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.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

West Hollywood - Halloween Carnaval

Santa Monica Boulevard, West Hollywood is probably the most scary place on Halloween night. Every year on October 31, the historic route 66 in West Hollywood will be filled with people dressing up as devils or man dressing up as woman for the annual West Hollywood Halloween Costume Carnaval.

There are basically 2 distinctive types of people on the street for the Halloween Carnaval - the dressed up and the non-dressed up. The costumes are also in 2 categories - the cute and the scary. Looking at these 3 pretty ladies... or.. man-ladies.. should we call them cute or scary...

This cuet young boy may be trying his best to scare people. But he is just too cute to scare anyone. Yet this probably two year old little lizard is drawing a lot of attentions and flashlights.

The annual West Hollywood Halloween Costume Carnaval, the largest street party in United States on Halloween night, is drawing thousands of visitors from nearby cities. Going from 6 pm till midnight, this crazy street party is something worth seeing in Los Angeles.

Special Blog - Camping Tips

Camping is a fun time for the whole family. It is a time to leave all of your troubles behind and reconnect with family and friends. Campfires, roasting marshmallows and sing-a-longs are the memories you’ll cherish for the rest of your life. That’s why it is essential to make your campsite a safe place for everyone.

The campsite you choose is your home away from home. It should be a clean, safe place that is devoid of any debris or low-hanging limbs. And, choosing a site that is flat and level makes it easier to set up camp and park your RV.

Once you’ve chosen the perfect campsite, there are a few safety precautions to keep in mind while setting up camp. The following tips can go a long way to ensure that you and your family have a memorable camping experience.

• Check for potential hazards. Be sure to check the site thoroughly for glass, sharp objects, branches, large ant beds, poison ivy, bees and hazardous terrain.

• Inspect the site. Look for a level site with enough room to spread out all your gear. Also, a site that has trees or shrubs on the side of prevailing winds will help block strong, unexpected gusts.

• Build fires in a safe area. Your open fires and fuel-burning appliances must be far enough away from the tent to prevent ignition from sparks, flames and heat. Never use a flame or any other heating device inside a tent. Use a flashlight or battery-powered light instead.

• Make sure your fires are always attended. Be sure you have an area for a fire that cannot spread laterally or vertically - a grill or stone surface is ideal. When putting the fire out, drown it with water, making sure all embers, coals and sticks are wet.

• Dispose of trash properly. Remember to recycle - use the proper recycling bins if available.

• Watch out for bugs. Avoid attracting stinging insects by wearing light-colored clothing and avoiding perfumes or colognes.

• Beware when encountering wildlife. To ward off bears, keep your campsite clean, and do not leave food, garbage, coolers, cooking equipment or utensils out in the open. Remember that bears are potentially dangerous and unpredictable - never feed or approach a bear. Use a flashlight at night - many animals feed at night and the use of a flashlight may warn them away.

• Beware of poisonous plants. Familiarize yourself with any dangerous plants that are common to the area. If you come into contact with a poisonous plant, immediately rinse the affected area with water and apply a soothing lotion, such as calamine, to the affected area.

Good Sam VIP cares about your safety -- before, during and after your camping trip! Plus, we want to make sure that your RV has the best coverage both on and off the road. That’s why we are pleased to recommend Good Sam VIP for all of your RV and auto insurance needs. With features, such as full replacement cost coverage and personal effects coverage, you’ll have the peace of mind you need to fully enjoy your vacation. Plus, by taking advantage of your exclusive Good Sam VIP rates, you could even save a little money along the way (new customers that have switched save more that $300 a year, on average!).

To find out more about the outstanding coverage and generous savings
Good Sam VIP has to offer, please call 888-514-1116 and mention savings code GFN or visit their website for a free, no-obligation quote.

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