I finally saw some 3000 year old thing in taiwan (In Taidong)...

I went to Taidong yesterday. Here im exporing the culture of the taiwan country side again, and meet some aboriginals...
I met a Paiwan...
But here there are most Amis...
The east coast are most populated with chinese ppl
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taiwanese_aborigines
omg, Thao had only 281 ppl left year 2000, i wanna go there and see who/whats left...
Yesterday I passed by ikea in taipei to buy some swedish things for the faimly where I stayed at...

EAting Mcdonalds food in the train...

Omg, 1 person working, and three observing...thats efficient...

Hualien...

Yuli...such an isolated place...I better return here some day... 

Wow, finally Taidong...

Here people leave their bags for a while unsupervised...thats taidong...

 And no helmet...just as the east coast I remember...

My friends place looks like I remember it...

Traffic lights are more like a recommendation...

One of the two giant stores...I passed by lat year when I cycled around taiwan...

Later we went to a burger bar...with interesting arts...

Only chinese menus in this part of taiwan...

 All you can eat for 249NT...including pizza...however the whole talbe must take the same offer...so I couldnt  buy it...

Lizzards on the wall...

"La casa mia", popular among the locals...and visitors...

 I had a 7inch hawaii pizza...

 And a burger...

Omg, we passed by "Obama cake" later on that day..they have 2 of these in taidong...

We also went ot the coastline, where we also went last time...now the "globe" was finnaly done...nice lights...

Switching...red...blue...green...etc...it was where they use to have an ancient aboriginal hut, but a typhoon last year destroyed it...

They also had many maps here...and information about the pacific ocean...

 Distans to vietnam...not that far only 1620km...

Omg, Xiaoluiqui and orchid island has the same distance from Taidong...orchid island is really far away...

Guan, an "american island" where the nearest skydiving is...about 2671km away...

 Fiji 7185km away (I think most of these places has related aboriginals as taiwan)...

Looks like a ufo or something...in the dark...I wonder how many typhoons it will stand...(its right at the ocean)...

Here is the place for the aboriginal house...

It says "welcome" or something in some language...

Omg, a chirstmas tree near the county office...

Wow, Carrefour in Taidong...thats exclusive...

 And Taigonds highest buirlgin (i think), abandoned...

And a night market nearby...

Wow, cheaper than Taipei...how can that be...the kiwis is not ever from here...

An aboriginal guard...

I bought some Calpis juice...

A guard is guarding the abandoned building...

We passed by "a plce caleld "red house" , maybe inspiried from the place with similar name in taipei...

We also went back to my rineds grandmas house...where they make famous food...

 A baozi without anything inside..(Mantou)....

I also got noodles...

 They had an intersting map (only 2 years old), showing some roads to cross the island...maybe I will go there next week...

Road 20 and 23...

Many scooters at aour next stop...

It was an awesome place from where we could see the whole city...

No mosquitos, and not warm...it was perfect...

And a pig walking around in the grass...

Its a good way to get rid of left overs...to fed it...

no english menu...

We also bought a deck of cards...and played taiwanese games...

The paraffin lamps reminded me of my summer house at the swedish west coast...

We played 3-4 different games...while sipping hot chocolate...

The pig eventuallt got tired...

Next stop: the red house...

 We had a special offer for budweiser...not sure why, but this seems to be a popular beer here in taidong...

The waiter was funny...

It was an adventure...

Putting effort in finishing the beer...

 My friend were a little slower...

An intersting flower store...open 3am on a wednesday...

Back to the house...tomorrow is another day...

...that starts with playing computer games...thats what taidong teens lie the most (i guess) since they talk about it alot...

"leauge of legends"...a kind of fun game...

And the first stop of the day: The prehistoric museum of taiwan (one of the goals of thie taidong trip)...

Discounts for taigond people...

 English information...so professional...

I had my student ID (taiwanese and swedish)...

Wow...same ticekt system as the railway...

The first exhibition was about german people and their connection to some aboriginals...

 And the classical aboriginal dance I saw in sunmoon lake and ona painting on road 9 between fenggang and taidong some year ago...

Kivala, some word on one of the many aboriginal languages...

 Cool dresses, I wonder why they dont sell more of these in taiwan...like in suth america every tourist store is full of these colourfull patterns...maybe the non aboriginals dont wanna expose aboriginal things...

This city is the "sister town" in germany, near frankfurt I think...

This chinese characters is the name...

 Wow...indians...

 And here I finally saw it...and archeological exhibition in taiwan...i like...

Its in Peinan, where I stay herein taidong...

Here are the mountian ridges of taiwan...

No wonder there are earthquakes almost every day in taiwan (or several every day, for doubters, please visit: http://www.cwb.gov.tw/eng/index.htm)...

Wow...the eastenr part of taiwan is on adifferent continental plateau, no wonder it shakes alot...

This is how taiwan use to look like...to bad no pandas went here...I saw some bamboo forrest near alishan where I think they could have lived...

And glaciers in Xueshan...that is cool...

 Omg...Air pollution...no real solution, since most taiwanese voters are scooter drivers...they might continue driving forever...

And some exhibition where they used Sherlock Holmes, Im not sure why...since the exhibition had nothing to do with him...

Weird...

Semimusimuk...aboriginal language...

And skeletons...
Wher can I see the old traces of life in taiwan today? At a rice field in Paishgnan...

 or a rice field in Niaosung...

Many pots where made by taiwanese ppl thousands of years ago...same as home...

They had different designs, and sizes...

They even had an iron age here...

And they use "bopomofo", a taiwanese version of pinyin...for kids to read the characters...I wonder how many kids understands bopomofo, that cant read chinese characters (these easy ones)...

Wow, so many sites (The red spots) where archeological findings has been made in taiwan...

Another old site, where there now is a city...

 and this site is not a rice field today...but it is "abandon agriculture field and tombs", maybe I still can go and see it...

Just as sweden has an ice age in the 1300 taiwan has a period of hard times to...why its hard to find findings (even tainan was covered with water during many years)...

Under "Hua-kang-shan stadium" in hualien there were some findings...

 And in fushan (i think north of taidong)..., now agriculutre field...

 And a rice field in tainan...

Omg...the aboriginal languages are spread to many places (the most spread language in the world)...

 ethnic group: Atayal...

Like in the movie "Seediq Bale", reminding me of the aboriginals in new zeeland...

 ethinc group: Paiwan, like my friend Peiche in taidong...

Amis, they are at the east coast between taidong and hualien...

Some aboriginals looks like philippinos and indonesians...no wonder...since they use to travel all over the palce...

Ethic group: Puyuma...

Ethic group: Rukai...

 Ethic group: Saisiat...

EThic group: Tsou...warriors...

Ethic group: Bunun...

The bunun people used wichcraft...unfortunetely christians changed the culture...

And healing was used by Kavalan people...

Same system as in Korea...age matters (the older the better for Sakizaya people)...

They were big beleivers of nature...the Truku people (Gaya (gaia) theory was used)...

 Omg, Seediq...like in Seediq bale...seems like they live near hsinchu...

Thao ppl lived near sunmoon lake...I should check for the warriors next tim I go there...

Austroneasian speaking people: "geographically, they are the most widely distributed language group in the world"...from africa to near south america (but not crossing the atlantic ocean)...

ten primary branches of this language is found in taiwan...

My friends were bored...(I might also be, if i went to a swedish museum)...they just sat and waited for me to inhale aboriginal information...

Some special expos at the museum...next time I might go th the guide rouge resrurant in the area...now we went downtown instead...

To a japanese restaurant...

 Teppanyaki...

 Omg. a 3000nt lunch...

My friend thought I wanted a 800-900nt lunch, i thought it was a little much, after all we are in the chaep country side of taiwan...

Squid...

Green or brown bean...ye, they eat is sweet here in taidong as well...

 Bojun was the last one to finish as usual...

They closed almost when we came, but kept open andohter hour...the cheif knew alot about european food...
Omg, Taidong universoty...so special...

Maybe I shoulds tudy here some time...they dont have that many departments...but I will tkae what they offer...

The main entrance...

 My friends favorite place in taidong...a book store...

 They had an exhibition...reminded me of bosco...

And a nice back yard for reading...

Intersing, this guy has connections to sweden...

Omg, at this park, no dogs, no footbals, no littering, no people in a box, no cars (this was at a parking lot), no strollers, no smelly things..(maybe its BBQ)...

Wow, one of the higest buldings in taipei, the hotel I leved in then i did my first ironman...

Some are place...

 A famous tea store...

 The most expensive thing was 45Nt, thats much cheaper than taipei where i often find 60-80nt drinks...

A hut from the old times...

The next stop was a site where we could see a tomb...

 It was a park...

 And they had orienteering stops...

 And amphitheaters...

My taidong friend enjoyed talking to the guards at the place...

 "blind peoaple only" (i was told)...so funny...if u can see, are u prohibitedto walk near this line then?

A nice view over the city...

 Green island in the horizon...

Orchid island far away...

But I could not see it...

The cliffs here are famous for beeing "dead"...

And here the tomd was...

Finally, after 4 years, I found a site thats older than the spanish fortress in tamsui...

HESS language school...a reason for foreingers to work here...

We went north on road 11, and found an aboriginal village...

I could not take pics inside their expo hall, but they had nice hardcrafts, even using Swedish absolute vodka bottles...

And some nice place to drink...

"amis" the name of the tribe living here...

 And nice bags...I bought some cards...

 And supported their "no nukes" program, they were complaining alot, avbout a new hotel that was build here on the sout east coast, without governmental permission, but since the culture here is that u have to follow the authorities, its hard for the sociaty to act, when some gangsters act "outseide the culture patterns":..the locals (who were super good in english) gave away flyers...

...about the coastline hotel that will destroy the sensite coral rief...maybe its the same attitude as with scooters...that environment is a secondary issue...economical growth is prio 1 (american style)... :P

Some nice cafeteria with aboriginal people (i think)...

More propaganda...

They also had a sugar facotry that was famous at this place... 

Else we continued north...I wanted to cross the mountians...

We tood road 23...


Omg..,"watch out for monkeys"... 

 it was dark. maybe the monkeys were sleeping...

 Some statues but no monkeys...

We didnt see any monkeys...but continued to an aboriginal restaurant...

WIth food from many tribes...

Not sure which dish belonged to which tribe though...

 Some pork...

 It started to rain alot...but we had roof...even if it waws outside...the beauty of taidong is that even the winter is warm...

Back to home...playing some games...

I was taght how to play "leauge of legend"...

 It was fun...

They had interesting pictures of different characters...

And the game was free to download, but if one wanted to upgrade faster than just playing to earn bonuses,. One could buy extra bonus...

Later we continued to a bar...where they had live band...

Many different groups performing...

Some guys were preparing the show...

 "Who´s" was the bars name...minimum charge 300nt...per person...

 Wow, emergency exit...thats modern...

I had a kalhua with milk (even if i ordered a baileys with milk)...it was really small...(250nt)...

The guys playing wer cute...some philippino people...

And they played good songs to...bothenglish and chinese songs...

 Some philippino girls danced (not sure if they were staff)...

 And a girl had her virthday...

The guitar player had a mullet just like me... 
This badn was also there (but they didnt play), i guess they take turns...
We were the only customers there, after 1 am...taidong is not a party place on a thursday....atleast not this thursday...

A trip to Yilan

I went to Yilan yesterday...

Taking the bus...it was convenient...

I was dropped of at the same pace as I left from after my 53k marathon this summer

On road 9, going from Taipei to the south of taiwan, passing the east mountains...

