Monday, February 10, 2014

CH203: Taipei Adventures 2

CH201: Taipei Prologue
CH202: Taipei Adventures 1

On my third day, we were picked up by our tour guide exactly on time. I had arranged for two tours. In the morning, we were supposed to go up to Keelung City and Harbor (North of Taiwan) and do a temple tour and a visit to a Yehliu GeoPark.

The tour group was bigger this time. We had to ride in a bus as opposed to a van the day before. There were 8 of us in the tour. 1 family of 3, a group of 3 Filipinas and us. The weather was again perfect for a tour. Clear skies, ample sun and a cool weather overall!

Our first stop was the buddhist temple overlooking the Keelung Harbor

There was of course Buddha

It wasn't very crowded when we went. This is the 30th of January and it was a holiday I think in Taiwan for the start of CNY. The lack of people was probably due to us getting there early.

The big Goddess (or maybe it's buddha I can't tell and forgot to ask) is also a place where you can go up for a view of the harbor from a higher perspective.

This shot was taken from inside the Goddess statue from the previous picture. My mom opted out to go up with me. There wasn't really much to see aside from different views one can get from small circular windows on the Goddess.

We were told that by ringing the bell, you can have your wish and prayers granted. It takes a bit of pulling forward and backward to get the momentum to make the bell gong.

I was surprised that I didn't even realize I might see the huge rubber duck touring the world. I remember reading the news that it burst on its tour in Taiwan but didn't think I'd see it when I was arranging the tour. Nevertheless, we only drove by the harbor and didn't really get off to walk around and have our picture taken.

Driving by the coast side to the next destination which is the Yehliu Geopark.

More pictures!

The weather was still cooperating with us. It was getting warm as it was nearing noon and we eventually had to concede opening up our scarves so as not to sweat it.

The water was really clean even driving through the coast.

There were a lot of limestone rock formations. least I think they are limestones. Then again, I didn't bother to read up on the information provided haha. I just remember that in this picture, it's called the Mushroom Field because of the shapes of the formations.

Playing around.

Got told off by one of the park attendants for standing there. I didn't realize I was standing on a rock formation or something. I thought it was just an ordinary rock.

On any other day, when the tide is higher, they have these red lines as a safety marker. I'm not sure how big the waves can be to make it dangerous, but, better safe than dead and drowning!

Mixing up the pictures by adding Asian poses lol

The formation in the background has a long queue to have a picture with it. It's the highlight of the park I believe. It's called the Queen's head or something. Not sure which queen it refers to, but I think it maybe Cleopatra with some sort of Egyptian bun.

The tour guide dropped us off at Ximending so we can have a quick lunch. The bus was also stopped close by for the afternoon tour.

As a lot of places were closed when we went around. As we were pressed for time, the only place where there were pictures for ordering was this curry place. I had something with Chicken and omelette with rice over a sauce of curry. It was yummy!

The next leg of our trip consisted of going to see the Bitou Cape, the Nanya rock formations, the Bay of Two Colors and lastly a visit to Jiufen village.
The bay of two colors. The discoloration is due to pollution from the mines they had hear in the north eastern coast of Taiwan..

The tip above is apparently the eastern most tip of Taiwan. From this place, one can take a boat I believe going to either Korea or Japan. Initially, I was confused as to how it can be the eastern most tip, but remembering how Taiwan is shaped will make it a lot easier to accept.

This isn't the Nanya rock formations lol

This one is more like it, and some closer ones that weren't in the picture.

Another picture with the Bay of Two Colors in the background. If I recall correctly, the mine they had was a copper mine and the pollution it caused on the waters has become a tourist attraction. A bit ironic, but hey, it's picture friendly.

With some dreaded stairs my mom hated haha

There was a tunnel that goes on a different way with some tea houses with a view of the mountain. This tunnel unfortunately separated us from the tour group, but I decided for me and my mom that rather walking back, we can just go around on our own hahaha #pasaway

Not all the shops were open considering it was CNY, but it was okay as there were still substantial amount of shops opened for some dose of Taiwanese streetfood, souvenirs, etc.

My mom and I absolutely loved this squid! What I'm eating in the pciture is already the cut-up long tentacle that was heated and peppered and served. The texture was what I liked best. You can feel the meat popping/snapping as you bite into it because ... well because it's squid and how calamari should be.

What the crowd looked like for most of our stay.

There were as mentioned a lot of tea houses which had a view overlooking this. It was serene and pleasant.
 After we got back to our hotel from the tour, my mom and I rested a bit and went out again that evening. The itinerary was to go see the Longshan temple, another temple I forgot the name of and the Hwahsi Night Market.

Longshan temple. There were a lot of tour buses near the temple. Or maybe they weren't tour buses but more of religious tours?

A lot of shops in Hwahsi night market was closed. Most of what were open were restaurants. As compared to Shilin Night Market, I would say that this place caters more on food rather than shopping.

They had a shop where you can get shots of snake blood. I had thoughts to try it, but chickened out. I didn't want to get/feel sick when we had the a couple more days of touring.

They had this stall which we also saw in Jiufen that had a long queue. They had a block of peanut brittle (you can barely see it though - it's the block wrapped to the left of the man. They basically use an ice shaver contraption to get fine peanut brittle dust and put it in some crepe and add ice cream.

It was good!

To cap the night off, I brought my mom to see the CKS memorial at night. The place is just 2 stops from Ximen station where we were staying.