Thursday, June 08, 2006

Taipei - Yang Ming Shan National Park(1) - Geyser

Not The Old Faithful
This is a really interesting geological formation in the Great Sulfur Pit (Da - Yo - Ken) of Yang Ming Shan National Park, northend of Taipei City. The geyser pumps sulfur gas and smoke every 10 to 20 minutes with loud and low pitch noise as it is from a open pipe. You should be able to notice the yellow sulfur creation on the side of the gas smoking geyser.

The area is actually close for visitors on really unstable cliff so take extra caution if you want to do this off road adventure.

Monday, December 19, 2005


I just love sunset. To me it is the most beautiful time of the day. It is the last moment when mother natural shows off her beautity in golden cloth, just like the smile from a girl waving goodbye.

Anybody want to guess where this sunset is?

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Taipei - Wulai - Full Moon Recreation Area

Taipei isn't just a city of sky scrappers and heavy traffic, nor delicious food. Actually for an one hour drive from the densely populated city, you could be enjoying a natural bath of water falls and trees.

Full Moon Recreation Area (Formerly known as Wawa Gorge) is a hidden jewels in the suburben town of Wulai, a rural town located southeast of Taipei county. Famous for its hot springs, Wulai is also a very popular weekend getaway for families in Taipei. The rural town is consisted more than 90% by mountains so you should be expecting gorgeous scenaries while you are in the town.

The recreation area is located near the end of Wulai hot spring town and is best to be reached by car. The park consisted of easily accessible trails which will take you to beautiful waterfalls. The round trip should take you about two hours.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Taipei - Jingshan - Juming Museum

Ever been marvelled by the gigantic outdoor sculpture? If not, why not visit Juming Museum?

Being the only outdoor sculpture museum in Taiwan, Juming Museum is literally the exhibition ground for the sculpture master Ju Ming. Born in 1938 at the suburban county of Miaoli, a two hour highway trip from Taipei, Ju Ming demostrated his talent in sculpture by working in a furniture store at the age of 17. Four years after Ju Ming opened his first studio called Ocean Sculturing Studio at his home town in Miaoli.

However it was until 1976 at the age of 38 that Ju Ming's artistic talent became known nationwide as he got the opportunity to exhibit his work at the National Museum of History. The following year Ju Ming got his first international exhibition in Tokyo Central Museum in Japan. His international exhibition highlights includes 1980's solo exhibition in Hong Kong, 1991's Tachi figure exhibits in London and 1997's exhibits in Place Vendome Paris. Two years after the exhibition in Paris, Jingshan Taipei became the final exhition ground for most of his works as Juming Museum officially opens in Jingshan, 1999.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Taipei - Shilin - National Palace

The world famous National Palace Museum, sitting in the quite mountain side of Shilin District, Taipei, is a must visit for anyone visiting Taiwan for the first time.

The building itself is constructed in 1965 to hold the collections originally placed in the Imperial Palace in Beijing during the Chin Dynasty. All these national treasures had been migrated many times due to the instableness of early China. After the first establishment of the museum in Beijing in 1925, the first migration took place in 1931 from Beijing to Shanghai on Japan's invasion to the North East region of China. In 1937 when China officially declared war with Japan, these collections were again ship to inland cities of China. In 1945 when the war was over everything was again shipped back to the capital city of the time, Nanjing. Last in 1948 when Chiang Kai-Chek lost the civil war to Mou everything was shipped to Taipei.

There are many precious art collections from acient Chinese dynasties on paintings, callingraphy,boos, bronzes, ceremics, jades, curios, tapestry and more. The museum is consisted of four floors with exhibition on three floors and tea house on the fourth floor. Unfortunately due to the vast amount of collections the museum couln't display everything at the same time so you would have to visit more than once to see all the collections.

The most important collection of the museum is the famous Jade Cabbage(yes, its jade you see in the picture) and a pork belly meat right beside it... actually not the real meat but a natural rock formation which looks exactly like port belly meat. .Wow.

Hours and Direction
The museum is opend daily from 9 to 5 with admission fee of 100 NTD or about 3 dollar US. Because the museum is not by any Taipei Metro Line so you'll have to get off at the Shilin station of Metro Red Line and take bus red 30 which will take you directly to the museum. Other buses such as 255, 304, minibus 18, minibus 19 and cultural bus 101 would also stop by the museum.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Taipei - Xindian - Bitan Lake

At one end of MRT, you have the beautiful sunset seaside town of Dansui. On the other end of MRT, Xindian , last stop of the MRT Green Line, you get to enjoy the lake and the mountain.

Bitan(The Crystal Lake) is actually part of Xindian creek which makes its way mostly through the Taipei county mountains. The creek around the Bitan area is so wide and crystal that the locals called it Bitan, or crystal lake. In 1978, the crystal lake become part of Taipei County government as a regional recreation area.

Suspension Bridge

The suspension bridge on Bitan lake not only connects residents in both side of the river but also is the most famous photo shooting spot in the recreation area. The romatic nighly view of the suspension bridge attracts many young couples and students. The best way to view the bridge with your love one is to ride either pedal boat or canoe and pedal your way near the bridge. Another great spot to view the suspension bridge is to go to one of the cafes or tea houses and order yourself a freshing warm fruit tea and enjoy yoursef the bridge and city light(see picture).

Old Toy

Some shops along the lake sells toys which are famous in earlier time. The bubble paste (see picture) is a tiny paste comes with a small straw. Put a small amount of the paste on one end of the straw and blow from the other end and you will make yourself a bubble. The material in the paste smells like gasoline so you probably don't want to swallow it at all.

How to Get There
The recreation area is opened all year round day and late night. Take the MRT Green Line to Xindian, the last stop. With about 10 to 15 minutes walk you should see the entrance to the suspension bridge.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Taipei - Dansui (4) - Fisherman's Wharf

Fisherman's Wharf. No! Not the one in San Francisco. There's actually another Fisherman's Wharf in Taipei Taiwan in the little seaside town of Dansui.

Apparently trying to attract local visitors with a sound name, Dansui Fisherman Wharf tries to imitate and capture the spirit of its twin in San Francisco by having a board walk, a row of cafe and shops, and a landmark bridge. And of course you could get local seafood by nearby fishman's market.

Originally a traditional seaport for local commercial fishing, Dansui Fisherman Wharf was transformed into a multi-purpose recreational seaport by Taipei County government. The renovation not only boosts local commercial fishing by attracting more visitors to the fish market, it also creates more local job opportunites such as restaurants, shops, recreational fishing and cruise tours. Dansui Fisherman Wharf is now one of the best weekend destination in Tapei for families to take a fun boat ride, for couples to enjoy a romantic sunset on the boardwalk and even for young adults to get pumped up on periodic outdoor concerts. Basically the place is for everyone.

The best time to visit Dansui Fisherman Wharf is in the afternoon so that you'll be able to see the astonishing sunset and gorgeous nightly view of the Lover's Bridge. Here's a brief list of point of interest:
  • Boardwalk
  • Boardwalk shops and cafe
  • Fish Market
  • Fishing and Cruise Tour
  • Sculpture Park
  • Outdoor Theater
  • Lover's Bridge

To get there you may take Red Line Bus #26 from Dansui MRT station. The last bus departs from Fisherman's Wharf to MRT station around 12:55am midnight. If you are to drive there, expect heavy traffic during the weekend. Most shops opens late so if you like to hang out like, it is definitely a great place to go.

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