And the hill, that I often take pics of, which I ran up on at the same marathon...

Wow, a chirstmas tree, in novmebrer...welcome to taiwan...

I brought my Whicky, that I never finished from last time I was here...

Yilan by night...if often seems like a very small village...
 
 A famous night market
 
 This was famous...
 
 I bought some fried salad...and also met 2 girls from france and germany, who was here 1 year as rotary exchange students...interesting...many restrictions...
 
 This place was also famous...
 
A nice temple in the city...
 
 Wow, Yilan produced beer...
They had 4 different kind...one with algea...as I drank in singapore... 
 
 I never heard of this brand before...
 
 I tried all the kinds, excet the algea one...
 
 One had pineapple flavour...tha dark one was suprisingly good...

They also had dance performance...

Faomus place...maybe...

And this to...

Omg...Alishan tea...

I went to a uesum the day after, near Wai ai, where I use to go and surf...and where the boats leave to Turtle island...

Omg...so many umbrellas...

_nice view of Yilan, with turtle island in the background (taiwans only active vulcano...)...

And mountains...xueshan...for instance...

Andanintersint projection of rht world...not using mercator...

Omg...so many lakes in Yilan...I love taiwanese lakes...

How to spell "Qing" dynasty? "Cing"!?!
Or "Qing" dynasty?
 
 or "Cing"...
 
 Or "Qing"...
 
 Or "Cing"...even in the same paragraph they used different spelling...confusing...
 
 "Gaga" so intersting...
 
 Omg so many island I wanna visit...
 
 An old map of Taiwan, made by dutch people...
 
 Wow...5000 years ago...people settled in Yilan...
 
 Aboriginal tattoos, reminds me of the tattoos in New Zeeland...
 
 And the move Seediq Bale...

And at the Souvenir ship, one could by the Eiffel tower...

And miniatures of the museum...

On the way out, I saw some lockers for umbrellas...some one could bend lose anyway...but it was a interesting solution...

A resturant was the next stop...

They had alof of pics of fishes...

It was still raining in this "they rainy city" of taiwan...

So weird...in taiwan, they serve chicken with the head on the plate...

More rain...

Here is a map of a water fall in Yilan...

One had to walk a path up hill...

It was kind of touristic...

But also nice...

Aobut 20-30 meters high...

Up towards the jungle...
In the winter, it get snowy here...(or in the near by area)...
I bought a bottle of the local beer...a dark beer...
Later I went to the german restaurant at taipei main station (that is 100% taiwanese, btw)...
And alot of side ddishes were ordered...
Spicy sauce...one of the guys going there did an "italian", he took the reciept for company purpose, while everyone paid for themselvess (more or less)...omg south europeans...
After this a trip was made to a spanish bar in the city...
The door was locked...but it was full party in side...
Many ppl at the bar...
And in the basement they had a band that played and people danced...
I tried this german beer "Faust"...it was fruity and good...
Many foreigners  there...I will come back here some day to try their spanish food...

A visit in pingxi and shifen...

I tried to visit a waterfall yesterday...
Going up the mountains...very interesting...

The villages here remings me of places in the alps...

Due to the bridges and monuments...
But not the palm trees...
There are many trails here...
And statues, illustrating, i dont know what...
And flying lanterns high up in the sky...

Shifen waterfalls...a friend of mine went here some month ago...I wanted to see it by myself...

One had to walk a bit to go there...it was raining so it was slippery...

Omg...far away, behind the trees I could see the falls...not much to see (from the path)...
More interesting was a house up on a hill...
I wonder why people even went here...
A bridge was closed so ppl could not walk th the falls...

Even if it was signs...

Another bridge went no where...an old lady said that another path was open daytime...before 16...

Next pontaneous stop was at a near by village...where all these lights came from...

Some kind of event...gathering many people on a train track...
People wrote messages on lanterns...
The lanterns had different colours...representing differnt wishes...
And many other touristic lantern things...
It looks nice...I remember when I was 12 and ppl in school did a physical experiment...making one...

People were posing before releasing their lantern...

And once in a while the train came...so people had to move...

Many young people wished for good results at school...

Some foreigner wrote on this one...

Here was a map over the colours meaning...and prices of the lanterns...

And here is a pic of the waterfall that I never came to...

Train gain...

I bought a lantern, I will take it home...I heard that its illegal to use the lantern in the cities...but im not sure what defines a city...I paid with my 1 dollar coins again...making my purse lighter...

And ate some local food...
Clever...the plates were covered with transperent plastic bags...so no dishes were necessary...
Once again I paid with 1 dollar coins...it unfortunately crated confusing among the staff...
Firework...
Recounting the money...
A new train coming...
And more lanterns...
Far up in the sky...a lantern...
More were sent away...even if it was raining...
More messages were written...
Omg "Mats temple" (Mats is a swedish name)...maybe a swede came here some hundred years ago and influenced the people,,,naming the temple...

Kenting half ironman

I did a half ironman today...as usual i never got really tired, since I know I wont be on frist place, my strategy is to take it easy...and just reach the finish in time...I got in on 6 hours something...after really cycling slow...

In the morning, people had to wait for almost one hour for the start...some pros were starting 15 mintes before us...

It was nice weather in the morning...

There were many regylations, but as usual here in asia, no one really cares...people were wearing wet suits covering their whole body...making the float easier...and as usual its chaotic in the water, tai ppl swiming in any direction, not sure what their tactic is, but they look up, the swim blindly towards that thing they are aiming for...even thout the often accidentally change theri direction...
The starting place...so far kind of calm...
The pros started 15 mins before us...
We were suppose to start in the water...a mass start...

Just wait for the start...(omg, after seeing some pics of me, i still am kind of fat (97 kg at the current date))...
Many people were watching...
And now we go...!
After the swim it was the cycling...my helmet was strange...i had to make a knot to make it stick on my head...
No drafting, was the rule (extra strict since it was american rules...however I saw super many who cheated...I now regret I followed the rule, since I would save alot of time draft for a while...)
People are always so serious about clothing...everyone were wearing special outfit...i wonder for what use...my olf surfer shorts from Wai ou (2008), and a normal polo was awesome...and also cheaper that some super ultra light swim suit...
The running is always east...since I have done a oucple of marathons and ultramarathons the recent years...I pass by many people on this part...and I always save alot of energy for the running...
Ayo...here in asia its very common that people are blocking the road by jogging...(maye they think that they run super fast)...I always have to run slalom between slow runners...
We use to drink beer for the purpose of recovery in sweden...they gave away free Asahi beer here (japanese brand)...it continas alot of carbs...and after 1 can , i was recovered...
Well at the finish, it was also chaotic, it was in the middle of nowhere, so people needed shuttle bs to get out of there...and there was alot of traffic, causeing some accidents with the participants...
 
And we also got a free buffet...
Nice...however i seldom feel like eating alot right after a competition...
I tood some fruits and juice...
Then waiting for the shuttle bus...
The bus staff were all wearing hawaii shirts...
People at the starting point, were efficiently cleaning up...
I went to Smokey joes later in the evening...
Omg, they had a drink called "ironman" ihad to try it...
It contined egg, pinabpe and organge juice...
I also had this thing...didnt taste that much...and less cheese than on the picutre in the menu...
And some mashed sweet potato...
They also played music kind of loud...but it was nice music...
The pizza wagon had a lot of customers...
And this bar is still open...I remember 4 years ago, when I went here...it was also here...
Not that many customers yet...this guy will work until 6-7am...he is a funny guy...

A visit to Turtle island

I went to the east coast i nYilan county...to visit the island, that is a clear sign of th etaiwanese culture to never questionize...the island belonged to the military until 2000, but now its only for tourist purposes. However, everyone who goes there needs to show ID, and foreingers need to bring passport...for registration...no one even considers "why are we doing this"...as usual people are just following authorities commands...

I felst disciminated at the trainstaion, since they at each station has a spot for girls to wait, but no specific place for guys, as if girls are less of value, and thus most have more attention? hmm...not good from a genus perspective...
I passed this point again...same as when I surfed in wai ao, and cycled around taiwan...both Rotary and Lion sign at the same time...
 There were many farries in toucheng, ready to go for whale and dolphin safari as well as ship people to turtle island...
I had to go to the mandatory registration, and take copy of my passport, that I had to hand in in advance...since it was a military area 12 years ago...its very strict...
I was ending my miseries with my locally produced whisky...
Everyone needed to wear safe jacket...while going on the boat...
A guide told us thatXueshan is visitble...I think he meant the mountain range xueshan...not the peak...
We were getting closer to the island...but its from the side, that it looks like a turtle the most...
There are botj fishing boats and tourist boats driving around the island...
Here is a stone range...called the tail of the turlte, that changes shape depengin on season...due to wind...
 There were many old bunkers left from the military age...
Some were hidden in the cliffs...
It was an importans and strategic place to defend tha island from...
 The cliffs were very yellow partwise...thes south side, faced alot of typhoons...during summer time...
And hotsprings...under watter...
There are only 4 places on earth, accodring to the guide where there are under water hotsprings like this...
The water was coloured turqous due to this...this hotspring was closest to the surface among all the four underwater hotsprings...
There use to be alot of smoke here aswell---
But not anymore...
Some earthquake 10 years ago, casued landslides, which covered the place where the moke came from...
 I wanted to go closer to the cliffs...
Here are the highest peak on the island...originally 395m high something...
Japanese people used to take the white sand here, and use for the skin...but the chinese government stopped that activity when they came to taiwan, they told us...
The island is not that far from taian, about 10km...more than 700 people use to live her in the 60´s...
Many people come here for a daytrip...since the 70´s there are no on living here...and the military took oever the island for a while...
This is the only bridge...with the coast guards boat constanty there...ther toursit ferries only stay for some minute...shipping tourists...back anf roth...all the day...
Here on can see the whole island...with the head up in the upper right...and the tail in the bottom...
This is the tail...
We got a guide on the island...
And they took us to a souvenir shop...
Let us buy some equipment, since we were heading for the highest peak on the island...
I went to the toilet quickly...seeing this message...
Another toilet had a more philisophic message...
They were selling the Cavalan cap here...same name as the whisky...
 There were mostly onld people visting the island...many hash runners...
Omg...they had many kind of snakes here that were lethal...
It was nice to btreath some fresh air as a change...insteadof thousands of pollution schooters idling on the road...
There is the turtle tail...with taiwan in the background...
Wow the end of the path...
With alot of trash...
The military build a bunker on the top...making the "hill" 5 meters higher...thus over 400meters...
I could see some really high mountains from here...maybe the peak of xueshan...somewhere in the fogg...
It was nice that they offered english signs...and infromation boards...
 I couls see almot to keelung from here (northest city of taiwan...)
And far away, maybe to Suao...or even further...(a famous surfer place)...
Some of the hash runners drank beer...
Later we were going to go here...to the "village" on turtle island...
Andother sign told us about the strategic posistion of this island...since its so far east...
And they have some map with all the islands...and how they consider their territory to be at...
Each 100 steps up the hill, they had a sign...as well as the tio step...
There were alos of rash in the bushes...
It was a nice walk down than up...atleat not as hot...
The island is dependent on ecotourism nowadays...so there were alot of information about the wild life...this bird, can be found on this island, and some other small islands on the east coast, but not on tawian...even the phillipines has it...(there are also some endemic crabs, that only exists here near the hotsprings).... 
I found another sign at another toilet, when i came down...a very clever message...
Many hash runners were taking rest in the "TV room" at the information center near the village...
They showed pics fom the underwater hot springs...I wanted to see a vortex...since these are common at hot springs I heard...
The group continued to the village...after a short break...
And we passed by a temple...the only temple in taiwan with a postal address...
With this number...
This is a ghost town nowaays...but use to be a big fishing village...
Its the Coast guard and some scenis area administration that is reponsible for the island today...why many forinegers wonder why the tai ppl still want others to bring passport when coming here...
The island has two lakes...this is the biggest one...
They use to have a school here....and they taught japanese "until taiwan was restored to chinese administration"...
This is the old school...
And this is the bunker I saw from the ferry...
Its a comprehensive tunnel system..
It reminded me of the tunnel in south kora, made by the north koreans...
But this was far bigger...
We stoped to see a canon...
They had atleat eight places for observing the ocean in the tunnel system...
It was a big community living here some 40 years ago....
We walked around the lake...it was warm...
And the ferries continues shipping peopole all the time...
I saw alot of fishes in the lake...
After the lake tour it was time to return to main land taiwan...
It was crowded on the bridge...
 I keps on drinking my whisky..with...omg...57% alcohol...
Well at toucheng, I saw a snake...
And a funny sign at the train station...
It was very crowded on tha train back...as usual there was no extra wagon, no feedback to the system...ppl acept that it will alsys be crowded and thus no reason to improve :S
I ended they day by visiting an all you can eat and drink restaurant...
I focused on fish...and some fruit...the beer was very good, tasted like the ble dór beer that is taipei produced...however it was taiwan beer...
Tey also ahve white and red wine...but the red wine always taste a little wierd here...(even if its from spain)...

