Dour, 電通-controlled, family-centric Belgian Neocolonialism, enthusiastically jaded observations and occasional rants from the twisted mind of a privileged middle-class expatriate (from The Blogs Formerly Known As Sponge Bear and Kaminoge 物語)
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Sunday, July 22, 2007
Taichung Folklore Park 民族公園
For once we were able to get out of the apartment early on a Sunday (around 9), and drove into T'aichung (Taijhong) 台中 to visit the folklore park. It's an interesting place to visit and a rare chance to see a part of Taiwan that is long-gone (in a large city like Taichung, anyway). The park also presents the somewhat incongruous sight of a traditional middle-class home surrounded by modern high-rise apartment buildings.
There's a museum in the basement of the complex that displays a lot of artifacts once used in daily life. Pamela was thankful for the air conditioning, while Amber enjoyed acting like the matron of the house...
...while I was impressed with this bride's palanquin...with the artwork, anyway.
Back outside, Amber enjoyed feeding the carp. Behind us, a group of young women were busy photographing a pair of traditional dolls in different spots around the pond.
The folklore park also has several shops selling traditional toys. We bought one for Amber, a simple wooden clown that has two wooden balls on springs that click against the clown's head when you move it around. As you might imagine, it's not a quiet toy, but Amber loved it, and it was good to see a child enjoying something that doesn't beep, flash or require batteries. I'm sure we'll be taking Amber there again in the future.
After the Taichung Folklore Park, we drove out to Wujih (Wurih) 烏日 to take a look at the new high-speed rail station there.
Like most of the high-speed rail stations, Wujih lies outside of the city it serves. At least in Wujih's case, there is a new Taiwan Railway Administration station being built next door that should provide convenient access into Taichung.
The interior of the station looks very much like an airport.
There's a bookstore inside the station called Relay that has a decent selection of books in English, especially on China-related matters. For food, there's the ubiquitous McDonald's and Starbucks, but the Japanophile also has a choice of Yamazaki bakery 山崎パン, MOS Burger モスバーガー or Royal Host ロイヤルホスト. We chose the latter. American-style coffee shops or diners (or "family restaurants" ファミリーレストラン, as they're called in Japan) are rare in Taiwan. Couples or families are limited in where to eat - either in small restaurants where the cheap, uncomfortable chairs and tables ensure a quick turnover of customers, or in large banquet-style facilities, which are better suited for big groups. The only problem with the Royal Host inside Wujih station is that it charged Japanese-style prices for its entrees.
(NT350 = $10.60 or ￥1290)
Looking towards Taichung from Wujih Station