Sunday, November 22, 2015

Wufeng Lin Family Mansion and Garden (霧峰林家宅園) [Taiwan Day 812: Great Expectations Part 1 “Expect the Unexpected” - Nov. 21, 2015]

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ABSTRACT: Of all the provinces in Central Taiwan, Taichung is the greatest. I've been here before in Taiwan Day 553&554 and two days wasn't enough to see all of its attractions. Dinosaurs, a colorful village and a European style train station became a part of “Next Stop: Taichung.” On what seems to be a sequel of my first visit, what else can I see in Taichung? I've heard of a beautiful mansion owned by a famous family in Taiwan and an earthquake museum that you won't believe a tourist attraction like that would exist. There was also a news about a sea of flowers that only appears during autumn and delicious foods in night markets that will make your stomachs full. Will these places be as exciting as the attractions I visited before? Let's see if Taichung would meet my great expectations.
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Stepping out of the Taichung train station, a man suddenly approached me and my Travel Buddy Kiran. He was a Japanese and a member of the religious groups Jehova's Witnesses. He knew that we were foreigners based on our looks. He talked to us and he gave a copy of his group's religious publications. I just thought that Japanese people are Shinto believers or Buddhist. I never expected that some of them would become followers of Jehova's Witnesses. The short talk to a strange man on a familiar place like Taichung Station was a welcome greeting for my comeback adventure in Central Taiwan. 


The Central Weather Bureau predicted that it would be a sunny day in Taichung for the weekend. However, the prediction turned wrong for this Taiwan Day 812. It turned out that it would be a cloudy day making it impossible to see the sunset in Gaomei Wetlands. Kiran and I proceded with the approved travel and we would just adjust the plan for the night. We boarded Bus 100 from in front of Taichung Station. The Wucheng Lin Family Mansion and Garden was our first destination.



Exploring the modern street of Taichung was quite fun in Taiwan Day 553&554 but traveling along its lesser known towns was a challenge. The street signs were mostly in Chinese making it difficult to check on my printed map on where on Earth me and my Travel Buddy where. Alighting at Wufeng stop from Bus 100, we asked locals on where the Wucheng Lin Family Mansion was located. Surprisingly, they even didn't know what Wucheng Lin Family Mansion was! What's even more shocking was that I already presented them the Chinese name of the mansion and still they didn't know what we were talking about. haha!








I knew from my travel plan that Wucheng stop would be the nearest point to the mansion and by walking along the Zhongzheng Road Kiran and I later found the street leading to the mansion. We were surprised that it was inside the Ming Tai High School. I gave my student ID to enter the school's premises and we began taking photos. There are many wealthy and famous families in Taiwan and the Lin family is one of them. They owned big homes and their mansion in Wucheng town was an example. It was built in 1893 and most parts of the mansion were damaged by a magnitude 7.3 earthquake in 1999. Sad to say, what we saw was a house that seems to be a replica of only one part of the mansion complex. 










The house was a mixture of western and oriental architecture. Red bricks forming arches were fun to look at while the patterns in its roof remained a mystery to me. I haven't see such a roof design like that in Taiwan. My wild guess was that the roof designs were Thai rather than Chinese. There was a bridge that connects the mansion to a platform surrounded by a lake. Old local visitors greeted us and have a short talk to Kiran. My Travel Buddy really has a charisma towards old people in Taiwan. haha! I remembered Uncle Sam in Taiwan Day 763 (Lion's Share) and just today in Taiwan Day 812 was the Japanese man in Taichung Station. 











The historic place was already old and so were the trees. A mausoleum also stands near the mansion and we have fun taking photos especially the stone elephants. We rode the elephants like kids on a amusement park. There were also other tourist in the place and everybody got interested on a stone inscription with a face drawing on it. Kiran hinted that the facial features doesn't look Taiwanese and more like of an Indian. Hmmm... Who could be the person on the stone? (To be continued...)

THE COMPLETE "GREAT EXPECTATIONS" SERIES
Taiwan Day 812: Great Expectations Part 1 “Expect the Unexpected”
Taiwan Day 812: Great Expectations Part 2 “Shake, shake, shake”
Taiwan Day 813: Great Expectations Part 3 “Help! I'm Drowning in a Sea of Flowers”
Taiwan Day 813: Great Expectations Finale “A Night with Fengjia”
2017 Sakura Series - Taiwan
2017 Sakura Series - Japan
2016 Sakura Series - Taiwan
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