Yilan whisky distillery visit...

Saturday was full off adventures...

Starting with panncakes...
Then arguing with tome tai ppl, about that I wanted a students MRT card...I eventuallt got it...
Then I went to yilan...it was a sunny nice day...
A visit was made at Kavalan distilerry (kavalan is the old name for yilan, thats a city near the north east coast of taiwan...)
The is their most famous bottle i think...
They have many differnt kind, and some awards...
This is their main factory...
They also ahve a touristic part of it...with a gift shop and resturant etc...
They hae a home page on kavalanshisky.com (yes english spelling, i was amazed that this USA loving people used engish spelling for once...)
A long queue to try coffee and some whisky...
This is their new thing...a new kind f whisky...maybe...
A king car edition...
They had a musium as well, explaining different kind of whisky...
And this also spelled in english (UK style)...
And telling the differnce between, scotish, irish, american, canadian and japanese whisky...
And how they make the barrels...
By burning...
Haha..."sweet as the girl next door"...did a taiwanese person really compose these words?!?!
And we got to see the factory...
Alot of gadgets...
And a bog group to be guided...
Omg...this is how it looks like, where the whisky is stored...I wonder how big Johhny walkeds room for equivavelnt purpose is...
Spirit Castle...where the whisky is tasted...
We got to try 1 of these kinds...
the most expensive was 6600nt per bottle...(1650SEK or something)...
A guide told us about the special thing about this whisky...
Even the glasses had Kavalan printed on it...
They were also selling coffee from taiwan...never knew "Mr Brown"was madein taiwan...
And many different kinds of coffee...
I also neede to buy something...since I like to buy locally producesitems...
They had glasses, but I dontneed more of those...
I finaly, aftersom calculations figuered out that I should take this bottle...
Outside they were decorating for christmas...
As the night came...we could see the nice shapes of the mountiansin the horizon...
A nice scooter tour inYilan downtown...
To find a nice resturant...
Event the night market didnt have anything good to offer...
Finaly a mexican and italian restaurant was found...
Almost the same dining area...
I hada salad and potato salad to start with...
And had gratain pasta adn quid plus a mexican chicken roll as a main course...not good for a guy in diet...
Later in the nice I saw this again...so cute and funny...they alwasy discriminate ppl here in taiwan...there is not waiting czone for guys at night ;(
 
 
 
 
 
 

Travelling in northern Taiwan...

I went to travel in northern taiwan...
And visited the steak house, which owner I met at Chubbys burger in Jhubei some weeks ago...
Franks texas BBQ...ppl said it is famous...
They had many different things on the menu...
And the staff was wearing some nice cowboy looking shirts...
I got a coffee with free refill...
And I bought a burger ofcourse...it didnt tasts that much...
They also had the texas flag...
After the steak house visit the next stop was Yuhlui Geopark...I wanted to go here many times...but its kind of isolated...
A village is built mainly for this goelogical area...
And some cliff formation...this version is a fake one...
I can see some island out in the ocean...it is not turtle island...but looks almost the same...
There were many people from mainland china here...
And the thin mushroom shaped ston in the background is what makes this place famous...
It is a long queue to take a picture with it...so interesting...
It was very strict that one only can walk on the path in one direction...but if walking off the path, there was no rule...kind os strange...
Some stones looked like this..so interesting...like ths moon, or something...
A guard is chesking so that people are behaving...
People took pictures from both sides of this stone...its talled "the queens head"...
And here are people queuing for taking a picture...
Soo many people...
It kind of looks like a head...
Other stones also looks like things...but they are not announced...so people dont care...
I even saw some stones...looking like the queens head...
It was a path along the coastline...where tourist could walk...
The queue to the queens head became longer and longer...
Here are some other mushrooms...
This one was interesting...like a hole in it...
The next stop was the Makong gondola in Taipei...where one could use the student ID to enter...so convenient...
It was kind of dark outside...
They had many stations until the top...
One was Taipei zoo...
It was anice skyline...even though my camera hd hard time capturing it all...
And the pics became blur due to the lond exposure time...
Taipei 101 could also be seen...from the cable car...
They had alot of tea stores at the top...
Some of them were said to be famous...
I can imagine many tapiei people cominghere during weekends...
This is the view of taipei...
Still Taipei 101 was visible...
It was nice...
The station was a part of the MRT system...
The car on the way back had glass floor, so during daytime, it is possible to see straight down...
Taipei 101 from nearby...
After the gondola...the trip went to Chilis restaurant in Neo19 building at Taipei City hall...
After that some eye contacts was purchased...
Many different eye colours to chose among...
I got some liquids to...and a crash course in how to put them on and take them off...but it was not that good...
I asked some friends later...and they told me a differnt way...that seemed better...

A weekend in Kaohsiung...

I was invited to visit my friend Allens family in Kaohsiung in south of taiwan...I took the cab to MRT...we were still on Daxue road and the taximeter showed 105...it was alot of traffic...
Rush hour everyday, alot of scooters and cars...
Running around, trying to find Allen, we passed by each other, but met up at Taizhong...
I bought some honey cake for Allens family, it is their favorite...
Entertainment at the MRT station in Kaohsiung...
And a nice waterfall...
Near a place called Beer garden they had alot of entertainment, this guy sang Adele s, "fire to the rain", super good...
We continued to check out Barcode...similar to the one in Taipei...
Not that many people though...
And some MC gang showing their vehicles...
This is a nice restaurant place in Kaohsiung, with many fancy names...
We went to this burger bar not far from the city center...
I tried this cider...
They showed the Olympics...
I had a cheese burger with extra cheese...it was good...
We were picked up by Allens mom after the bar visit...
And went to their blocks...in south of kaohsiung...
Were we drak more beer and ate super good cheese...
I got an appartment by myself...it was fun...
With alot of wooden furnitures...
Some things that the old owners didnt want to keep...
This is allen as a kid, super cute...
We watched the olympics....at allens place...
And drank this Czech beer...probabl one of my new favorites...
Allen also showed my some military photos...
And I got some equpiment, which made it feel like i lived in a hotel...
Breakfast...same nice cheese and some tomato...
And ice tea...
This is their car...a Nissan...
Driving in Kaohsiung makes it feel like u are in a tropicla climate (whish it is) with palm trees etc...
Is it green or red? sometimes driving in taiwan can be confusing...
We went south of Kaohsiung to a local fish market...
And to take the ferry...
...to this island...
...called Xiao luiqui...
There was alot of water in the river, due to typhoon...Kaohsiung city can be seen in the horizon...
We saw some "famous" fish stand...with pics from when famous people passed by...
And we god Haomapai...(number cards)...for the ferry...
A small ferry...alot of waves on the ocean...
We could see the swedish female football team meetingthe french team...
French was in the lead...when someone changed channel...
Some statues were taken by boat to the island...
Seems like a symbol of taiwan...I have seen them many times before...
There were many people on the boat...
Some aboriginal was singing on the TV...
They were famous I was told...
This is the first sight of the island...
The ferry leaves about 2 times per hour or something...
Its kind of touristic, even though they dont promot the island so much...I guess most people here are from Kaohsiung...we were recommended to rent a scooter...
We thought about rentingbikes, but it was super warm...so we decided to be lasy...
Just like the east coast, no one wears helmet here...we were not even offered helmet...
Its rare to see cars...mostly scooters...like green island...
They had many siteson the island...that was smaller than green island...it might have taken 0.5-1 hour to drive around...
1 or 2 7-11 were spotted...
And scooters everywhere...
We went to eat local food...which means seafood...
This seemed to be some pork though...
But the rest was Tuna and prawns etc...
It was super good...
And we went to drink...and I had local mango smoothie...
Tourist groups were everywhere...just like on Green island, it is common that one gets a guide and some trips included in the hotel...
This Vase rock is one of the most famous things from this island...
It had a history...and many other cliffs had funny names, just like on green island...
Now one could walk to the rock..but some times if is surrounded by water...
Alot of people were diving around it...
We also went to some caves...where it said that we could drink the water...
Given that people never washed their feet in it...etc...it looked kind of dirty...
Most cliffs here were corals...
And they had alot of cliffs...
And also miltary bunkers...
And many places called "ecological zones"...due to its unique fauna...
And over 80 temples...(maybe 84)...which makes it the most temple dense place in taiwan, or on earth...they pray alot for good weather...
We saw even more mushroom shaped cliffs...
I had my new flipflops, so I could easily walk in the water...

Allen walked barefeet....
...and made a jump...
...while I was climbing the cliffs...
We saw this interesting fella, with its house...
And cool pattern in the rocks...
Then we continied with the scooter...feeling like we were on a medeterainian island...
And we bought this ticket, to see the sites on the island...
The sunset is said to be super nice from here...

