Yangmingshan National Park & Confucius Temple
Thank god for some sunny days! While I am so relieved that I haven’t seen snow in two weeks, the weather here has not exactly been a walk in the park! Our first two days here were warm and sunny, the rest have required down jackets with water-resistant hoods! It is the rainy season here in Taiwan, and it has rained at least a little everyday. We chose this time of year because we wanted to be here for Chinese New Year, and luckily the rainy season has not meant hurricanes and thunderstorms as I had thought. Just some light drizzle on and off all day, but I am still overjoyed at the sight of sunlight!! That is why when it was BEAUTIFUL out yesterday, we had to go to spend some time in nature! We chose Yangmingshan, one of Taiwan’s largest National Park, to sight-see for the day!
Yangmingshan Park was two subway stops and a very long bus ride away. The bus was totally packed, so we stood elbow to elbow with many people the whole ride up an enormous mountain. The park is known for it’s hot sulfur springs and cherry blossoms. My boyfriend warned me that the sulfur springs are a lot to handle the first time you smell them, and you CAN smell them before you even reach the park! Before the bus even finishes the climb up the mountain it begins to smell like rotten eggs, however, by the time you reach the top your senses are totally adjusted, and you don’t even notice! Taiwan has some of the best hot springs in the world! I probably won’t have the time to bath in one this trip around, but you can bet I am getting in next time!
There are several walking trails throughout this giant park. Some are uphill and can take hours to climb for die-hard hikers, others are flat and average for everyday tourists like me! Lucky for us, the cherry blossoms in the center of the park were starting to bloom, as were many other flowers. The park is gorgeous! The cherry blossoms are everywhere, and there are many Asian-style gazebos and tiny temples everywhere. There are seating areas everywhere and many little paths, trails, and bridges to walk around. We had a great time! It was a great way to get outside the busy city life and just enjoy the sun!
Other than loving the outdoors, I have gone temple-loving crazy here! Later that day after a quick break back at our headquarters, we decided to head out to see a Temple! I just love ‘em all!! These temples are so ornate and colorful, none of my photos can even capture it! We went to Confucius Temple, which is less popular than Longshan, but still so much fun to look at!
At Confucius Temple, there was not anyone worshiping that day, so we got to really take our time and take photos of everything! All of the temples here in Taiwan are beautiful, I have not seen one I didn’t love. They all have different alcoves to worship different deities and courtyards with multiple entrances. This particular temple had beautiful carvings around the columns, and a huge dragon fountain! So cool!
I am really enjoying myself here in Taiwan, and can’t believe that I have over 100 visitors on this blog! Soon my trip will be coming to a close, and I have no idea what I will write about until my next trip in May, but..we’ll figure something out! I am so thankful for this experience! Lastly, I have included a photo of Taipei 101, one of the tallest buildings in the world! I have alluded to it frequently, but have not posted any up close pictures yet! Unfortunately, I don’t have a cool story to go with it, because there really isn’t anything cool around it, or in it for that matter! It costs about $10 to go to the top, but it’s very rainy and cloudy everyday, and to go OUTSIDE on the observation deck, they somehow charge an astronomical $150 or something like that! No thank you! The outside of the building is cool enough for me, thanks.