Wednesday, January 02, 2008

25th December 2007 in Taiwan

Say Good morning to Kenting~! This is my hotel room's sea view to the left in the morning!
and to the right, the town's view~ Today, we'll depart Kenting (Pindong) for Tainan.
I love animals... (I think....)
Friendly doggie~ follows me around~ Taiwanese-Dog... I wonder if its tasty...
Oh, before I board the bus, here's a snap shot of the hotel~

and from behind the bus, caught a beautiful rainbow for X'mas! (so, Rainbows looked like this in Taiwan too eh?)
Ever passed a rainbow from UNDER before?
I DID! The rainbow came from the mountains, over the road, and ends in the sea~ and our coach went right under and through it!
After an hour on the road, we stopped near a petrol kiosk for toilet break~ and here's the carwash~
Then we're back on the road again... with farms stretching miles and miles... I dozed off...

and woke up in time to snap this... Highway Toll Gates. And I returned to zzz again...
Next, we stopped for toilet break again~ at a huge carpark with a convenience store and a very very large toilet... those type that you go "Wah~~~" when you stepped inside.

Well, after "output", you must "input", so I got this "茶里王" (King of Tea, yea I know it sounds like King Charles...) off a vending machine... basically to clear off those coins inside my pocket.

(Stupid Tour Guide told me "This is good, not sweet, the other flavours too sweet". I should've known the taste of a 73 year old gramps... ( =__= )... so bitter...)

Oh! That's how the highway police looks like (in the background). I had this pic taken with a dual purpose. ( ^__^ )

GuanZiLing (關子嶺) Toong Mao Hot Springs Resort
Next, we went UP some curvy curvy mountaineous roads that has steam coming out of several buildings' roof, to arrive at GuanZiLing (關子嶺) Toong Mao Hot Springs Resort (yep, its Toong Mao's chain of operations again).

And nope, this place has nothing to do with that HongKong Celeb.
Paiseh~ no cameras allowed within the hot springs premise~ so you can't see me in triangle-short. Ha! This picture is a snap-shot of a poster, but its exactly like this at the hot springs!

(No way I am entering the nude sector, its probably filled with grannies and gramps; I saw a group walked out.)

Ah~~ If only I had a girlfriend I can go to hotsprings together with... xD *daydreams*

I tell you, its darn cold to be out there in the open, clad in only a swimming trunk. Also, I can't appreciate covering my entire body+ face in those cold and glooey black clay. The hotsprings + jaccuzi was pretty shiok though! Then its lunch at the resorts after the dip.
TooT TooT Train Ride
Next up, we were brought to an old railway station for a toot-toot train ride~
I took the below picture, love the angle and view (but i hate that stupid orange cone).
Here's a shot before boarding... (I can't comprehend what Jerry was trying to do...)
and the train departs~ old old rail... so creeky~ so slow~ ( =__= ) I could jog faster. Tour guide rattles on about the surroundings (of species of plants, trees and flowers... boring~) and the station's history from the speaker overhead.
(Note: Kew in T-shirt = rare...)
The train ride was "okay" to begin with...
the station's no longer in industrial use; you will see several old discarded (train) engine-heads. Was told the train used to transport Sugar Canes.
Oh! The train passed this beaten route, and I snapped it. Nice hor?
10mins into the journey... despite winter in Taiwan, its darn HOT in the morning! and I got no place to siam the scorching sunshine in this tiny enclosure... (damn, I felt like an animal... Rawr~)
only interesting part was when the train cuts across the vehicle road. Traffic from both sides comes to a halt as we take our own sweet time to CRAWL across... well, we did our part as tourist and waved happily back at them~ \(^-^* )
at the end of the 15min (draggy) train ride, we arrived at the other end... with alot of shops selling local delicacies... but they were mostly ALL CLOSED!
I wanted to try this below~ Charcoal Roasted Goose Egg~ sounds delicious, no?
and maybe this too! Salty 黑麦芽糖.
Err... Black Pork Sausage? I would be interested how it looks and smells like though~
oh~ below... sticky-fly-trap. Look at how many flies it caught... many were still wriggling when I was taking the picture... freshly caught. YUCK.
Seems like 黑麦芽糖 is pretty popular there to warrant a 2nd stall...
and this Black Pork Sausage too... oh, see that 黑金刚铁蛋? Nothing more like mini 卤蛋.
Wats MORE BORING was... I was taking these pictures while waiting for the darn train-engine head to make its U-Turn and attach itself back to the Cabin TAIL. Yes, its gonna drag us back the same route from where we came from ( =___= '")
Below, I was queuing to buy an ice cream... can't imagine the same route back... hot hot hot...
Finally back at the station. Had this picture taken because of the nice color combi overhead. But my friend wasn't THAT talented enough to capture the frame I had in mind...
and a mischievious little pose from me...
Next, Salt HILL. Sometimes, you got to be fast enough to "snatch frames". I jumped infront of Kokuhen so my picture was taken instead... =p
Yep, that tiny hill behind us is all Salt. Been there long enough to turn grey from all the dirt.
Strong wind wor.... (so hard to keep my hair neat...) and the sun was shining right into our eyes...

