Just last weekend (yes, I'm getting that caught up) we had a long weekend. Monday was Children's Day and Tuesday was Tomb Sweeping Day, so our friend Heather came down from Hsinchu on Sunday night and on Monday we took a day trip to an island off the coast of Kaohsiung called (in English), "Little Okinawa." We took a train to Kaohsiung, bus to a port south of Kaohsiung, then ferry to the island.
We rented two scooters, had lunch at a pretty tasty restaurant, then set off around the island. The island is similar to Green Island, in the sense that it's very green and has pretty blue water. But, Green island is a bit bigger, possibly has less people, definitely had less tourists, had more of a mountainous landscape and had better, more unspoiled beaches. So, basically, we definitely enjoyed the trip and are not complaining, but would still choose Green Island any day.
After scooting around a good amount of the island, we decided it would be nice to go snorkeling. We found a snorkeling shop, rented the gear and set off to go. We had quite a bit of trouble finding the spot we were supposed to do it at, especially since the spot had no other snorkelers and a "No Swimming" sign. It was definitely not your normal snorkeling experience.
Picture this. You have a little, rocky beach, with a bunch of fully clothes Taiwanese tourists (generally, Taiwanese people really don't like water or the sun). Then, there's this big floating dock made out of blue and white, hollow, plastic squares fastened together to make one big square. To get to the dock, you have to walk down a long, thin, path that is also made of the of those same hollow squares. The path is only loosely anchored to the sand so that whenever a wave comes it goes up and down right along with the wave. The big square at the end is where you're supposed to launch into the water for snorkeling. The snorkeling, itself, only ended up being so so. There weren't that many fish and they weren't terribly cool. But Heather and I LOVED the wave path. It was so fun! We could have spent all day laughing hysterically while trying not to fall down on that thing.
Also, I found out something new I didn't know about Tom. He is terribly afraid of being swept away to sea because of an experience he had when he was a kid on vacation in Mexico. He was very brave when we went snorkeling.
After the snorkeling, we were trying to find the scuba shop again to drop off the gear, when we happened upon a temple with a cool performance going on. Heather and I are ridiculously curious people, so we just had to stop by, wetsuits and all. At first we just looked on, cautiously, from afar, but as the fabulous Taiwanese are wont to do, we quickly got invited over and provided with seats. Seriously, I can never get over how nice they are. It was a FABULOUS experience.
|We're not quite sure what the boxes were for (maybe for putting the food offerings in later?), but this little girl was pretty cute, using one as a seat.|
|Some of the nice people who invited us over.|
|Doesn't he just looking dashing? And yes, we were all still wearing life jackets as well.|
I think the play was just a rehearsal, but it was SO dramatic. The makeup and costumes were really great and there was a drum beat sounding throughout.
|Food being offered to either the ancestors or the gods - I can never remember.|
This little girl with her dolly was ADORABLE. It was great seeing how she was just as confused and fascinated as we were.
|pig head on a cookie sheet|
After dripping of the gear, we headed back and had another meal at the same place, then shared a bowl of icee. We waited in line to get on the last ferry for over an hour & were worried we wouldn't make it, but we did. By the time we got home, we were tuckered, but it had been a very pleasant day.