This year, we had a great time at Chinese New Year. We spent a lot of time with friends and family over the ten days, which was great. We also managed to squeeze in a trip or two during the time.
We traveled down late on Sunday, and stopped off at several fishing ports on the west coast as we went. We finally ended up in HsinChu, which turned out to have become a pleasant little city with lots of sky in Northern Central Taiwan, about an hour’s drive from Taipei.
We stopped at a nearby farm to pick strawberries. While we were perhaps a little early, Christine managed to find a box of quite delicious strawberries that made a perfect snack. The boss’s son treated us to several slices of a lemorange: a yellow skinned orange, that tastes somewhat like a lemon but it isn’t at all sour. Sorry no pictures of that! We tried to find the store the next day, but couldn’t remember the exact intersection.
There was also a trip to NeiWan where we spent the night. Wandering throught the crowded market streets, we found this large poster for a movie starring Bruce Lee from 1972. In Taiwan, it was a tradition to paint the movie advertising on walls and posters for the theaters. Even until recently, you could see these large posters outside most movie theaters. If you can’t guess the movie name, you can squint a little… And see it just to the right of Bruce Lee’s crotch!
In NeiWan, we found a karting circuit where we had quite some fun driving at top speed round the course. I drove, Christine closed her eyes in terror. That was a blast. Most tourist towns in Taiwan have a certain spectacle element in them, so while I was surprised to see a circuit there; it made sense. Driving the karts was difficult, you had to pull hard on the steering wheel, but the brakes and accelerator were quite effective.
In one little village near Miaoli we encountered a traditional Puppet Drama, sponsored by the local temple and put on to celebrate the advent of Chinese New Year. We’d have taken pictures of the show, but the lady running the performance went off for her tea just as we arrived. We weren’t sure there’d be another performance that day or not.
With spring now in the air, temperatures are returning to more bearable levels, and the sakura is beginning to blossom all over. In the next few weeks, you should see a real Cherry Blossom season.