Saturday, February 25, 2012

Back to Kaohsiung

After a wonderful start to Amanda’s mom’s stay with us, on the second day, we rose bright and early and headed for the HSR station to catch the train to Kaohsiung. Upon our arrival, we headed straight for Harbor 60 Hostel where we would stay for one night. Eric, the hostel owner, was his usual extremely hospitable self and we really enjoyed our stay.

After checking in at the hostel, we headed straight back out to the Lotus Pond/Lake (蓮池潭). The weather was unusually warm, even for winter in Kaohsiung, and we were able to enjoy near 20C temperatures and clear skies while we explored the various pagodas, pavilions, statues and temples that are at the Lotus Pond. We explored for a good two hours and still barely even scratched the surface. The Lotus Pond is definitely somewhere that you could spend a whole day and still not see everything.

After the Lotus Pond, we headed to Aozihdi Forest Park to go for a jaunt in our old stomping ground and to pay a visit to one of our favorite haunts, Muddy Waters. We enjoyed a great lunch and then headed back to our hostel before heading out to the lantern festival festivities along the Love River.

On the way, we stopped at Lao Song Beef Noodles Shop and we were very happy to introduce Amanda’s mom to one of our favorite Taiwanese foods. Back on the road and heading to the Love River, we past by a temporary stage where some sort of Chinese pantomime was being performed. We’ve wandered past a few of these during our time in Taiwan and they’ve always been incredibly brightly colored, often including neon and black lighting, as was the case here.

The Love River was absolutely jam packed with people. There were lantern displays along a good stretch of the western river bank, and plenty of vendors selling food and souvenirs along both sides of the river. After exploring the Love River for some time, we headed to the Love Pier where a fireworks display was scheduled at 9pm. The fireworks were spectacular and there was a crowd of thousands of people that had gathered to watch.

To finish off the night we caught the MRT to Foster Hewitt’s to meet our good friends Stanley and Vicky. We enjoyed some drinks and nachos before piling back into a cab to head back to the hostel to sleep after a long day of lots of walking.

The Dome of Light at Formosa Boulevard
Amanda at 蓮池潭
Lotuses at the Lotus Pond
A crane or a stalk? I don't see a baby, so I'm going to say crane.
Picture taken from the Dragon Pagoda at the Lotus Pond
The Dragon Pagoda
Amanda and her mom
One of many Taoist God statues at the Lotus Pond
Amanda at Aozihdi Forest Park
Amanda said, "Make a face like you're really excited to eat it!" This was my best effort.
Amanda's mom enjoying beef noodles at Lao Song
A sort of Chinese pantomime performance that we stumbled on. It was so brightly lit with a variety of neon and black lights.
One of the Love River lantern displays.
Many schools compete to design and create the best lantern.

2012, Year of the Dragon
Foster Hewitt's with Stanley and Vicky!

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