Thursday, July 21, 2011

week 44_High Speed Rail to Kaohsiung

Today I had some work to complete outside of the office in a city called Kaohsiung, at the southern tip of the island. I spend plenty of time at a desk, so it was a welcome break as always. We took the High Speed Rail which travels at 200+ miles per hour; total trip time is approximately 1 1/2 hours each way Taipei - Kaohsiung.

Beautiful blue sky
The train is very nice - fairly new with reversible reclining seats so that you can face either direction, and lean back quite a ways. The High Speed Rail trains are a nicer ride than some of the slow trains I've ridden to other parts of the island. It reminds me a lot of a quick flight. They keep a timely schedule and offer multiple trips up and down the island all day long. The service seems efficient and well organized. Attendants walk through the train cars offering snacks & drinks. I had some skittles to snack on and learned that the "original" Skittles flavors here appear to be: Strawberry, Orange, Lemon, Apple, & Blackberry... Whatever happened to Grape & Lime?! (Even though, truthfully the Apple beat Lime by a long shot...)

Kaohsiung is known for being sunnier than Taiwan, and warmer. We are right in the heart of summer now so the sunny views on the way down were spectacular. Although it was near impossible to capture the true views with my phone camera, you will have to take my word for it that there was plenty to see. Hundreds of fields of rice patties, often with a lone person hard at work out in the massive field. Temples alongside the tracks. Mountains. Sunshine. 

Ah, the countryside.
Taiwan is a semi-tropical island, and watching as we rode it reminded me of something you might see in the Caribbean - lots of palm trees and tropical foliage - but with an Asian twist. Next to the palm trees might be a rice patty, or a pond filled with giant lily pads. 

Some of the many farms along the way.
The Taiwanese love a colorful bridge - I've noticed :)
By the time we headed back to Taipei, the daily afternoon rain showers had moved in as usual. No shortage of rain here lately. I dozed a little on the ride back to the office - just trying to save up energy for the rest of the day's work! Even still, the ride was great and the view was lovely.

My attempt to photo a temple on the way - hard to see in the picture, but pretty in real life.
One of these days, the hubby and I should rent a car and drive this trip. I'm sure it would be fascinating, not to mention I would have much better pictures!!! :)

1 comment:

  1. Fabulous idea, maybe we can take one of the fast trains on an island excursion, keep visiting the different spots, you will be ready for us when we come! :)