View Full Version : Beautiful Taiwan Photos
December 18th, 2007, 05:03 PM
Source : http://justinlaw.fotop.net/
December 22nd, 2007, 10:02 AM
Is that snow I see on the mountains?
December 25th, 2007, 09:30 AM
it must be ching-jing, in nantou county, in the mountain pics. nice landscapes.
December 26th, 2007, 04:42 PM
oh...awesome shots, thanks...
February 21st, 2008, 10:05 PM
Taiwan is an extraordinary place, that i would love to visit and maybe live in! thanks :D
February 22nd, 2008, 10:23 AM
Taiwan does have some beautiful places. Those pictures are nice while there was a lot of Photshop editing in those pictures:shifty:
May 24th, 2010, 01:36 PM
taiwan is small ... but amazin place...
September 22nd, 2010, 08:43 AM
taiwan is small ... but amazin place...
September 23rd, 2010, 09:05 AM
Wow.....stunning shots, love them.....:okay:
September 26th, 2010, 05:14 AM
hope this article fits in this thread....
Island of Wonderful Ironies
By Amyline Quien Ching
September 25, 2010, 6:23pm
The author at the Sun Yat Sen Memorial Forest (photo by Jacinto Tee)
Kinmen is an island of ironies.
Only 150 square kilometers big, this liliputian island shielded Chiang Kai Shek’s army and Taiwan— a country 235 times its size— from the Chinese forces of Mao Zedong in the 1950s. Looking at it on a map, its allegiance seems almost ridiculous since Kinmen is much closer to China than to Taiwan. In fact, although Kinmen is under Taiwan’s administration, you need to take an airplane to get there while a Xiamen (China)-Kinmen trip would just be an hour’s boat ride.
But seems here is the operative word since any military tactician would spot right on how Kinmen strategically blocks the mouth of the Amoy Bay, thereby preventing direct access to Taiwan and the Pescadores. This was perhaps how its name came to be. Kinmen literally means “golden gate” and what fortress would be virtually impregnable than one made in gold?
Today, the irony continues. What separated the Taiwan and China before now links them. People from Taiwan who want to do business with China either settle in the island or travel through Kinmen instead of Hong Kong because it is cheaper. A boat ride from Kinmen to China will only cost around US$20. Thus, residents of China, foreign businessmen and tourists in Xiamen make frequent stops on the island for some R&R.
Park on the Ocean
Its surroundings is perhaps the only thing that isn’t ironic about Kinmen. It remains the typical island, unmarred by too much urban development. Its natural beauty is perfectly balanced with modern developments. The air is still fresh and the water is clean. As you will soon find out, it is not just a feast for the eyes but a delight to all your other senses. No wonder the island is nicknamed, “Park on the Ocean.”
Kinmen is so “green” in fact that it is the chosen destination of thousands of migrating birds —sparrows, Blue-failed Bee eaters, Cormorants, white egrets, water ducks, and seagulls, not to mention the island locals, hoopoe birds and ring-necked pheasants. Winter days are special, says one resident, as the howls of the cold wind are filled with their warm chirping sounds. Trees change in color as birds of varying hues compete for a tree branch. The skies are even more beautiful with birds flying in different formations.
The island is also home to the horseshoe crab, considered to be a living fossil as it has been in existence for 400 million years now. There is also the sea otter, a protected species found in Lake Shuangli (also called Twin Carps because of its shape), not to mention the host of trees and flowering plants.
Atop the Taiwu Mountain, the highest in the island, this breathtaking scenery is so much more evident. The 252 meters high granite-gneiss mountain provides the second best view of the island (next to Wu Hu Mountain, which is an ecological haven) besides being a historical monument. Here you will find the rock where Chiang Kai Shek, leader of the Nationalist Party and eventual president of the Republic of China (ROC), inscribed his famous words — Wu Wang Zai Jyu — on. It means “Forget not what happened in Ju,” which is an allusion to how General Tian-dan won against larger and superior forces.
Another famous landmark on Taiwu is the An-shin Stone (“soothing stone”) at the Haiin Temple. Locals say that when you touch the stone with your right hand and your heart with your left, you will feel tranquil and strangely at peace, as if your heart could not feel any pain. Inside Taiwu— through a dug tunnel — is the Cintian Hall, which the military used for meetings and entertainment. Army men used to watch movies and stage plays in this theater.
Floating Museum of History
Tourists, on the other hand, need no theater to keep themselves entertained in Kinmen. Because of the role that it played in the conflict, Kinmen is one huge floating museum. All around the area, people could see the island’s rich history, from its Fujian roots to its military kinship. There are a number of war memorial parks and museums that they will find fascinating.
One worth noting to note is the Sun Yat Sen Memorial Forest, which at 100 hectares, is the biggest sightseeing park in the island. Think Rizal Park (in Manila), only bigger. Kinmen locals often go here for camping, picnics, and barbeque get-togethers. History and military buffs will love the Old Rushan Fort, north of the park. Here you will find actual battle planes, tanks, and communication devices used in the war.
