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Two days ago I bought a Nikon D40 (more on this next post) and yesterday I took it for a spin. The skies above Taipei were beautiful so I decided to take the MRT to Danshui Station and walk to Hongshulin Station.
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:
The Shi Yang Cultural Restaurant is located on Lane 101 Jingshan Road, south of the Lengshuikeng Visitor Center in Yangmingshan National Park. The area is named Lengshuikeng (cool water pit) because the temperature of the hot springs in this area is about 90 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than usual hot springs. I must warn you, there are lots of pictures of food in this post, so please proceed with caution.
A short taxi ride from Xindian MRT station brought us to the mountain village of Wulai, whose resident’s are mostly from the Atayal aboriginal tribe.
Rivers don’t smell like sewage before they reach Taipei, that occurs afterwards.
Yesterday I took a quick trip to Xindian to run an errand. While in Bitan, the weather was simply too perfect to pass up the opportunity to take a few snapshots of the area. I am used to going when it is crowded shoulder-to-shoulder with people on the weekends. On Monday afternoon, the place was quiet and peaceful.
Fort San Domingo was originally a wooden structure built by the Spanish in Danshui in 1629. The wooden fort lasted merely until 1636 when local people burned it down in retaliation to taxes imposed by the Spanish colonists. In 1637 the fort was rebuilt using stone. In 1642 the Dutch took over the fort after the expulsion of the Spanish. The fort was called Hongmao by the locals in reference to the red hair of the Dutch occupiers. The fort served as the British Consulate in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries [source].
Firstly, I would like to congratulate the Pistons in warding off elimination in their 91-78 victory over the Heat. NBA playoff games are televised here live using either the ESPN or TNT feed with Taiwanese commentary. Today I woke up bright and early, bought a breakfast sandwich and a milk tea and enjoyed the game. Ben Wallace’s clean block on Shaq which sent him to the floor should be playing on the highlight real right about now on the other side of the Pacific. At the very least, this means I can wear my Pistons shirt for at minimum a few more days.
As of last week, I can no longer say that I have never gotten lost in Taipei. I have recently made a habit of walking in a different direction from my apartment everyday in my quests for lunch. I have found a handful of really good places to eat this way (and a couple not so good places). On one particular day, that we’ll just call Thursday I embarked on my lunch journey through unexplored territory. After about 15 minutes of walking I decided to try out a lunch box place, as I had previously never tried a lunch box that didn’t come from a convenience store. The owners were very nice and they provided me a good opportunity to practice Mandarin.
On Sunday, I went to Danshui again, this time with Cathy, I-An, and Jason. Before the trip, we had lunch. Pictured below is the beef noodles I ordered. The bowl was bigger than my stomach and my face combined:
My Mandarin instructor from Eastern Michigan has been visiting her family in Taiwan for the past two weeks. Yesterday, I got a chance to see her and meet some of her family during a short trip to Danshui and Bali.