Thursday, March 08, 2012

Day11:So Long Sun Moon Lake, Meet the Betelnut Beauty

     This morning I woke up early than I normal did because I wanted to see the sunrise over the lake. To a person like me who lives most of her time in the city jungle, it would be a precious chance to see this kind of natural scenery. But I was disappointed due to the overcasting sky. Well, I had to make the best of the day by enjoying the trip no matter how the weather was.     
Our room had a great view to see the lake.
Walking out of our hotel which was in the aboriginal village, there was a wharf for ferries crossing the lake and also tourist boats.     
The air was fresh and there was no noise only the sound of the small waves. 
The village still slept. Only the early birds and scenic hunters walked around on the wharf.
The most interesting thing about traveling was to meet locals or other tourists and share their life experiences. My husband and I came across a man fishing. We started chatting. He showed us his homemade bait.   
According to the fish man experiences, he caught some fish more than 3kg (6.6 lb) in the lake. Normally he sold his catch to restaurants in the valley.    
The view of our hotel on the corner on the left. 
The street was very quite in the early morning. Usually it was filled with a lot of tourists who were looking for aboriginal souvenirs and food. 
Meeting the betel nut beauty.     
     My friends asked me about why there were a lot of neon flashing light on small stands along the streets everywhere in Taiwan. On the third day of the trip, I promised them I would find a one (they are called kiosk) for them to visit after my explanation. Actually, I didn't know the popular ones but my driver knew where to find one.
     The neon lights indicated there were betel nuts for sale. Their major customers were taxi, bus or truck drivers or blue workers. The betel nuts would increase one's energy level or refreshing oneself by chewing them. That explained why those people like to chew betel nuts. 
     My friends asked me about when they would have the chance to try betel nuts several times during the trip. I kept telling them that "the most popular one was in Taichung. So, please be patient and wait." Finally, we arrived in Taichung to taste betel nuts and see the beauty selling them who were well known to the drivers.         
Taken by Ann
This was the well known kiosk on Wuquan west road, Taichung because the beauty just wore sexy lingerie which caught a lot of the men's eyes. A few years ago, the government started restricting the beauties' dresses because they disobeyed the social norms and would hurt the Taiwan tourism market. The issue of wearing thin dresses was very controversial in society and tourism. 

Taken by AnnThis is the betel nut trees that you can see on the country hill sides. Farmers took down original forests and replaced with betel nut trees. Because of its short roots, when it rains heavy it has caused many landslides in Taiwan.  
Taken by Ann
Receiving the betel nuts from the beauty, I saw her index fingers were stained black because of her job. There are two different kind of betel nuts made for the markets. One is betel nuts with mustard leaves and the other is without the leaves. Both contain lime paste. A lot of people suffered from oral cancers because of chewing betel nuts. Also, some foreigners who came to Taiwan for the first time didn't understand why the taxi drivers spitted blood and were still in business. They worked too hard. Actually, the blood was the juice of the betel nuts.  Three of my friends tried both of the betel nuts. It was so interesting to see their facial expressions. My driver laughed hard and I reminded him to watch out for the traffic. I promised them fI would not post their photos on my blog. My husband and I were still afraid to try it.    
See more betel nuts information, please visit
American Cultures influence in Taichung.
     American cultures has influenced Taiwan since there presence in the late 1950's, especally during the Vietnam War when American military were stationed on the west coast of Taiwan and there departure in 1979. What were those influences? There were a lot of pubs and bars that opened when  US military personnel were stationed in Taichung. The American pop cultures also also imported to Taiwan. The U.S. government also gave Taiwan financial aids and medical supports. However, the city of Taichung transformed from a cultural city to a sin city.       
Taken by Ann & Ted 
We visited Costco for comparing the differences of its markets between Taiwan and the States. It was not a weekend but there were a lot of people shopping at Costco. There are about 7 Costco stores in Taiwan. According to some reports, it showed one of its worldwide stores in Taipei was the second best sale in the world. The first one was in Korea.   
Taken by Ann & Ted  
Craving for American food 
Its food court can handle at least 200 people.. 
Baojue Monastery is a Buddhism temple which was built in 1927 during the Japanese government occupied Taiwan. It was a popular spot for American military personnel when they were in Taichung besides bars and pubs and many military personel lived near by.
The big Buddha 
The Monastery was built in the traditional Japanese architectural style. It is covered by a new structure preventing the Monastery from weathering.   
One of our travel purposes to Taiwan was to visit the "American Footsteps museum at C.C.K". Air Force Base. We applied for the visit a long time ago and permission was granted. The fighter jet was first made by the Taiwan government. We were very honor to visit CCK.
Visiting Group

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for reading my blog and welcome to leave your comment!