Instead of going to Taipei I stayed at home and watched the typhoon this weekend. Typhoon Nesat was our first Typhoon of the year so it got a lot of attention. The Typhoon hit the south of the country harder so there was not much to see in Hualien. It was actually a nice down weekend. I worked on the novel I was working on and took some pictures. I then promptly accidentally deleted most of the pictures.
Money, Money, Money, Money
Money is not everything, but it solves a lot of problems. Naturally, the money god, Tu-Di-Gong, is very popular in Taiwan. The most popular is Zi Nan Temple in Nantou County. It was our last stop on our trip to Nantou.
Religious affiliation is much more flexible in Taiwan than in the USA and you often see Buddist and Taoist beliefs mixed together. I had been to a few temples before but this was the busiest I have been too. Like everywhere in Nantou there were plenty of places that would charge for parking. We parked in the large free parking lot south west of the temple.
Like most mountains in Taiwan, there was a shuttle, lots of shuttles. The trail up to Wangyou Forest (忘憂森林) is no different. After the Monster Villiage, it was a nice change to be out in nature. We heard “100 to the top” about a dozen times walking from the car to the road up the mountain. Instead up the mountain we went it was a nice steep walk that included switch backs and dodging the shuttles driving fast up and down the mountain.We had already avoided paying for parking by finding one of the few places you could pull a car off the side of the road.
Lots of entrepreneurs having the same idea to make money of a free thing. The entrepreneur I wanted to see, someone selling water bottles half way up the trail, was missing. At the end of the trail was a restaurant, a bathroom you have to pay to use, and someone selling water and ice tea.
International Ticket Cost vs Passport Ownership
Every so often I see a picture like one of these two. Both show the percentage of people in each state that have a valid passport. They are usually followed by comments that make a moral judgment about having or not having a passport and about how can Americans not travel. Proving once again that people are bad at Geography.
A new animal farm complete with a restaurant opened up in Hualien. Hua-Dong Farm (華東牧場) is located near the Hualien fishing port and is a great place to see animals and eat. The place is actually hard to find. I rode past it the first time on my bike. You have to keep your eyes open for a small road/ driveway on the west side of Gang Kou road. After turning down the driveway you can park and walk to see the farm. …
Xitou Monster Village
Xitou Monster Village in Nantou is a family-friendly tourist trap. That is the best sentence I can sum it up with. The monster themed village gets over 200,000 visitors each month so they are doing something right. I am sure it also helps keep the hotel busy. Either way, it makes a great stop for an hour or two. Fortunately, it was just a short walk from the hotel we were staying in.
The best part of the village is the show, at night (7PM/ 1900). The best part of that show is the drumming. After that, it becomes a children show complete with mascots and that monster watch song. That catchy song gets stuck in your head just like Let it Go and won’t go away.
Harry Potter is Fucking my Sister
I use to know a red headed Irish man. When he got drunk he use to do a Ron Weasley impression
“Harry Potters fuckin my Sister” he would yell. “He using his wand on her chamber of secrets”
Ok, that story has nothing to do with the article but it is funny. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone just had its 20th anniversary, as it seems you could not escape hearing again and again. Even worse is the inability to escape politics in the USA and the UK being compared to Harry Potter.