Monday, November 7, 2011

cijin island - kaohsiung

Cijin District of Kaohsiung is composed of the entire island of Cijin. To reach the island we took the MRT to the Sizihwan Station, the last stop on the orange line, turned left and then followed the signs to reach the Gushan Ferry Terminal. The streets right in front of the ferry terminal contained shop after shop selling shaved snow. The ferry only costs $15 NT for a one way ticket and all you do is drop the money into a big box. There are workers who will give change if needed. Scooters could also cross the ferry and I believe it costs $20 NT for them. I haven't used my old college id yet to obtain student discounts so I'm not sure if international student ids qualify for a discount but if they do then it would just be $12. Tho I guess you could just cheat the system and drop whatever coins you want in the box since no one is counting them.

The ride literally only takes a couple of minutes but it was nice to finally be able to see the ocean again!

Cijin Ferry Station
Right outside the ferry station is a market. The first thing we bought was some pearl milk tea. Didn't spot a Coco so picked some up from 50, another drink store chain. Of course like any other place I've been there was also a temple here. Did walk in for a customary glance but didn't take any pictures or anything because it was similar to a lot of other temples I've seen. I'm starting to get tired of taking pictures of temples and such, especially if they have the same kind of style. This happened in Europe too where I got tired of seeing all the cathedrals and churches because they basically had the same thing going on... The one thing I liked about the Tianhou Temple was all the lanterns in front of it...

red lanterns
We were super hungry and ready to try some of that delicious seafood we've been hearing about and try to get over the disappointment over the shrimp in the Liuhe Night Market. There were a lot of restaurants with tanks of seafood right in front of their store. We looked and looked until we saw a place that sold shrimp and clams since those two are our favorites. Thankfully they had an English menu because I know for sure we didn't know the Chinese words for the seafood. We had wanted crab too but since we were limited on cash and didn't know how much it cost we just got some shrimp, clam, and noodles. On the English menu they even had ways you wanted it to be cooked. No specifics just steamed, stir-fried, etc etc. We picked stir-fry for both and had no idea what kind of sauce would be used or how it would come out.

water spinach and noodles

I'm pretty sure we didn't order the water spinach but it was super yummy and I'm glad we got to eat all of its garlicky goodness. The noodles were blah, could have done without. The clams and shrimp were delicious! I'm use to eating clams with black bean sauce but this was pretty amazing too. The shrimp looks like there isn't any sauce but it was saucy and savory. All of this cost us $360 NT. Around $12 USD for a seafood meal for two seems like a pretty awesome deal to me. If I knew that the cost would have been this low I would have added the crab too. Definitely made me believe that Taiwan has good seafood if you know where to look and what to order!

We were on a time crunch. We could choose to see the fort or the lighthouse. Lighthouse won out because it would have awesome views.

It's best if you rent a bicycle while on Cijin Island but there is also a bus that can be taken. On our map it said that to reach the Cijin Lighthouse you had to ride the bus but when we asked information they told us that the bus wouldn't take you up to it and would only drop you off at the bottom of the hill. It would be easier to skip the bus and just walk to the destination ourselves. We did just that and discovered that you could only reach the lighthouse by foot, all wheeled vehicles including bikes were prevented from going up the mountain. The climb itself wasn't very hard but the heat made it way more difficult than it would have been.

cihou lighthouse
view from the lighthouse
Saw these awesome cycle rickshaws and totally wanted to ride them. Was thinking maybe they could bring us around to different locations around the island...

It costs $200 NT a ride which we wouldn't have minded if it wasn't for the fact that they only drove in the market area which is only a couple of blocks long and right next to them! No wonder no one was using them and they were just sitting there. I would have really liked being driven around on this thing. Reminds me of when we did it in China long long time ago... Wished we had stayed here longer instead of leaving to go check out Meinong District...

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