If Kaohsiung is making you stir crazy, what better way to beat it than to break out?
I literally dragged Peichi out of the house Thursday evening after work and into the city for a quick getaway. She’s not keen on unknown adventures, but I guess she trusts me at some basic level to ensure she’s taken care of.
So after a bit of oyster omelet and other tasty treats from touristy Liuhu night narket-六合夜市, we caught the 10:05 PM bus to Hengchun-恆春. Upon arrival, I found out that the beach bum oriented hostels closed up for check-ins at 10 PM. Not to be deterred, we wondered down the street and found an old karaoke cabin place converted into short and long term rentals. 700 NT later, we were crashing out before an 8 AM wake up.
Friday morning found us heading into town to find a scooter to rent. While I consider the 125cc scooter at 400 NT a day a little pricey, I wasn’t complaining too loudly as I wanted smooth sailing this getaway. Be sure to get a copy of the scooter registration. When the cops pulled me over Saturday for an overzealous stop light drive by, they reminded me that it’s a 650 NT fine for no registration.
After fueling up our bodies and scooter, I pointed the scooter south to Kenting-墾丁. I find Kenting itself a typical tourist beach trap, but you can’t complain about the friendliness of the locals. Heck, finding sunglasses to cut the sun’s glare to modest levels was finally resolved by being directed to 7-11. With another 250 NT gone, I was styling with new sunglasses.
I know many folks like the roads along the coast, normally I’m not an exception, but I wanted some adventure and therefore headed up behind Kenting into the hills. By taking our time, we were able to sit quietly for about five minutes to watch a large monkey troupe frolic about the jungle canopy, just above our heads. Peichi and I hadn’t seen such a large troupe so close in ages.
Peichi though fond of saying she’s a country girl, is more a city girl than she’s willing to admit. My back road fondness and curiosities drives her batty at times. Nevertheless, she was a bare willing participant as I helped her explore parts of Taiwan she hadn’t personally known. Cases in point, visiting the southern most point of Taiwan and eating the awesomest fresh sea snails in Jialeshui-佳樂水.
As the weather after lunch turned wet, we headed back to Hengchun for an 800 NT for two overnight stay above the 7-11, across from the bus station. This place offers 4,000 NT monthly rentals as well. However, they were all booked up when we inquired. The place is hostel like, but very clean, well kept and offers real towels and hot water. Unlike most Taiwan places, digital cable was available. I’m not sure about Internet in the rooms, but in the downstairs lobby I saw laptops running.
Saturday morning came along too quickly and as a special treat, I took Peichi to the National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium. The coral exhibits are simply amazing and at times breathtaking. I felt sorry for the Beluga whales in their bland environment. I felt that too many exhibits were large screen movies and the treasure chest in the sunken fishing trawler captains room is a joke, but heck the locals go crazy for it. So who am I to say what’s right or wrong, it’s just different.
We’re home now and Peichi’s much happier. All in all, a good getaway.