Sunday, December 13, 2015

Yunlin (雲林) Special - Yunlin Glove Puppetry Museum (雲林布袋戲館) - Yunlin Story House (雲林故事館) - Huwei Police and Fire Station - iicake Yunlin Cake Towel Café (雲林蛋糕毛巾咖啡館) [Taiwan Day 833: "Yunlin, I Choose You!" Part 2 “Yunlin's Best” - Dec. 12, 2015]

Long before the retreat of Kuomintang forces to the island of Taiwan, there had been waves of migration of the people of mainland China. They were looking for a new environment to start a new life and some of them found their new home in Taiwan bringing with them their culture and traditions. Hundreds of years had passed and the province of Yunlin became a center of puppetry in the entire island of Taiwan. 

At the 2nd floor, the audience wait for the start of a puppet show

The Yunlin Glove Puppetry Museum is a testament of this passion and the Taiwan Tour Bus brought us to the town of Huwei to see its beautiful puppets. Its building was built during the 1930s at a time when Japan still ruled Taiwan and was the home of the Huwei District Office. Today, it is the home of Yunlin's amazing puppets. The building is two and a half stories high and and Puli dolls were the main attraction.

These dolls look like mini-mannequins with beautiful gowns and costumes. I explored the museum and I got intrigued with the Puli dolls clad in heavy armor. They look majestic as if they have their own life. If you are living in Taiwan for years you had probably seen a puppet TV show of these Puli dolls. They fought like characters in an anime with a interesting storyline that the Taiwanese audience follows.

I still remember my visit to the Lin Liu-Hsin Puppet Theatre Museum in Taiwan Day 302 (Asian Puppets). One of the staff gave me an introduction of what the museum was all about and I even had a chance to try their hand puppet and a string puppet. For this “Yunlin Special”, I was given a chance to have a photo with a Puli doll. I just inserted my hand with my index finger pointing up inside the head of the doll and I hold the stick attached to the doll's hand. I gave my camera to the original puppet master and with a count of three I had a memorable photo with a doll in Yunlin. 

Surrounding the Yunlin Glove Puppetry Museum are old buildings built also during Taiwan's Japanese colonial period. The Yunlin Story House was the former residence of a public official in the olden times of Yunlin and it has the typical Japanese architecture. Visitors have to wait to enter the Japanese house but I don't have much time so I just content myself with photos outside the old house. I don't want the Taiwan Tour Bus to leave me in Huwei. It would be a disaster for my travel adventure.

view of the Yunlin Glove Puppetry Museum from the Huwei Police & Fire Station

A building with a four-story high tower is what the Huwei Police & Fire Station is best described for. It was the former Tainan Province Huwei District Office and is now a modern Eslite Bookstore. The grandeur of its design can still be seen on the building by looking at it outside the street and inside the building. It's circular window on its stairs reminds me of the 1930s Hayashi Department Store which I visited in Tainan in Taiwan Day 436 (Ancient City Part 2). It also had the same circular window along the stairs.

Eating delicious cakes was my idea of my visit to the iicake Yunlin Cake Towel Café but I was wrong. They were not real cakes but rather 'cake towels'. They are colorful towels folded and shaped into cakes. It's a factory museum where visitors also have a chance to watch workers decorating a cake towel and I saw women behind a glass wall decorating a green 'cupcake towel' and a circular 'mini cake towel'. Yummy! It's (not) a piece of cake!


the DIY classroom

inside the Taiwan Tour Bus

For those who want to try making their own cake towels, one can register for the DIY activity at the second floor of the museum However, only 30 minutes were given to riders of the Taiwan Tour Bus to see the factory museum. Too bad! But I promised to myself that I will return to this place with friends to try making our own cake towels and bring it home as a souvenir. The iicake Yunlin Cake Towel Café was the last attraction of the Beigang Huwei Route and the Taiwan Tour Bus arrived at Douliu Station to complete its circular route. I really enjoyed this day tour but there was one problem. There were no hostels for me to sleep in Yunlin. (To be continued...)

Taiwan Day 833: "Yunlin, I Choose You!" Part 1 “Catching Yunlin” 
Taiwan Day 833: "Yunlin, I Choose You!" Part 2  “Yunlin's Best” 
Taiwan Day 834: "Yunlin, I Choose You! Part 3" “The Gang of Beigang”
Taiwan Day 834: "Yunlin, I Choose You!" Finale "The Feast That Never Ends"

Maple Series

"Taipei kong mahal" (My beloved Taipei). Catch it every Wednesday at 8:00 pm (Taiwan/Philippine time)

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