Tour Leader helped took our pictures, but she dropped Jiawoei's newly bought $800+ Canon Digital SLR after that... Opps~ the look on Jiawoei's face almost swallowed her up...
I love my red jacket... the RED is "just nice~"
on the other side of the salt hill, we see a smaller salt hill and the place's shopping centre.
and the 3 guys fooling around... (yes, he should have used his LEFT hand instead... and dun look at the camera! Too late, my snap allowanace is 5secs spontaneous posing)
yea, it snowed there...
Jiawoei helped took this... all salt crystal below my feet... I ran up the top in one shot~
Toothpaste Commercial! "Use SALTY brand salty toothpaste, and you can have YELLOW teeth, like ME~!"
Salty Ice Cream Stall...
I was told I had one too many ice creams since I set foot in Taiwan... but how could I give this Almond Flavour Salty Ice Cream a miss?
Sun was setting (it was barely 5pm!) and I tried taking a Taiwanese sunset... well, dummy cameras could only make it this far... but I was quite satisfied already.
And here's a sunset picture taken using Jiawoei's digital SLR... he adjusted the exposure...
By 7:15pm, we arrived in town... there is this digital display above the building with changes between TIME and TEMPERATURE... 19 degree celsius outside... Cool~

Behind me, XX Night Market... I forgot where I was already... hahaha... supposed to be there for dinner. Interesting restaurant setting; low tables and stools for everyone. Oh, and 丹珠汽水 too!
(First to grab one.... ya, thats my arm...)
The restaurant serves mostly (99%) 米粉 food... from 饭团 to rice cakes to hor fun based food. Super filling, super carbohydrates...
oh, and the restaurant's specialty dish - Coffin Board Tofu (棺材板豆腐).
Not bad~
Wahahahaha~ look what I found in the nearby MaMa shop! Tucked right at the very back of the shop... AIR GUNS!

Lotsa selections! Big and small pistols! Looks pretty neat!
Price tag? NT$70 ONLY! Thats less than to S$3.50!
When I saw the caution "DO NOT SHOOT AT ANY HUMAN OR ANIMAL", I have only one thought in mind... "BUY and SHOOT THE GUYS... " *Evil Grin >) *
Piece of advice: "Never let your would-be opponents get anything bigger than yours". I stopped Jerry in time before I end up at the receiving end of this...
One happy pose before I head for the counter with my NT$70... can't wait to test it... My most special X'mas present~ xD
Kokuhen found something else he fancied. ZhuGeLiang Fan; INT +100, Magic Attack +35, Magic Defence +30.
Outside the shop and somewhere nearby... caught this advert - what's a 臭臭锅??? It really states "臭"~! I went up close to ascertain the word.
We reached the next hotel! And its mandatory to pose beside a X'mas Tree on X'mas Day! (Oh, there was nothing in the red sock.... unfortunately... I was hoping to find sweets though...)
oh, a random shot while waiting for the lift (yea, the entire coach of 30 odd ppl trying to head upstairs with just 3 lifts... what a wait...).

