December 30, 2008
December 26, 2008
It was 10 degree in Celsius, but I did not feel cold. I was enjoying the sunshine, the sound of running creek, the ending maple season and the European/North American style view. Where was I? I was at Wuling Farm (武陵農場)which is 1700m above sea level.
Last visit to Wuling was in my high school days. Now Wuling Farm has become a recreation area instead of a pure farm. Green mountains and clear creeks make Wuling Farm a nice place to free your mind and go hiking.
Also, accommodation cost is inexpensive at Wuling Farm. We spent only NTD3,980 (USD120) for one night at Hoya Resort Hotel Wuling(武陵富野度假村); including one room, and 2 meals(dinner/breakfast) for 2 persons. And the hotel was so nice to arrange a concert and star watching during the night time.
I will recommend my friend to visit Wuling Farm and stay at least one night to enjoy the Rocky Mountain view in Taiwan. Wuling Farm shows its beauty in various styles during different seasons, so I am sure I will visit Wuling again some times.
December 24, 2008
We went hiking to Taoshan Waterfall (桃山瀑布; 2200m above sea level) when visiting Wuling Farm (武陵農場). When we approached the final destination of Taoshan Waterfall, we saw a "bird" walking around. We realized it was the Mikado Pheasant (台灣帝雉), the national bird of Taiwan which is shown on NTD1,000 bill.Mikado Pheasant now is in the list of lower risk/near threatened species, so I think we were quite lucky to see it. Hope it is a good sign of coming 2009!
December 18, 2008
December 14, 2008
(big bath house on the first floor)
One Japanese friend told me that people living in Taipei City are so lucky, because they can enjoy hot spring in Taipei City without taking a long trip like the people living in Tokyo. That is quite true for a hot spring lover to have this comments. The most popular hot spring site in Taipei City is Beitou(北投).
In Beitou, you can not only enjoy hot spring at many hot spring hotels, but also can learn about the hot spring history of Beitou at Beitou Hot Spring Museum (北投溫泉博物館). The building of museum was a public hot spring bath house built in 1913. It is a quite an interesting building; European style exterior, Japanese style interior design on the second floor and the first floor in Roman style.
Here are the photos of Beitou Hot Spring Museum.
December 10, 2008
Those people were far away from home and with different background, so this blended culture formed a new Juan Chun culture in Taiwan. This play tells the stories happened in one of the Juan Chun.
My father came to Taiwan when he was 16 and lived in one of Juan Chun with my uncle, so some of my relatives also a part of Juan Chun culture. This makes me feel so close to the story; something did happened in my and my relatives' families.
I started to watch the plays by Performance Workshop Theatre Taiwan since their first play in 1985 and I still enjoy it. I will recommend people to watch this play, no matter you are familiar with Juan Chun or not. Because it is a part of Taiwan history.
P.S.: you will get a free bun after watching the show, because bun is a key element in the play.
November 23, 2008
Family gathering again with my cousins. This time we went to Fulong and stayed at a nice villa of Fulong Bellevue Resort(福隆貝悅酒店). Winter is not really a high season for visiting Fulong, due to Fulong beach closed. But we were so lucky to get 2 fine days there after a raining week. Took some photos and would like to share with you.
November 22, 2008
GSR is quite a special pistol from Sig Arms. It is obviously designed for US market, because its 1911 style appearance. GSR(Granite State Rail) is named in honor of the motto of the state of New Hampshire, but recently it was re-named just 1911.
This GSR is made by Western Arms, a very popular BB pistol manufacture. Western Arms BB guns are famous of its quality, performance and details, but also higher price.
Once I had this GSR as my side arm for survival game. After considering the durability, parts availability and its price, I switched to Sig P226. Now I just keep it as one of my collections.
November 20, 2008
In real gun world, Sig Sauer is always the guarantee of high quality pistols. Their products are always the first choice of special forces and secret agents around the world. I tried the real P226 and P229 long time ago; smooth trigger pull and accuracy did impress me!
My Sig P226 is made by Tokyo Marui, again a major Japanese BB gun company. Recently, Tokyo Marui produced a lot of nice BB pistols at reasonable prices. Maybe they do not look fancy as the pistols from Western Arms, but quite reliable for survival games just like their electronic airsoft BB guns.
November 17, 2008
the rail for combat light/laser device, also see its special trigger safety
Glock is a very popular brand, no matter in real gun world or BB gun world. I had a real Glock 22 many years ago, so I also have a Glock BB gun for my collections since it is impossible to have a real one at this moment.
This Glock 17 is made by KSC. Though it is under a Japanese brand, but it is made in Taiwan. So it is affordable and easy to get upgrade parts. I have owned this Glock 17 for several years; quite reliable and accurate for airsoft IPSC and survival game.
