Saturday 29 March 2008

Whirlwind tour

I often travel on business with my associates. Being a male dominated industry, my fellow travelers are mostly men. Now I am beginning to realise the difference in our traveling style.

While the guys like to huddle around the bar after meetings, I prefer to go out and explore the surroundings. It doesn't matter if we're in a small town or an industrial city, I would still put on my walking shoes and head outside where I can observe the landscape, plants, animals, buildings and the way the locals go about with the daily lives.

All the guys want to do is talk about work all day long. I can't understand why. Surely life is more than just work, work and beer right?

Just before we left Taoyuan, I decided to make a whirlwind tour of the heartlands. It was drizzing when I boarded the taxi after breakfast. When I told the driver to send me to the 'big temple', he asked, "Do you want me to stop at the front or the back gate?"

That sounded like a sprawling area. I wondered if I had enough time to see everything. As it turned out, the temple's a pretty small one and soon I was back at the hotel to complete my packing.

I've arrived at the big temple. Well, that's all to it.

The temple ground is flanked on all sides by intricately carved entrances.

Caged dragon in the front yard.

Side entrance.

This pavilion is where incense paper is burnt.

The main temple building is quite a piece of art.

Huge incense jar at the entrance.
The side doors of the main temple feature beautiful illustrations of deities.

Taking a last look of the temple from the outside.

The temple ground is surrounded by rows of shops and a bustling market.

This small alley is where fish, meat, fruits and vegetable stall holders sell their produce. It was so packed, I could hardly walk.

Locally grown tangerines, tomatoes and other fruits for sale. I lugged back some waxed water apples for the kids. Conrad was almost too embarrassed to be seen with me at the airport. He couldn't believe how anyone would buy fruits home. "But, they're for my kids!"

Crab, shellfish and fresh prawns.
Dog sleeping peacefully, oblivious to the hustle bustle around him.
Anchovies, fish roe and squid.


Michelle said...

What a beautiful temple. Thank you for taking all these lovely pics to share with us, Ting. :-)

SOUL said...

nice pics blur-- more foooooood :))

they aren't sellin the dog with the fish are they? :)) just kiddin.

anyhow-- i bet you're glad to be home.
happy sunday-

WaterLearner said...

I brought back fruits as well when I went to Taiwan. I found them unbelievably sweet. My tour guide was very used to the "kiasu" spirits of us Singaporeans and even help us to refrigerate the fruits before we went to the airport.

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Anonymous said...'re right. i used to travel with mostly men too...they do tend to go to the bar and talk...about more work! lovely pics....

The World According To Me said...

Men and their beer! Much more interesting to take in the sights. Love the beautiful temple and the mouth watering food!

Unknown said...

i want some of that fish roe...YUM!

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