Better late than never ;) Here are some pictures from dragon boat festival vacation that we spent in Changhua and Nantou county.
On Friday dragon Boat races took place at several locations across Taiwan and we had planned to witness one in Lugang. Anurag and Reena joined us in Changhua one the same morning. Unfortunately we were a bit late to catch the action. Nevertheless we then wandered on Lugang’s old street sampling foods and Lugang delicacies. We found ourselves getting in and out of every other store on our way just to escape unbearable afternoon heat.
No action. All we could see was this stationary dragon boat on display
We had left Susan with Selina’s sister at her Changhua house and glad we did because the heat and continuous dragging around would have been very hard on her.
Lugang Mazu temple was bustling with hordes of people and we thought we would never get in. Luckily people were lining up for the free green onion pancakes distributed by temple and the actual line to get inside the temple was pretty short. I have been to handful of temples in Taiwan but this was the first time I found cameras weren’t allowed indoors.
Feng Chia Night Market crowd – photo by Anurag
Later in the night we went to Feng Chia night market in Taichung. BIG MISTAKE. I have been to Feng Chia several times but this particular day it was crazy out there. Somewhere in the middle we got stuck in people jam and it took us good part of an hour just to get through that 100m section. At times I felt like I was moving at an inch per minute speed. At the very first opportunity we got out of the line,went through the Feng Chia University compound and bought a bowl of mala chou tofu from one of our favorite restaurant thingy just next to university gate. After all that days walking and Feng Chia mayhem, all we wanted was to get back to Susan. We missed her dearly throughout the day.
Next day we started in the direction of Xitou but on the way,not surprisingly, heard on radio that the place was packed and roads were full of cars. We turned our way to QingJing farm/Hehuan mountain but traffic on the way was terrible. It is no longer fun to get out on weekends or public holidays anymore. Reluctantly we chose to go to sun moon lake even though we had been there several times except for Reena. On our way though we saw a board of Formosa Aboriginal Cultural Village which seemed like an amusement park. 30 minutes and 700 nt$ each got us inside and we found ourselves in the parking lot which was apparently a beautiful lawn opened since all other usual parking lots were full.
The first thing anyone notices in the park is the towering Skyline ride and that is what we took first which was a good thing and very bad thing. Good because otherwise I wouldn’t have taken it after experiencing any other rides and very bad because its total madness,crazy thing to do and I was very badly shaken up after taking it. We took a seat and then the tower platform raised ever so slowly to the top of the tower. It takes about 30 secs to the top and you can enjoy an awesome view of the park including European style garden while the wind blows in your face. Every sec on the way though I was continuously screaming “Why in the hell I agreed for this and that too by paying 700 nt$?” also cursing others for talking me into this. Once at the top I was wondering we might get a notice or signal but nah whats the fun in that. Without notice the platform dropped dead letting the gravity take over. It took just 2 secs or even less to get to the bottom. Not to mention I had my eyes closed all the way down. And in another moment of madness I agreed to do it again thinking this experience would help ease my nerves for the second attempt and boy I was SO wrong. This time I was desperate to keep my eyes open and I did. It truly shook me up second time around. All my sense went for a toss and I was pretty numb thereafter the whole day. Its truly throw-yourself-off-the-cliff kinda adventure.
The only other ride I did after that was the Caribbean splash boarding which was relatively easy but it drained out whatever enthusiasm I had left after skyline. It may not be that scary for others in fact Anurag and Reena quite enjoyed it and even went for the third time but if you are like me who is petrified of heights then it is your worst nightmare come true stuff.
Nevertheless the park is quite a pleasing place, well maintained. Waiting time for the rides was close to nothing. It a very good place to hang out on a weekend especially if you have kids. There is a lot to do there. Walk in the European style garden and live folk dance shows for example. Best time to visit it seems is the Cherry Blossom Festival in February every year as you can see from Todd’s post.
I love cable cars. It still freaks me out to sit high up in the air in a glass box hanging on to a rope but the silence and beauty around kinda keeps my nerves under wrap. Ours was among the last couple rounds before cable car rope way shut down at 4:30 pm.
We left the place at 5 pm and again got back on our way to Sun Moon lake and spent a quiet evening on the shore. No boat ride or visit to Wenpu temple, just sat there idle, listening to plethora of voices which I wouldn’t hear on a normal day. Selina took a nap in the car since she was quite exhausted after all days driving around and crazy roller coaster rides. Later we came back Changhua and accidentally stumbled upon a total vegetarian restaurant,much to the delight of Anurag and Reena.
In the end it was very exhausting and all I wanted to do next couple days was to rest and that is what I did.
More photos in my Dragon Boat festival vacation flickr set.