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Sunday, February 13, 2011


About a week after the Anping Bike trip we decided to go back to the bridge I mentioned in that post and go explore out that way by scooter.  Several outdoorsy sounding things are pinpointed on our map out that way, like "Sihcao Mangrove Reserve," "Sihcao Wildlife Reserve" and "Sihcao Cooperative Farm."  We really had no idea what any of it was, but we decided it was worth a look.

I'm not going to lie, it didn't end up being as cool as I'd hoped and part of it was a shameless tourist trap, but we had fun exploring anyway.

As we were driving out, most of the area around us was being used for fish farming.  After not too long we saw this temple roof from far away and decided to go see what was over there.

The area around the temple was the tourist trap area.  There were big gaudy booths selling things and signs for shows, etc.  In general, it seemed like they were trying to really sell the place even though there wasn't much there.  The actual temple and grounds, however, were one of the nicer ones that we've seen.

Tom and I think these guys are a little creepy - no offense to anyone who is Buddhist.

Below is a picture of the "mangrove reserve."  Honestly, it was really small and not much to look at.

Tom surveying the not so captivating scenery.
There were a couple of neat birds though, featured in the pictures below.  The second one had a staring contest with me through the trees for a few minutes. 

More trees growing on walls.

A decaying dragon boat.
After hanging around in this area for a while we kept on driving and saw another temple in the distance (they're EVERYWHERE).  This complex was reeeally really big, but also a bit trashy looking outside of the actual temple.  Here are some pics of...well...I don't know what they are but I think people write things they want on them.

On the way home we stopped and took a couple of pictures of this big flock of birds.

All in all, it wasn't the most spectacular trip, sightseeing wise, but it was still really fun.  Honestly, I always need to have a little exploration in my life to be happy.

Next up: More Chinglish fun!

Anping Bike Trip

This post will possibly be really boring to anyone who isn't me.  But, part of my purpose in keeping this blog is simply to have a remembrance, for me, of my life - like a journal.  So, read at your own risk!

Tom only works from 6:50 - 8:40 on Wednesday and I only work from 4:50 - 6:40.  So, one random Wednesday in December, when I was feeling really anxious and pent up, we decided to try to go on a little bike ride.  I'd heard that you can rent bike in various places down town, so we scootered (scooted?) to the Anping district to check in out.  Sure enough we were able to rent bikes and we took them on the trail pictured below:

The first part was all marshland - it was refreshing to see something other than the city.

Even though we still had city on the other side of us.

The area is a bird preserve.

The trail wasn't all that long, so after a few minutes it ended, at the beach.  We'd been to this spot before. If we went to our left, we knew we'd just be going along the beach, but wouldn't be able to see it real well through the foliage.  To our right was a bridge we'd never been over.  On the map, however, it seemed like there were more reserves over there, so we decided to go over the bridge.  It...was...hard.  Because it was right next to the ocean, the bridge was REALLY windy.  Biking up it I felt like I was almost being blown backward as much as I was riding forward.  We made it over, but it didn't look too promising, so....we got to bike right back over the bridge!  

After that we decided to go ahead and bike the other way too (to the left) to see what was there if we kept going just a little ways.  After not too long the path ended at a dock.  There were lots of fishermen and boats.  See below:

We stopped at the dock and took some photos, then just headed back the way we came and dropped the bikes back off.

Right across the street from where we rented the bikes there was this old fort/fortress thing.  We didn't have time to see it that day, but we plan on it in the future.  Maybe this week!

Next up : another expedition.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Boo.  Once again, my text  and some of my photos were deleted by blogger.  I'm getting pretty annoyed by blogger's quirks.  I feel like there's always something.  Either an error comes up when I try to submit something and my text is erased or it won't let me upload photos or any number of other things.  Ok, moving on.

So, I'm sorry, but I'm not going to write all the text again.  I don't have time!!  I'll just say that this post is of a day when I drove around Tainan on our scooter and explored.  This first pic is of the Confucius Temple in Tainan, where I ate lunch (recognize the tree Mom?):

The next few are of a fortress (probably Dutch) that I stumbled upon):

These last few are of the Tainan Municipal Center, surrounding pedestrian area and the park across the street.  I also stumbled upon this and had no idea it was right down the street from Tom's work:

P.s. While I was at the park some teenagers followed me around for a while and then asked to take my photo.  So bizarre.

And, I'm sorry that this is a bit of a complainer post, but I'm afraid I'm not really happy with my camera.  I think it's actually the lens.  I don't know if it's just me, but the colors don't seem right and (i've forgotten all the technical terms) they often seem grainy or blurry when they absolutely shouldn't.  Like, on a bright sunny day when the ISO is down to 200.  I think I compromised on quality when I bought a super zoom lens.  At this point I really really really want a prime lens.  Just a 50mm Canon prime.  Maybe for my birthday!