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A "recycled teenager" learning to blog.

Mar 6, 2016

A Spiritual Journey to Timsui in Taiwan

A favorite of my photo at Timsui

It was my lucky day on February 26, 2016 during my recent visit to Taiwan to attend a Buddhist puja ceremony at the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall on February 25, 2016.  With gratitude and thanksgiving to my Grandmaster Sheng Yen Lu for his blessings.

This is not a religion blog.  This is a personal blog to express my thoughts and feelings to travel overseas as I get older with weak knees and not as energetic as I was younger.  I could not walk as fast as the young ones.  However, I am not on an adventurous journey for jungle trekking or climb mountains.

In this trip, I was fortunate my Dharma brother Lian Chun and sister Jessie agreed to join them to Taiwan.  They are very concerned to take good care of me for my safety and comfort.

On February 26, they scheduled me for a day of free activities and we would have to meet in the evening.  I did not tell them what I wanted to do, and they trust me to take care of myself.

When I awoke at 5.00 am, I thought it would be a waste to lock myself in the hotel room doing nothing.  There were so many things in Taiwan for me to experience and learn new place, new stuff to learn.

I have never taken a Taiwan MRT train before.  On my previous trip with Yuan Zheng Tang group in 2015, we travelled by coach around Taiwan.  No sightseeing done in Taipei where we had dinner in one of the hotels.

The Metro MRT station at Ximen was just across the road at Ximen Hotel where we stayed.

There were many prominent directory and signage in the station and travellers on the trains would never get lost.  Taiwanese commuters are very friendly, courteous and helpful for assistance.  They also gave me maps of the MRT networks.

At the MRT Passenger Service Counter, I was advised to purchase a MRT day-card for NT150 for limitless trips for a day.

In the MRT train.

The trains were clean and reasonably fast. There were many young commuters and they readily offered their seats to those who need the seats more.  Just like in Singapore.  Indeed a gracious and cultured society of different countries.  Same, same.  But different!

When I arrived at Timsui MRT station about 40 minutes later.

More prominents signages after leaving the MRT station.

To be orientated to a new place, I looked around to soak in the environment and atmosphere which I have never visited before.  I did not rush and moved around in my comfortable pace.

There were groups of elders for their daily exercises in the building because it was raining at the park.
A community with health-consciousness for a disciplined society.

Encounter with Ms Wilanda from Surabaya, Indonesia.

This friendly lady chatted with me in Malay and was happy to meet someone from Singapore and we communicate in a language she could understand.  She told me that she is a domestic helper to look after a 70-year-old Taiwanese Ah Kong in Timsui.  

She spoke a little in Taiwanese and stayed in Taiwan for about a year.  She is happy to work with her current employers.  Food is no problem because she could buy from the markets and cook her  Indonesian food in Taiwan.  Her sister was also working in Taiwan. We could notice her holding a smartphone to be connected on Facebook and regularly talk with her children in Indonesia.

Thanks for your consent to post this photo, Wilanda.

Cathay United ATM

I remembered that I had made arrangement with OCBC in Singapore for banking facilities when I visit Taiwan.  So I tried out the 24-hour services and whether I could get some money in Taiwan NT currency in case of emergency.  It works!  I withdrew NT1000 just for a test ....  convenient and safe!

Timsui River in Taiwan

View of Timsui River from the Timsui MRT Station

The historic town at the mouth of the Timsui (Danshui) River is a popular destination when the MRT line was extended here in 1998.  The final leg of the journey runs past mountains and thick mangrove forests making it feel like a trip out of town.  And when you pop out of the station into the wide riverside park with street musicians, bike paths, moored wood junks, and view of an emerald volcanic peak (Guanyinshan) dominating the skyline it all looks very promising - and it is.  (Source: Lonely Planet).

The buildings opposite Timsui River

Fishing at the Timsui River.

Signboards at the park.

 YouTube video with courtesy of Karen Hsu.



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