Corin Anderson (magellanic) wrote,
Corin Anderson
magellanic

Tainan to Kenting

The joint Tsao-Owens travel group bifurcated this morning, as planned. We ate breakfast with Mr. Lin at 8a and Yulin’s friend drove Melinda and me to the train station. A train ride to Kaohsiung and two hours on a bus to Kenting brought us to the end of Taiwan and Kenting National Park. We’re staying in a hotel along a (local) touristy length of road: it’s dotted with 10-room inns, surfer gear stores, and food vans selling food on sticks. We have the top room facing the street (photo posted to Buzz) so we can see and hear everything going on. For example, there’s a talent show at the elementary school across the street – and the kids’ dancing is pretty good!

The general plan was to tour Kenting National Park while here but that didn’t pan out too well. First, the park is sort of closed up: the 100 stall parking lot held maybe 10 cars and we saw no one directly. Second, the weather is still grey and drizzly – not the weather you’d want for wandering through a forest. Third, the park seems best experienced with a vehicle, even just a scooter, but we didn’t figure that out until we’d already spent time walking along the road and passing the time. So, we enjoyed a brief walk along the entry road (it *is* pretty) then reset our goal to be taking in the local culture.

For starters on culture, we ate lunch at McDonald’s. We swear, it’s just because we wanted to see what a Taiwanese McDonald’s is like (answer: like an American McDonald’s). The main drag through town has shop after shop of knick-knacks and surfer gear – nothing noteworthy but fun to walk along. A lot of the places are closed up but Melinda and I expect they’ll be opening later in the evening (it’s 4p here now). Even now a few are open that were closed when we arrived around 1p. [wow – now the elementary school talent show dance performance is being put to Lady Marmalade from Moulin Rouge. How very non sequitur to this scene]. And, yes, we also finally visited our American mainstay: we found a Starbucks. Novel here are Taiwanese teas (named after locations) and a mango and passion fruit blended beverage. The fruit drink wasn’t anything special but the rose tea latte was quite good, so said Melinda. Down the street a little further is a beach, Caesar’s Cove. True enough, it is a cove, and it’s a nice beach near the water. A bunch of people there but not crowded. Near the sand / tree line the beach is pretty dirty, though, not sure exactly why. Looks sort of like some people are living there, maybe. And now we’re back at the hotel and I’m sitting on the veranda typing up this LJ to post later.
Tags: travel
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