27 January 2014

Kinmen, Taiwan 2014

Kinmen is an island of Taiwan that is close to mainland China. I don't understand why the English version (the pinyin) is "Kinmen," when it is clearly pronounced "Jinmen." I'd rather pronounce it that way.

Anyway, we flew there from Kaohsiung, and one of Michael's dad's friends arranged a driver to take us around to the sites. Our driver, Robby, was really agreeable and Jinmen/Kinmen was great.

Kinmen is famous for its pottery, so the factory was our first stop.

Kinmen Pottery photo 2014-01-03103250_zps5781ad39.jpg

Kinmen Pottery photo 2014-01-03103443_zpsc2f2d25d.jpg

Dragon at Kinmen Pottery photo 2014-01-03103929_zpsdedb408b.jpg
This dragon made me think of my lovely friend Charla Barton, who has sculpted many a dragon.

Second stop: a lake of potable water and a lovely island in the middle.

Veranda on Lake's Mini-Island in Kinmen photo 2014-01-03IMG_8567_zps1bdbafc4.jpg

Lake of Potable Water on Kinmen photo 2014-01-031100_zpsdcac1689.jpg

Next, the August 23rd Artillery Batlle Museum. I wasn't sure that an artillery museum would be interesting to me, but I was surprised and impressed!

23 August 1958 Museum photo 2014-01-03112745_zps26074644.jpg
Six minutes to gather after the first attack? It takes me that long to put on my shoes. Not bad at all. America backed up Kinmen, so we also saw some American tanks. Apparently the people of Kinmen became so good at making knives out of leftover bomb shells that the knives became famous.

23 August 1958 Museum--Loudspeaker Anti-propaganda photo 2014-01-03113438_zpsc5cb5c36.jpg
China and Kinmen bombed each other for twenty years. Kinmen sent political messages over to mainland China via radio and shells. The maps show how far the messages reached.

23 August 1958 Museum War Game photo 2014-01-03114230_zps92744e97.jpg
They had an artillery game as part of the display. Hmm.

Yu Da Wei Xian Sheng Museum--Famous Kinmen Battle Strategist
The Yu Da Wei Xian Sheng Museum is dedicated to a short-and-famous Taiwanese battle strategist who reminded me a bit of Tom Hanks.

Beef Noodle Meal for One in Kinmen photo 2014-01-03124642_zps897ec60e.jpg
For lunch, we ordered a bowl of beef noodles to share. This monstrous-sized bowl appeared.

Egg Stuff Like Tofu photo 2014-01-03130913_zps97e4edb4.jpg
I really liked the beef jerky, the vegetables, and this eggy tofu stuff.

Robby and the Teacher With Us and Beef Jerky After Lunch photo 2014-01-03132019_zpsebaa8ffe.jpg
Michael's dad's friend (on the far right) treated us to lunch is a teacher. And when he saw how much I liked the beef jerky, he went and bought three flavors in a big box for me.

Robby's Farm photo 2014-01-03132656_zpsdd0bf159.jpg
We quite enjoyed talking to Robby, and when he mentioned that he has a small farm as a hobby, I mentioned that I like to garden and asked if we could stop by there. Turns out gardening isn't involved, but I still enjoyed seeing the goats. It was right between some apartment buildings and a bank.

Juguanglou photo 2014-01-031400IMG_8609_zps0ecc1fb9.jpg
Juguanglou (莒光樓). The people sitting around inside followed me with wide eyes and then told Michael that I was beautiful girlfriend. When he answered, "Wife," they had quite the happy reaction. Anyway, the top of this building had an exhibit explaining the traditional parades that occur each year.

Juguanglou photo 2014-01-031415IMG_8620_zps97bc46f8.jpg
Details of Juguanglou (莒光樓).

View from Juguanglou photo 2014-01-031420IMG_8622_zps05f0cc1f.jpg
View from Juguanglou (莒光樓).

Juguanglou photo 2014-01-031404IMG_8629_zps9384b7ff.jpg
Nice side view of Juguanglou (莒光樓).

Zhaishan Tunnel, photo 2014-01-031435IMG_8640_zps49cfb3cd.jpg
Behind the pretty flowers was a tunnel built for the war, Zhaishan Tunnel (翟山坑道).

Zhaishan Tunnel photo 2014-01-031440IMG_8655_zps86a306fe.jpg
I walked deeper and deeper into the this tunnel, thinking of soldiers living and working down here during the ongoing battle.

Zhaishan Tunnel photo 2014-01-03145105_zps21a9a9a7.jpg
And then, to my surprise, there was water! The one light reflecting on the water made it look like I could see the bottom until I realized it was just a reflection and that I had no idea how deep the water actually was. That was an eery feeling.

Zhaishan Tunnel photo 2014-01-031445IMG_8673_zps588165bb.jpg
Apparently boats came in and out of Zhaishan Tunnel (翟山坑道) with supplies. Awesome.

Kinmen Beach photo 2014-01-031500IMG_8711_zps9eb24e64.jpg
The beach was lovely. Michael must have a zillion photos of me running on different beaches. I know for a fact there are ones from Half Moon Bay, Oregon, San Diego, and now Taiwan . . . I guess it never gets old?

Kinmen Beach photo 2014-01-031500IMG_8767_zps9b6894ce.jpg

Kinmen Beach photo 2014-01-031500IMG_8782_zps769f03de.jpg

Kinmen Beach photo 2014-01-031500IMG_8816_zps095fb7ba.jpg

On to the last stop.

Kinmen Beach (hai tan) with Robby photo 2014-01-031555IMG_8830_zps997840b8.jpg
That island behind Robby and me has a statue of Zheng Chenggong (郑成功), also known as Koxinga, a hero from the Qing Dynasty.

Kinmen Temple photo 2014-01-031555IMG_8836_zps0d9d4ecc.jpg
Koxinga Shrine

Kinmen Succulent photo 2014-01-031555IMG_8837_zpseb8ec0c7.jpg
I wonder what kind of succulent this is?

Kinmen Temple Outhouse photo 2014-01-031555IMG_8856_zpsb6cd39a6.jpg
A nice little outhouse.

Kinmen Temple photo 2014-01-031555IMG_8858_zpsa0497a55.jpg
Koxinga Shrine details.

Then Robby took us to the ferry, where we tried to offer him a present. That made him kind of mad. He started going back to his car in a huff, so I had to chase him to get a goodbye handshake. He told me to come back with my parents and to give him at least two weeks' notice and he'd slaughter a goat for us. Awesome.

Safeway in Kinmen! photo 2014-01-03163620_zpsaae2a16b.jpg
The wait for the ferry to China wasn't long. Did you know they have Safeway in Kinmen? Oh, just kidding, that's a different Safeway.

I really enjoyed the lovely day in a peaceful place not teeming with people and with fresh(-ish) air, and I didn't really want to go back to everyday life.

1 comment:

  1. Asian beef jerky is awesome and super soft - love the stuff. And Taiwan looks wonderful!