Here's me in full-gear; Day-bag hooked infront and the main bag behind = both hands free!
(wait... I know it resembles a turtle shell... front and back... but no, its not green...)
FIRST thing to do when I entered the hotel room... unwrap my X'mas present...
Pretty simple and fuss-free...
and my gun comes with a REAL Laser Pointer too!
Here's a full view of the gun with its laser pointer switched on, and the magazine fully loaded with 6mm plastic pellets...
Jerry and Leong bought the smaller NT$30 pistol...
Bleh~ No fight compared to mine... when it comes to air guns, the bigger the air-chamber, the stronger the charge; common sense.
I had Jerry shot me at my calf using my own air-gun... got to test it on myself first to know how painful it is before I start shooting the guys... kekeke... I tell you, you dun want to be at the recieving end of it... its PIERCINGLY PAIN even through my jeans. It took my brain 2 secs to register the pain and I gave off a delayed scream.... Ooooouch~ ( >_< ) And Kokuhen-san became my first victim... Muahahaha... Here's Kokuhen trying a "Cool" pose. He's pistol wasn't working (well, that's S$1.50 gun for you). So I lent him mine for the photoshoot...
and I tried the same pose too! Do I look like the Bad Guy or the Good Guy? (I think I looked funny...). Anyways, I left Kokuhen and Jerry with the guns while I head out with Jiawoei...
Here's a BEAUTIFUL night scene from the hotel's gym window... 7:20pm with 19 degree celsius of cold wind blowing through the windows... (yep, went for a short gym session with Jiawoei, since we had too many carb from dinner).
Meanwhile... back at the hotel room...
Jerry in this "BOSS" look... (the thing on his left hand was supposedly a cigarette...)
Give them guys some guns and they all changed into little kids... oh, Jerry! Dun stick my gun into your pants for goodness sake!
Not you too Kokuhen...
Kokuhen and Jerry racked their brains out thinking of poses... what the heck was THIS pose?
ONE HOUR LATER... Jiawoei and I returned to our rooms to find Kokuhen and Jerry STILL posing with the guns!
So we joined in the fun!
*flex flex...* how did my gym session went?
some 无间道 actions...
Kokuhen as Tony: "对不起,我是警察..."
Jerry as Andy: "谁知道?"
Kokuhen taking pictures with Jiawoei's camera...
and then we tried to do some "Movie Poster" shots... (their guns are too small!)
Jiawoei set up his camera for a group shot... got to lend Jiawoei my bigger gun cuz it looked better on him... Jerry resumed his "Boss" role...
and then we took even MORE pictures...
The guys said I look more like "the Good Guys" wearing the jacket...
Kokuhen found a good setting for this pose... He's for "the bad guys"...

in the end, I think I look better in THIS POSE! Hahaha~
Had an urge to shoot this type of photo...
"Personal Belongings"
After another 30mins of crazy posing with the guns later... (that's a total of one and a half hours!) we hitted the streets... it was only 9:16pm...

Taiwan roads are rather interesting... they have dedicated lanes for motorist and cyclist...
I was naturally attracted to lights (no, I'm not a moth...).
Here's a Mobile Motel (no, you dun drive in...)
you park by the roadside, head straight for the reception (first light on the left), get your keys, and right for your room. (Looks pretty convenient for short-times eh? Too bad I didn't catch any actions...)
11:00pm, the guys wanted to turn in early... But I ain't satisfied yet... hopped to the nearby 7-Eleven without my jacket... darn cold out there... I think the temperature dropped further.

Got myself some siew mai!
Supper time! Yummy!

Went to bed feeling really satisfied... (there goes my gym workout earlier...)

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