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We started our day off by going to Lukang Lung-shan temple. We had a tour guide named Ivy who was Taiwanese, but could also speak English very well. She led all 14 of us around the temple talking about the history while we were looking at the artitecture. I really enjoyed this temple. I was not aware that when going in you have yo enter on the right side which is the dragon side and when exiting come out through the tiger side. This was all very interesting. In the temple, there was these two trees that were over 200 years old but they were beautiful. Speaking of beauty, the ceiling on one part of the temple was really cool to look at and admire.

After we were done at the temple, we moved on with our walking tour. Ivy and the rest of the group walked to see some of the historical sites that was located in the town. We stopped at a face mask painting store and the shop owner gave us a demonstration of a dance that they do with the masks. The city we were all in was Lukang Lung-Shan which is the oldest city in Taiwan but it is the second biggest. This was all very interesting to me but it was so hot out today. The temperature was about 97 but the real feel.was 110 with humidity!! We stopped a once to get juice or bubble milk tea. We stopped for lunch at this dumpling, noodle and rice place. We all talked about our day and the different things we liked or were not expecting.

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We then moved on to the glass gallery. The bottom level is basically all things you can buy, but once you go upstairs it is like a a huge show room of just glass everything. There was this cute little pond made out of glass and Taipei 101 also. It just amazes me that there was so many things just made out if glass in 1 room!! Today was an all around great day!

This past Wednesday, I took a martial arts class. I’m new to martial arts. If I had to guess where I would stand in the martial arts world: very basic. On Wednesday morning, we had Chinese class, where we learned about Chinese grammar and question making. The class goes by so quick for being three hours. Maybe because we are continuously learning and we lose track of time. After class, Martial Arts. Martial Arts may look incredible on tv and movies But it’s difficult to do. We also learned self-defense which is great in certain situations.  In class, we teamed up in pairs and watched him demonstrate. I knew that I was doing the right thing when my partner was screaming or in pain. Our saying was” If you are in pain, it’s good” Overall, I felt that the class was very useful in learning self-defense and also learning about the history of Martial Arts. I also have evidence of how painful martail arts is:

Before:

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After:

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Yesterday , My friend and I went to this cute Pizza place Called Pizza Rock. They have 21 different pizzas. She ordered Cheese Pizza and I ordered “The hippe” pizza which had vegetables on it. We also shared breaksticks. “Bread on Bread”, “All those Carbs”. IMG_4065IMG_4058.JPG

While we were eating, we noticed that other people didn’t order a lot of food like us. We realized  they like to eat from small plates. In my opinion, an eight-inch pizza for two people doesn’t cut it for me. Since I been to pizza rock before, it was my second time there. I think a small is similar to Individual size pizza in the U.S. and the twelve inch is a medium. The serving sizes in Taiwan is much smaller than the States. Whenever I go to McDonalds I have to get two large Fries to fill me up that wouldn’t happen in the States.

Later this morning, I will be traveling to Taipei for a special screening of an Anime with a friend. I will blog  about it later today or tomorrow. I hope you like my blog.

Well, the last couple days of our coastal trip we split into two seperate groups during the day. The larger group was certainly the more adventureous and has already been talked about in previous blog posts. The smaller of the two groups, my group, was composed of three people who were all suffering pretty bad sun burns. We decided collectively that we were better off staying in the shade rather than rafting or river trekking. 


We started the first day eating at a restaurant called the Three Koalas. It is an Italian restaurant owned by an Austrailian man who now lives in Taiwan. The food was amazing and we learned more of what it is like for a foreigner to own a business in Taiwan. It takes a lot of supervision, but apperently it can be quite the monetary success. I found this particularly facisnating, given the affordableness of everything in Taiwan. I personally had the honey and chess pizza shown above. With hot sauce added in it was quite amazing. 

We left there and explored the downtown. After going through a ton of stores we all left with some interesting trinkets and gifts. It’s interesting to compare the prices on items here and in the US. Often. Times international items are similar prices, which makes sense, with local items being cheaper. It’s always good to research before buying items while traveling, because often you may be able to find common items also online. Buying local goods is a much safer bet, especially in countries like Taiwan. Agricultural products seem to be a good item to buy here. We left shopping and went to the night market later with the group.


The second day was much more exciting for us! Greta, the lady in charge of the program at providence, stayed back with us. She secured a cab and we explored all around the mountains near Hualian. It was an awesome experience! We could explore on our own time and got to see sites that might not have been available had we gone as part of a tour. We spent hours riding around in the cab and going out to take pictures. The rest of the group got back before us and we all left to go to the night market again. 



The night market was a great experience again! We went straight to the concert and got good seats. We went in pairs to eat and then came back and sat down. The concert was entertaining to say the least. We didn’t fully understand most of the songs, but they often injected some English into their songs. There were also some English covers done. The range of the artists we saw was quite impressive. My personal favorite was a boy band named Gentleman. After the concert there were fireworks and a taxi ride back to our bed and breakfast. So much of the business in Taiwan seems to be built off of reputation. We used the same taxi serice our whole time in Hualian, because Greta knew they were the best value. Restaurant recommendations were from groups of people who always got quality when they went to said restraints. It really shows how building and keeping a steady business plan can pay off. 


Thank you for reading my blog posts this past week. It has been my pleasure to write them and I’m looking forward to reading what my fellow classmates also have to say about this trip. It has been a tremendous opportunity so far and I look forward to seeing what else I can get from it. Go Eagles!

River Fun!

