So having lived in Taiwan for practically all their lives, one would think my parents know where the sights & food are, and where the fun can be had.
They live like hermits, and don’t venture much out of their comfort radius of the district of Xindian. There’s a neighboring town called Wulai, where they’ve never been. Six years ago, when I went back and wanted to go to the famed Shilin night market – dad couldn’t find it. Finally, he parked on a street and we just walked toward a crowd of people, and thought we had hit the jackpot. It wasn’t until when we drove off that we saw the ginormous 士林夜市 (Shilin night market) sign was in the OPPOSITE direction from where we had ventured off to. So to this day, I have yet to check out the Shilin night market.
I’ve learned my lesson, and told the sister to buy a Lonely Planet Taiwan guidebook.
Instead of buzzing around in Xindian the entire trip, we felt the need to branch out.
We found it in the district of Pingxi, where people gather during lunar new year to release environmentally unfriendly lanterns. The idea is for you to write your wish on the lantern and release it into the sky. And?
This activity is strangely popular with the Korean tourists.
A gullible lot.
The problem with the lanterns is that they eventually burn out, and where do they land? In the woods and streams. I sure hope they’re made out of biodegradable material.
I see litter and a waste of resources. Terribly unfortunate. No wonder my parents don’t go out.
Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on where you stand on this, we found a way to get away from this frenzied activity. We made our way to the Shifen waterfall – unfortunately for mom it was a bit of a trek.
I may sound snarky about this whole experience, but I did in fact enjoy the trip. I just wish the people would find a more environmentally friendly way of ripping tourists off, that’s all.