Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Misadventures of Taiwan: Lost and Not Found

While vacations always hold the goal of offering plentiful rest and relaxation, there is also a certain expectation that vacationers will explore and make the most of the opportunities before them to see and do new things. This morning, the couple, rather unintentionally, took to the rest and relaxation aspect of travel and remained in bed longer than planned, but without regret.

Once they had successfully dragged themselves out of bed it was off to grab a late breakfast of Taiwan style green onion pancakes before hopping on the red line toward Tanshui. Located on the northeastern coast of Taiwan, Tanshui is easily accessible by the Taipei metro and offered the Harrington's their first glimpse of blue skies amongst the hordes of vacationing Taiwanese.


A day in Tanshui for the Harrington's began by sitting at the Pier, sipping milk tea and people watching. Taiwan conitnued to be a place of great diversity and in that way, completely refreshing from what seems to be the conformist ways of South Korea. Along with people watching, the couple was thrilled to point out the variety dogs and the unique outfits (or hairstyles) each showcased. In general, in the experience of the Harrington's, many Koreans are a bit timid/frightened of dogs especially anything bigger than a Maltese, therefore seeing golden retrievers, large poodles and all variety of medium and small breed dogs was absolutely refreshing and fantastic. People watching also revealed one of Tanshui's more popular tourist activities, biking along the pier and harbor up to the wharf, having spotted a tandem bike, it didn't take long for the Harrington's to decide that their first tandem bike experience should be only minutes away.


With that, the couple set off to find a bike rental and begin an hour of pedaling and exploring, parting waves of people and enjoying the blue skies of the day. If you've always sat around thinking about what it might be like to ride back seat on a tandem through a small, yet touristy, northern city of Taiwan, you've lucked out as we at THT have exclusive footage of just that experience!

Safely and successfully making their way back to the rental center the couple was soon facing yet another misadventure...Mike's raincoat (which was holding the hotel key) were no longer in the basket and had likely fallen out at some point during the bike ride. So, although the couple had just biked the pier to the wharf they took to back-tracking their path in search of these personal affects to no avail. Throwing in the towel the couple grabbed a snack from the blocks most popular bread (with cheese stuffed inside) and milk tea shop. Wanting just a bit more of a snack the couple made their way through crowded side streets and enjoyed an Indian Lamb Curry wrap before finally boarding the subway and returning to their hotel in Taipei.


Worn out from a day of sun, biking and losing raincoats and hotel keys (which cost about $15US to replace as the hotel needed to replace the entire lock) the couple settled in for a healthy dose of reading and TV watching before motivating themselves to head out for a dinner of all you can eat Chinese hot pot. After two hours of filling themselves with an assortment of meats and vegetables boiled in one of two (lemongrass and chicken) soup broths, the couple made their way back to paradise for a good nights rest.


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