Sunday, May 24, 2015

How to get to Yilan (宜蘭) - Lanyang Museum (蘭陽博物館) - Wushih Harbor (烏石漁港) - Jiaoxi Hot Springs Park (礁溪溫泉公園) - Jimmy Park (幾米公園) - Chia hi Lan Wine Museum (甲子蘭酒文物館) - Luodong Night Market (羅東夜市) [Taiwan Day 630: Cloudy with a Chance of Rainfall - May 23, 2015]


The plum rains have arrived in Taiwan! Thick clouds hover over East Asia bringing heavy rains in my beloved Formosa. What seems to be a blessing for farmers becomes a curse for adventure seekers. Who wants to travel on a rainy day? You hold an umbrella the whole day and sometimes your feet become wet inside your shoes. The Central Weather Bureau predicted thunderstorms throughout the nation in Taiwan Day 630. Oh no!

Where will I go on this rainy day? A selection of indoor activities is the best solution and Yilan offers a lot of these exciting travel destinations. Filipino research interns Claire, Bryan, and Francis joined me in this epic trip in Yilan County. We boarded Bus 1877 from Nangang Exhibition Center and the adventure started in one of the longest tunnels in the world, the Snow Mountain Tunnel. 




























A trip to Yilan will not be complete if you will not see its landmark, the Lanyang Museum. Its stunning geometry makes people wonder what's inside the unusual building. A ticket price of 100 NTD will allow you to learn all the things you need to know about Yilan. Its history, geology, flora and fauna and many other things can be discovered about this green grassland of Taiwan. I love museums and in my opinion, the Lanyang Museum is still Taiwan's most beautiful museum. One more trivia! From what I've heard from a Taiwanese, Lanyang means Yilan. Hmmm...




















Jiaoxi Hot Springs burned our feet to ecstasy. A dip of your feet to its 40+ Celsius degree pool is free! How did we go there from Lanyang Museum? We took Bus 131 from Wushih Harbor to Jiaoxi Station and then we walked for 10 minutes to reach the public park. You can also dip your whole body in special pools but you have to pay. Another reminder, bloggers have reported that you have to be fully naked in these pools. How exciting!
 





















Jiaoxi town is just 10-15 minutes away from Yilan City by taking a train. Outside the Yilan Station is its beautifully decorated façade. A large giraffe made it so attractive that you will not even recognize it's a train station. Along the busy road near the Yilan station are statues and scenes of the storybook Starry Starry Night. It was even made into a movie in 2011. Look above and there is a flying train. The story was written by Jimmy Liao which is said to be a native of Yilan. 





Yilan Distillery Chia Chi Lan Wine Museum (甲子蘭酒文物館)







































Large raindrops started to fall and we opened our weapons against the enemy. Umbrellas! Unfortunately, Claire has to leave for Taipei and we accompanied her to the Yilan Transfer Station. Francis, Bryan and I continued the journey in Yilan. We searched the Yilan Distillery Chia Chi Lan Wine Museum amidst the heavy rain. Its building was built during Taiwan's Japanese Era and houses a very informative museum about winery. We got a chance to taste wines that were being sold in the complex. I still remember the sweet taste of the vinegar wine and the soy sauce taste of the 'anka' wine. A short stroll at Luodong Night Market ended our trip in Yilan.
 

We went back to Yilan City where we took Bus 1878. My clothes, my bag, and my shoes got wet but the happiness inside my heart kept me warm. When will this plum rains end in Taiwan? As far as I know, the thick rain bands of the plum rains go down to the Philippines in June. Its arrival signals the start of my country's rainy season. When that happens, it will be PAGASA's (the Philippine weather agency) turn to declare that the weather will be cloudy with a chance of rainfall.

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