Monday, March 12, 2012

Scenic Taiwan

I have to admit I know very little about Asia in general, and almost nothing about the island nation of Taiwan.  However, as my niece-in-law Holly comes from Taiwan, and I work with a lot of nice folks originally from Taiwan, I'm trying to learn more.  I thought, if you are anything like me, you would enjoy seeing some of these pictures of Taiwan.  It's really a beautiful place.
Train ticket from Pingtung to Kaohsiung
 First, we'll get a train ticket.  The above is a train ticket from Pingtung to Kaohsiung on the coast.  This is for an ultra-modern, high speed train.  The fare is somewhere in the neighborhood of $1.50 U.S.  Not bad!
The island of Taiwan lies off the southeastern coast of China, across the Taiwan Strait.  The shape of the main island of Taiwan is similar to a sweet potato and so the people of Taiwan sometimes call themselves "Children of the Sweet Potato".  Some people also think it looks like a whale.

Guess it depends on your perspective.
Portuguese explorers who sailed past it in the 16th century called the land, "Formosa", which means "beautiful" in Portuguese.  (Eo nun fallo Portuguese! - I don't speak Portuguese -  I think I spelled that right, but who knows?  However, if you DO know, please email me the correct spelling.  Thank you very much.)
The main island's eastern two-thirds are filled with rugged mountains.  The plains in the west are  home to most of Taiwan's 23 million plus inhabitants.

Daniel took these pictures on the car trips they made into the countryside with his family.  It does look very beautiful!

I believe the city shot was taken not far from where Holly's parents live.  They own a hardware store.

My nephew Daniel cautions that road signs can be misleading on Taiwan.  The above signs show both K'aolang and Gaulang.  Both are the same place.  Often English transliterations of place names are not standardized.  It can be confusing.

Still, Taiwan seems like a very delightful place. I wish I could tell you more about the places in these photos, but alas, my knowledge is still scant.  However, I will say that knowing so many people from Taiwan makes it a lot more real to me now, and seeing the pictures is so much fun.

This mini-vacation has been brought to you by my nephew Daniel!

1 comment:

Marybeth said...

Enjoyed the photos. Looks like a beautiful place!!