Sunday, October 11, 2015

Day 12: The Quiet Town along Zhongshan Road...

~25th March 2014~
There is always the other side of the picture. Taipei is the heart beat of the country. Kaohsiung is the working force of the nation. This is the lackadaisical side of the country. It's like a sleepy hollow. There was not much activity along the road, just a few shops which caters to no one at all. How did they survive in such sleepy town? I would not want to pull up my shutter. I would have shift out of this place in search of a better job. The bus stopped to get lunch for everyone, left only 4 of us as one has gotten down. 
The pig finally woke up as I got down to see what's there for lunch. There was nothing that I wanted on the menu but can't be choosy when there were no other choices.
This was just like driving along Malaysia's highway overlooking hills and greens. You know why there's no high speed rail along the east coast? That's the backbone of the island like we have our Banjaran Titiwangsa in Peninsular Malaysia.
That rock further out looked like a sleeping bear. You see, after looking at so many rock formation, the imagination just runs wild. 
The houses just looked so run down. This is the real Taiwan, not what you always watch from tourism videos to promote the country. One must not forget that a country has real people living there where some of them faced poverty. As Jesus said, the poor will always be among you. 
One of the passengers in the bus asked the tour guide why were there so many Christian cemeteries along the coast. I was half awake and half asleep but I was curious to know how would his explanation turn out to be. I was quite pissed with the way he explained it. He, who has no knowledge of Christ, has discounted the Saviour as someone non-existent. If I could preach in Chinese I would start preaching in the bus and gave him a piece or two of my mind. He said that because the people along the coast were poor and the missionaries brought food stuff every Sunday, so they became Christians just because of the food stuff. But in truth they still pray to their idols. Oh, man... were you there to witness that? The whole of Taiwan should thank God that there are praying people in the country if not the country would have disappeared with so many catastrophes and China could easily trample that land without lifting a finger. Only the poor has the time to go down on their knees to pray earnestly for the country. Do you expect a rich businessman to go down on their knees and pray for the country? There might be a small fraction of rich who would do that but they would be more interested to pray for their business. God fed the poor through the missionaries... it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. Whether the poor accepted the Lord for the sake of the rice and flour or not, you are never there to witness it or fully understand what's in their heart. One should not simply give such explanation to another tourist. Just say you don't know, you won't die. No one expect a tour guide to know everything.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Day 12: Tungho and Dengxian Bridge...

~ 25th March 2014~
We were having a good rest when suddenly we were woken up. We had to switch to another bus which came from Hualien to pick us up. It was too ridiculous to drive the 8 hours journey with only 5 passengers in the bus. Well, when tourism is one of the main income, then anything goes. We switched from the Pingtung Tour bus to e-go bus. They have a collaboration of some sort but as long as we managed to reach our destination, whichever bus would do. While they were moving our luggage from the belly of the bus, we were given some time to hang around the place. As I've mentioned before that we had no idea what was in store for us in Taitung County, I just managed to check out the two bridges that we captured.
We were suppose to concentrate on the Tungho Bridge but my eyes caught something else. Anything that's red will keep me in focus.
That's a simple yet beautiful bridge. It's so simple like you just put it there and ta-da~! You can use it already. That's the Dengxian Bridge. I read that there's a scenic area over there where you can enjoy the macaques. I do not enjoy looking at macaques so we do not miss anything. 
Look at that sleepy head with her bunch of banana bought from Banana Pier in Kaohsiung! She was so sleepy and I made her smile for the camera. We have an agreement before we start our journey together. I do not like people who always refuse to take a photo. Like when you are ready to snap a picture and then that person dilly dallies and give all sort of excuses like face not nice, hair like shit, don't want... don't want.... I will use my tripod to whack that person. So we're always ready for photos... I just need to say NEXT~! then the travel buddy or mi madre will take turns to have their photos taken. I'm a very efficient person.... hehehehe....
The main attraction of the place is that Tungho Bridge. Go Google about it because I can't understand the history of Taiwan. Will never understand it... unless I find an interesting book about it.
That's the river flowing beneath Tungho Bridge. We didn't see any macaque and that's all. While others only concentrate on Tungho Bridge, I was really happy that I took that Dengxian Bridge as well. That's all for the few minutes of 'tour'.
That pig continued her sleep with her bunch of banana... we snored all the way to the next stop... 