One of the 2 light houses on the island...but hard to see the view from the mountain where it was situated...due to the forrest...
And we also saw a puppet show...
And one of the most famous beaches on the island...
Many divers were here...
They are promoting electrical scooters...that makes me happy...
At the ferry they were selling puke from swallows...kind of wierd...they mix it with sugar and water and drink it...
I bought this crackers...it was with seaweed...
On the way back, we saw Korea vs Denmark on badminton...
And the fish market had expanded...to the street...
Alot of big fishes...so nice...
Later we went to Kaohsiung downtown...I saw this ferriswheel...near ikea...
We went to a sky skraper which had many restaruatns, it was the one I saw the night before...
45 floors...and we were heading to the top...
To this nice steak house...
And a fantastic view...
and a super nice salad buffet...
This is a blur image of kaohsiund downtown...
I had a filet mignon...
And alot of desserts...
This is Allens mother...super nice lady...and his Aunt to the right...also a favorite...
Here is the view from Allens house...towards the Kaohsung international airport...
The day after we were heading north...
This old building use to be the highest building in Kaohsung...
Fumes from a car...people say that if i had in this picture to the police I can get money ( I assume i need the registration sign as well...atleast this workds for scooters...)
Still feeling like driving in a jungle...
This was the destination of the day...
Some munk from Shanghai, starte a fund to raise money...
...to build this...
A high budha ona stutue...some one said its the highest in asia...jsut like the thai ppl said in bangkok, and the buthan people in Thimphu...
Alot of cars were here...it was hard to find somewhere to park...
They finaly removedsome cones so that we could leave the car...
This are listsof donators...super many...and this place has alot of money I was told due to the donators...
Chen...something...same name as allens mother...but its not her...
Here is some swedish funding...
Here is the chnese munk...who raised the fund...
With different people, posing...
This is the whole area...super big...reminded me of an american cementary in europe...
They also had nice stores...
And the compulsory starbucks and 7-11...
EAch building has some kind of activity inside...as including the pyramid at the end...
I donated 1 NT, maybe my name will be listed some time, on those stone walls...
They had alot of rooms and places for the munk who started to build this place...
A lego miniature of the temple...
It was super hot to walk here...it was good that they had AC inside...
In here they had a white jade stature of Buddha, and Buddhas tooth...there are only 3 in theworld, one tooth is in china, one on Sri lanka, and one here...we asked how they could guarantee that it really was budhas...they jsut said, that some people recorded its position...since it wa taken from tibet to here...
I also bought  a fortune cookie...more like a "kinder surprise", with this message from the Shanghai munk...
And we went to some kind of museum inside the pyramid...
My flipflop made alot of noise, when walking...
It said that LUmbini was in india...but its in Nepal..atleast according to the map I saw in Kathmandu last year..and what they nepalese people told me...
This is how the buddhism spread around in asia...
This is some necklace...I also got from asia...
And here are places that was supported by the fund...mostly earthquake...but also the 9-11 attack in use...by some reason...I wonder why they didnt support africa more than USA...that atleast are in bigger need for money..maybe it is due to political reasons...
Here is the nice view of the temple...reminded me of Shen kai shek memorial hall in taipei...
It seems like on ecan go up in the Buddha statue...but im not sure...
Some last pose before heading back...
So cool..Wu Bai cellphone case...(a famous Taiwanese singer...)
Many tourist groups were walking around here...
Her one can see the 85 floor building, that use to be the highest in taiwan...
When we came back, we were served Taiwanese food...super nice...
They had a watch that always went to fast...it was an old wedding gift...
Allens mom in the kitchen...
We took HSR back again...it took about 90 minutes...
Then i took the light rail back to campus...
The same system as the local trains in taiwan...
Kind of new...i think about 6 month old train system...
The green line is the light rail...
I should bo by this train more often...it was fun...

3km swimming at Green island...

I was invited to join a 3km swimming competition at Green island at the east coast of taiwan...
Early morning the train was heading to taidong...
I could see turtle island from the train...near Yilan...
Many ppl slept on the train...
I saw the mountain I ran up on some weeks ago...near Jiaoxi
I really like going by train in taiwan...it looks kind of the same...but still some places feels so isolated...
I brougt some beer to enjoy the ride...going on the eat coast reef...
With mountains on both sides...(by road number 9)
I found a Giant store near Taodong train station...
We got a taxi pick up from the trainstaion to the harbor where the ferry will leave from...
It was very touristic at the ferry terminal...
They had alot of boats at the place...
Many fishermen sat at the shore...
I guess its from here all the fish comes from...that they sell at taidong night market...
Some coast guards watching over the passengers while entering...
This is how the ferry looks like inside...its famous for that people get seasick here...
This is how green island looks from from Taiwan...I didnt know that I could c the island from here before...
I went outside on the boat...to easier enjoy the ride...
This is how the island looks like from far away...its a 40 minutes ride...it takes a while...
Other ferries are carrying cars...
Far away is hualien...
Many people came outside as the trip went along...
Each seat was offered a bag...
And there was TV for those who wanted to watch (and could)...I heard many people puke...
Alot of flying fishes were flying around...not captured on my camera... :(
We got picked up the the hostel manager at the harbor at green island...
They guy gave us emplty scooters, so we needed to fuel up...
This seems like a systemaic thing...and reminded me of laos...
Where everyone gets a empty scooter ready for fuel up...I wonder if they empty it on purpose...
How to find a local person from a tourist? locals dont use helmet...
Even the locals told me...
Its kind of fun...just like Nan ao...its a contrast from Hsinchu...
Or have a hat that looks like a helmet...
I can see why they cal it "green island"
They also had interesting cliff formations...
This is the hotel...a very small place very cozy...many people living there...
More or less each cliff had a name...I think the one to the left here was called "the dog" or something...
The island is not that big, about 19km to drive around...and from a view point on could see this side (south east peak, (far in the horizon one can see Orchid island))...
And also the norht east peak...
The island had alot of animals and insects...
A conveinient road that went around the island...as made for the toursits who gets a scooter directly when they enter it...
And some times the road was really near the water...
Historical sites...telling about the strong current...
Some fishing boats were also driving around on the ocean...on the "risky" streams that causes many Qing dynasty ships to go aground...
Here is one of the worlds few hotsprings near ocean (some one said there are like 3-4 places like this)
They had cool caves from the road...
No wonder there are this many scooter parking lots...
We went to an "all you can eat" restaurant, hosted by the hostel, the first night...
They had a fridge of food that we could pick from...
I focused mostly on deer meat...since its special for this island...
We fried if on aliminium...
More people joined up after a while...they had been snorkeling (or diving as they called it)...
Some store had a sealed dear as an attraction...
We met up later on outside the hostel...
We followed the hostel managed on the road that takes up around the island...
There are super many scooters driving around every night on green island, trying to find deers...
The guide had a very strong light, to find the animals...
He also showed pineapples and said that we could pick if we wanted (I sneaked up the night after, and took one...but at a closer look it didnt look like apineapple)...
The guide spoke chinese and taiwanese so I had to listen carefully to understand...
We also visited some temples caves...
...come containing water...
And he showed us a stick insect that was unique for green island, taiwan has a similair, but its brown...
The day after we ate breakfast at some green island restaurant...
They had alot of cats in the island...some expecting human treatment...
This was said to be typical local food...
And flying fish...
We also picked up out T-shirts and swim caps...
After that we went for snorkeling...
We needed to sign some insurance paper...but my classmate pablo didnt know his ARC number...so he wrote his student ID...plus some random letter...I did the same...
We went to the north beach...its where everyone dives...
Later on that day we went to the city (there are a 7-11 and a family mart, that creates the night life of green island)...everyone asked for a Mcdonalds...I guess it will create a new city center...
I bought seafeed icecream and slized ice...
It was said to be famous, and we got discount from the hostel...it was ok...
We later on ate some dinner, where a big bus tour of retired taiwanese people shared tables...the food similair from before...
We contined to one of the few "ocean near" hot springs in the world...
They had normal pools...
But rejected my classmate to swim with his surfershorts in som pools...
But girls could have skrits...not bacterias...
We headed down towards the ocean...
25 meters from the ocean three pools were established...with different temperature...
This is how the "pineapple" looks like that I picked...
In the day of competition, we left early...since the swimming started at 8...
Some used sunblock, others thouthg its just a 1 hour swim...(later on i realized that I burned my self heavily...)
They said it was less than 500-600 people participating...so it was very small compare to the sun moon lake-swim...
And oceanwater is so salty...many people brin extra water to the water...
Just like in kenting they had balloons to follow...this is the one at the start and finish...
A relaxed police...seems like  anice job at green island...
This time we swam along the beach...popular aming divers and surfers...still alot of boats watching the swimmers...
After some hour I was done...people kept dropping in for a long time...its easy to swim here, sinceone can chose to return whenever...however the stream was very strong...many people took a rest...
A TV team was reporting, and the president sent a messaged to the participants (according to the staff)...
Also security on a aterjet...that picked up tired people...
Here is the start and exit...
The fastest people used a super small floating equipment (its manadaroy to have one...)...
about 1.5 km away was the other balloon...
Many people are using diving equipment when swimming in taiwan...and fens..on the feet...
Some are using the flotaing badges to hike on others...
And some are covering their full body, not to get burned by the sun...but still super warm...its like 30 degrees here...
After the race we got a taiwanese lunch box...we also got to send message in a bottle...to friends...
We swam in a team called "GMBA"...but no sponsorship...we got our space near the start to but our bags...
Some people also used life jackets...
After the race we went eating some slized ice...so warm and salty after the competition, it was good...
It was a warm day...
Many locals are walking in the sun...on the "city center" of green islands biggers village...
We passed by the prison that the island is so famous for...they still keep prisoners here...
They rebuilded it some years ago...unfotenetely taiwanese people killed all the aboriginals here when they came..and later on kept the island as a place for execution....
But today they earn alot of money from tourism...and people can buy cute statues of the prisoners...
On they way back, it was logt of queues...seems like they fery traffic is scarce...
Johnnys family met us up when we came back...
Johnnys home was very nice...alot of furnitures...made it look like a real taiwanese home...from my experience...
We got to borrow their old car...it was nice
I were heading downtown...ans saw a scooter accident...fortunately the driver had a helmet...
We passed by the "old trainstation"
Some homeless guy use to live in one of the buildings there...its a tourist attraction nowadays...
And they also had some bunkers from the japanese area...
We also passed by an aboriginal market...with alot of "krimskrams"...
And a Starbucks coffeeshop in the middle of Taidong...cool!
The high buiding behind the tree is abandoned...
We passed by a sweet potatoes chip store...but decidede to return here later...and buy some stuff...they ahd a philipponi waiter whos english was good, taidong people had in gerneral poor english skills...
We also passed by Johnnys grandparents home..(and uncles)...
His 2 uncles were preparing Baizis (steam buns) for this evening...they have a family business here...it smelled like cinnamon buns in their home...
They were very good with the dough...
This is another taiwanese speciality...
And this are some organs from a pig...
We god the bun and some tea, it was super good...
They also had a big house...its cool with wooden stairs...i heard its common in taiwan, but to have the house built of wood is more rare...
They also had a room with glass floor arn ceiling...for energy purpose i think...
we there after went to the shore...where they had some cool monuments...
and aboriginal house...where the aboriginals has meetings once in a while...
I was told they the aboriginals drinks alot of alcohole (maybe just like in australia)...
We there after took a walk to a forrest park near by, i think it was here my start for the iron man was...
It had a long history from some occupation period...I also heard some taiwanese maffia brought some guy here 3 years ago and killed him in a local pond...becasue they looked at them in the wrong way...I hope I can learn how to look at taiwanese maffia...so that I can feel safe...
AFter the park visit we took of to an aboriginal restaurant...
They had a dance floor in the middle...
And the waitresses had colourful clothes...
And they had the same instruments I saw in sun moon lake last year...I guess typical aboriginal instruments...
JOhnnys parents picked the meals for us...
I wanted local drink, and rice wine was the only options...it was sweet and good...
We also got some other local dishes...
Of any kind...like pinglang flower etc...
And some kind of tofu that tasted sour, with some sauce...
And soup...
And rice in babmo or leafs...I got that in the mountains in Hsinchu some years ago...
And a fish, its common here to have atleast one fish on the table...
Then some cute aboriginal girls started to perform dances...
And some guy as weill, it reminded me of the dane i saw in New Zeeland...
And i also ate bees...with peanuts...
It was interesting, maybe I tried it before...i dont remember...
After the restaurant, I wanted to try the night life in Taidong..we were recommended 1 pub, that Johnnys mom knew...
While the local KTV was crowded with taiwanese people...the pubwas empty with only5 foreingers...
The meny was only in chinese...
They had some special offers on the wall..
The other foreintgers were germans, french and spanish, one guy from mexico who were here on a conference...
I brought pants and shoes specially for my night life experience in taidong...i was super curios about what people do at night in this city...
We there after went to a near by family mart with the othe people, to buy beer, and later on heading to a place called "the beer garden"...
They were experienced, a 500meters walk can make any beer become warm in taidong...
Here is beer garden, it turned out to be the same place as the aboriginal market, but by night...they didnt erve anything, so everyone brought their own alcohol...
After this we went to Mcdonalds quickly...it has become a tradtition for me...sine some years ago, everytime im here...
When I met Johnnys parents the day after, they gave me ALoe vera, since I burned my back when swimming on green island...I was also recommended to eat it...itsgood for the skin they said...
And they ordered breakfast...some hamburger and tea...
Pablo didnt feel well, so he wanted fruit...I think its his new life style with lack of sleep...
The mountains are cool, and can often be seen in the background when dricing in Taidong...
We also went to a local Slized ice place...
They recieved alot of national awards...
I prefer to eat frui with my ice..not beans oe other slimy things...its good that one can pick their own flavours...
We were there after heading back to the sweet potatoe shop...on the way I saw an abandoned 7-11...the 3 colours red green and orange...
They were out of many things....
But usually they offer 3 kinds of sweet potato...
I bought this bag of chips...
Next stop was a local temple that was super big...
And there after we went to a pre historic museum, however the lack of time left here made us jsut walk around the museum, not enter it...
Johnnys brother joined ut the whole day...
It was a big resort a little bit out of town...
They also had a restaurant at the resort...it has been awarded a star in "guide rouge"...so cool, I wanna eat here some day...
And they had some statues looking like tha maois of easter island...I heard that the people from easter island originaly come from Taiwan...that is cool...
This it the entrance...
NAtional museum of pre history...in taidong...I have to come back here...
A sun watch was placed at the main entrance...
At the train station I saw this sign...it wasinteresting...waiting zone for female passenger by night...cant guys wait there?
We took the same route back to taipei...passing many green mountains...
Its very mystique...
And it started raining near Yilan...does it always rain here?
PAblo thought it was cold in the train...usually they always have AC, independentl of the outside tempereature...its always cold...stange policy...
I tried to study chinese...but it was hard...
I also had a fruit beer left, that I finished before I came home...

