I won't be uploading the photos yet. I will just sumarize what happened during the past 5 days.
I wake up at 5 am in the morning to take the 8:30pm flight. We transit at Hong Kong for 1 hour before going to Taipei. Unfortunately, the flight to Hong Kong took 25 minutes shorter than expected, and the flight to Taipei was delayed 25 minutes. We finally reach our hotel in Toayuan at almost 5pm. We then took a 45 minutes ride to Taipei to have Mala Steamboat with Samwin and his colleague.
We went Yehliu to look at the stone formations. Then we went to Chiufen for some shopping. After that is the Nantien Temple in Yilan. This is a Ma Zhu temple. There are 3 versions of the Ma Zhu statue in the temple. Basically, I think the main reason we went there is just for stopover. There are other more interesting things in Yilan.
The last place in the tour is the Amei Aboriginal Cultural Village in Hualien. We see the Amei tribe people perform a dance for us. The dance is really not professional at all. The dancers are of all kinds of build. They do not dance to timing and each dancers have their own variation of the dance and they are not homogeneous at all.
The tour guide told us about a prawn fishing farm in the area near our hotel, so the 3 of us went there with him. It cost us NT200 for 1 hour. Thierry got 1 prawn, I got 4 and the tour guide got 7. Sharon just watch by the side. By the way, the tour guide's name is Desmond. He paid for everything, including the noodles and vegetables we ordered to go with the prawns we caught.
We went to Taroko gorge in the morning. The view is really magnificent. The rock croppings there are really nice.
We went back to the Amei cultural village. We were introduced to the wonders of Taiwan treasure, Lingzhi and Deer foetus. They were supposed to have high medicinal values. Lingzhi can supposedly improves our body functions to fight against diseases and deer foetus can cure asthma totally. A lot of us end up buying Lingzhi after that.
After lunch, we took a tour of the marble factory. This and the Lingzhi Deer fortus talk is not in the iternary. We were brought to a room to be given a presentation of the different precious stones that the factory produces and it's basically a sales pitch. I bought a Taiwan Jade pendant. Then we made a very long journey to Chihpen. Our hotel comes with a hot spring. I thought the hot spring is refreshing, but Thierry and Sharon complained that it's basically a swimming pool.
Then Desmond gave 10 of us a supper treat. Drunk a lot of beer.
We went to Mei Nong Hakka village in the morning, followed by Fo Guan
Shan. FGS is the temple with the largest floor area. We had lunch at a restaurant at the foot of FGS. This is the 1st day in the tour that we encounter rain.
After FGS, is another item that's not in the itenary. Some pearl distributing center. Taiwanese cultured pearl is supposed to be edible and can cure a lot of diseases also. Most of us did not buy that. Too many miracle cures to buy i guess.
The last stop before dinner is the Spring and Autumn Pavilion. Desmond told us that there's a shop opposite this place that sells Taiwanese local products at a reasonable price. I think that's the main reason we go to this place. It's boring. In fact the majority of the time we spent there is in the shop.
After dinner, it's the Sin Jiao Jiang night market. As there's a rain before that, most of the stalls are not opened. It's really boring. We left the place without buying anything at all.
After that, Wenny came and bring me around the Kaoshiung area. Sharon and Thierry stayed behind in the hotel. We had a river cruise then went to a newly opened disco. We went there at 11:40pm. They have free entry until 12mn. There were no other customer when we went there. Only 1 other group came during the time we were there. I wonder why it's so quiet in the KS night scene this night.
Sin Ying Railway cultural park is nothing great. We took the rail to a animal farm. That place is interesting enough, with some nice animals for us to feed. I don't think they have any walk in customers. They probably set up the place for tour agencies to bring people there.
Then we went to the Sun Moon Lake. We went to 3 stops there. The 1st is the restaurant we had our lunch in. The 2nd is the peacock garden. As it was drizzling, the peacocks are in their cages. And the peacocks are without their tail feathers, so we did not get to see the peacocks in their full glories.
Wen Wu temple is next. It's a nice temple. Sun Moon Lake was affected badly by the 921 Taiwan earthquake. Only the hotel opposite the temple is unaffected. Some parts of the temple are unaffected. They say that it's due to the statues of a magical animal they placed in their premises. There are a few steps to take to get the animals. I went thru the 1st step in the temple. We are supposed to go to another temple tomorrow to complete the 2nd step.
Then it's another long ride to Taichung. We had our dinner there and checked in the hotel. Then it's to the Yichung night market. it's supposed to be quite big, but there isn't much things to buy...
We then took a taxi to the big shopping center beside our hotel. Nothing much to buy there as well, but we bought some bubble tea in Chun Shui shop. It's supposedly the place that invented the pearl in the bubble tea.