Thursday, January 31, 2008

Railroad Trip - Part II

This is the train of Alishan Forest Railway.

We left Chiayi for Alishan around 1:30 PM.

Before that, we met with the Paynes at Chiayi station and had lunch together.

Paynes bought the tea and sweet for Taddy.

The rice cake is filled with whip cream and there's one big strawberry inside.

The train shakes pretty hard.  There's no way you can sleep inside the train, even when the ride took more than three hours.

Most of the scenes we saw from the window was like jungle environment, but there were some nice views of mountains.

When the fog appeared around the mountain, we also started feeling the temperature is colder.

We arrived Alishan around 4:30 PM.
The shuttle bus picked us up and drove us to the hotel.

What a tiny room!

Looking at the outside view from the window...

Lovely sunset.

It looked quite mysterious too.

After resting for a while, we went to the shopping area.

There were a group of elementary school kids, doing some activity in the train station.

Time for dinner.

Fiona still had no appetite, so she just ate the vegetable and tofu soup. Taddy had fried noodle and Xiǎolóngbāo (but this one was more like Baozi).

In front of the big Thermometer.

The temperature was around 10C˚(50F˚) that night, not too bad in the mountain area like there.

Got to wake up early next morning, so we went to bed before 10 PM.


The second day in Alishan:

We got up at 5 AM. It's time for a bus tour to go to the upper part of the mountain.

Before the sunrise.

That tree was huge.

Came to Yushan National Park.

Taddy was so sleepy that morning.

This pair is called "husband & wife".

Then it started raining...

The tour was cut short because of the weather!!

So disappointed... we couldn't see the famous Alishan sunrise, nor did we see the 'Ocean of cloud'.

The tour bus took us back to the hotel, and we had a late breakfast.
There were still a few hours before the train left for Chiayi.  So we decided to take a walk around the Alishan National Forest Recreation area.

The lakes are called "Sister Lakes".

There is a story behind these two lakes that are next to each other.
"Once upon a time, there were two beautiful sisters, but they loved the same man. Sisters did not want to hurt each other, and they each jumped into a lake. So the two lakes were named after this sad story of love."

Here's one called "Golden Pig Brings A Good News", do you see the figure of a pig?

This one is "Hearts Together Forever", see the shape of a heart, right?
And of course, there are more.

We left Alishan around 1 PM.
It was not a great visiting... but it's because of the weather, what can we say?

At Fenchihu station, Taddy bought the local lunch box.

A Pork chop, sausage, egg and vegetables are all inside the lunch box. And it's only around US$3.

Again, the train shakes!

Getting closer to Chiayi.

We arrived Chiayi at 4 PM. Paynes picked us up at the station.

For dinner, we met up with Shu chun's family in Budai.
We had dinner at a local seafood restaurant.

After dinner, we came to Shu chun's parents' house for tea.

This is a Sugar-apple, also known as "Buddha's head". They say it is quite expensive fruit in Taiwan.

Left Budai and went to Chiayi's Night market!!

P.S. Because Taddy was using his new camcorder most of the time during this trip, there are not more pictures about this Taiwan trip.  So no way to introduce the rest of out trip in Taiwan, even though we did a lot of interesting stuff including Chinese New Year events, etc.  Unless Taddy edits the video footage and posts them on this blog...

Monday, January 28, 2008

Railroad Trip

First time to ride a THSR 700T train.

It's Taiwanese Shinkansen!!

On January 27, our 3 nights and 4 days trip had started.

Kaohsiung was the first destination for this day.

The seats were very clean and comfortable.

We actually had a Taiwanese breakfast before the ride.

Taiwanese milk is pretty tasty.

Arrived New Zuoying Station.

It's like an airport.

Fiona's friend, Wu Cheng Cheng came to pick us up with her husband.
Drove to the city side.

...but, Taddy started feeling sick.

When we arrived Cheng Cheng's mom's apartment, Fiona's other friends, Chi Ching, Samantha, and Nikki were already there, what a surprise!!

:::Time to explore Kaohsiung city:::

We went to the famous shop for beef noodle for the lunch.

Very tasty!

After lunch, we took a walk along the Love River.

Cute puppies came to play with us.

Time for snack. Already??

This store is famous for some type of Taiwanese sticky rice and pork soup.

We resumed the walking after the snack.

"When I see those temples on the streets, I feel that I am in Taiwan" by Taddy

Okay, now it's time for the Taiwanese sweets!!

This place was packed.

Wow, so big!!

It was the middle of January, but was warm enough to eat these shaved ice deserts.

However, Taddy was getting weaker and weaker...

Came to Xizi Bay, but Taddy decided to sleep inside the car.

There were a lot of people visiting this time.

It's Qianqing Dagou British Consulat.

Well, they also look very tired.

Because of Taddy's sudden illness, we decided to check into the hotel.

Little bit New Year's decoration.

The place was pretty clean.

But we forgot to ask for a No Smoking room, so the room was smelly...

The bathroom has a lot of space.

Bruce Lee's on TV!!

"That's why I love Taiwan so much." by Taddy

Taddy slept more than 10 hours. Poor Fiona, she didn't even go to the night market...


Next morning, Taddy felt so much better. However, now it's Fiona who did not feel well.

Went for the breakfast.

Buffet is just lovely.

Fiona didn't have appetite, but Taddy enjoyed Taianese breakfast very much.

After checking out, we arrived Kaohsiung Station.

It's different from the station we arrived yesterday.

Take the local train to Chiayi Station.

Kind of nice, riding the local train.

Those two characters actually are the same as Taddy's home city, Okayama City.

And guess who's waiting at Chiayi Station?

(To be continued...)

Saturday, January 26, 2008

It Happened One Afternoon

Drinking Taiwanese "can coffee" inside the car.

Little bit too sweet...

We went to Luodong where our uncle's family live.

Arrived at uncle's dental office.

He looked at Taddy's teeth.

Before lunch, we just walked along the streets in town.
And found one Douhua (tofu pudding) store.

It was so good! Not too sweet at all.

This one is a small egg cake.

Taddy's favorite Taiwanese sweets.

The street was pretty busy.

Especially before the Chinese New Year, a lot people were shopping.

Fiona bought pig blood cake, coated with peanut powder.

Fiona's mom ate Youtiao(deep fried strip of dough) and peanuts soup.

Saw the wine store. Had some sampling.

Taddy bought 2 bottles.

At uncle's house.

Mother and daughter were just relaxing in the living room.

The lunch is served.

Hot pot, chicken, beef, fish, and vegetable!!

Wine in a big jar!!

Wow..., this one is pretty tasty! Taddy liked it a lot!


We actually brought back the wine from Taiwan.

And we decided to open one in a weekend, drinking with Lew family.

These are also from Taiwan.

Dried vegetables (potatoes, green beans, burdock, mushroom).

And these are eggs which were boiled with soy sauce and spices for long hours.

They look like black beans...

You eat the egg white (the color is black now), feel like chewing rubber... but the taste is actually not bad at all!

Now let's taste the wine.

Hmmm... the taste is not as enjoyable as the samples Taddy had.