Taiwan Day 147: Fowl Play - Jan. 25, 2014 | Travel in Asia

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Taiwan Day 147: Fowl Play - Jan. 25, 2014


The final exams were over and here we go again with my weekend travel adventures. This day was my first implementation of my 2014-2018 East Asia Travel Plan and this year my travel would be around Northern Taiwan. Taipei is in in Northern Taiwan but Northern Taiwan is not only Taipei it includes other provinces or cities like Keelung. Keelung is a city located in the northern tip of Taiwan and can be accessed by riding a bus or taking a TRA (Taiwan Railway Administration) train. I chose to rode a train in Taipei Main Station. I was feeling nervous because this was my first time to ride a 'chu-chu' train in Taiwan and I might made a mistake in chosing the correct train because most of the signs are in Chinese. Last night, I printed Chinese name + pinyin and English names of all the major train stations of the TRA and I paid attention to Keelung. Just look at the photos on how easy to read the destination of your choice in Chinese. lol. Another thing to consider was the type of train because there are ordinary trains and express trains. One wrong decision and I will be in Taitung which is a far away place from Taipei.

I bought a ticket in Taipei Main Station and the cost of the ticket was NTD 41. There was no train number or even platform number on the ticket. I just asked a Taiwanese woman and she told me that the platfrom was 4A. Train 1214 going to Keelung arrived at exactly 2:00 pm and 30 seconds before 2:05 pm a bell rang signalling everyone that the train will leave in a few seconds. The seats inside the chair were covered with fabric unlike the seats in the MRT which was made of plastic. When I looked into the LCD screen, I noticed that the train will pass by Nangang and I just remember that there was a train station in Nangang. Anyway, it was another learning experience. This trip to Keelung was an acid test to my future travels in other places in Northern Taiwan.

I arrived at the Keelung Station at around 2:50 pm. Success! As I went out of the station I immediately saw the yellow head of my target but I went directly to the Visitor Information Center to grab all the available English travel pamphlets of Taiwan. I have collected travel pamphlets for Alishan, Yehliu Geopark, Sun Moon Lake, Yilan and Keelung. I will used those travel pamphlets in planning for my next travel adventure because not everything that you see in TripAdvisor is complete and it will be better if you contact the Visitor Information Center to get the latest tips and attractions in your destination.

The yellow rubber duck was the main reason that I went to Keelung. This artwork from a Dutch artist was the same installation in Hong Kong. When I went to Hong Kong, the rubber duck exhibit in Victoria Harbor was over but here in Taiwan I was able to see this rubber duck. I'm really lucky! The rubber duck have a lot of fans in Taiwan and there were some people selling rubber duck themed items like shirts, toys and balloons. I just asked some Taiwanese take me some pictures. After my eyes were tired looking at the rubber duck at different places in the harbor in Keelung I opened one of my Keelung travel maps that I got from the Visitor Information Center and I decided to visit Zhongzheng Park.

Zhongzheng Park was situated on the hills facing the harbor of Keelung. I first climbed a series of stairs and I was catching my breath. It was a full cardio workout. I have entered a Chinese looking structure and at the first floor was a museum and the name was 'Museum of Ghost Festival'. I didn't know the name at the start. A middle age man served as the guide inside. He spoke to me in Chinese and I said 'I don't speak Chinese'. I said that I am a student from Academia Sinica and he was surprised because he said that he works at the Astronomy unit of Academia Sinica which is located in National Taiwan University. I learned a lot things from him about the Ghost Festival in Keelung and I found out that there are three main gods in Chinese culture-> God of Heaven, God of Earth and God of Sea. I was thinking of 'Trinity' while he was giving his lecture. We exchanged e-mail addresses and he said that if I will visit Keelung or the Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics I just send him an e-mail so that he can tour me around.

My new friend asked me how long I have been in Taiwan. I answered him 'I've been here since September 1, 2013'. 'Do you have a Taiwanese girlfriend?', he asked. I answered 'Not yet'. LOL. If I will have a Taiwanese girlfriend I want her to be by my side in every place that I visit and in everything that I do. If she interferes with my plans then that's a foul play for me.

Sakura Series - Taiwan

Sakura Series - Taiwan

Sakura Series - Japan

Maple Series

Yehliu to Jiufen? Yehliu to Shifen? Cheaper than yellow taxis

The "Taipei kong mahal" (My beloved Taipei) travel series will return on October 3. ;)

Other attractions in Taipei

New Taipei

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