October 27th, 2008
On the last week of my three weeks Taiwan holiday I went to Hengchun to learn surfing. I stayed at asweys place, he is a nice guy and an excellent surfer (visit his blog: http://tw.myblog.yahoo.com/aswey2003/ ) To go to Hengchun I recommend to take the HSR from Taipei (or other cities of course) to Zyoing. (part fo Kaoishung). From there you can either take bus or taxi to go to Hengchun and/or Kenting. I was lucky to find a tax which cost me only 400 NTD, the bus costs around 350 NTD which is not much less. So if you can get a taxi take it, it’s more comfortable and quicker than the bus.
Hengchun and Kenting are both very small places. But there are still some things to see like the gates in Hengchun and in Kenting the beach is very famous of course. Asweys place is just next to the south gate so very easy to find. He can speak Japanese and a little English, but it’s enough for communication. The surfing place is about 10 minutes away from his places but he will take you buy bus there. The rent of the surfing equipment costs 500 NTD a day and room rates are between 200 (dormitory) and 1800 NTD (single/double room). The surfing place is good for beginners although sometimes there are quite a lot people there. The bad side of Hengchun is that it’s really a small town and there are not many big restaurants so you end up eating in the small local restaurants which is not bad in anyway but if you don’t speak Chinese you maybe need some help…
After two days of surfing I left to Kenting. I stayed at the “Chateau” hotel. The prices here are quite high compared to other establishments in Kenting. One night costs about 2500 NTD per person, but including dinner and breakfast. The breakfast and dinner courses are very good, you can also choose to have buffet but in this case you have to pay a small surplus (500 NTD for two people if I remember it right). The beach in Kenting is really awesome if you were in Taipei and go to Kenting afterwards it’s like day and night. You can feel like being in Hawaii or something. What is also interesting is that you can find many corals just lying around. So you have always something to collect. Sea temperatures should have been around 25C (beginning September) so very agreeable. You can also have cheap bus trips organised by the hotel if you like. We did one in the afternoon and it was quite nice.
October 20th, 2008
This is my first article about travelling in Switzerland, don’t worry more articles about Taiwan are coming soon. Last Sunday we, my dad, my younger sister and me did a hiking trip to one of the most fascinating spots to Switzerland. We drove until Montbovon and there we took direction „Lac d’Hongrin“. You will drive until Allières, here you also have a train stop in case you don’t have a car. After arriving there you have 2 different options how to get up to the mountain. First option is that you directly go up from Allières, the second option, this is what we did, is that you first continue the road on the direction to the “lac d’Hongrin” and when you see a signs pointing at „Rochers de Naye“ turn left. There is a blue and a yellow sign, both are the same way. After turning left just continue the path until you arrive a small mountain farm. There you can choose to go right or left, here you should take the left way and continue the path. After passing some grass fields you will continue to walk in the forest. When the forest is over you will see another small farm. Just continue upwards and you will get to another small hut. It’s time for a small break here and time to eat some snacks. The view from here is amazing, especially in autumn with all the coloured trees. Continue the path upwards and there you can choose whether you want to go the easy way or a more difficult way. The blue sign is pointing at “Rochers de Naye par la Grotte”, I would recommend you to do this way if you have some mountain experience. Follow the path and you will arrive at the bottom of the rocks. Here you can decide if you want to go up by passing a cave or passing by external. First we wanted to pass by the cave, we also took the obligatory torches with us, but since the cave is only about 140cm high we finally didn’t took this route. I still wonder how it is inside, but I recommend to take a helmet with you and maybe knee protection so that the trip won’t end up with a bad experience. Please note that at the end of the cave you have to turn left! (In case you can’t read the warning in French and German). If you take the way by external you have to climb up some stairs first and then just continue walking. You will arrive on a green field and from there you can see the train station and also the main summit. Here you can look for a good location to have your lunch. Enjoy the view up there. For going back you can either choose to go the same way or go back down straight. (see the map).