Swimming competition in Kenting

I joined a swimming competition in Kenting last Sunday...
It was cheaper, since we went there, me and 4 friends...compare to alternative transportation means...
They swapped my debit card, incase we could get a scratch or speed ticket on the trip...
They had a detailed map over the lakes in taiwan...so cool...
We got a car with GPS, they said we had a USB connection, but they means a external cable for walkman etc...
We stopped in Tainan to have lunch...
In taiwan, it is normal to have food blogs, we used some blogs to find famous places to eat...this place was one...
There we ate this...some rice dish...
This is another "famous" dish...
Here is a part of the swimming team...
...at a restaurant where they served this...some rice starch...
After drinving for some hours, my classmate alison took over...so cute and funny, she drove the car as if it was a scooter...(short distance to the vehicle in front...)
We also passed by this bar, where i have been many times...apparently very famous...
Posing at the famous restaurant, at the very central of tainan near ducth old houses and fortress...
This is what I ate...soybean pudding with milk...
Enrique was more brave and had red beans with some white ice...
Its very nice to have a GPS showing the way, but it goes slow to drive in cities, where a trafiic light waits every 100 meter...Alison didnt always follow the GPS, it was exciting to see where we will show up...
We made a stop at a family mart where I also stopped at when I cycled around taiwan...
We also stopped at a steam bun place that was famous...
They made their own buns and one kind was with cheese, it tasted very good...
Finally in Kenting we concluded that it looks the same..people walking on the small road back and forth...
We stayed at a Raggea bar, I have a malibu pineapple drink...it was ok...
I also found a Myanmar restaurant...so cool...and rare...
There were many people at the spot on the swimming day...
We lived not that far from this spot...but it was convenient to bring a car...
We got water and a swimming cap...
The sun was really strong this morning...
They never offer places to store things when there are swimming competitions, according to my experiecne in taiwan...just a few lockers, that was here from the beginning...so we put things in the car, and hide the key...
Alot of sun block...the girls used more clothes that the guys, but many other swimmers used a wet suit...and asians dont want to get tanned, in contrast to europeans, who usually do...
This was the beach from where we swam...
And this is how people swam, straight out (about 1,5 km, maybe a little shorter), and back...
A balloon was placed out on the other end...
and boats were at every 100 meter, observing people...
they even had divers under tha water...to endure safety (plus the floating equipment), maybe taiwan should implement mandatory swimming classes in school!?!...
Alot of people were at the beach ready to people swimmers up...
There were no timing, not boundary to cheat...people were aloud to turn whenever they wanted...
Afterwards there were buckets of water, for people to clean themselves...just like when i ran my 12 hour marathon...
We also got a lunch box...I was hungry, did not sleep much the night before due to high amount of caffein drinking the lunch yesterday and of 3 km swimming, however I was more thirsty, since I been swollowing alot of salty ocean water and been swiming in the ot sun for more than 1 hour...
We also got this diploma...it was a nice memory...
We lived in a 6 bed room, it was very cosy...
On the way home we stayed in Kaphiung to eat and to drop of alison...
We did not have much time to stay in kenting nor mingle around in the city...since people were catching the train on the way back...
We went to another "by a blog recommended" restaurant...
And it was pretty nice...I concluded that there is no mayonnaise in taiwanese fish dishes...
We passed by the second highest building in Taiwan on the way home...after droping alison...
It was a nice sunset but rain in the hirison on the way back...
Finally at Hsinchu, we ate at burgerking near the trainstation, i ordered a whopper with cheese without mayonnaise..."have it your way", sometimes I feel that thesauce taste wierd on the whooper here...
When returning the car I took a better picture of the map with the lakes...and the lady there also gave me my own map, in pinyin...so professional...
Alison told me that binglang girls do not only sell binglang, but also tea...
Near the car rental place they also had a binglang store, so I tried to by a tea...supporting the binglang industry...maybe the maffia...
Now its back to school...I soon have a quiz in chinese...

