This past weekend was Dragon Boat Festival here in Taiwan. I haven’t quite learned what the meaning of this festival is about. This is the idea I got from doing the skit for the kids. It is a story about a king and his friend. The two were close but strangers had told lies to the king and he broke of the friendship and exiled him. The friend heard that his beloved home was invaded he fell into despair committed suicide by going into the water. When people heard the news they went to save him. The banged on drums and threw sticky rice dumplings into the water so that sea creatures would not eat him.

I was given a four day weekend. The plan was to do a day trip to Keelung, Fulong Beach (sandcastle festival currently happening), and to Jiufen/Shifen. Then spend two days in Taichung and go to Sun Moon Lake while I am there. Turns out I was only able to make the day trip because of the finances I had available to me at the time. I forgot about the festival when I sent money home.

My day begin early with a cup of hot ACV and working out.  I took train to Keelung city where I spent a couple hours looking around the port city. It is also home to one of the most famous pineapple cake shop, which I learned is a traditional pastry here. I took a bus to get to Jiufen but it was the wrong one. Who in the world would have the same bus number for two different routes with different destinations? I got on the wrong bus, ended up going south instead of east. After I got off I walked to the nearest train station, took about 15 minutes, bought a ticket to Sandiaoling.

 

I thought I would be able to catch a bus and have a more scenic route to Jiufen. It turns out the place was located in the remote mountains, not a 7-11 in sight. So like any person who is lost, I decided to go explore the place for a little bit. They have a beautiful waterfall to visit and many hiking trails. I didn’t venture to far off, I was still adamant about getting to Jiufen. My couple hours there had me tired out I was ready to head home around 1530. Since the train station was out in the countryside it was at least a 30-60 minute wait for the train to go counter clockwise.

 sandiaoling

Then I took the wrong train and ended up in Jiufen. Who knew I still ended up where I wanted to go anyways. At this point though, I was already tired and ready to go home. When the train arrived I figured I should go look around despite my tiredness. I learned I should have explored more in the mountains. I was not fond of Jiufen, maybe because of the touristy aspect of it. This is the place where the anime movie Spirited Away had its setting taken from.

 jiufen

Finally I made my journey back home. I wish Fulong Beach was also one the agenda that day too, but for another day. I learned today that there was a very long line to just get into the beach today. One the way home I was asked by two locals at different occasion if the train would go to a certain city. I was only able to answer one of them. I ended my day when I got home at 2100 hours. Despite my research getting to Jiufen by train is possible it is not only accessible by bus though more frequent then the train I believe. I also learned I some how hurt my tail bone it hurts to do lunges or squats.

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