Saturday, February 14, 2009
The World is My Classroom... Flight 2
Country of the week: Taiwan, Yilan
Yilan County is located in Northeastern Taiwan. Its name comes from the aboriginal Kavalan tribe. From Taipei International Airport, it took us about 2 hours by cab to reach there. We stayed at the Forte DongShan Villa which is a state-owned traditional art center. Nestling Dongshan River channel, this rustic villa is delicately decorated with wooden sliding door, partition window, elevated houses and super-positioned ladders. As far as the eye can see, pleasant and cozy beauty will be all within your view.
Traditional art activities centered on diversified themes are often programmed and held in the villa. Traditional refection streets, state banquet and gourmet food theme halls as well as starbucks are also available.
From Yilan, we took day trips to Taipei, the capital city of Taiwan, and Hua Lien to visit one of Taiwan's premier scenic attractions, Taroko Gorge. Certainly, this natural marvel is one of Asia's most spectacular sights and we were blessed to be immersed in its astounding beauty.
1. We may not speak their language but they make you feel like one of them. And if you do make the slightest effort to converse with them in their language, they would place you on a pedestal. I'm glad I did.
2. I was a bit apprehensive before I left for Taiwan cause an Austrian friend of ours who has been working there for sometime told us how racists the Taiwanese were. On the contrary, they were far away from that. They are beautiful souls who live simply and think highly.
3. I may sound shallow but in the past Taiwan was not one of the countries I ever wanted to visit because of their dog eating custom. Being a dog lover I couldn't digest that fact and in my eyes, the Taiwanese were seen as brutal beasts who preyed on innocent beautiful animals just to satisfy their overly curious palates. But before we left, we heard that Taiwan has passed a law which forbids dogs from being eaten. Kudos to them and the dog kingdom.