Friday, June 8, 2012

Kenny and Annemarie Come to Taiwan: Episode II - Island Style

The next venue for K&A’s vacation in Taiwan were the Penghu Islands (澎湖群島). In case you’re wondering...

Penghu is an archipelago off the western coast of Taiwan in the Taiwan Strait consisting of 64 small islands and islets covering an area of 141 square kilometers. The whole archipelago forms Penghu County.  - Wikipedia

I had arranged this part of the trip through a travel company called Green Island Adventures. The owner was a very friendly foreigner called Eddie and he took care of everything necessary for the trip, including booking the air travel. Unfortunately, flights out of our home city, Taichung, were fully booked, with the best remaining option being Taipei. So, early that morning, we left Kaohsiung in the far south, caught the HSR to Taichung, rested, unpacked, repacked, showered, “lunched”, and then hit the road again for Taipei in the far north. 

We arrived in Taipei in the late evening, unfortunately too late to go up to the observation deck on Taipei 101. We stayed at JV’s Hostel just off of Línjiāng St, so we were able to briefly explore a small night market before getting an early night in preparation for our morning flights to Penghu. 

The flight to Penghu was smooth and uneventful. As we came in to land, I was surprised to see how large the island chain was, considerably bigger than I had expected. We were greeted at the airport by a very friendly young woman who was born on Penghu and still lived on the island with her family, who collectively ran the B&B at which we stayed. After arriving at our B&B, we shortly headed out on our rental scooters. Just as we hit the road, Penghu decided to welcome us with a little drizzle, which became rain, which shortly thereafter became a torrential downpour with gusting winds to boot. Given the precarious driving conditions, we decided to take a couple hours to explore (seek shelter in) the Penghu aquarium. The aquarium was home to a wide array of sea animals including two turtles that had been rescued, one of which was missing a leg. Personally, I think it was just pandering to the crowds. 

After the aquarium, we did an about turn and headed towards Magong City in search of some lunch. It took us quite some time, but we did come across a place called the Munching Kitchen where we all shared two tea sets that included salad, fruit, garlic toast, ham & cheese sandwiches, waffles, cheesecake, and cookies. Nom nom. We then returned to our B&B, stopping at the Rainbow Bridge on the way, which proved to be not quite so spectacular when viewed by day, but it nevertheless offered some good views of the sea and Magong. That evening we had a fairly uninspired meal at “Freud’s” where we ordered nachos that in fact turned out to be a plate of Doritos with a little side of salsa. Ugh!

Amputee sea turtle pandering for attention
Group shot
Starfish underbelly
Ummm, I don't remember what this was, but it was weird. Very weird.
Tea set at Munching Kitchen
K&A on the Rainbow Bridge

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