Pingxi and Taichung

24 02 2012

Over the past few Sundays I have somehow managed to squeeze some adventure. The first was to Pingxi for the Lantern Festival with Rachel, Ingrid and Ryan. The second was a more low-key journey to Taichung. It was fun to visit new places around the island and experience a new side of Taiwanese culture.

Our trip to Pingxi was poorly planned, and because so, we paid the price. We spent over 7 hours traveling, with multiple train transfers before arriving at a small village on the southeastern side of Taipei. There was an insane amount of people, but still over 3.5 each way is ridiculous. I should have just cycled there.

It was quite the experience. We waited in some enormous lines and finally were able to grab a lantern and start painting. The four of us decorated it with all sorts of nonsense before sending it off in the sky.

Done with the decorations

Rachel and I waiting to send it off

There she goes. Almost didn't clear the building...

Our trip back to Taipei was a long one. After not getting on the first train, we were lucky to have the next train stop with doors in front of us. Unprepared for what was about to happen, we stood chatting. Before the doors fully opened, the droves behind us started pushing us through. It was insane. We stumbled onto the train with no choice but to push the people in front of us and try to stay on your feet. It was the first time I had felt the mob effect – adrenaline rush.

The next weekend Rachel and I went down to Taichung. We rented bikes and cycled for about 20 km along a green-way. Afterwards, we grabbed a bite to eat and then headed to Chun Shui Tang where bubble tea was invented. For those who don’t know what bubble tea is, it’s tea (such as milk tea) with small tapioca balls mixed in. If you can get past the texture, it’s a nice treat.

Making moves. Trying to keep up...

The path

Following the tracks

Personal drive-up karaoke

After drinking some bubble milk tea, We headed back to the train station and started back home. It was a fun weekend. Next stop – Hong Kong and Macau!