Welcome to Riini's blog filled with random ramblings, thoughts, photos and stories.
I hope you enjoy this blog. Don't forget to say Hi to Riini. She loves that. :)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Taiwan Here We Go - Day 13

JINMEN ISLAND

Oh gawd! Check out our breakfast at the inn. So wholesome! Everything was delicious and well prepared. The bread looking thing in the middle was the village specialty too.


This was going to be a full day with our tour with the local guide.

First, we went to Mashan Observatory Station



You can see Xiamen, China from here.


Jinmen Folk Museum



Okay, by now, you probably think what is with all the military paraphernalia. Jinmen Island had a military present as a defense against China. Hence all the forts, bunkers, cannons, etc. Jinmen Island has endured terrifying period with routine bombing daily for years. They still found some shells when farmers dig their lands. Fascinating history so read up on it. :D

We drove to another Folk Village. Some of the houses are 400 - 600 years old.







Yes, they have otters!!!!


Wind lions! Jinmen Island is such a windy island. The locals build these wind lions to calm the winds. You can see them everywhere around the island and the oldest one (which also the tallest one) was around 300 years old. Apparently they love candy. So their shrines are always full of sweets! This little dude was attached to the back of a house.


The 823 Museum - Lots of info and display about the period China started bombing Jinmen Island.



Then we had delicious beef noodle lunch at the local place. In the middle of nowhere. :-/


Biggest and oldest Wind Lion! The government preserved the statue very well. I put some money to calm the wind gods, didn't work so I guess only candy works.


Guningtou Museum - This area was where all the battles was done when China tried to divide Jinemen Island to two by coming from the middle of the island. But because of high winds (must have not given some candy to the Wind Lions), their boats kept arriving at Guningtou.



House riddled with bullet holes. The Singaporean family who lived and fled the house actually still owned the house but didn't want to restore it to preserved its memories and significance.


Next is the Broadcasting Station with this gigantic 2 - 3 storeys high speakers, shouting propaganda messages back in the days. On a clear day, it could be heard 17km to China.


Then the triangle fort.


Then Gugang Tower


Then I poked this fossil lookalike crab - Horseshoe Crab. There's a saying in Jinmen Island, if you catch a Horseshoe Crab, you better catch its mate also or you'd get 30 years bad luck or something. Horseshoe Crab mate for like and the males is always at the back of the female.


This beautiful cave is Janshan Tunnel and was built by the navy to store vessels. It was big and eerie but peaceful. In October, they have music concert inside the cave.



Last place to visit is Maestro Wu's Knife Store. Famous for making knife from artillery shells.





Fancy looking knife. I got one of the lowest priced knives there but hey, at least I can say I got 1! :D



All these military stuffs on the island might put some people off but I was so fascinated. Jinmen Island is so rich with history, good and bad.

Taiwan Here We Go - Day 12

TAIPEI - JINMEN ISLAND

After a hectic morning, Mr E's uncle dropped us at the airport and our destination was Jinmen Island.


Small plane.


Arriving at Jinmen Island Airport was interesting. The bus system was not very well explained but we managed to get to the Main Station at Jincheng. Trying to clear our head a bit, we had lunch at this mom and pop's noodle place. Pop cooked the noodle, mom did small dishes and cashier.


Simple but delicious.


We arrived finally at our inn at Shanhou Folk Village, which was beautiful. It was a restored old house.





Our host told us there was some kinda of bunker/fort/tunnel/museum/show happening nearby. We walked there and it wasn't nearby. But it was very interesting.



They had a show hourly and even though there was only the two of us there, the show still went on. It was awkward cause I definitely not understanding what's going on but they seemed to re-enact some kind of drills.



Then fired the canon. :-/


Finding dinner was scary. The folk village has no restaurant or even food stall so we had to walk to another village.. in the dark.. on the road.. with no map. We did find the only restaurant/mini mart in the township eventually.



Taiwan Here We Go - Day 11

TAIPEI

Another rainy day! This time it's Senior Expo near the train station. Lots of people lining up to get their blood pressure etc checked. They even giving out some kind of prize but we didn't have the coupon :(



Miniature Museum. Yes, it sounded lame but this is the first Miniature Museum I felt like I got my money's worth. Very detailed and beautiful display. Nicely preserved too. And lots of them...



Buckingham Palace.


We had lunch nearby and it was surprisingly good!



Set meals!!



Never seen anyone clean a high chair before.


Yingge is famous for their ceramics. We went to this gigantic Ceramic Museum in the town and it was ridonkulously big. It's bigger that our GOMA and Art Gallery combined. They also have workshops and we signed up to make a plate!






It takes around 1.5 months for them to colour and fire it. Luckily, we can send it to Mr E's family's address and we'll figure out when we can come back and grab it. :D


We stopped by at this bun place on the way home.



Can't get it any fresh than this. Right out of the steamer.


Shilin Market was our next stop.


Then.. stinky tofu.


Not sure what all the fuss is about. It's not stinky after it's been cooked. So it's just a fermented fried tofu with sauce.