Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Kaohsiung III

Next we went to the old British consulate for coffee and snacks. The consulate - which hasn't actually served its purpose as a British consulate for over a hundred years - has been turned into a touristy museum and gift shop. (There's another former British consulate in Danshui which is almost identical in terms of architecture and tourist-iness.)

Some views from the consulate cafe.

More architecture and views.

After the consulate, we headed up to Lotus Lake in Zuoying, not far from the high-speed rail station.

Lotus Lake, which is not a terribly attractive lake (it was half dried up when we were there - hopefully the typhoon the next day replenished its water supply), is nevertheless surrounded by cool stuff, with Buddhist and traditional Chinese religious themes.

Here the objective is to enter through the dragon's mouth and exit through the tiger's mouth. (Despite the ominous clouds and weather forecast, the weather was actually still quite pleasant.)

The area around Lotus Lake.

The weather was still holding up, so we went back downtown for dinner at Liouhe Night Market. Liouhe is not all that big as night markets go (a fraction of the size of Shilin or Jingmei in Taipei) but the food was quite good.

Afterwards we went to the bar atop the 85 Sky Tower, the tallest building in Kaohsiung and (according to Wikipedia) still the 16th tallest building in the world. The bar wasn't the nicest ever but the view was pretty neat, and despite our expectations it still wasn't raining when we left at midnight.

We returned to the hotel late Sunday night to the news that Taipei City had officially canceled all work and school the next day. Our train tickets were for 9am Monday.

We woke up to find the typhoon had finally arrived, as a single look outside our window made quite clear. The high speed rail had shut down for the duration of the storm. We weren't going anywhere.

We were in a hotel with an all-you-can-eat complimentary breakfast buffet, HDTV in the rooms and free Internet access. There were worse situations we could have been in.

We only left the hotel once that day, to take a taxi to the HSR station to refund our tickets and buy new tickets for the following morning. Apart from that we stayed indoors, reading and watching TV, as the typhoon drenched Kaohsiung outside. We had to pay for another night at the hotel, but given the discount we were getting we didn't mind.

Tuesday morning we returned safely to Taipei. We somehow managed not to get directly rained on once all weekend, which was kind of a neat trick.

1 comment:

Brian said...

Hi, I found your blog while looking for information on "Heungbu and Nolbu." Very informative, thank you. Your trip to Kaohsiung sounds exactly like mine (and it looks like we took all the same photos).