The last few days have been packed full of adventures. Friday we when white water rafting and had a blast. The boat had a lot of water in it, which made it a little harder to paddle but we still pushed through and were the first once to the end. we had a blast with the other boats and competed till the end. The water was pretty muddy and grey, which didn’t make it very fun to fall in. We only had a few go into the water, I fell/was pushed into the water twice.13692612_1793241600904834_6239432819990726426_n-2

Later in the day we when to a night market called Dong Da Men. We got to see a huge concert, which has been going on for years. We got to see some of Taiwan’s best singers. It was interesting, but hard to understand, however some sounds were in english, which made it nice.

 

Today we got to do one of my favorite activities yet! We got to go river trekking! This activity involves climbing up steam through rivers and a little bit of rock climbing. My favorite part about it was the two jumping spots in the river. It was located near a bigger water fall so the water was deeper there. We then climbed up a about six foot rock and jumped. That was fun but some of us wanted a little bit more of a challenge, so next we climbed up a 15 foot rock and jumped. It was a big jump, but very fun!

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To concluded my blog week I would like to add that this trip is amazing! It a great chance to get out and see the world! The people here are always helpful and understanding of the language barrier. The students that help us are amazing and very nice people! The trip is a great chance to meet new people and see a totally different culture! We are already done with three weeks and it feels like three days! I am grateful that I had this opportunity and I would recommend it to all!

Today we left Kenting and headed up Taiwan’s east coast towards Hualien. The journey lasted for most of the day, but included a number of enjoyable stops. We first stopped at a beautiful rocky beach a couple hours north of Kenting. The views from the beach were nice, but not nearly as nice as the views from the island situated just off of the beach. There was an interesting bridge that connected the island to the beach. It was made up of about 7 different humps, each of which involved you climbing up and down stairs. It seemed rather inconvenient to me, but it did provide aesthetic beauty. 


Once on the island you get a beautiful view of the Taiwan coastline. While the island is only about a quarter mile away from the coast, the view is beautiful nonetheless. We walked all over the island and saw a number of beautiful views and vistas. Some of the more adventuress members of our group climbed rocks and viewed their surroundings from there. While I thought they were crazy, I couldn’t fault them for their effort. They certainly took some nice pictures!


We left the island and headed back over the bridge to Taiwan’s mainland. We piled into the bus and headed out to go get lunch. We stopped at a decent noodle shop and we all had beef noodles, along with cucumbers and various other vegetables. We left there and headed back up the coast. All around us we experienced the devestation wrought by the recent Typhoon. It hit the east coast much harder than it had the west coast. There seemed to be debris and destruction all around the road as we continued on towards Hualian. 

We finally arrived in Hualian and stopped for fried rice before heading to our bed and breakfast. The rice was very good and you could tell it was family owned restaurant due to the generations of people working there. A 10 year old boy took orders and delivered our food to us. Beside him he had two younger sisters who walked around and seemed to be entertained by our appearances. It overall was an enjoyable experience. We left the restaurant and most of us called it a night. As I walked into my room I was quite surprised by the site that greeted me. It turns out my bed covers are to be pink with hearts covering them. With that aside, the rooms are very nice. Thanks for reading the blog we will post again soon!

The Beach

Today we had our day at the beach! We got up early and had a free breakfast at the hotel. I had eggs and some little french toast sticks. I also had two cups of coffee, which has very good! Next, we went to the beach and had a fun day relaxing and walking on the beach. We couldn’t swim due to the Typhoon last weeks, however we still enjoyed it. We had some nice sunburns to show from our day laying out. Some of the fellow students enjoyed some coconuts fresh cut on the beach.

Next, we had a great dinner out by the pool. We got our own little grill, which we then cooked steak, ribs, and pork on with lots of different veggies. We couldn’t do as many activities because of the high waves, but it was a good day to relax and enjoy the views.

Today we began our travels from Providence university down to Kenting Beach. On the way there we had a scheduled enterprise visit with Honor Seiki, a company that specializes in Vertical Lathe and Turning Centers. These machines are sold throughout the world to companies who want to create specialized parts and tools. A couple notable companies they supply are Mitubishi and Sterling Engineering. Through Honor’s relationships with these various companies it has developed worldwide respect and business. During our tour we were shown their factory, which had a number of their machines in production. The production time can last up to 6 months. 


We left the factory and headed back on the road towards Kenting. After driving for a few minutes we made another stop for lunch at the Soya Mixed Meat Museum. While there we had wonderful beef noodles, which it turned out had won an award for best noodles in Taiwan (They seated us at kids tables to eat. Some of us had a little leg room problem). We learned that this museum had started years before from just a small roadside stand. Now it is much larger and boasts a number of unique food items. We toured the facility, ate our lunch and headed back onto the road. 


For most of us the ride went by quickly, since we napped most of the rest of the way. We arrived at Kenting in the late afternoon and went straight up to our rooms. We were pleasantly surprised how nice the rooms were! After settling in we left to go explore the town and beach. The waves at the beach were too high for us to swim in, so we relaxed and watched the waves. There is a wonderful night market right off of the beach and we ate a number of tasty foods while there. I personally enjoyed drinking some more bubble milk tea. Can never get enough of that!


Following all of that we came back and played beach volleyball. It was a relaxing way of ending such a busy day of traveling and touring. It’s amazing theopportunities the COBE in Taiwan program has provided us. Through our scheduled classes, random excursions and learning experiences we have learned a lot. That’s all for tonight!