Though my side arms for survival game became a Sig Sauer P226, I still enjoy playing this Glock 17. The metal slide makes a real gun like sound when I pull the slide for loading.
November 11, 2008
Creative industries became very popular around the world recently, so we can see a lot schools offering design related training courses. During the biz trip to Australia, I had a chance to visit Queensland Academy for Creative Industries in Brisbane. In fact, it is a high school which just started 2 years ago. So far, only around 150 students in this school and they expect to have 400.
This school provides a platform for students to pursue careers in traditional arts fields such as film and television, music, visual art, and the performing arts.
We visited 3 classrooms, talked to some students and watched some of their art works. I have to say these student are really brilliant and creative, and their art works are really at pro level.
I think these students are really lucky to study at this school. The facilities are really good, and the teachers are full of passion. I believe those students will have great careers in the future, and this school will enjoy a great reputation not only in Brisbane, but also in whole country.
November 7, 2008
Singapore Airlines ordered 25 A380-800 in 2000 and recived the first one in 2007. They became the first airlines to operate A380 and provided their first service from Singapore to Sydney. Because there is no A380 flight route to Taiwan, I did not think I have a chance to fly with this famous airplane. Luckily, I had to go Sydney for business purpose in early Nov.. So I flew to Singapore, then took this legent A380 to Sydney.
When I had the first glance at the A380; it was like a big whale at the airport. A380 is just few meters longer than B747, but its true double deck fuselage makes it higher than a B747.
Maybe seeing to many Discovery Channel TV shows and advertising about A380, I had too much expectation on it and that brought me disappointment. "It looks big outside, but still small inside". I was disappointed on its seat arrangement in economic class cabin. The room for legs is less than B777 and A330. I did not feel any privilege of it.
The only thing I do appreciate is the personal entertainment system. The wide screen format LCD gives a better view on movie. The system provides not only movies, but also learning and working. But...who wants to creat word document, spreadsheet and presentation file with this system on an airplane.
Friends asked me how I like the A380. My answer is "Only rich people can feel the privilege of A380, not those people who sit in economic class."
October 28, 2008
Jing Tong Station of Taiwan Railways
Jing Tong Station
Railway passing "through" Shih Fen
Ping Hsi(平溪鄉) is a small town in Taipei county, famous for the Ping Hsi line railway and sky lantern. This time we would like to try something different. I parked the car at Jing Tong(菁桐) and walked through Ping Hsi(平溪) to Shih Fen(十分), total 9.5 Km. It took us about 2 hours to finish this walking trip. If you are not a hiking people, don't try walking from Ping Hsi to Shih Fen, it is a pretty long walk.
In fact, if you are not coming to Ping Hsi for the sky lantern, there is nothing special. So we had a late lunch and took the train back to Jing Tong, then drove home.
Maybe you think our Ping Hsi day trip was boring, but we enjoyed the walking very much.
Ping Hsi tour web site (Chinese only)
October 18, 2008
Lin Lung(林龍) may be the most famous tour guide in Taiwan. You can see him frequently in TV talk show. He also has his own TV programs in Taiwan and China, also published several books.
Luckily he was the tour guide of our Sun Moon Lake trip. Although he is quite famous, he was still doing his job professionally; talking about detail info of each tourist site and sharing a lot of interesting stories in his life (also some gossips!).
Since he is in the traveling business, sure he encourages people to take vacation every year as "recharge". I pretty agree with him about this idea. Don't wait till you are 50 or 60, then start to plan enjoying your life. You never know how long you will live, so be nice to yourself and your family; have a nice trip at least once a year, no matter with your family, friends or even alone.
October 16, 2008
(photos taken in front of The Lalu)
The day we stayed at The Lalu was also the day for Sun Moon Lake Firework Festival (日月潭花火節), so I had a chance to have my first fireworks photo shooting. I only read some "how to" articles about taking photos of fireworks shows, but never had a chance to try.
These photos do not look as good as those photos taken by pros, but I am kind satisfied with the results of my first firework shooting.
October 14, 2008
Of course, the rate of The Lalu is much higher than other hotel in the area(stating from NTD15500 per night, around USD470 per night). Luckily we had a chance to stay at The Lalu, due to Jane's company trip. We had a lake view suite, and I thought it was the best hotel I had ever stayed in Taiwan so far; you definitely can tell from those photos. Except enjoying a good stay at The Lalu, we also watched the firework show of Sun Moon Lake Firework Festival.
October 12, 2008
Sun Moon Lake
Sun Moon Lake, view from The Lalu
Chiang Kai-Shek's(1887-1975) private dock at Sun Moon Lake
October 4, 2008
After taking some interesting photos to make my collected action figures and model cars alive, how about making model airplanes fly? It was not difficult to take photos of model airplanes with the same skill for action figures, but it needed extra job to get rid of the airplane's stand.