When I received the email invitation from Bysan Public Relations and Marketing (百昇传播事业有限公司) to come on this all-expenses-paid experience of Taiwan, my initial response was not one of excitement, but frustration and anguish.
That’s because I’ve already exhausted my 14-day annual leave entitlement! To ensure I get the best airfare deals, I usually plan my trips months ahead, sometimes even up to one year in advance. So when I received the invite, my balls were held between my teeth. It’s a hard to come by opportunity, but going meant I had to take unpaid leave.
The dilemma was, what if the trip turned out to be a flop and not worth sacrificing my week’s salary for? I was on the verge of turning it down with gratitude but I couldn’t silence that tiny voice telling me to go.
I’m glad I listened to it. I truly had a great time despite travelling in the shadow of Typhoon Tembin. The journey went smoothly and the hospitality shown by Bysan’s staff, the local tourism prefectures and sponsors were genuinely warm. It’s the kind of experience beyond the reach of money!
With Diego, my roommate for 4 nights. Orange suits him because Winnie the Pooh and this guy share the same traits. His enthusiasm and earnesty in helping me understand more about Taiwan were much appreciated. And because he didn’t complain about my snoring! Hahaha
My cap and camwhoring kaki, Xiao Zhu. Her youthful exuberance livened up the journey and special care accorded to me will not be forgotten. It’s a pity she and Diego couldn’t join us for the next leg of our trip and departed after lunch today. Hopefully we’ll get to meet again.
A quiet rearing pond brought the sky to earth with its calm, mirrored surface. This view was a few steps from the chalet I stayed in.
Our last station in Taiwan before flying over to Penghu was Xi Nan Chun Leisure Fishing Village (溪南春休閒渡假村), a rustic resort surrounded by fishing ponds. The owner is an avid collector of antiques, giving the place the quirky feel of a walk-in museum.
Every corner a work of heritage art awaits.
The resort houses a private collection of authentic antique furnitures as well as knick knacks collected over many years. It’s a time capsule at an unlikely location!
Captivating gaze of an albino wolf dog with gorgeous glassy blue eyes. I can’t believe it was a stray dog before being adopted into the fish farm. The farm has many, many dogs. No prizes for guessing why cats are not welcomed here.
Went on an early morning excursion to a huge pond nearby to learn more about catching and binding crabs.
I’ll leave crab catching to the fishermen. I’m happy just tucking into this dish of crabmeat stir-fried with asparagus. Best thing is, the crab is de-shelled!
Fortune Fish that unfortunately ended up in my tummy. Super fresh and cooked just right.
Herbal chicken soup that was mlidly fragrant and not overpowering. The floating layer of fowl fat doesn’t quite please the eyes though.
After lunch, we bidded Diego, Xiao Zhu and Tainan goodbye as we reached Kaohsiung Domestic Airport to catch a flight to one of the nation’s most famous island, Penghu. From the mountains, we descended to the coastal towns… from serene fishing ponds, we now head towards lively beaches.
In two worlds… Haruka dreaming of sakura while Sharmaine worked on her digital ketupat.
Hai long wang… bo bi our trip safe and sound hor!
Took Uni Air to Penghu. The airline operates several flights to the island daily.
After a 45-minutes flight, we arrived at Penghu Magong Airport… Arrows point the way to a burgeoning waterfront city where new adventures await discovery!
Boon Ho and I spread our wings, all ready to fly the salty winds in search of fresh seafood, scenic landscapes and cultural hives of Penghu! And no, the birds weren’t reacting to our underarm B.O.!