There is also the Guningtou Battle Museum that showcases 14 huge oil paintings that depict the early morning battle that took place on the actual ground where the museum now sits. Its façade consists of a relief celebrating the bravery of the soldiers in Kinmen. Their victory was considered to be a turning point in the war, bolstering their confidence and frustrating Chinese communists’ plan to take Taiwan. At both sides of the murals are the two M5A1-shaped tanks called the “Bears of Kinmen” which the United States gave to them. A must-see inside the museum is the last painting, purportedly a 3D painting by Professor Gu that showed Chiang Kai Shek on a jeep. Viewed anywhere — at the sides or at the center — the jeep mysteriously follows you and faces you.
In Little Kinmen, an island 15 minutes away from Kinmen, you will find yet another battle icon– Jiougong Tunnel. It is so huge, it can accommodate 52 boats. At the end of the tunnel is the Hujingtou Museum, which has hi-fi binoculars that allow visitors to see the coastline of Xiamen, China.
Although western architecture permeated the island as businessmen settle in or former locals come back from other cities, there are houses in Kinmen that still retain traditional Fujianese architecture like the swallow-tailed and the saddle-backed roofs. These are not just architectural designs but marks of the homeowner’s place in society. With curves jutting prominently upwards on both sides, the swallow-tailed roofs are for distinguished people while the saddle-backed houses with its round gable roof are for ordinary people. A row of these houses can be found in Cyonglin, Shueitou, and Jhushan villages.
Many houses also still have wind lion gods, sitting atop their roofs or guarding the entrances of homes. Believed to protect locals from strong typhoons, disasters, and evil spirits, these lion gods have no exact depiction. Some are sitting, others standing. There are lion statues that seem welcoming, even laughing, while others look ferocious, even terrifying, which are usually seen in military camps and villages.
Circle of Life
Seeing Kinmen now, it is hard to imagine that it had ever been a place of death and destruction. This is perhaps the island's greatest and most special ironies, the fact that a former battleground is now a landmark of peace, a haven for new life, and a bridgeway to what was once considered enemy lines.
But maybe it is not an irony. Maybe it is how it should be — the Circle of Life — that the blood of men who died will one day cradle new lives… that the land that once separated two nations will become their strongest link.
The Hunt for Great Buys
One must-buy that will surely put a dent on your pocket is the Kaoliang. Made from locally grown sorghum, the liquor is well known all over the world for its smooth flavor and intoxicating aroma. It may be a little expensive though so better save those NTs (New Taiwan Dollar) for a bottle.
It is also known for its peanut candies that people call Gong, because they were said to be imperial “tributes,” which translates to “gong” in Chinese. Unlike many peanut candies, Gongs are crispy once bitten but powdery when chewed. Thus, the flavor spreads all over your mouth. Some are even made chewable that people have also started calling them peanut cake. Gong comes in many varieties, from the plain peanut-filled kind to ones with garlic, sesame seeds, meat flakes, nori and even buchi! For a free taste, tourists can head off to Sheng Zu, where people actually line up to taste each kind. You will also see first hand how the peanut candies are made. While there, be sure to check out their meat jerky, which is doubly delicious and their seaweed.
Kitchen nuts or people who are just interested in keeping a piece of history in their homes will want to own Kinmen steel knives, which are said to be made from old artillery shells. A visit to its factory will show you how exactly local craftsman can make sixty steel knives out of one artillery shell. One design that will surely catch your attention is the small leaf knife.
Herbs, Mishua and Ceramics
Other must-buys are their thin noodles, potteries and ceramics and the Moghania root, a local medicinal herb used as medical paste to alleviate arthritis and soreness of the body.
Pre-trip Preparations. You need a Chinese and a Taiwan visa to get there. Make sure that you apply for multiple entries for your Chinese visa.
How to get there. Fly to Xiamen and then take a boat ride to Kinmen. Fare costs around US$20. Travel time from Xiamen to Kinmen is an hour.
How to get around. Taxis are all over the island. Some tourist spots are huge. If you are not keen to walk, you can rent bikes and scooters.
Language barrier. Be sure to get a tourist guide who knows English. People in Kinmen know little English. Fukien, the dialect which Filipino-Chinese use, is not popular. Mandarin is essential.
Technology. For an island, Kinmen is surprisingly technologically advanced. Hotels have modern amenities and internet. Some parts of the island even have wifi!
Conversion. 1 New Taiwan Dollar (NT) = 1.37 Pesos.
September 26th, 2010, 07:44 AM
September 26th, 2010, 07:48 AM
October 14th, 2010, 04:49 PM
October 25th, 2010, 03:14 PM
Those are very beautiful pictures! :)