Cycling around Taiwan

I started to pack...on saturday evening...
I really wanted to bring my pump...
But it was to hard to get on the bike...
I didnt have any carrier on my bike...so everything had to be on my back or attached to the frame...
I broke my light last year...so I passed by a bike store and bought front and rear light...
I found the road that would take me south...number 1...it passed by Hsinchu...it was 18-19 something on saturday...when I took off...
There are alot of convienient stores everywhere on this road...
And even some "asian style"...copy logos...(looks like 7-elevens logo)
I ate dinner at Mcdonalds...north of Taizhong...
This is how it works...every 1km there is a distance sign from Taipei...most roads in taiwan has this system...some even has every 500m...
Taiwans traffic light system is so stupid...it switches based on time...meaning that even in the night when there is no corssing cars...u still ahve to wait for red light...
Meanwhile...cycling in the night, there are only some crazy scooter drivers out...else im the only one on the road...
At midnight I thought it was time for a rest...some motels were really expensive...I found one for 1300nt...it was ok...I cyceled about 150km or something....its a good head start...
This was the motels name...at 11 the day after I continued towards Kaohsiung...
Fuck! suddenly the road was blocked...no signs at so all for alternatives...I even asked ppl but they didnt speak any understandable language...and for them...neither did I...
After a while I managed to find road 1 again...
The road was really flat...and there´s alot of rice fields etc...
I saw other people cycle aswell...but they often has a more robust bike and alot of luggage on their carrier...
I also saw a container house in Jiayi...
They even used a Maersk container...which has as a policy not to give away containers...they probably stole it...
Some times the road just disapeared (I had to turn left or right at some intersection)...it was tricky...and I had to cycle around for a while to find the road, taking me south...I needed to stay focused...
I ate at Mcdonalds for lunch everyday...more or less...
The first sign of sundays destination...here spelled in a strange way (as usual here in taiwan)...
I cyceled until sutset...and passed tainan...here is another useless trafficlight...but i seldom stopped at the lights...bikes are considered more as pedestriants here than vehicles...
I made frequent stops at 7-11...
I also found some giant stores on the way...to bad they were all closed at this time of the day...
There were also super long queues at every gas station...no wonder in a country where everyone is useing gasoline for transportation...
Im in kaohsiung, visiting an old friend...stan. he is so funny. really helping me...
We decided to meet at this 85 building...its the only place i know, and that can be seen from far away...
I drank alot of milk during the trip...
I asked the staff at the 85 building hotel lobby about shorter routes south...and they recommended me to go on road no 17 until it meets number 1, since number one never entered kaohsiung, where I was...so number 17 would be a shortcut...
This is stan...anonymous...
Love river...another famous site in Kaohsiung...
I left my bike at stans place...
And handwashed some clothes...
Then we went to a cosy restaurant at the harbour...
I ate rise...since pasta place is hard to find in taiwan...but both contains carbs...
Kaohsiung has the bigest harbour in taiwan...i think...so theres alot of ships at the anchor place outside the city...
We went to a moutain near a university to see the cool skyline...
And there were some cool monuments...
From stans house we could see the love river...
Stan had an extra computer...that I could use...
The day after I was heading for road 17, on the way to there I passed by ikea...
Of course I had to buy some swedish stuff...påskmust and some chocolate...to bad that they dont have marabou mjölkchoklad anymore...thats my totally favourite...
I found road 17...now I just need to look for road 1 that will connect later south...
Wow, sign of progress...kenting is on of the goals of the day... I also planned to continue to Taidong later on...
The south coast is very nice...here is a nice hang out for people...near a family mart...
The moutain near kenting looks like Stenshuvud in skåne...(can b seen in the horizon)
I tried to pump my tire at some gas station, but they didnt know how the pum worked...and didnt have the equipment to pump bike wheels...
Then finally I came to kenting...I went to Mcdonalds...
And texted my friend Allen that I was there...and he passed by...so nice...
He and his girl friend taled to me for a while, concolidated which route I should take...
And convinced me not to go in the moutain area when it is dark, instead I should take the bigger road number 9, that acctually goes all the way up north near taipei, but near the east coast...
I passed by the so popular Kenting night market...next weekend it will be a wild party here...with the Spring scream festival...
I made it to the southern most point of taiwan, and then I headed back...(the road 26 I was cycling on, that goes around the south coast is not connected...so its impossible to cycle around here, instead people have to take alternative roads in the moutains...
But after cycleing back about 30-40km to the road 26 and road 9 connection, some girl at a local 7-11 strongy recommended my not to take road 9 in the night (even though I was focused to finish my day at Taidong, a city at the east coast), since it is small and alot of heavy trucks are driving there like crazy...so I made some phone calls, asking people what they thought (if it was in sweden I would ofcourse go anyway...its always dark some part of the day and i have reflector jacken and lights...)...I decided in the end to sleep in the small tiwn that I was in...Fenggang...or something...the girl said I could sleep for free in a kindergarden, or in an elementary school or at the police station...
I picked the elementary school...I slept outside...and was dsturbed by buzzing mosquitos the whole night...I reay learned to appriciate a good nights sleep...
This was the schools name...
As sunrise came I took of on the mountina road number 9, to cross the island to the east coast...
And fuck!, my firs flat tire...the front wheel...I changed the tire and continued...
Its a nice road...but uphill very long...
Here is the top of the road I think...and road 199 meets up...it is also a moutain road that I could have taken...
I love taiwans moutains...its a very nice contrast to in Hsinchu...and the west coast where it is very flat...
Another nice view...however, there was alo tof reconscrution work on the road...
Ayio...secod flat tire...and I dont have any more spare tires after this...I could recognize some sharp thing in the wheel that I cannot get out...I text a friend who gave me the address to a Giant bike store in Taidong...I hoped I could repump my tire over and over to save some time, instead of walking or runing to there...its more than 50km...in burning sun...
After a while I could see the ocean on the east coast, and I also found a 7-11...time to buy milk and juice...
Got like 400km or more with east coast to my right and moutains to my left...
Its very tiring to repump my tire...
I had a small hand pump...so it took 1 minute to pump it up...
Suddenly south of taidong, it bacame storm and I could sense the rain in the sky...
I catched up with alot of people onm y ride...this guy was from main land china...also struggeling in the head wind...
More than 5 hours of struggeling...I found my store...
The guy fixed my bike...I was happy, and thought about continue to hualien...another big city 160km north of where I was...
I ate at Mcdonalds...
I always get very dirty in my face when cycling...touching greasy parts of the bike, and using sunblock....etc th oil goes everywhere...
I found a nice hotel in Taidong, I think i slept here like 3 years ago on a road trip i made in Taiwan...I slept like 1-2 ours last night...so i thought I could recover here and then try to reach yilan the day after...in the north east coast of taiwan...
The hotel was said to be cheap...I payed 780nt or something, they said it was discount...
The towels were of paper...so interesting...
And someone left a jacket in the closet...
In the morning I tried to take off as easrly as possible. breakfast was at 6.30...
It was a typical taiwanese breakfast with rise, omelette, peanuts and these sandwish with some jam, chocolate and peanut butter...
In the morning I passed by the lake where I did my iron man swimming...
Its nice moutains in the background...I really love the east coast and the moutains...so mystic and probably has alot of aboriginals living there...pure taiwanese people :)
t today i will try to make it to Yilan...hopefully im in Hualien before 13 or 14...which means I can cycle on the dangerous road before sun sets...that is a road north or Hualien that everyone talks about...
I bought alot of rise dumplings...and drinks...its alot of hills on this road...(number 11 that goes alon the east coast)
Alot of moutains...not super much traffic...
Also road 11 had count down...to Hualien...where it meaets number 9 again...I want to cycle or travel by road number 9 sometime...its a moutain road, so it might pass by alot of cool places...
Wow, a monument showing the tropic of cancer...
Alot of tourist busses were driving back and forth here on the eat coast...I saw a scania bus with the swedish flag...
I alos passed by alot of cool bridges...
Since there are alot of rivers and valleys here, some briges are very old, showing the "old road" of the east coast...
It was alos tomb sweeping festival...so alos of people were having fires at the graveyards and putting flowers on the graves...
I kept on stipping at almost every conveinient store i saw, buying more drinks...it was very warm this day...
And the last part of road 11 was very hilly...with great views as well...
Awesome, in hualien...I could see where road 9 cnnected again...
I heard that hualien is a big city...
It was hard fo follow the road, as usual in the taiwanese cities...the road signs very were bad...
It was about 14-15 when I came to hualien...and sun sets at 18...so i was considering saying for the night...but doing nothing for 3 hours seems boring...so I continued, here passing Taroko national park...super nice...the road up here crosses the island and is the highest road in taiwan...it goes to Hehuanshan where I was 2 years ago with the moutain climbing club...
The distance signs in taiwan are very confusing, sometimes they show the distance to the township and sometimes to the city...and sometimes it doesn tell which one...so I was very confused, wether it was 34 of 70 km to my next destination...but I used refletor jacket and had my lights prepared in case I would need to cycle in the dark on the dangerour road that everyone were talking about that I had ahead of me...
What the fuck! "no bikes", and i have been cycling 15 km on a single road...and no alternatives...so taiwanese...scooters passed by...I called a taiwanese friend and asked for suggestion, later on I decided to cycle anyway...
It was a very narrow road...
They had some traffic guards in case of accident, he didnt seem to care that I cycled and wished me good luck...so asian...not legislation...just recommendation or decoration...I even saw other people cycle on the road...
And some tunnels even had "no scooter" sign, but still the asians kept on using the road...
After some 15km the road became big again...I asked how far it was to the place I planned to stay but no one knew...not even at 7-11...
After a while it became dark...but I felt safe...it is kind of nice to cycle in the dark...many times t feels like it goes faster...the only think i dont like are these cars and trucks that think they are super silent, and have to blow their horn, as if i didnt hear them, nor see their lights...I always onder that is in such a persons mind..they think to much of their vehicle...
At about 19-20 I reached Nanau...a place in the middle of the dangerous road for people to wait out the light...and an intersection for the train to pass...
It had christmas lights on the barrier...
So interesting, really no one here wereusing helmet when driving scooter...maybe the police is on vacation...
Every time I passed by the trail road, the barriers went down...sucha coincidence...
They had a board displaying the trains direction as well...for ectra information...
This was the first time I used my maps that I brought...there are alot of interesting places I wanted to visit, but I did not have time...
I went to eat...but one meal wasnt enough...
Neither was 2...
I left when they closed...after 3 meals...then I went for dessert at another store...(after all, I have done like 250km today...and tomorrow I will do something like 300 or more...so i need to eat, even though meals are very small here in taiwan)...
Wow, a scooter with helmet...so unique...
Breakfast was not at my hotel...but at a local store downtown...I also met other people cycling from here...but they were heading south...
I kept cycling north...on the dangerous road...where at some parts, a limited amout of cars can drive at the same time...
It was a great view...it is a part of taiwan where surfing is popular...alot of beaches are hiding among the mountains...
Finally at Suao...where the dangerous road ends...I also saw a giant store again and repumped my tires...after all, not I have to take road 2...super far, all the way to taipei but passing keelung and the northest part of taiwan...
Haha, so stupid...yet another tunnel where bikes are forbidden, and at the end of the tunnel, without any other roads connecting...there is a bike lane...
Road no2, makeing alot of extra routes...one to left one going straight forward...
I also met KKK...but some friends later on told me it was a funeral or something...I also know that people in spain also are using this dress for some christian ceremonies....
Wai ao...here I have been many times...surfing...now its cycling distance here...just around the corner from home...
The cliffs at the north east coast are cool, they have strange shapes...
Shit...at fulong it started to rain heavily...
I made some stop to wait the heavy rain out..but it didnt seem to stop...and I was eager to continue...so I cycled in the rain with a försvarsmaktens värmetröja and a poncho...it was bearable...itfelt like home in sweden once in a while...
I stopped by 7-11 and bought hot chocolate...to gain energy...
I try to do the same some hour later...but they they gave me coffee...hmm...hih on caffein...both good and bad...
Finally in Keelung...I planned to just pass, but the road signs were so bad...I asked a traffic guard, but he just pointed south, when I said I wanted to go north...hmm...
I took a short break at a burger king...
Ordering a double whopper junior meal...
Then i contined north...the fishing ships had some strange green lights...I wonder what the purpose of that was...maybe to attract crabs...
Hmm...where is the northest point of taiwan...?!?...I have been here before 3 years ago...it was also hard to find then...there are hundreds of signs showing strange geologicl parks and some cultural vilages, but for the northest point there was not a singe sign from the road...
I took some pictures of some signs that could be it...
After some rush, and seeing the danshui sign...or "Tamsui" as taiwanese people nowadays prefer to pronounce/spell it...I came to the MRT stataion...then it felt like I really was in taipei...even though its a 40-50 minutes ride with mrt from here to the taipei main station...
I tried to find a shortcut to get to road numer 1, that I started on some days ago...but gave up, and decided to follow road number 2 all the way in to taipei...
Even that was hard...since road number to just stopped exist...and I had to ask people how to get to the city center...and from there try to localize myself to raod umber one...I also saw some giant stores...they give me hope nowadays...except that these ones were closed at this time...around 21-22...
Wow...the second highest building in Taipei...its near taipei main station...
Yes!!...I found road number 1 now, after some help from friends...the only thing I need to do is to keep focused to not loose it...and I will get home...
I kept cycling under some long bridge...perhaps railway of freeway going towards hsinchu...
Jippi, the first sign of Hsinchu...only 57km...its like Alingsås-Göteborg...not that far...
And the distance started from taipei...and will end in south of taiwan...here I am 17km from taipei...
A little confusing...where does road 1 go?...it goes to the left...not sure why this sign was here...it confuzed me...as so many other strange signs...
I cycleled 76 km, almost in one big city...it ever seemed to end...now wonder taiwan is the most dense country in the world...they are so many, sharing such a small place...on the west coast...here I am near Taoyuan...
Some hills were very steep....but it will pay back...later I got the best down hill ever for like 10-20km...
Hsinchu MRT station....just saved like 300nt...depending on how I define the purpose of the taipei trip...and recognize the savings...
It was a nice moon this night...not shown to good on this pic...I also noticed that road number 1 passed by my Giants store in hsincu downtown...I was back in Hsinchu at about 2...
Here I am, outside my dorm, where I started 4-5 days ago...it was an intersting ride...to bad that my body never remembers pain...i might do it again some time...