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Day 12: Xiaoyeliu Area - Taitung County...

~25th March 2014~
I didn't realize that we were so daring. We went to a holiday with half a plan only. We had no idea how to get from Kending to Hualien until when we called up the number from the brochure. It's impossible that they do not have any transport going up when they provide transport down south. The coach we took had can sit 42 people but there were only 5 of us yet they still operate. I like that very much, thank you for the excellent service. The bus has a tour guide and it stopped at scenic areas. But I did not have much sleep earlier so I ended up having the best snooze in the bus for the 8 hours road trip from Kending to Hualien.
Our first stop was at Xiaoyeliu Area. The bus was making a loo break and I was reluctant to get down. But in the end I went and took a look of the place. I don't what I was suppose to see. I have no idea what is cuesta, where's the mushroom rock, doufu (beancurd?) rock and all those other rocks. Just snap away before the guide holler for us to get back.
What's the purpose of that? Encourage reading? Or one should gain knowledge wherever one goes?
 There was one rock which looked like a hedgehog. I have better eyes and better imagination. Where got beancurd rock and where's the cuesta? 
Are those cuesta? Gosh... what did I learn from my Geography lessons about landscape of the Earth? I scored a 100% for my Geography yet I have no recollection of such memory except for some simple ones. All these escaped me.... 
 Two men fishing on the wet rocks. Wasn't that dangerous? What if the waves came down hard on them all of a sudden?
Oh, if one has no interest in fishing, one could stand at the man-made barrier to take photo. See that man I accidentally have the head removed? He has his camera on a tripod stand. If strong wind blows away my camera on tripod, I will dive in with my camera. Then both will be left broken. Eh, I'm very curious.... why the man-made barrier everywhere?
 Those are natural... This time round we failed to recognize anything from the map. *sigh*
That's the tree on the map... I guess.... But I do like a photo that I found of the place...
Yeah.... I like this pic the most. Just like it for no apparent reason. JUST. LIKE. THIS. PIC..... then I went off to continue my sleep in the bus. 

Day 11: Our Last Night in Kenting...

~24th March 2014~
We have a good reason why we wanted to stay in a comfortable hotel in Kenting for two nights. We wanted good night's rest before we started our journey of travelling up north of the island via the coastal way in the eastern part. The night was still young to call it a day so my travel buddy suggested that laundry be done before we called it a day.
Before we walked into the hotel, we took the coloured chalks and started scribbling on the blackboard. I like to scribble. It's good enough that I didn't doodle on the board.
It's a four-star hotel so we expected better facilities and we found the washing machine and dryers. Mi madre and le travel buddy have more experienced in handling such electrical giants that I chose to step aside.
We were happy to open the closed door to a huge room with X-box for us to play. What the heck... everything in Chinese? It's okay... it's just a game. We played until we were sweating then we had to take a shower again. *sigh* This was while waiting for the clothes to finish spinning in the washing machine.
We had a game of foosball and when the clothes were done to be transferred into the dryer, we went up and spent our time rolling on the bed. The dryer would take another 2 hours before it was done. That was when everything went awry.
It was not better than when we were in Taipei. It was equally as bad. None of our clothes were dry. And it was almost midnight. We couldn't stuff the wet clothes into our luggage. It would smell like stale fish mixed with stinky tofu and salted fish. I wanted mi madre to have a good rest and I know my travel buddy would not be in a good position to wake up in the middle of the night to deal with the dryer so I volunteered myself. I woke up every two hours and became a little smarter. I separated the load into two halves and started the two-hour spin. When it was all done, it was already 4 in the morning and our bus would come and pick us at 8a.m. sharp and we needed our breakfast. So, I was up again at 6:30a.m. and I did all the luggage packing. I'm good at that but I vow never to wash any clothes anymore in that country. It has the lousiest dryer. There were two dryers and another one was occupied. I met the Western lady who said that she has been letting the dryer spin for three days straight and it was not drying. Hah~! Please throw away the dryer.. useless.... spoil my night in a comfortable room.
I had the best breakfast in LeaLea Garden Hotel. I can live on soft roll and butter at any time of the day.

