We started the next day by visiting Jian Chinxiu Temple. When Japan occupied Taiwan, a lot of Japanese settled in Jian. Amei aboriginal tribe lived in this area and were pretty much kicked out of this area when the Japanese moved in (to Liyu Lake and Taitung). The Japanese established this temple and built it according to the style from Edo period.
I find temples calming, especially temples like the one in Xihu （溪湖；十方學舍）.
The above is also a Japanese-style temple. It’s one near my grandmother’s place.
My grandaunts, granduncle and (nowadays rarely) grandma help out at this temple. It’s a great place to go to relax and meditate. It’s in between rice fields, away from street noise.
After we visited Jian Chinxiu Temple, we took a walk on the Maple Trail (楓林步道). The view this day wasn’t great but it was nice to go for a short walk. Tourism webpage for the Maple Trail: 楓林步道.
Our second day in Hualien involved a lot of driving, all the way to Rueisuei (瑞穗).
Of course, driving in Taiwan is very different than driving in Canada. By that, I not only mean the driving habits, I am also referring to the distance.
We were talking to my relatives about where T’s parents live, my parents live, and where T and I live. We were telling them that my parents moved closer to where T’s parents live, only 10 hours of driving away. They were shocked and said, “Taiwan, from North to South, takes only about 5-6 hours!”
In terms of driving habits, former students of mine are teaching in Taiwan. They recently bought a car. The husband was telling T his three rules for driving in Taiwan:
- Don’t drive too fast. People in Taiwan don’t drive *that* fast, just seems fast because you get so close to other cars/scooters/bikes/pedestrians.
- Focus ONLY on what is in FRONT of you, what happens behind doesn’t matter.
- Forget every single rule you learn about driving from Canada.
Hualien County is so interesting with so many different cultural influences.
Of course, part of learning the culture is trying the food! 😛
We had lunch at 如意亭美食館, address: 花蓮縣鳳林鎮中和路80號, telephone: 03-876-4866.
Something I didn’t know about Hualien:
– tobacco was imported into Hualien during the Japanese occupation
– the reason: to increase income of the Japanese immigrant villages here
– there are 10 tobacco buildings in Fenglin township
– since tobacco was a strong cash crop, these buildings became symbols of financial ability
– there are two styles of tobacco buildings: Osaka-style and Hiroshima-style; most in Fenglin are Osaka-style
Source: East Rift Valley National Scenic Area
After Fenglin, we headed to Lintianshan (林田山). On the way there, we stopped at a centre of aboriginal history. It was a small, neat place. We met someone of the Taroko tribe (太魯閣族) and she was very good at telling stories of her culture. She explained the main differences between the Taroko tribe and the Bunun tribe (布農族). She also explained traditions for each gender and the significance of tattoos in the Taroko tribe.
In contrast, the Amei tribe (阿美族) is matriarchal and they have a traditional wedding dance that involves the groom carrying the bride (a test of the groom’s ability and worthiness).
We were seeing very different parts of Hualien on Day 2. Lintianshan is an old logging village.
Some facts about Lintianshan:
- Lumber production began in 1918 (during Japan’s occupation of Taiwan).
- The Japanese built a lumber transportation railway and freight transport ropeway.
- Lintianshan became a little village with dormitories for staff, clinic, grocery store, an elementary school, a fire department etc.
- Now it’s a tourist attraction: Lintianshan Forestry Park; you can see objects from the past and woodwork (artistic wood sculptures).
These sculptures were from the Sculpture Competition. There were two buildings of sculptures. The sculptures were amazing! Basically the competitors were given pieces of wood (randomly) and they had to think on the spot (analysing the pattern of the wood and how to incorporate that in their designs).
After Lintianshan, we had some ice cream before our hot spring treatment.
The hot spring was much needed. It was so relaxing!
Address: (溫泉區) 花蓮縣瑞穗鄉溫泉路3段185號
It was a perfect ending to Day 2.