Feb 20, 2013

[InnerCity] Walkabout Tour in Sansia

God, I’m all wet!”

“Of course you are all wet.  It's been raining like crazy!"

Before I became one of the staff in Topology Travel,  there it was my first Walkabout Tour experience, hanging out with other like-minded WALKERS in Sansia. A brilliant idea that I once saw while I was traveling in Europe. The tour is meant to make its visitors travel mostly by foot to produce zero negative effect on the environment. By doing so visitors would get an authentic experience with the local community, and would never travel only as a tourist. What a philosophy!

There we went anyways regardless of the rain!
It was quite a trip. People are so nice and the guide, Jun, obviously has done so much homework about Sansia. The flow was nice and I felt completely comfortable under his guidance. 

Because some of us are from Europe, sometimes I automatically switched my perspective into European mode, just to see what exactly could appeal to westerners. The old towns, the temples, the old streets... all made me think of “well it is actually like old town areas and churches in the west.” Meaning getting very excited to see at first but getting too used to awe at the views after seeing dozens of temples and old streets... Naaaaay, it's always fun to explore and identify subtle differences.

The point should be how we admire these great works and the stories behind. We tend to ignore this very interesting fact that “hey, this was what people did, where people lived, and how their environment shaped their way of lives and thoughts.” Thanks to Jun again doing so well when I had questions in mind. 

Arcade of  the architecture

Sansia, or once prosperous or economical activity-centered towns like Jiufen and Dansui, is said to be featured by cultural route in the present time. People are becoming more and more aware of the importance to conserve towns like Sansia. It is real. It seems that it makes little difference to our life. But just try to imagine a world where old memories don't exist, and we don't feel touched by nostalgia anymore. Things can be very different. 

Speaking of old time memories, we went to a folk restaurant where we can order the most traditional food and drinks. Rice with spare ribs or pot-roast pork, marble soda, winter melon tea, and more. 
Looking very satisfied :)

And of course, there will definitely clashes between tradition and modern. Taiwanese Croissant with hand-made ice cream! Delicious and costs you around 2.5 euros/ NTD 100.

After lunch, we took a couple of minutes hiking up in a hill where we ended up seeing a view of Taipei. The picture below is taken under a Chinese pavilion, with the banner shows "Pavilion of Sightseeing". (We read the Chinese characters from right to left "覽勝亭" )

Finally, we headed to the most famous attraction: Sansia Master Temple. Before we walked in the Temple, Jun asked us to closely pay attention to the stone sculptures on the pillars, ceiling, roof, and walls to identify how many animals we could find. It is quite a hard task because the construction of the Temple was being extended several times, and a great deal of decorative sculptures were added to merely everywhere. 

Waking up at 8 in the morning on Saturday, which is the day when Topology Travel usually organizes Walkabout Tour, I found that I've learned quite a bit about my home country's history. (I felt ashamed a few times when people asked me about general Taiwanese history! And I didn't even know how to answer properly!) Thanks to Jun, the guide who holds the little board in the picture, the Walkabout Tour really shows me the real side of Taiwan!

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