Saturday, November 27
I’ve made it through another semester at the Mandarin Training Center at NTNU. Time for a holiday – I’m going to Kenting!
Kenting (墾丁, Kěndīng), not shown on the map above, is the most southerly point in Taiwan, facing the Philippines; it’s a very popular resort area. To get there, I took a HSR train to Kaohsiung (高雄, Gāoxióng) then a bus to Kenting.
When I got up to go to Kenting it was raining steadily. The photo above (near Qizhang MRT Station) catches the gloomy view, although the temperature was quite mild – about 20 degrees.
I had breakfast in a cafe I go to often, run by a family (the daughter is pictured above). Look at the rain falling!
Breakfast was fried dumplings (煎餃, Jiān jiǎo), a special plate akin to 蛋餅 Dàn bǐng, and an iced coffee (surprisingly good).
I then rode the MRT to Taipei Main Station. Here’s a photo of an HST train (not the one I took).
The train took me to Zuoying (左營) in under 2 hours, travelling just less than 300km/h, thanks to the Japanese who licensed this technology to Taiwan. As we traveled southwards the weather began to fine up.
I took lots of pictures but I’ve included only a generic one (above).
At Zuoying, in the photo are people from my train queuing to enter the concourse.
The weather in Kaohsiung was completely different to the weather in Taipei: it was hot, and not a cloud in the sky, although it was very hazy. I was in the tropics.
I picked up tickets for the coach from a kiosk just outside the station, had lunch, got on the coach, and looked forward to a short trip to Kenting.
Well, it didn’t turn out that way. The coach immediately got stuck in a traffic jam for an hour. I could have walked the distance the bus went in that time. Then, although the coach was labelled “Kenting Express”, the coach stopped at a few minor towns. I had desperately to go to the toilet, and was willing the coach on. The trip ended up taking 3 hours.
The photo above is of the coach.
Finally we reached Kenting – and I missed my stop. I ended up in the photo above, a small bay decked for tourists; quite a nice area, with sand and a nice view – not that I noticed, racing in one toilet to relieve myself.
A official who guided me to the toilet spoke English, so I later asked directions to the town, which he and a few others gave in detail. I walked back to the center of Kenting, captured in the photo above.
And there it was, Meifon Hotel, in a sidestreet.
My room, where I’m typing now.