That day meant definite good bye to the southern part of Taiwan – first Kaohsiung City, our main travel goal for this weekend, and to my host family as well. I couldn’t even remember and understand how all these days have passed so quickly but let’s meet Kaohsiung City now.
After the plentiful and various food we had last night at the Kaohsiung Night Market, we managed to wake up at 9. But since I had to write my blog in the morning, we left hotel at about 11 am. This “blog duty” was our funny joke, since I could find much a time for writing it after our all day long trips. 😉
It was first opportunity to see the second biggest city in Taiwan. The economic strength, based mainly in heavy industry’s facilities (manufacturing, refining, and shipbuilding) can be witnessed by entering city from it north side.
But an initial push to economy had been achieved by Japanese rulers who had estimated and utilized very well all Kaohsiung’s position benefits and had furthermore built small port. Today this port is the biggest container port in Taiwan and 6th biggest in the world. A major port, through which pass most of Taiwan’s marine imports together with strong economic development (especially after the Second World War) contributed significantly to a rapid population growth till nowadays almost three million of people.
By walking around it is possible to feel a special atmosphere which every metropolis offers but something special with Kaohsiung were two uniquenesses: people and special way of architectural organization. More concretely, some extremely friendly motor riders impressed me amazingly since we spoke very openly at a three traffic lights. Also, due to a big heavy industry concentration, Kaohsiung has a high pollution rate. But despite this fact, the city managed to have a combination of nature (threes, river in the city center) with high modern building from which the Tuntex Sky Tower is the most impressive. Additionally, the hosting of World Games completion in 2009, has contributed at a high scale to a development of city’s infrastructure. In this manner, the two modern lines of metro were opened in 2008, together with some highly modern sport objects. For those who don’t know the World Games are a massive sport gathering, primarily composed of sports not featured in the Olympic Games (dancing, canoe marathon, karate, bodybuilding…).
Since my host family arranged goodbye dinner with two another host families (the same as at our first barbecue party in our first day in Taiwan) we didn’t have much time left. We had only half an hour to visit one of the biggest touristic attractions in Kaoshiung – the Lotus Lake. Although it was extremely hot there during the whole season, the sun didn’t manage to dry up all the Lake’s water. Moreover, many temples and gods’ statues make this place timelessly beautiful, especially in the late afternoon, when the setting sun is reflected in the water.
Next, in the southern part of lake the Tiger and Lion Pavilion are located, as a clear symbol from the Buddhist and Taoist heritage. Entering a dragon’s throat and coming out a lion’s mouth symbolizes turning bad luck to good fortune. This way from “bad luck” to “good fortune” is accompanied by wall paintings with the most famous Chinese rulers and their family, as well as scenes of heaven and hell to inspire people to do good deeds during their lifetime, and to provide threatening examples of retribution for wrongdoing.
Furthermore, after the lunch and meeting one SayTaiwan volunteer, we headed directly back to Yunlin County. My host sisters took a direct bus to Taipei, and it was our last opportunity to say hello to each other. I am thankful to them for every moment they took care about that I feel as a member of their family. Although the two days’ trip was our last opportunity to spend time together, it was enough and one more, of numerous times, I felt all their unselfish hospitality and love. I hope I will have an opportunity to host them in my family.
TO BE CONTINUED…