A&E on the World Heritage Train East 2009 travel blog

Anping Temple

Interior, Anping Temple

Banyan tree, Dutch Fort, Anping, Tainan

Incense burner, Tainan Temple

Temple ceiling detail, Tainan

Incense burner, Tainan Temple

Tainan Temple

Koxinga's Shrine, Tainan...I love those circular doorways

Heroic statue, Tainan

Tainan Street

The rather spooky Dongyue Temple, Tainan

'Ghost money', burnt as spirit offerings by the ton and a real...

Today has been slightly unsatisfying in a hard to say why sort of way. Either I'm still a bit worn out, I'm getting jaded, or - my theory - I actually want to get into the countryside, as I fortunately will be doing for the next few days at least. I took the HSR bullet train down here this morning, even though the Tainan HSR station is so far from Tainan town that by the time the connecting bus got me to the normal train station I may have well as gone on a normal train, but it was nice, and may be the last one I go on for some time. I'll back on those crappy British trains soon! Blimey!

I spent the morning in the Anping part of Tainan, the afternoon roaming round the centre near where I am. The old colonial stuff was all a bit average, but some of the temples were great, and I saw a lot of them! I think they are very atmospheric because they are all living temples in use and all a bit grungy. In fact Taiwan in general is a bit grungy, say like Eastern Europe or Greece/Turkey (not India or Africa). I think I like the people more than the Koreans and especially the Japanese though. Last night in the restaurant I was in a woman customer was having a laugh with one of the waitresses. No way would that happen in Japan. And they don't shove all the time like the Koreans do, which us Europeans do find a bit trying.

It is very hot here, we are almost exactly on the Tropic of Cancer. On the plus side there is a lot of air-conditioning everywhere, in Japan they didn't seem to think it was necessary, and often didn't in Korea either. Here it certainly is. Not so good is that I have no idea how to turn it down in my room, which is freezing! Mein host speaks no English whatsoever, and my two Mandarin phrases don't cover this particular issue!

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