make it an awesome sunday by playing tourist about your town – as we did while traipsing about chinatown after lunch.
we happened by the kong chow chui koon, founded in 1840 (though the centre’s only been around since 2013), and it’s a restored, well-maintained building with quite a few treasures. the caretakers on the ground floor are happy to pass out pamphlets and share information, and you can go upstairs to the other cultural halls.
there’s quite a bit of lion dancing paraphenalia, and a dance studio type space on the second floor where we pretty much made monkeys of ourselves.
p.s. lion dancing is this ceremonial performance held during important chinese festivals/ milestones, such as the opening of a business of during our very festive new year celebrations. you can usually catch it at your local chinatown!
lijiang is a picturesque, touristy town – but the best of its class. it is a well-preserved, historical town full of traditional chinese grandeur – but with all the modern amenities you could wish for, and the best food I had in the yunnan region.
we loved this town, and it’s probably the only best one worth returning to in the region (in my opinion of course, but whose else would it be?).
the last of the taiwan posts – and really, this place on its own is all the reason you need to visit this country in the spring. taiwan has an intriguing mix of metropolitan cities and the great green wilderness – rolling hills and mountains and green, green grass so far as the eye can see (so much that you forget just (sorta-)round-the-corner is a bustling cosmopolitan city like taipei).
when we were here in february, the weather was chilly, windy, and very good for long walks. there’s something very surprising about this place – it reminds me of the lake district and all those scenes you read in literature about the great british outdoors – certainly not something you anticipate being in this part of the world.
anyway, enough preamble. I hope you enjoy the photos!
this is long overdue – but better late than never!
hualien is.. a frequent stop on the taiwan travellers’ circuit, but it’s both unassuming and pretty indistinct. it feels more like a pit stop before going through the pretty darn cool taroko gorge (coming up sometime!), and I’ll be frank – if you’re not doing the latter, this place might not hold too much charm for you.
there’s some decent food to be had though (hence better gastronomically than cingjing), but it lacks the picturesqueness of the former, or the bustling draw of taipei – and is essentially a small, old town.
absolutely beautiful. breathtakingly, shutter-snappingly gorgeous. you see these scenes on the telly and it’s pretty, right, but it’s another thing altogether when you find yourself in the rolling hills and beneath the shade of the sakura. it was late in the season when we arrived, so while the trees weren’t effervescently blooming, they did hold a few late pink blooms – which was more than enough, coupled with the view it so wonderfully framed.
it’s not an eating town so much (one of the best things was the oden at 7-eleven), but the sightseeing makes up for it.
let’s try a bumper of a post this weekend – starting with a roundup of the lovely things I ate in taipei. I mentioned earlier (during my market summary – so technical, eh?) that taipei is a great city for eating, and it stretches far beyond its too-famous markets.