This title is recommended by CT (Cheng Ting), a fellow friend and lab mate.
Hello friends and family, future MHIRT trainees,
For my fifth and last blog post, I thought it would be fun to recap my experiences at our mini lab vacation at Lanyu Island this past weekend.
We spent 3 days at the island. This place is full of culture and rich in history, green and simply wonderful. On Friday August 4th we departed from Kaohsiung Main Station. We got into van that would take us to Ping Tong Harbor where we would get a boat to ride to Lanyu Island. The ride to Ping Tong was about 2 hours long and the boat ride was another 2 hours. I have never been on a boat for that long so naturally…I got sea sick. Before getting too sick though, I took a nap to let time fly, so no sea sickness 🙂
Once at the island, the hotel was quick to explain that there is zero English. Almost no one on the island spoke the language which I guess its a bad combination when you don’t speak their language either or are really bad at Chinese. Nonetheless, I tried my best, work with what I have. That night we rented scooters to ride all around the island. It takes like 2 hours to see the whole island but with my lab it took like 4, lots of sightseeing, picture taking and bantering. After about an hour of riding we came across a town that was hosting a festival. This festival was a campaign to stop nuclear waste to be dumped on the island. Which was very interesting, learning all about the history and conflict the island is enduring. Also there was many people from around the globe gathered at this small town and supporting their cause. I met many Americans, Brazilians, Swedish and many more from different backgrounds.
After relaxing at the town and enjoying some fried chicken, we rode again to only notice that there are a lot and I mean a lot of goats. We finally reached to a small pier and we bought white snow melon lemon tea. I got a second one for free since they said it was cool that I was from San Diego. The vendors said the island is super chill and they weren’t lying. I couldn’t take a picture since the locals don’t like that, they are OK with us taking pictures of the scenery but again, not the people or the the stuff inside shops. After sipping some tea, we decided to jump inside the pier, it helped us cool off from the heat. We did some swimming, diving and then decided to keep riding to dry ourselves.
We took a bunch of pictures of the scenery and little did we know, we did a whole lap around the island in little to no time. We went to eat some BBQ for dinner, bonded a bit and off to sleep. Off to sleep I said, sorry I meant only sleep for about an hour because instead of sleeping we played cards and talked a lot. A lovely cockroach wanted to say good morning to me at 3 am. To get my attention, it decided to crawl on my arm…disgusting. Like 5 minutes later, my lab coordinator, Jimmy, woke us up to go stargazing and see the sunset. I was the only one from my lab that managed to wake up and be ready to go. From 3 am to 6 am we saw a star river and the sun rising, it was amazing, absolutely breathtaking.
Later that Saturday, after coming back, Jimmy gave me the chance to go back to sleep. He told me just to be ready at 12 pm. For that day we decided to go snorkeling and scuba diving. After having breakfast, some more sight seeing was done and jumping into the ocean every opportunity we had. We went to meet our guides/instructors and a moment came to me… this, all of what I am going to do is going to be a first to me, being in the open ocean, holding on to dear life to a boogie board… know that I do it, I would probably do it again. What we saw, the fish an coral…mesmerizing, simply mesmerizing. We did a bit of scuba diving, something quick because there was a lot of people. We instead of waiting, we decided to convince the instructor to take us back to the pier to jump into the ocean again. After playing around in the ocean, we got a bungalow with a nice view of the ocean and took a nap there. After the nap, we went to get some dinner. We got fried flying fish which is actually quite tasty, interesting looking though, quite meaty. Then, a man approached us saying he was a nature guide and that he would like to take us around the island to see the wildlife at night. Naturally, no pun intended we said yes. It was like a mini-hike/expedition. What I mostly remember from that hike was the owl calls. The guide, shaman lalai, which mean “father of the sons of lalai” taught us that when owls want to mate, male owls make the iconic “hoo hoo” sound and females make a really funny “yao yao” sound.
Sunday was really relaxing though, Chia-Han taught me how to ride scooters and my lab took me to many shops to see what I could buy as souvenirs. Then we departed and came back to KMU at around 9 pm. I like to think that this experience was a good way to close or finish writing the final chapter of my Taiwan adventure. Hope you, the reader, has enjoyed reading my experiences in Taiwan right beside me, you know, along the way and that I could recreate or describe my experiences to you guys so you can imagine it yourselves. Maybe even creating a little bit of interest to come to Taiwan sometime in the future.
I want to thank MHIRT for giving me the chance to experience all of these different moments. I want to thank everyone I met in Taiwan for being a hug part in this summer experience. I am grateful of the hominess this nation has made me feel, with the food and the smiles, the treatment and the wonders. Thank you Taiwan!
Off to Lanyu Island At Ping Tong Harbor On the boat, chi chi chi (7 7 7) Mandatory Titanic scene Bro photo We are here
Arriving at the main Layun Island Harbor Our Bread and Breakfast The map of the island Time to dive at the harbor
And drink White Snow Lemon Tea
Some aborigine art: boat artHelmets on! Boat ridingNo Nuke on Lanyu Festival Lab PictureNo Nuke Flag At 3 am At 4 am At 4 amAt 5 am At 6 am Goats! At the highest peak of the island Riding with John Time for snorkeling and scuba divingMore goats! Shaman Lalai’s “owl calling”Time to go back