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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Jeff and Barbara Do Taiwan, Part V

After several days of experiencing Taiwan's more modern side, Jeff and Barbara finally got to see the "real" Asia, beginning with the Great Buddha Statue 大仏 of Changhua (Shōka) 彰化:

The Great Buddha, Changhua

[caption id="attachment_225" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Japanese lantern"]Japanese lantern, Changhua[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_226" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Backside of the Buddha"]Great Buddha, Changhua[/caption]


From Changhua, we drove to Lukang (Rokkō) 鹿港, and plunged into the chaos so typical of popular tourist spots in Taiwan on weekend days. The sights, the sounds, the smells, the souls - the meaning of the term "jenao" 熱鬧* was starting to become clear to Jeff and Barbara:

Jeff and Barbara, Lugang street scene

When in Rome, do as the Lukangans, so lunch was oyster omelets 蚵仔煎 and dragon whiskers 龍鬚糖:


[caption id="attachment_228" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Jeff was unaware of the gangster giving him the hairy eyeball"]Eating Dragon Whiskers, Lugang[/caption]


No time for quiet contemplation at the T'ienhou Temple (Tenkō-kyū) 天后宮...:

Tianhou Temple, Lugang

...but plenty of time to try some snacks on the street, such as these "namakashi", a kind of croissant:


For 波ちゃん, Lukang meant an opportunity to get a T-Rex balloon:


Streets thronged with visitors, old storefronts selling touristy knickknacks and glimpses of traditional homes behind locked gates - welcome to Taiwan:


Some locals discuss the transient nature of existence:Locals, Lugang

Lukang on a Sunday not only means hordes of people, but also lot of cars clogging the roads. Eventually, we made it back to T'aichung (Taichū) 台中, meeting up with Steve and his kids for dinner at an Indian restaurant, followed by dessert at Swensen's. Taiwan, truly Asia:

[caption id="attachment_235" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="The Citrus Heights contingent partially reforms in central Taiwan!"]Swensen's, Taichung[/caption]

Monday was Jeff and Barbara's last day in T'aichung. While I went back to work today, our intrepid duo set out by themselves for T'ainan (Tainan) 台南 and T'aipei (Taihoku) 台北. I'm looking forward to hearing about their travels next weekend.

* 熱鬧 = bustling with noise and excitement/lively


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