A long weekend in Sanxia

Double ten is a holiday for Taiwan to celebrate its National day. Unlike last year it was Friday on 10th Oct so we had a long weekend. We had plans to watch the celebrations in Taipei but fearing the hassles of getting to the celebrations instead when the day arrived we opted going to Sanxia to see Selina’s sister and her family. Fortunately my mother in law also decided to join us for the weekend. MIL got on her first HSR ride from Taichung and we boarded the same train from Hsinchu. We arrived at Banchiao at 10 am. I found Banchiao station to be very unique. In addition to serving three different train systems;MRT, TRA and the HSR, it is also packs abundant flow of activities. Young and old alike practice all sorts of group activities in the enormous station halls. Ideally I would have liked to take some photographs but we had a train to catch for Yingge. 15 mins on local train and a short taxi ride brought us to my sister-in-law’s house in old Sanxia.

Later in the afternoon we had plans to visit the famous Qingshui Zushi temple. But before that SIL took us to a local shabu-shabu restaurant where we treated ourselves to a royal lunch that included all sorts of meat and sea food that was on the menu. After a rather heavy meal and the fact that wife and family was getting together after long time, meaning they had a lot to “discuss”, we agreed to skip the temple plan and instead rest at home.

Although I should have been pretty eager to take out my new camera for a real test, I felt rather lazy and was happy to see myself agree and retreat to the small room on the third floor to catch up on my reading.

Store room search

On my way up I saw the youngest of the my SIL’s three kids looking for something in the store room. Grabbed my camera from the backpack and took couple of shots before he disappeared downstairs.

Store room chair n cloths

The store room presented an interesting setup.Later in the evening I strolled outside looking for interesting shots but it was rather late in the evening. Afraid of getting lost in old Sanxia I didn’t wander too far.

Somewhere in old Sanxia

Old Sanxia reminds me a lot of mid size urban towns in India. Lots of photo ops but I was miserable with the camera and most of the images turned out quite terrible. The more I’m trying to get used to the XSi the more I find my self kicking myself for missing a good photograph. I will take it as a positive sign going forward as it gives me extra motivation to try harder. Low light photography is certainly one of my most desired area where I would like to see myself doing a lot better.

My SIL had arranged another place for us to spend our night. The apartment was a retro of a Japanese style, wood floored bedrooms and a separate guest room to serve tea and enjoy a relaxed conversation.

On saturday after enjoying a late breakfast we headed to the famous Zushi temple and Sanxia old street. I had read about it from david’s blog and also from andres’s recent visit to Sanxia. They have done much better job of describing the place then I could do. I highly recommend their articles for details.Here I’m just posting some of my favorite pictures that I took while I was there.

Qingshui Zushi temple

Qingshui Zushi temple_

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Everything in there is crafted with exquisite detail.

Qingshui Zushi temple

I’m absolutely amazed with 18-55mm kit lens when it takes these kind of shots. I think this is the second best lens after 50mm f/1.8 II lens that canon makes in terms of bang for your money.

Sanxia old street

This is the beginning of the Sanxia old street.

Sanxia old street

Looking backwards.

Sanxia old street

Shop signs.

Bicycle parking, Sanxia old street

Bicycle parked along the red brick pillars.

couple of other pictures are also there. Please check my Sanxia Flickr set.
Sunday morning we took TRA back to Hsinchu. Apart from visiting the culture rich Sanxia old street, I also spent a lot of time reflecting and reading. I had missed reading some good book for couple of weeks and didn’t want to waste a great opportunity. Luckily I had received my copy of Nothing Venture, Nothing Win just a couple of days ago. I’m half way through it and throughly enjoying it. It is a must read even if you are not into mountaineering.

Published: October 13 2008

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