Sunday, April 26, 2015

5 Good Places in Taiwan (that are not in Taipei).

Hello guys! I AM BACK! Clearly the only way to make me post frequently on my blog is to send me on wonderful holidays with lots of fu...

Hello guys!

I AM BACK! Clearly the only way to make me post frequently on my blog is to send me on wonderful holidays with lots of fun things for me to do. Like what Scoot did for me!
The great people at Scoot decided that it would be amusing to send me to Taiwan to talk to the locals in Taiwan and see what I can learn from them. They did not consider that I might come back with nothing because my spoken Chinese is like...
I kid of course. It’s more like this.
Well, maybe not this bad. But let’s just say it’s not that great. Anyway, when I told my friends that I was going to Taiwan, they all started telling me all sorts of things like…
Which is all fine and well. But the thing is, that they all revolved around Taipei. Which I was going to spend a minimal amount of time in. And I also realised that friends, all of whom travel to Taiwan quite frequently, didn’t know much about what was beyond Taipei.

But no worries. Jac who has now been to Taiwan will tell you about some of her favourite places in Taiwan which are not in Taipei. 
(Read: stop going to Taipei all the time and go to these places instead.)

#1 Anping Treehouse(安平樹屋)

So here’s a really cool place in the middle of Tainan. Built in 1867, the structure is a former salt warehouse which switched hands from Tait & Co, to the Japan Salt Company, and finally to the Taiwan Salt Corporation just after World War II.

Soon after, the salt industry declined and the warehouse was abandoned by human kind. And then the plants took over. 
Which results in what you see today! An amalgamation of a banyan tree and a house. Pretty cool eh? Very "Little Shop of Horrors", which coincidentally, was the first scary movie I watched. (I was 3. Of course I found it scary).
Okay so I think everyone knows by now that my holiday mantra goes something like this – If it can be climbed, I will climb it.

Road signs.
(Taken near the Draa River, Morroco).

Piles of bricks.
(Taken in N'kob, Morocco).

Ice walls.

The list goes on. So Anping Treehouse was a treat for me! I was like a bull in a china shop kid in a candy store!
So for once, I could join the girls in taking #OOTDs. I hope you like my pose.
James also decided to join in on the fun. Or rather, James tried and I photobombed (rather successfully if I might add).
Watch my photobomb here!

video

Good place. Read more here.

#2 National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium (國立海洋生物博物館)

Well, I got to sleep with the fishes and spend a night at the museum. It’s like Pirates of the Caribbean meets, well, Night at the Museum.
You can pretend that you’re starring in some weird movie crossover, sans Ben Stiller and Johnny Depp.
Except you know, you don't get Johnny Depp or Ben Stiller. Just like, James and a pair of belugas.
(Why? You look very glam when you are going to sleep is it?)

But apart from sleeping with aquatic life aimlessly gliding above you, the museum also conducts organised night tours, so that you can get a glimpse of how differently the underwater world looks like in the day as compared to the night.
(They did actually show us aquatic life like moray eels and such. But my photos didn't turn out well. Sorry.)

There’s also a segment where you get to go behind-the-scenes to take a look at how the aquarium is run, from how they prepare food for the fish, to how they keep the water in the tanks clean.
And yes, you do get to feed the fish. If you listen carefully, you can hear some of my halting Chinese at the end. 

video

There’s also a rocky beach at the back of the museum which is known as the intertidal zone. And they bring you there for a stroll so that you can check out the sealife that’s hanging out there. Like this dead crab that James found. Steamboat anyone?
And you can also use this time to take cool poser-ish photos to add on to your travel collection.

And if you need an excuse to buy some new footwear at a night market, you can take this opportunity to lose one of your slippers in a rock pool. Just like how shopping queen Alene did here!
Unfortunately for her, helpful James managed to get her slipper out. No new shoes for her then.

Read more about the National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium here.

#3 Jingzaijiao Tile-paved Salt Fields (井仔腳瓦盤鹽田)


I’ll be honest here. The reason why I liked this place was because it was nothing like I’ve ever seen before. I’ve seen deserts.
(Taken in the Sahara Desert, Morocco).

Waterfalls.
(Taken at the Niagra Falls, Canada).

Rivers.
(Taken near the Draa River, Morroco).

Glaciers.

But never have I seen a field with regularly spaced out mounds of salt. It was awesome!
You even got to rake your own salt pile!
video

I cannot make out what I said at the end. I'm sure I did not say "Raking Pro God." but I can't match it with anything else. Raking OMG? I really can't tell. But maybe that's what I really meant to say because as you can tell, I'm clearly a Raking Pro God.
They also sell salted coffee there. Which tastes like regular coffee with a pimped-up name.
Yeah anyway I loved the salt fields! I thought it was awesome!
Or yes, maybe it was just the Taiwan beer.
Read more about the Jingzaijiao Tile-paved Salt Fields here. Or you can scan their QR code here.
(Photo by dude,sg).

