 of 33)
For anyone who missed it, yesterday was the last day of the 2009 Shilin Presidential Rose Festival.  We checked out the festivities on Saturday along with a few thousand Taipei residents.  Given the size of the park, it didn’t seem too crowded for Taipei.
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