Sunday, April 29, 2012

Diva on Display

It was a little surprising to see this huge display in a little town.
With the store closed, it was hard to tell what it was selling.
I will assume it is fashionable swim wear.
The residents above the store is probably tired of all the tourists always looking up in the direction of their window.

- Karen

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Flip Flops for Sale

Happy Wordless Wednesday!
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- Karen

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A Sneak Peek

I was intrigued by this huge colorful poster along one wall of a Hong Kong mall.
It depicts the various facades and balconies of tenement buildings across the area. Interesting for us to peek into their homes as oppose to them looking at us from their windows and verandas.

- Karen

Friday, April 20, 2012

Garden Statues

Like the statue in my previous post, here were two others I discovered nearby. 
The top photo reminds me of relaxing on a lazy Sunday while the second photo reminds me of working on a Monday; although, one of them appears to be taking a smoking break.

- Karen

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Say Cheese

It's Wordless Wednesday again!
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- Karen

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Chiufen - An Old Mining Town

After our 5-day bus tour around the island concluded, we chose an afternoon tour to Chiufen on our last full day in Taiwan. My husband randomly picked a tour from the brochure to visit this small town by the coastal hills. We have never heard of this place, but we were not disappointed of what we discovered.

This once abandoned mining town is now thriving especially on the weekends where visitors from all over come here to enjoy the food and atmosphere.
The center of activity is this historical narrow pedestrian street that stretches endlessly for blocks. Vendors on both sides were busy hawking their merchandise as customers pushed and squeezed through.
This is not a fun place if you do not like crowds although I have seen pictures of it almost deserted posted by blogger Eastcoastlife here.

We arrived close to noon on a very cold day so food vendors were busy preparing for lunch.

There were a number of peanut vendors selling their product by weight.

Then there were other vendors who sold a dessert made up of peanut brittle and ice cream folded into what looks like a rice paper wrap and topped off with cilantro.
People were buying these to eat like it was summertime, but I was already too cold to try one.

There were grilled giant mushrooms.


This vendor sold fresh off-the-grill Sponge Bob character sweets. Yes, I could not resist and bought a set to snack on.

Some of the vendors did not look happy when visitors were taking pictures of their shop unlike this guy.

There were also a number of tiny sit-down restaurants if you do not want to eat while walking around.

My one pet-peeve was there were not enough dumpsters around to throw away used plates and cups. The few that were around were stacked with garbage already so waste was lined up on stairways, ledges, and wherever convenient.
This brave kitty tries to get to the last bits of food left on the ledge. I was nervous he might fall over.

Note: This concludes my trip report on Taiwan which spanned for a few months. I hope you enjoyed the trip as much as I did. Thank you for reading!

- Karen

Friday, April 13, 2012

Park Signs

I visited a park recently and noticed this sign at the entrance. Since this is touristy area, the pictures are a universal language or are they?
I think they are missing a few rules.

Then there is this sign at another park.
I am not sure I want to hike here during work hours.

- Karen

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - The Bridge & More

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- Karen

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Eternal Spring Shrine

As our 5 day bus tour draws to a close, we reach the Eternal Spring Shrine, one of the most picturesque sections of Taroko National Park. To reach it, we first have to walk through this suspension bridge.

You can see the shrine on the side of the mountain while on the bridge.

But first, you have to walk a narrow pathway cut through the side of a cliff. Don't worry, it is safe, but don't look down.

The shrine commemorates the 200+ workers who lost their lives while helping to build the Central Cross Island Highway between 1956 to 1960.

The workers' names are listed inside the shrine.

From the shrine, we look back to where our tour bus is parked way off in the distance.
I was sorry to leave this beautiful place and for the tour to end where we met some great friends.

- Karen

Friday, April 06, 2012

Marble Gorge

My last post of the suspension bridge of which you can kind of see here was a preview to Taroko National Park in eastern Taiwan. Taroko means "magnificent and beautiful" and one of the seven national parks in the country.
But, before proceeding to the Swallow Grotto Trail not far from the park's entrance, all visitors must wear a helmet due to falling rocks that have injured and even killed tourists.

We stop here to pick up our helmets.

This worker cleans each helmet after they have been returned.
It does not look like a fun job.

The Swallow Grotto Trail begins here. The tunnel to the left is for cars and the tunnel to the right is for pedestrians.
The trail was named as such due to House Swifts and Pacific Swallows that come to nest nearby, but I did not notice any while I was there.

The cliff wall is very close to the the pathway so I assume some people have tried to climb it; thus, the posted warning sign.

Looking back at the tunnel we just exited, you see the narrow trail in-between the gorge.

You can see people walking along the trail at the top and it is a long way down from there. It can give anyone a case of vertigo.

The boulders at the bottom of the Liwu River are marble rocks; hence, the nickname "Marble Gorge". You can now see the abundance of natural marble in this part of the country to build statues and such as seen in some of my previous posts.

- Karen

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Precarious Walk

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- Karen