#4 Qi Gu Salt Mountain (七股鹽山)

If many small mounds of salt is good, then one giant hill of salt must be even better. About 6 storeys or 20 m tall, it’ll take you all of 2 minutes to climb up and back down again. Taking a photo from the top of the hill however, might take a little more time than that given the number of people clamouring to get the best view from the peak.
I don’t really get why it’s a mountain, it’s really not that high. HOWEVER! The area does play host to a suite of other activities. Like soaking in a dead sea-like environment.
Or going quad-biking.
Yes. I’ll be a fantastic driver. But to give a bit of background, the girls told me that they would be wearing pretty dresses for their #OOTD shots. And so I too, decided to wear a pretty dress. But the thing about pretty dresses, I found out, is that they don’t really go well with like say, quad-biking. And so, during my ride, I somehow managed to flip the bike. Because I was adjusting my #OOTD of course. Listen to my involuntary post-fall interview here.

video

It was fun though. And the Taiwanese people in charge of the station were extremely nice about it. They kept asking if I was ok, gave me a cloth and water to clean my legs, and asked if I wanted to go again. (Siao. Would you let me near that thing if you saw how I flipped it?) And my good friend James just laughed at me ok. How untaiwanese of him.
(Also here you can see him trying to overtake me.)

Anyway, in case you're concerned for my welfare, I managed to jump off the bike in mid-flip and emerged relatively unscatched. I have quick reflexes you see. So my modesty, diginity and balance remained intact. The guys were very impressed so they gave me a crown.
Whoops. I mean...
Read more about the Qi Gu Salt Mountain here.

#5 Kenting National Park (墾丁國家公園歡迎頁)

Because of the fairy cave, which I thought was very impressive. And also there was a big rock for me (and also James and Eugene) to climb.
(And from this you can probably tell that three different cameras were used. Guess which shot was taken by the DSLR! :P)

Apart from that, there was also a lookout tower which gives you a pretty decent view of Kenting, and various other highlights like an enormous maple tree which you could hide in.
(I'm an extremely graceful human being as you can probably tell.)

Also one stalagmite.
Which was coincidentally in the same cave where Eugene and I found more rocks to pose on in a "Paint me like one of your French girls" way.
And also this tree which was one of the shoot locations for Life of Pi.
(Photos via Fengniao.com).

And if you like, you can also do some yoga in the park.
Read more about the Kenting National Park here.

Bonus: Fairy Lake Leisure Farm (南仙湖休闲农场)

You might be wondering why I didn't put any farms into my list even though ew visited like, at least four on our trip to Taiwan. Well, it's really because I'm biased. I like to climb things. I can't climb things in farms. I did try though.

But as you can tell, it's just a pile of dirt. Anyway, climbing aside, I really liked this Fairy Lake Leisure Farm because of the range of activities that was offered there. Like learning about how lychees are dried.
Which is basically a long drawn process involving the ability to withstand smoke and heat over a long period of time, and requires passion, dedication and manual labour. In summary, not something I can do. I would rather play tiptoe though the tulips. Or in this case, the tiptoe through the pinwheels.
And we also got to make friends with animals like James and his fellow pig.
(To be clear, I am not insulting James. He is born in the year of the pig. I can come up with better insults.)

And me and my goat friend.
Me and some chicks. And a bitch.
And James and me with our new friends.
AKA his latest fashion accessory.
Doesn't he look so handsome? Please encourage him to use this as his new profile picture everyone.

Oh and I did also get to pluck some tomatoes in my normal graceful fashion.
From this you can infer that I wasn't very successful in plucking tomatoes. So here is a picture of me and a bunch of unripe tomatoes.
So I moved on to the asparagus. (I am lazy to Google for the plural of asparagus. So I am going to pretend that there is no plural for it. I decided it was better than inventing my own term like "asparagi" or "asparages" or "asparaguses".)
But as you can tell from my 2 cm asparagus, I wasn't very successful at that either. So I found a pile of lychee branches and clambered around, because that's what I do best. 
(What are you talking about? Of course I did not intentionally take a picture with the sign for "fire starters".)

Okay and now I've come to the end of great places in Taiwan which aren't located in Taipei. I hope that you found it useful/informative/entertaining. Also I apologise for my voice. This is exactly why I did this video with lots of paper and subtitles.


(OMFG I completely forgot about this video. This is terrible. Also full post here. Also I was in Shanghai with Edwina. And I had to make some urgent calls.)

So if my previous post on 10 things that you propbably didn't know about Taiwan wasn't convincing enough to get you to book tickets via Scoot, here's some more motivation of course - Scoot now flies to Kaohsiung with fares starting as low as $88 exclusive of taxes and surcharges.

Also! Scoot's promo with Taipei fares is still ongoing so just head over to SCOOT and quote "loveTW40" to enjoy 40% off flights to Taipei. You're welcome guys!

Also, if you would like to read more substantial and less frivolous stuff about Taiwan, don't forget to visit the blogs of my travel buddies Alene and Celine!
(And from this photo you probably can tell that I am like 20 million shades darker than my beauty blogger friends.)

Jac would like to give thanks to Scoot and Taiwan Tourism Bureau for empowering her with yet another reason to go on holiday.

Cheers,
❤ Jac.

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