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Tue, 14 Aug 2012
day 11 in taiwan (0 comments)
today we left tainan, heading for the "little luichiu island", located south-east of taiwan. to get there, we had to take a train to pingtung, going on by bus[03-04] to donggang, and there taking the ferry[05-06]. on the ferry they had television sets, and that's when we noticed there's a nasty typhoon heading right towards taiwan. the ferry harbour was very busy with loads of people - less going to the island, than leaving it. so we also boarded a ferry. we knew we were pushing our luck since we did not book any hostel or hotel in advance. but since it was during the week we thought there should be plenty of free rooms available. but it turned out we were slightly wrong with this estimation. the little island is a holiday and day trip destination of tons of tourists. we felt pretty naive, and additionally pretty lost since there was no tourist information center on the island. but an old woman at the pier asked us if we needed a place to sleep, so we took her offer. luckily there were some english speaking people around again, that arranged a transfer to the hotel and a room at the hotel - puh, stupid western tourists.
the hotel[07-13,22-26] itself was about five minutes by car from the harbour, and pretty expensive compared to what we had paid so far. but this was a real luxury hotel (in a strange greek look and style, mixed with some western european elements) with huge rooms, a big garden, and a nice terrace with an awesome view over the sea. with the typhoon coming, there was only one ferry the next day at nine in the morning, and the next one most probably on saturday by the earliest, depending on the typhoon. so we had to decide whether to stay or leave. nina has already seen a typhoon on her last taiwan trip, so she knew that everything comes to a halt when the typhoon hits the mainland, so it did not matter where you are. so we decided to stay on this little island, also because the staff offered us the room for half the price while the typhoon is over taiwan. we preferred staying in this luxury room and wait, over some small hostel on the mainland for the same price. also we thought a little luxury would be best for a recovery break during the typhoon, since we both are already pretty exhausted from our journey so far.
it turned out to be a family-run hotel and one daughter was the local primary school's english teacher. so she translated for us. also she brought umbrellas, raincoats, and cookies for us - a small typhoon survival package. in the evening we took a little walk[14-21] around the close-by area. seems like taiwanese people refuse to walk, because at the pier the people were almost shocked when we said we walk by foot and do not want to hire a scooter to get to the hotel. also with all the escalators in the bigger cities people here seem to get pretty lazy and try to avoid walking whenever possible, even for the smallest distances. later, back at the hotel we had an awesome meal, with various meats, vegetables and salad-like food. unfortunately we did not bring our cameras with us, so no pictures of that feast. track: day 11

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