Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Ershuei/ Jiji small rail line
Above are pictures of my trip was to Ershuei, a town about an hour's train ride south of Taichung. From there you can switch to what they call a small-rail line- I think that refers more to the fact that the trip itself is short, rather than that the rails are small. Anyways. It's kind of a spur off the main line. Apparently the Japanese built it to get timber. Now it's just for tourists.
First we explored around Ersheui (it means 2 water in Chinese- I know both the characters!), the stop where you transfer to the small rail line. There was a bike path there which we didn't do at first, and the Lonely Planet told about a walk to a temple that had a path so beautiful, you expected to see Winnie-the-Pooh peeking out around a tree. That might have been an exaggeration. It was pretty cool, though.
We found the path thanks to really good directions in the Lonely Planet- it was pretty random, all these turns around little streets, and then you get halfway there and there are these big signs in Chinese, then a little further there are big signs in English and Chinese.
Once we really got on the path (which was paved, of course), there were food stands and a nice forest. There were also, really cutely but really sadly, little puppies who would follow you, but they were very flea-ridden.
A little further up, a little girl exclaimed “Look! A monkey!” in Chinese, and sure enough, there he was, up in a tree. I was so excited and carefully took a picture of him. It turned out that as you went up the path there were many, many monkeys, some of whom threw stuff at us. Then later there was a cart that sold uncooked ears of corn- clearly to feed to the monkeys. Then there was a sign that said, don't feed the monkeys- their food demands may cause injury to tourists. Then further up, there were people giving the corn to a group of monkeys so I got a nice close-up of them eating.
After that we rode the train to Jiji- it supposedly has a nice long bike path and other sights, but there were so many yammering kids and shouting Chinese people that it was just too annoying. I'd definitely like to come back on a school day, though. We went back to Ersheui and did the bike path a little bit. It was nice- pretty and peaceful out there. My Taiwan goals included making money, learning Chinese, and seeing wild monkeys- just 3 months here and already I've achieved one of my goals!

1 comment:

Lucy said...

That dog is so cute!!!!!!!