Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Kaohsiung (高雄) - Tianliao Moon World Landscape Park (田寮月世界地景公園) [Travel in Taiwan 170206: The Land Down Under Part 15 "To the Moon and Beyond"]


Have you ever dreamed of going to the moon? If yes is your answer then you don't have to be an astronaut to reach Earth's lone satellite.  You don't even need the help of NASA nor wear any spacesuit to enjoy the lunar landscape.  Just ride the Kaohsiung MRT, get off at Gangshan South Station and transfer to Bus Red 70B.  Alight at the Moon World (月世界) stop and make a giant leap for mankind à la Neil Armstrong. 













Visit first the Tianliao Moon World Rock Geology Tourist Center.  It is the command center of every lunar mission in Southern Taiwan.  Take note of the departure times of Bus 8012 and Bus 8042.  These vehicles are your backup Apollo spacecraft in case Bus Red 70B is not yet there to take you back to Earth. lol













Start your exploration at the Jade Pool.  It will be your Sea of Tranquility.  Imagine your lunar lander to have a soft touch on its surface.   The lake is surrounded by hills of mudstones with characteristic sawtooth ridges which made Tianliao famous.   Tainan and Taitung also have this kind of geologic structures which are called “badlands”.  It is hard for plants to grow on these mountains hence the term for these hills.


















Follow the Lakeside Trail and marvel at the natural process of weathering and erosion.  Continue the walk on the Badlands Trail.  On a sunny day, it will be very hot here since there are no tall trees to give you a shade.  The badlands is really like our moon which has no atmosphere to protect its surface.  If you stand near to these mountains, the rays of the sun will strike you directly and it's better to apply sunblock before your moon landing in Tianliao.























Climb the Ladder to Heaven and meet Chang'e there. She is the Chinese moon goddess and she will be very happy to show you the beauty of the badlands.   Stand on one of the observation platforms as if you are looking at the moon from the sky.   Tianliao's valley and mountains will reveal more moonscape with a mysterious lake.  



















There is a wooden staircase which leads to the Moon Pool.  It is a man-made lake which glistens during noontime.   Near to it is the Crescent Observation Deck where visitors can have fun to take pictures.  Sit on the crescent moon and imagine that all the stars in the universe shine upon you. 





Before you go back to your lunar lander for a liftoff, look again at the Moon World.  Memorize its ridges and valleys so you can remember them wherever you go.  It will always bring a joyful memory every time you gaze at a bright night sky.  When you get back to Earth, spread the word that you have been to a bizarre world in Kaohsiung.  Tell them that you had been to the moon and beyond.

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