kwes. - bashful.
hey ocean - maps
taipei/ seoul: chiang kai sek memorial hall & seoul airbnb
Last day in Taiwan… well for my family. This was my last half day in Taiwan for a few weeks while I travelled around Asia.
Since our flight was in the evening, we headed to the Chiang Kai Sek Memorial Hall to fill up our half day. It’s actually a really beautiful structure, more so than the Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall. And although it looks mildly cloudy there, it was sweltering hot that day.
After what seemed like way too many steps, we made it to the top.
Guards marching! Lucky, again. Like I said last time, Taiwanese soldiers seem to be the most in sync out of all the guard changes I’ve seen (all 3 of the guard changes). After finding shelter in the museum downstairs, we headed back to our bed and breakfast, picked up our luggage and went to good ol’ Taoyuan Airport. Of course, our flight to Seoul was delayed by like 3 hours. Great.
Thankfully, our Airbnb hosts in Seoul were the most AMAZING people ever. We communicated through Kakao when we were at Taipei — the Korean version of Line or Whatsapp — and found out that we might not make it for the last bus to Itaewon, where our Airbnb was located. Rather, Jang-soon insisted on picking us up from Seoul subway station at 1am. Him and his wife arrived to pick us up and drop us off at the Airbnb, and it was really the sweetest thing ever because they don’t speak English at all. Thank lord for smartphones and translating apps. They even showed us around the facilities, where the closest metro stop was, and convenience store as well. ANDDDDDD, To top it off, they bought us rice cakes! Ddeok is like the best! So sweet (them and the rice cakes). Korean hospitality, y’all!
chet faker - no diggity
daughter - npr music tiny desk concert
kaohsiung: cijin island, lotus lake, liuhe nightmarket
Realizing that we had missed out on Cijin Island in Kaohsiung, we headed back the next morning and took this ferry to said island.
It was quite a quick ferry ride — about 10-15 minutes or so. What I remember quite clearly was when the ferry docked, the ramp came down and ALL the scooters from the bottom floor went on shore. It was quite a sight and quite loud as well.
After a quick walk towards the shore, we got to the beach. Although it was a gloomy day, it was still pretty hot out.
This man kept carrying his dog into the ocean, throwing him in, and letting him go back to shore. Then he would rub sand all over him and repeat. It was the weirdest thing. After a long while, I finally asked him why he was doing that, and he said that the sand was good for the dog’s skin and he could learn how to swim at the same time. Weird.
We made our way to this building with a row of dried seafood vendors.
Afterwards, we had a pretty good seafood lunch. It’s one of those where you pick the seafood outside the restaurant and then they cook it fresh. It ended up being quite reasonably priced. Less than $20 per person.
Rows and rows of lanterns.
Back onto the main island, we got on a bus to Lotus Lake. This bus was by far one of the most rickety buses I’ve been on (not including mini-vans). Look at those rows and rows of handles! I would imagine those signs about standing up to pervs would be of use back then.
Lotus Lake! Basically it’s a lake with a lot of pagodas and statues on the side. I’ve never seen anything like that. This one is of an emperor.
This one has two pagodas and there’s a dragon in the front! You can actually walk into the dragon’s mouth, but that seemed a bit scary to me.
The walkway was actually quite narrow. Some girls wearing graduation caps and gowns were taking photos and later asked me to help them. Soon after they were interested about where I was from (my Cantonese accent is that bad) and they took a photo with me. I’m pretty sure my face is lurking on some random TW girl’s Facebook album now.
This one is cool. The walkway leading to the pagoda has 9 (?) corners and it just zig zags all the way. Supposedly, zombies and ghosts cannot turn corners, so this blocks all spirits from the pagodas.
Well great, what a fail. Turns out the night market we wanted to go to (the supposedly more “local” one) was closed on Wednesdays, so we went back to Liuhe Nightmarket again. Tried to diversify our food selection some more. This fish soup was alright.
The first time I went to the night market, I thought this stand was a bit gimmicky since it had this cardboard cut out of the TW president and his supposed autograph. People say it’s not legit. Mehhh well I gave it a try and it has to be THE best papaya milk in Taiwan (that I have tried). So creamy and delicious. Yeah, the stands at Shilin cannot compare.