Day 11: Hengchun Old Town...

~24th March 2014~
We were waiting for a tour bus to take us to Hengchun Old Town. No more street food but I highly recommend the street food in Kenting. It's the best.
Dinner was at this Chinese restaurant in red. I can only recognize the second word as 'house' but the other three words, wait till the cow comes home, I will not know. We wanted to try what the locals usually eat in restaurant. We got our wish but then, Penang Chinese food tasted way better than theirs in comparison. Yes, I'm bias. I got Penang tongue so everything must taste at its best.
One of the places of interest in Hengchun would to visit a leftover gate. It's known as the West Gate and the rest of the history you can just enlarge the photo and start reading on the few lines of details. I did not know what I have in my camera because it was pitch dark over there. You don't expect to see tourists loitering around after dinner time. But I got some good photos even with the darkness.
That's the front portion of the gate that was left standing and preserved for this purpose. Only small vehicles can pass through the narrow tunnel. 
And that's the front portion. I can only thank my smart camera for doing its job perfectly. Without it, there will be no photos. Okay, so just an old red brick gate. I would call that a brick wall instead of a gate.
That part was bombed off and preserved in glass cage. Would someone really cart it off it it's not caged? Humans are wonderful. Someone bombed your place down then another someone with brilliant idea preserved the place for reasons unknown. How will you know you need to preserve that piece? Can you even live to see tomorrow let alone worry about the future generation?
Then we took a walk around the sleeping town. It should be hustling and bustling with life during the day. Everybody sleeps early. 
That's the house where they filmed the Cape No. 7 drama. I have no idea what kinda drama was that. I never want to watch Taiwanese drama because it was never-ending. Crazy long episodes of 500 to 1500 where the old grandfather never grows old and too much negative elements involved. I am a fan of MediaCorp Singapore one-hour drama. Other than that, my television hibernates. 

That's all of the short tour to the Old Town of Hengchun. At least we went to another extra place not in our list.

Day 11: Chuanfanshih - Sail Boat Rock Story...

~ 24th March 2014~
Time was running short as it was going to be 5p.m. When you hire a guide, they worked for office hours from 9a.m. to 5p.m. Ours should last until 5:30p.m. actually but to go to another place would be too far. We were willing to pay for the extra hours but our guide already has other plans. Our last stop was near Lealea Garden Hotel where we stayed. It was walking distance but we became lazy tourists. I was wondering what was the last attraction to see...
yeah.... a rock... a huge piece of coral reef rock. Our trip seemed to link around with rocks of sorts. What's the name of the rock? None of us know but since everyone was standing by the roadside to snap a photo of that rock, we joined in the fun, looking for a good place to make that rock as a backdrop.
According to the story for various websites, that rocked decided to part from its rock family. It went sailing on its own and decided to park itself here to be the centre of attraction. Maybe when it was together with its rock family, it was not known to other so it decided to embark on a journey on its own. The piece of land that makes up the seaside were flattened rocks due to soil erosion. Now, according to some websites, the rock looks like the sail of a boat. Then, someone wrote that it looked like President Nixon of the United States. Who on earth come out with such extreme wild imagination?
Let me take a good look of the rock. From where we were standing, that piece of rock looked like a little duck, parked nicely there with some green as its feather. I seriously don't know what we were doing. We flew miles and miles just to look at rocks but I was quite excited to see such piece of rock as Malaysia does not have such rocks!
See, I told ya I was happy looking at the rock. There was no one to push and shove as the crowd either has not arrive or has left. 
Time to leave the place and go back to our hotel. I planned to take a stroll along the night market outside and try out some food. But in the end, that would just remain as a plan as we went off to another place all of a sudden.  Totally unplanned and we got to see another part of Hengchun. 
Goodbye sun.... you're not gonna set yet... Keep on shining~!