March 26, 2010
Face to Face with a Bamboo Forest in Hsitou of Taiwan
I have always wanted to visit a bamboo forest and imagine all the sword fighters gathering there and stepping on the bamboo stalks half way up the sky. They would fly towards each other and cross swords. Fantasies after fantasies would cross my mind and I would feel comforted that our ancestors were so smooth and adept in their swordsmanship .
This trip to Taiwan enabled me to come face to face with a real bamboo forest. The weather was just perfect : slight drizzle and lowered temperatures of 18 degrees. We met so many different tourists there : Japanese and local Taiwanese and even another coachful of Sarawakians! The forest is also a university research centre and thousands of students come here every day to do research or enjoy their sabbatical leave. What a beautiful and educational centre.
Unfortunately for me on a coach trip like this I could never take any of the front seats (a few people always managed to get on the coach ten minutes earlier than anybody else and sat in the front or the two First Class Seats next to the tour guide They did not even take photos and probably even fell asleep. Half of our time was on the bus and I only wish I have the front seat to take in all the beautiful scenery and take lots of photos. But then there is no such thing as reserved seats on a trip like this. Free for all. But it does not mean much in certain contexts.
Hsitou you see very quaint buildings like these. Some of the houses have Japanese influence because a long time ago Japanese miners came here to exploit the mines and later log the timber. An important time is Hinoki. I will write about Puli in another post...
Beautiful flowers - but poisonous. We were warned that many plants and flowers are poisonous..so be careful...don't touch or pluck.
Curvy roads...many tourists can become very car sick.
My photo of the bamboo forest did not turn out too well......hazy and mysterious....
If you do not feel too well you may sit in a waiting area (watch birds and people and get into an interesting conversation) and then continue walking on your own but it is quite scary..you need to be with your group.