Sunday, July 5, 2015

Taoyuan - Cihu Sculpture Memorial Park - Cihu Mausoleum - Daxi Old Street - Shihmen Reservoir (石門水庫) [Taiwan Day 672: Tales from Taoyuan - July 4, 2015]


How you ever been invited by a policeman to enter their police station? My Travel Buddies and I were not arrested for doing anything bad in Taiwan nor we were guilty of over-travelling. We were just invited to eat shrimp crackers while we wait for the bus going back to the train station. 



It was my first time to be inside a Taiwanese police station and the policemen were very friendly. As our mouths were full of shrimp crackers, the Taiwan Tour Bus came at 7:23pm. This and other stories happened in Taiwan's gateway to the world – Taoyuan. And it's time to tell everyone what other things happened on that day.



I can still remember the first time I went to Cihu in Taiwan Day 567 (See You in Cihu). Dried persimmons were abundant near Cihu Visitor Center and now the item of the month were the peaches. A man gave us a peach and a knife to convince me and my Travel Buddies in buying some peaches. Kristine, Jonalyn, Gian, Yoshi and Jason tried the peaches while their Chinese class teacher (let's just call her laoshi) helped us in talking to the seller. Oh! Let us also welcome back Lam-Tze Kang (Singaporean). Lam last joined my travel adventures in Taiwan Day 512 (Hopping in Heping). 




A one-day ticket of the Taiwan Tour Bus helped us to see Cihu in the most convenient way. The NTD 100 ticket can be bought at the Zhongli Bus Station which is only a few meters from the Zhongli Bus Station. What did we saw in Cihu? 












There is the large Cihu Lake with black swans adding beauty to its green waters. Large number of tourist head their way to the Cihu Mausoleum where the remains of Chiang-Kai Shek (CKS) can be found. Honor guards stand with dignity amidst the number of tourists who want to take pictures with them. Whether you are a supporter or hater of CKS, you will enjoy the hundreds of statues of the dictator in the Cihu Sculpture Memorial Park. It was “See you in Cihu” in Taiwan Day 657 and on this Taiwan Day 672 it will be “See you again in Cihu”.


























The Baroque style buildings of Heping Street made it known as Daxi Old Street. Let's say it's like the Vigan in the Philippines. But don't think that Daxi Old Street is the only old street in Taiwan. They are scattered around the island and just waiting to be explored. According to bloggers, destroying the 1930s buildings were illegal hence they are deeply preserved by the locals. We entered one restaurant and laoshi helped us reading the menu. She just didn't know that a birthday surprise was planned for her.








After our delicious lunch, we roamed the area until we found the Daxi Presbyterian Church. People of all ages played spinning tops in a park. On one side of the park is an old bridge called the Daxi Bridge. Designed in the way as the Daxi Old Street, its facade was beautiful like a Catholic church. At night it is lighted to become the queen of the night in Daxi town. 




The first ever Taoyuan Hot Air Balloon Festival in Daxi Riverside Park was a bonus to any visitor in Daxi at that time. Lucky were those Japanese tourist who were also wandering in Daxi. I wonder what did they said about the place. It must be “Dashing Daxi”.



















The Shihmen Reservoir is one of the largest dams in Taiwan. It served as a source of water, irrigation and electricity of residents of Northern Taiwan. As we walked up to reach the Shihmen Dam, a dog followed us along the way. It was not really following us. It was following for our food. Poor dog! A couple of restaurants serving seafood can be found at the top of the spillway. The green waters of the Shihmen Reservoir shine like a big slab of emerald. Looking into its waters was like fulfilling a promise for true love. Try taking a selfie in the dam and add this caption “from Shihmen with love”.


“See you again in Cihu”, “Dashing Daxi” and “from Shihmen with love” - these are the stories that happened on that day. I can't wait to visit the airport province again and tell everyone my tales from Taoyuan.
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