Knowing taiwan

or should it be calles "zhidao taiwan", cuz initially everything was in chinese...even the film and subtitles showed in the bus...
I was told 07.40 as a meeting time, not even the hosts showed up until nearby 8...I used the time going back to my dorm, passing my lab etc...
As usual in taiwan people like karaoke...some foreingers in the back tried to get into party mode...
But as usual in taiwan, the taiwanese people want to sing in chinese...so that no other can sing along :(
The first stop was at a rice museum i think, however everything was in chinese...even the guide only spoke chinese..a brave classmate tied to translate once in a while for the people whos chinese is not "museum level"
And no english text at the cases...
We ended that visit by learning how to fold grass animals like deers and dogs, that was interesting...
After that we went somewhere else...I guess the taiwanese people knows where, cus this guide only spoke chinese aswell...
Some said it was a school from japan...
Our guide took us to some new place...some one said he spoke taiwanese...I tried to play music in the back, to have some entertainment while the chinese people enrichended their cultural life...
The next visit was some theater I think...
And people got dressed up...
And we took a picture with the asian close on, that we could buy for 100NTD (25 SEK)...
Then we ate food, they had some interesting salty fish that i liked...
And back to the bus, with more chinese guidance...so sad, and so boring...
We continued to some store that were selling tried meat...
And there after to DaJia, to a temple that, after looking around realised I have been there 2 times before, without thinking about that it was the same place...
Taiwanese people are very religous, they ofteh pray and donate things at the temple...
Its kind of sad, cuz many temples are owned by the maffia, making the organized crime institutions richer and richer...
They had alot of stone carvings...super detailed...so amazing...
many were machine made, but most were hand made...
In the basement, they had a 250Kg gold statue of the goddess...without any security, saying, "its a religous symbol, so people wont steal it", how ever, spending almost 3 years in asia, i know that super many people belive in money...I wonder when it will be stolen...
Another statue was in pure white jade, the most expensve jade...its also funny, since asians often say that jade is priseless...however, they always seem to put a price on it, when money comes up...
After 30 mins of guidance, a new guide who spoke english came...and suddenly I understood and could ask questions...
Many people were praying, and donating fake money...that they bought at the temple...
Next place was some hakka house...they had alot of birds walking around...
I tried to find any info in english...but this place was only for chinese people as well...
We continued to the nightmarket in Taizhong...
Alot of traffic...the city felt a little bit like taipei...
We there after went to the hotel, and later on to a famous hotpot, that I also visited before...like 3 yearsago on my roadtrip around taiwan...it was 16 degree AC inside then, and about 35 degrees outside...
It was not that super cold today, maybe due to that it was not super warm outside...
And the waiters always uses handsfree and bows when they leave the table...
We were suppose to go to a "cool club" later on...so we took cab...
We had 3 cabs, however the place were closed that we were heading for, so we needed to go for another club...
This is a club where u had to dress up...I could only think about russian nouveau-riche people...who think they are something...for something they have...
This is the place we ended up in...some classmates thought this was the best place in taiwan ever...
They day after we visited a paper factory...
They said, "if one not hand make the paper, the fibers will be in strpes, and one cannot paint on them"...I wonder if they ever visited a paper factory in europe...since there they always machine make paper for writing
The guise taught us how to form the paper...and how to colour it with coal...
Then we all did an attempt...
And then we could buy things like red paper of a fan strucutre, to past our picture on...
The next destination was the wine factory...I went there last summer as well...its a pity i never get to see the production of the alcohole...
Some classmates enjoyed that we got to taste alot of wines...
And other taiwanese liquids...
This is a tunner for taiwanese people to enjoy beeing drunk..dangerous in my opinion, since many of the asians, may end up thining the the grous always lean to the left when people are drunk, there are alot of prejudice here in asia all the time...
And here one can read how to identify drunk animals...the same taiwanese fact culture...very funny for europeans to read...
We contines to another taiwanese restaurant...
Korean, Thai guy and Malaysian girl...enjoyed the taiwanese food...
It was acctually warm here, south of Hsinchu...I was wearing shorts...all day long...
We continued to a village near Sun moon lake, the largest lake in Taiwan...enlarged by the japanese people...
Chilling near the bridge...where the finish for the swimming caravan was last year...
As well as in Alishan, they perform aboriginal dance...so cool!
Its so interesting and inspiring with taiwanese aboriginals...they are so original...and unfortunately so few...dancing a dance, i also seen pictures of as south as kenting area...
There after we took the boat for a tour...they spoke chinese during the guidance, but not many people could hear the guide was talking about...
We were mingeling around instead...
Enjoying the lake, and the villages that are recently built...not much care for the nature...new buildings for more tourists is the vision...when will it end?
This is a hotel inspired by Burj al arab...the finest room costs about 30000NT per night and the toilet is said to be of gold...why toilet? bedroom would be cooler...?!?
We also passed by the only island on the lake...so exclusive, i want to to go that island...its said to be holy by the local people...
A typical sign here in taiwan...a question without question mark (usually taiwnaese people uses tones, and some people think about the tone when they write (without adding the tone in the text...so for westerners its hard to know what they though about...)
Its a big touristic event here, tourist boats diving around...
And on the shore they have local activites...that is nice...
After  the trip I went to the ice cream bar I went to last time...
And bought chocolate ice cream...it was nice...but they were super slow, and we had to run to the bus that left at 16.40...
The guy who arrange kept on speaking chnee all the time...so I never undedrstood what was next onthe schedule...so confusing...I asked around, and some people said that this was a local famous chocolate bar...
People started to queue...
There were one queu for icecream, one for free try of chocolate, one for if you wanted to buy already packaged chocolate and one if you wanted to design your own candy composition...very confusing, and no info in english...I just wanted to see how they made the candies...but no...that ws not possible...
This is the ice cream bar...
I tried, chocolate, coconut and chili ice cream...
I also bought whiskey chocolate...kind of expsnsive (350nt for  6 pieces)
And I sneaked in to the "own composition store" i was sick and tired of the tai people speak ing chinese, tellig me something I did not understand...
After this we went back to Hsinchu...

2011 Taitung International 226K Ultra Triathlon

2011 Taitung International 226K Ultra Triathlon, a.k.a Ironman..even though Im not sure if they paid alot of money for the name, was what I did last weekend...
I left Hsinchu by train...since it was on the east coast...the most exotic place and my favorite city in taiwan...Taitung...
I signed up to live in dorm...like I use to do in sweden when I do interesting physical challenges...however it turned out to be the most fancy hotel in town...
We got the equipment in the lobby of the hotel...it was interesting, and good service...
It is interesting at the east coast of taiwan, cuz everthing must be typhoon and earthquake safe...
We got a nice dinner in the evening...
It was also an information section for the participants...
Just like in sweden they serve beer (or sometimes wine) when it is sports event...as a complement to the sports drinks...
While my room mates left their stuff very neat and nice...
... I spread out over the room, showing my territory...as usual...
We couldnt keep the bikes in the rooms, so they had guards in the basement...
I didnt know how to find the start...but one of the staff promised a japanese to show him 5 in the morning, so I joined them...resulting that I was one of the first to arrive to the starting point...
they had 3 sections in the tent, one for equipment...
...One for changing (for the ones who were not professional)...
and one section for bikes...
As usual in Taiwan U never run a route...u always run back and forth on the same road...the same was with the swimming, 2 laps around a river that they ones made to a lake...
After some hour, more people showed up to the starting point...
And 30 mins before start...almost all the 321 participants were there...many people were using buoyant wetsuits, which is considering cheating in many races..since it goes faster...but people r not that strict in this part of the world...
I knew I was a slow swimmer, and I was careful not to get cramp...
Instead I catched up during the cycling...I was the only one with surfer shorts and the official T-shirt...when doing the race...all the rest had professional clothes...just like when im compeding at home...im not a gadget guy...
The cycling was ok...more like a long boring transportation part...with street dogs walking on the road (I almost hit one, like 50 cm close), another disturbing thing here in taiwan...not sure if it is culture...is when a tai is passing you buy, they hail you, and go super close in front of you and the slow down...so annoying...many times i bumped into them to show them that they have to take distance.
When I reached the goal later on there were still alot of people out running...i came in as 65 of 321 i think...I think it was good, concidering that I took it easy.. I wonder what position I would get in Sweden...probably not that good in position (the cut off time in sweden is 15 hours i heard) not 17 hours),...at least the first people finish within 8 hours, here they were in at 10...could also be due to it was warmer here that in Kalmar...where the swedish dito is...
This is how the finish looked like...they had a stage for people to take pics on...
They had a nice breakfast...not like the one in Pusan in Korea...but it was still ok...
The staff were all wearing hawaii shirts...so exotic...
Taitung is famous for its hotsprings I think...and maybe for surfing...however, a visit to a farm was payed...I found a cow with Bhutans flag on it...so exotic...
It alsya wonder who this area remains after all the typhoons (I really  need to go here some day to find out), however most of the trees were supported by sticks etc...
They also had buffalos...covered in mud...
Many times here in taiwan it can b hard to find the toilet...u need to know the characters..and not that many people speak englosh, nor understand my chinese...so it is convenient when they have the international sign for resrooms...(in this case they also had english text). It was really a touristic place...with most thing where the cusomers could waste their money...
They also ahd places reminded me of the alps...like places with grass, which I dont find that common in Taiwan...it was exotic...
After this visit it was time to take the train back...
Now I wanna do a Ultraman instead, hopefully it will be more challangeing...

Swimming?!? carneval in Sunmoon lake...day 2

Beep beep beep...time is 4.30...light is turned on the the for me warm bedroom...they others were freezing they told me...

We went on the road donwhill again..and stopped at the same 7-11 for breakfast...

I treid to catch the lake (Batan) again on camera while riding in the car..but it was not easy...

Taiwan is a moutain island...it is easy to forget when u live in Hsinchu...however I got flashbacks from my moutina climbing trip when I saw the peaks in the horizon...

Near the lake it was hard to fid parking lots...

We managed to find a spot...and planned to take some shuttle bus to the lake...

However the bus never showed up...

So we decided to walk...besides the traffic was heavy...walking took as long time as driving...

It was kind of chaotic...but ok. many ppl spent their night in the cars...saving hotel money...

After some while we came to the lake...and there we had to find some gourp...not sure why but I gues it had to do with that we used an agency to complete our swimming team...
we also got hats...

There were alot of tents...reminded me of Goteborgsvarvet in Gothenburg...whoever this event was much more in international focus...even though physical events are not as common nor popular here as in sweden...

After another km of walking we almost reached the starting point...

We took of your shirts...adjusted the floating equipment that we were forced to use...

And went towards the sea shore...where we had to spend another hour of queuing...
The we passed some shower...a chip sensor and of we went...
it went faster than we though...however only 1% of the tai acctually swam...most of them were flotaing on their floating pad, shaking their feet blocking the path for the swimmers...but it was ok...not that many of these people actually had in mind to swim...I guess...

When we finished we got some snax...there were alot of people in the other town at the goal...

We got some taiwanese food...but they were also serving chocolate and pinapple cakes at the tents near the goals...

People were keep on dropping in all the time...
All the way (the about 3 km) there were bridges every 50 meters...and boats going back and forth...
It was a big difference from home, like vansbrosimmet in sweden, where floating equipment is forbidden and considered as cheating...or flippers that many tais were using would disqualify you directly...

I saw flippers that were smaller tham my feet...
I guess big feet is an advantage...
However I consider myself as a bad swimmer, i really need to improve...if i wanna be swedish standard...even if i had a swimming pool at home when i was young...

The 3 swimmers in my team...
It was fun...

We had to take th boat back, since it was quite a bit to walk around the lake...and there were many boats in service...

Mostly swimmers were going back...but it didnt take us to the start...it was to another village, 20 mins walk from the start...

They kept on starting even when we were back...

We passed by the start...and there I saw him/her...the last swimmer...maybe I can b the last next year...just for fun

The traffic was still heavy, but not as chaotic as before...

Here one can slightly see the brdges that makes the track crossing the lake...

After this we went to the car and went back home...

We passed by McDonalds in Taizhong though...on the way...

I got hope of taiwanese society when I saw this recycling bin...perhaps some kind of compensation for all the pollution they r causing with all the scooters...

But NO, when i opened the bin it was all in the same bag...just an inital metallic plate...making it look real...what a disappointment...

Later on that night I ate dinner at Costco...it was nice...hyped myself with caffein from a bottomless glass of coke...

 


Swimming?!? carneval in Sunmoon lake...day 1

I was going to Sunmoon lake for a Swimming?!? carneval...

The Tais that organized the trip for us wanted us to go up early...since they dont have the "day before weekend concept" meaning that sunday and saturday mornings might be in bed a little longer...so we were suppose to leave a 9, i put my alarm on 9 and as expected, the pick up was about 1 hour late...

We had a car, that would take us near the highest road in taiwan (near the moutina i climbed last december), since the hotel was there where we should spent the night, it was kind of far from the lake but most hotels were full booked...

It was a hilly terrain...

We visited a wine museum...

U could not bring in ice...who would like to carry in ice?fire would do more harm...

People could try ancient equipment to carry things that would end up being alcohol...Tai people often call alcohol "wine" since its the same word in chinese...which is confuzing...since u ask for wine an get whisky, sherry or some liquor...

We tried some wine and brandy...

We also passed by some kind of temple where the god of wine was on a painting...

I treid to take a pic of a lake I saw near Hehuan shan...so exotic, a lake that is not sunmoon lake...I surely have to return to this place another time...

We got a hotel where breakfast and dinner was included...the altitude was over 3000meters abovee sea level...they didnt even have AC in the dorms...since they didnt need it...

We got waffles and honey and tea at our hotel room...it was nice.

