Saturday, January 17, 2009

Hua Yuan Xin Cheng

The video opens with a view from the front window of my house. The rest of it was taken around the mountain streams around where I live. The mountain community I live in was an exclusive villa in the 70's. But now with the subway system in Taipei, most people consider it inconvenient to not live as close as possible to a subway station. And being in the mountains there are no subway stations close by. Which is great because the rent here is much cheaper than the rest of Taipei and it's such a beautiful area. Not only is it much quieter but the air is cleaner, and there are nearby hotsprings and mountain streams to swim in. It's only a 15 minute bus ride to the subway, from which you can conveniently get to pretty much anywhere in Taipei.

Hua Yuan Xin Cheng

This is a birds eye view of the community I live in now. This picture is taken from the highest point in Xin Dian, Lion head mountain.
I'm in the mountains! For me it's a dream come true to live in such a beautiful area. And it's affordable, my rent is about $230 u.s. a month. The house is beautiful and conveniently located to hotsprings and mountain streams full of fish. It's all forest and there are lot's of crazy insects. Sometimes it's like being in the amazon.

my old house at Shi Da

I've moved from this tiny little hole. To a much better place. Not only was this place tiny, but there was no air circulation because there was only one window. The good thing was that it was conveniently located basically inside the Shi Da night market. So all kinds of good food and action was right out side my door.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Bing Lang

When we got back to Gongliao we had to wait two hours for the train. So I went to the store to get some tea and some "bing lang" betel nuts, in English. That's what the locals chew. It's a mild stimulant like caffine. And very popular in the country side of Taiwan. The guy was actually so impressed that a foriegner wanted bing lang that he happily gave it to me for free. So while I waited for the trian I had a couple betel nuts and worked on my chinese home work

northeast coast

We took the train to Gongliao near the coast, rented a scooter and took a beautiful sunset drive heading south down Taiwan's northeast coast. We stopped for some icecream "spring rolls" with cilantro, chopped peanuts and icecream. We stopped at some really cool rock formations on the coast and went for a quick sunset snorkel. The water was clear, the visibility was at least 30 feet. There were a few tropical fish, not bad for a random stop. The rocks were littered with puffer fish like this one in the picture. It's a funny thing, they are every where, on every beach. The funny thing is when I was in the sea of cortez in Mexico they were also all over the place. Strange....Hmm........ On the way back we stopped at a famous resturaunt that makes lunch boxes for the train. When your on the train certain stops have people who will sell you a lunch box to eat on the train.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Last weekend cont..........

After working up an appetite swimming and hotspringing we walked back through town and ate some barbecued domesticated boar meat on skewers. It's even better than pork! So Delicious. Then we bought a bottle of locally produced millet sake to bring home. We were still hungry so we ate at an aboriginal style restaraunt and had lilly flower soup and stir fried fern sprouts. Which sounds strange but is surprisingly good. Picutred here is sticky rice cooked in bamboo.

Last weekend

On Friday after Chinese class, I went to the mountains outside of Taipei to swim in the river and enjoy some natural hotsprings with my friend Spring. It's about 20 minutes on the MRT (Taipei Subway), and then another 30 minute bus ride through the winding mountain roads to the small hotspring town of Wulai. Getting into the mountains and into the river is the best way to cool off on a hot humid Tapei summer day. After jumping from the cliff and swinging from the rope swings from the cliff ledge into the cool blue, green water, the natural hotsprings that come up from underneath the river banks are so relaxing. The hotsprings form natural pools at the river bank in varying tempuratures so you can pick the one that's at the perfect tempurature of your preference. Further up the trail is Wulai falls (pictured here) and I've heard another more beautiful waterfall exists even further up the trial.