If you don’t feel like walking you can just take the train to go up, it will start from Montreux. Check the website of the Swiss railway (www.sbb.ch) for timetables and ticket prices.
If you have any other question about Rochers de Naye please feel free to leave me a comment.
map with the different routes
view from the second hut
all pictures from the top view, the last ones I took in winter 2005
September 21st, 2008
Since not all of my days were filled with trips I had some “free” days. I mainly went shopping these days but also went to cinema and took the Mao-Kong Gondola. For all foreigners I can recommend the viewshow cinemas (close to 101). Their automatic ticket machine is easy usable since it has English interface. However you will need to pay buy credit card. Otherwise there is the C.K.S. Memorial Hall which is famous and one for Sun Yat Sen. Furthermore there is another small building for S.Y.S. which is close to Taipei Main Station which I think is even more worth visiting. Bitan is also worth a trip; currently they are rearranging the border to the river.
Famous 101 (i ling i) tower
View from pedestrian bridge (101 area)
The “other” S.Y.S. Memorial Hall
Inside and outside of the building
C.K.S. Memoriall hall and the gate in front of the hall
September 14th, 2008
Today it was cleaning time… Somehow my younger sister suggested me yesterday to rearrange our room and to move our tables little bit around. I agreed to help her since I thought that is was not a bad idea. We started cleaning our messy table where everybody put things on it, later on we switched the sofa with my table. A very nice idea from my sister. So now I have a computer table and a working table, finally I have enough space to do my homework properly so there won’t be any excuse anymore for not doing my homework
We finished at 17.30, so quite a big challenge just for this kind of small room but I was happy we did it. Now we just need to buy a shelf to be able to put on all the files lying on the floor right now. So next week we will go and buy it.
September 14th, 2008
After going to the north east coast and celebrating my birthday it was my first trip doing alone here in Taiwan. I went to the yangminshan national park with an organised tour bus with an English coach. In the same trip I went to hot spring. It was my first time being in a hot spring. It was a traditional Japanese style hot spring, so everyone goes there naked. Of course the baths for men and women are separated. There are no pictures of this one, understandable somehow ;-).
Later on I walked around the shin kong life tower and discovered the peace park. Quite nice there for a walk. There is also a museum close to but I forgot which one.
Yangminshan flower clock
September 14th, 2008
So after arriving here in Taiwan and still a missing lugguage I went to the north east coast. My girlfriends cousin picked us up at her home and we drove to the coastline. Altough the view is excellent there, not many houses were to see around there, I felt pretty amazed. In Switzerland this area would be crowded of houses. However it’s maybe better like this so the view remains and nobody is bothered when you walk around the coast. This spot is famous for it’s special rocky coastline.
Later on we went to a sand beach little further south to this rocky coastline. My fist time to go to a real sand beach and swim in the sea. The water was warm, warmer than expected, in exchange the sand was hotter as well. Fortunately we bought flip flops before and we also needed to buy bath costumes since we didn’t took any with us. Since this things are cheap here, there it was no big deal.
After this cool down we went to see some kind of small waterfall. The water and the stones are brown but not because of pollution, it’s due to the high concentrate of cooper there. I was told that before there was a cooper refinery there.
September 14th, 2008
So now I need to go home again, after a wonderful 3 weeks holiday. Now I am sitting here at the airport, in front a cake nr. 76, which is already gone, and sweet nr. 110, which is being eaten at the moment. I shouldn’t forget to mention the chocolate milk, which is also present here on my lonely table. And all this for just 130 TWD, so little more than CHF 4.–. Taiwan is really a great country and once more I was surprised about how different it can be here between north, middle and south Taiwan. It’s really amazing.
But now it’s time to go home, back home to Switzerland, to earn money so that I can come back to Taiwan soon. Time will pass fast, that’s for sure, dealing with the customers and start school again in one week, it will be challenging again, so there let’s be ready for the challenge.
Cake 76 on the left, 110 on the right and chocolate milk behind.