[caption id="attachment_186" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="The view toward Sail Rock from our hotel room"][/caption]
It was a long, leisurely drive from T'aichung (Taichū) 台中 to K'enting (Kontei) 墾丁, and our first night (Thursday) was spent strolling along the main strip:
K'enting is a very foreigner-friendly zone, with a lot of posted information and signs in both English and Japanese. Much of it was legible, though I did come across a couple of interesting things, like the Korean snack stand with a Rising Sun emblem (I'd like to see how well THAT would go down in Seoul!), and the sideways-written の. Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of the stall selling おべん:
[caption id="attachment_195" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="の way!"][/caption]
The next morning, Jeff and Barbara were hoping to do some snorkeling at Sail Rock, while 波ちゃん was eager to go swimming, either at the ocean or in the hotel pool. However, Friday was windy and frequently drizzly, so plans had to be adjusted. We began by strolling along the beach not far from the resort...:
[caption id="attachment_198" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Fullon Resort K'enting"][/caption]
...before making the short drive to Sail Rock. The tide was out, and some crabs and fish were visible in the tidal pools:
[caption id="attachment_201" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Sail Rock in the driving rain"][/caption]
Next stop was Eluanpi (Garambi) 鵝鑾鼻, where we had lunch, then visited the lighthouse and strolled the grounds:
You know you're in the tropics when you can buy a coconut, and have the seller cut off the top, punch a hole in it, and insert two straws for you and your loved one to share in the milk inside:
From Eluanpi, it was up the coast road to the coral formations of Chialeshui (Karakusui) 佳楽水:
Continuing our driving tour, from Chialeshui we drove inland to Hengch'un (Kōshun) 恒春, stopping to see the old East Gate 東門 and the gas fire at Ch'uhuo (Shukka) 出火奇観. At the latter,Jeff and Barbara could see first-hand the great respect Taiwanese have for posted regulations, especially those warning people against trespassing and vending:
We ended our mini-road trip back at the hotel. After freshening up, we took the shuttle bus back into Kenting, where we all enjoyed a truly Taiwanese evening by dining on Mexican food, and drinking Belgian beers afterward. Globalization in action!
On Saturday we checked out of the Fallon, and visited Taiwan's premier aquarium, the National Museum of Marine Biology 国立海洋生物博物館. It was well worth the time and money spent there. The displays are well-organized, and the collections of sharks and rays (and a whale shark) were fascinating, especially to 波ちゃん. My favorite part was the exhibit on prehistoric oceans, in 3-D no less - dinosaurs so realistic you could reach out and touch them:
It was another long, leisurely drive from the aquarium back to T'aichung. Everyone had a great time this past couple of days. Tomorrow it's off to Changhua (Shōka) 彰化 and Lukang (Rokkō) 鹿港. Stay tuned...