We came there early...so we had some hours to kill before dinner time...
We ate lunch in Taizhong...

It was foggy outside...so we could barely see the moutains...

We started by visit some night market...

We wanted bananas...but they didnt have it...

They were selling honey and some fruit...

They showed us how they extracted honey...

They were also selling pollen...

Pablo bought a bottle of honey...
Night markets in Taiwan are often controlled by maffia...and there were a guy here who seemed to be in maffia...so I called him "Mr liu man" which means Mr maffia...he was kind of mean to some sellers...(the guy to the right on the pic)

We continued walking in the area...people were talking about a sheap show...however we missed it...since we were late...

The view was great...but the clouds made the scienery soso...

We continued passing some sculptures...

I knew from before that it was suppose to be a 7-11 in the area...and after 40 mins walking we found it...
We bought some snax and took a taxi back to the hotel...

It was as I feared an expensive taxi ride...and the driver was smoking...not good...

We had hotpot for dinner...

Then we went for some beers...

We were suppose to leave at 5 am the day after...I put my alarm on 4.50...the others on 4.30...
We spent the night watching movies...some in chinese some in english...


Knowing Taiwan

I went on a trip with my class...to Tainan and Kaoshiung...
7 in the morning it was said...but not until 7.30 people started to show up (except me and some early ppl)

I sat in the back to sleep, since I only had 1 hour of sleep the day before...

We went to many taiwanese retaurants...(since we were suppose to get to know taiwan)

We visited budist temples...or similiar...

the grass was very nice...super short like on a golf court green...

We found out that a swedish general was famous in taiwan (among the ones who knew him) for being in some troups during the occupation...

And then we visited a fortress...which I've been to many times before...

We ended the day with going out the one of the few bars in Tainan...

We had taiwanese drinking competitions (taiwanese ppl drink beer with 1dl cups, so it is not so much of a punishment to have to go bottom up...)

We continued to eat slized ice...with banana and chcolate...

Even it is wast mostly foreingers in class who joined up...people got super drunk...I had to answer questions whether they did anything stupid tha naight before...
My conclusion: nothing unusual happend...

Teh day after was soft...we went to kaoshiung...
eating more food...

Another temple visit...

People were so tired so we went home after some uberella painting...

It was nice...it is always fun to hang out with my classmates...

Spring break

I just came back from a 5 days spring break.
I started on saturday, by heading south to Sun moon lake...
On the way i passed a big factory for burning waste...

It seemed to be the biggest in Taiwan and reminded me about Aspedalens factory in Gothenburg.

I also passed Taiwan's "Globen", here it looks alittle blur...due to high speed of the car I took it from...

This is Globen in Stockholm.
After some hours we reached sun moon lake.

Built by the japanese, and famous among Chinese people this lake is populair... (taiwan doesnt have that many lakes).

I've been here once before...but this time I took a cable car up some mountains...they cars had 3 different colours, blue, red and yellow.
It offered a good view over the lake.
The calbe took us to the middle of nowhere..., but from there we could buy an extra tricket to enter a theme park. While wondering what to do. I bought a pumpkin baozi...

It was said to be local...so it was good (local food is always good)

The park had a nice garden...and some attractions.

I tried to avoid the spinning ones and the ones that made me to wet. I tried the roller coaster, if was fun.

They also had some places representing different parts of the world (which is very common here in Taiwan among the theme parks,like maya, arabic, african etc).

They also played some local instruments...(belonged to aborigines).

One countrys site had this big dick. Perhaps it was bhutan, turkey or Sun moon lake (only in these 3 places I've seen the dick in this shape (and size).

At night local food was served...fish and prawns.

As usual, the Tai people were burning fake money in some can.

This is the car that drove me around the trip.
After sun moon lake we were heading for Kenting...on our way there we had to pass some mountains...

And we passed some wineyards...
The grapevines ar often placed horizontal here in taiwan, to increase the sun exposial...and probably also make the wine sweeter.
We tried some Tai food after a while up in the mountains, like Gongbao jiding (some spicy chicken dish that has tha colours of red, yellow and green, and often has peanus, but not this time).

As usualy we also got many small disches to share...(typical taiwanese style).

We also visited a hotspring...this one did not have some many temperatures (that many other hot springs has), but it was exotic since it was far away from home, up in the mountains).
After some more hours of travel we reached
Kaohsiung.

Ofcourse we visited IKEA. The restaurant just closed when we arrived, but I bought some chocolate the shop.

Later on we went to Smokey Joe's, a place I never think I visited before...(it is like an american bar).

I found a beer I could not recall that I tried before. It was ok, but a little bitter.
I treid their "greatest cheese burger", it reminded me of the burgerhoods burger in Taipei.

We also passed the love river, that goes through the city. Kaohsiung is a very nice city, not as hectic as taipei, but still big ehough to have many fun things to do.

The street signs are also enlighted...which is very clever.
Later on we continued to Kenting...there we partied on the beach until morning...

I borrowed a tent from some friends, and sleeping bags etc from the mountain climbing club at NCTU. So we used them the next morning (it is a cheap way of living when trvelling in taiwan)

I also saw a monkey climbing trees in Kenting...that was exotic...and it made some local street dogs go crazy...barking alot.

The beach in kenting becomes very dirty since alo of drunk people parties there... by night it is a dancefloor and by day it is a place for families to hang out. (I met many friends from school here, only foreingers)

By night we went to an intersting bar in the small town...with drag show...(but we missed the show by some minutes...
Later on we hanged out at the beach again...
The day after we went snorkeling.

The beach was almost empty due to the bad weather...

But since im from the west cosat of sweden, there is not that many kinds of weather to cry about...
So I rented equipment and went looking for funny looking fishes...(and also visited the rock that you can see in the background of this pic).

I also tried some pizza (an hawaii pizza that was really good), bought from a mobile pizzeria.

I also passed by a famous mobile bar in Kenting...and I went cycling on the super small bikes there that they use to have for competition...

A funny thing here in taiwan is the promotion of the "Always open" image of 7-11...
It was a pity that the 7-11 where we happend to hang out at, closed.... :S
The day after we went for breakfast at a place that was famous in kenting (margeritas)

I had a USA like breakfast..., it was all you can drink juice and coffee, but I was about go drive back home today so I did not want to go to toilet to often...

This day was a sunny day. So we went to the beach some minutes and took some pictures...
After that I went all the way home to Hsinchu...
Tomorrow school starts.


Penghu island visit

Day 1


Students ready for take off... Mongolia, Sweden, Spain, South Korea, Indonesia, China, China and USA.
Today I flew to Penghu island with parts of my class (and some other students from my school). Since my Information Managent teacher invited us. We went directly from the TSMC visit to Taipei airport by high speed rail. Finally at the terminal we found out that our flight was cancelled.
I tried to read my teachers book. it is in chinese.
we waited for some hours and took a later flight. The lunch at the airport was also cancelled due to some reparation of the restaurant... it took about 45 min to go to the island. when there we took a bus to our hotel. It is far from town, but very near the beach. it is a strategy to be far from town, so that no person can drop of from any activity (our teacher told us). We, us students and the professors friends (mostly taipei people) ate dinner outside the entrance of the hotel.
we had some presentation about ourselves (even though almost everyone spoke chinese). and after dinner we spent a short time on the beach, before going up to our room
3 guys at the honeymoon room (we were 5 ppl sleeping there)
Day 2
After a short breakfast we took of to some island more to the west. The largest islands are connected by bridges. The areas was interesting from a geological point of view.
After 3-4 stops we returned to the hotel to dress up in "formal" clothes. Then we took of to a restaurant, which seemed to be used primary for weddings. After this we visited some museum where our professor held a speech (or presentation) for 2-3 hours. Since it was in chinese, we escaped and went to buy beer. We went back, ate some snax and studied a little since we have an accounting quiz on monday.
After this we went to an "all you can eat" restaurant, mostly chinese food and sushi. After some hours of eating we went back to the hotel.
Day 3
It was the same time this morning as well (9 am), to catch the tour bus. We are always in the last minute... we headed to a beach near by (everything is near by at penghu, it is a pretty small island, about 60000 ppl living here). Some people collected corals, others took a nap in the shade. after 30 mins we went to another beach. where we stayed 15 mins. Then we went for sliced ice, and some shopping in a near by village. Some people had to catch a flight back to mainland taiwan, so we said goodbye to them and continued to an "all you can eat" oyster place, out in the water...on a floating bridge, to which we needed to take a boat. there was also opportunities to fish...
There were many militairy ships over there, looking like swedish ships.
I ate oysters with wasabi. We needed to barBQ them ourselves...which took time...but it is easy to know when they are done, since they open.
"All you can eat"-BULLSHIT! I could eat far more but we needed to leave anyway...i broke my old record by far, i ate for 1-2 hours.
After this we visited an island which we can only walk to during some times per day (depending on the sea level). After this we went for dinner, and then we took a walk looking for a pub. we found 2 but only had time to visit 1, since the bus back to the hotel left back at 9.
They have an Imperial Cat Hall here in Penghu.
Day 4
This day we did not leave the hotel until 10.30, since we was about to take a boat to an island north of the bigger island, called JiBei. It was very windy on the boat, but nice.

At the ferry station, there were boats going to a range of different islands near by...(including mainland taiwan).

When we got to the island we visited a 5 star hotel, I was told that the scale in Taiwan is (4 stars= luxy hotel, 5 stars = luxy hotel + conference room). The definition of luxy remains unsaid...

The hotels usually have funny names in these places...
We sneaked in and took some coffee, while waiting for activites...
after 25 minutes we went to a restaurant to eat lokal food.

It was obviously seafood on the menu.
We where there during low season so it was a ghost town feeling about the place...
When lunch was finished we started fgo to towards a beach...in the  burning sun... after a while did we pass by a bicycle store, so we rented bikes....and the trip went faster...

The saddles was low, and the brakes was broken... but we managed to ude the bikes anyway...

When we finally made it to the beach we bought some cactus icecream (colour; red).

All the benches at the beach had these spikes 1-3 mm on them...my shorts got stuck in one of them...a 2 cm hole occured :S
They sold shorts at the place...so I guess it was just a way to make more money...
while eating out icecreams, we watched the jetskies driving kids back and forth until it was time to return to the ferry...

The guide, me, the Professor, Ronny looking to his right and Pablo at the airport just before take off...
The others are suppose to stay until tomorrow morning...
I finished my penghu trip by eating lokal food...

It was PengHu Handmade Thread noodles with PengHu FengRu tea...
It was time for a short toilett visit, and my friends joined me...

The gate was changes in last minute..but they did not inform us...we where kind of lucky to ask some guard why the gate never opens (since some other staff said that they are just late). Some ppl said that the plain might be taking off early since they are affraid that they will be shot down by the fire works...(good quality of airplane?)

Since it is the 10th of oct (national holliday in taiwan) they had alot of fireworks...
They where in Penghu this year, and we where suppose to see them live...(it was a part of out schedule...) but due to school tomorrow we choosed to see them on the bus back to Hsinchu...
I allready miss the great time we had on PengHu...alot of laughs...and great food and great schedule!
Unfortunetely I did not bring any sunblock, so my face was kind of red when I came back to Taiwan... on the other hand I made the Penghu people scared, by looking like a hitman...

We were suppose to wear formal dress during some of the events...I brought my student suit... even though I am 10 kg heavier, I can still wear it...puh
This weekend "life was a party" and I was invited!
song of the weekend..
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cv4rOY95vRE



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