Chiayi City, Taiwan
A rainbow every day of the week
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Hello, I am glad to greet you, I am Yael Yancelson and today we are going to make a long trip to a little corner of Taiwan called Chiayi city, we fly with the power of the imagination and the senses, so breathe, close your eyes and let yourself be guided, let’s begin.
We arrived at Chiayi, a city located in the plains to the southwest of the Island of Taiwan, Republic of China, called Kagee during the Qing Dynasty and Kangi during the Japanese occupation of Taiwan.
Chiayi’s many attractions provide us with the perfect combination of urban city life, a rich cultural experience, and beautiful natural sights. Mainly known as the gateway to Alishan, one of Taiwan’s major attractions, this city has its own charm that will fascinate you!
We’ve been told that every color of the rainbow can be seen here from the Jianan Plain to the Taiwan Strait. The interesting thing is that at night it lights up with the colors of the rainbow, changing throughout the week: red on Monday, orange on Tuesday, and so on each day of the week a color. The illumination lasts from 6 in the afternoon until 10 at night. This apparently magical place with huge cypresses and incredible views of the mountains below the clouds has captivated me. Today is Friday and I had to see the turquoise sky.
Look what a beautiful place! is the Taiping “Ladder to the Clouds” Suspension Bridge, which rises in a single section over high mountains, and if you like we cross the Taiping Mountain to Guishan which has a length of 281 meters and a height of 1,000 meters above sea level. sea, and is the highest in Taiwan. From here we will be able to contemplate the landscapes of Chiayi, the beautiful sunsets, and the landscape of the sea coast, overlooking the famous “Meishan curve”.
Near the Chiayi high-speed train stop, we pass the southern section of the National Palace Museum right where it is in Taibao City, Chiayi District; In addition to the museum, there is an artificial lake in the center, with a bridge across the south of this lake so that visitors can reach the entrance to the second floor of the museum. The architecture of the museum is based on the three techniques of Chinese ink painting: strong ink, ink with holes, and reduced ink, forming the specific space for the exhibition of the objects, and on the other hand, it forms the empty space for public attention and visits uniting all the spaces. It symbolizes the historical and multifaceted Asian culture that encompasses Chinese, Indian and Persian. His style of architecture unites a double aerodynamic with the cultural metaphors of the dragon, the elephant, and the horse. It is very interesting to understand that in order to adapt to this style, and to the union and movement of architecture, the structure of the bridge and its style adopts the cursive style of Chinese calligraphy, which creates an atmosphere of rhythmic movement for people and offers visitors an experience of a unique and comfortable ride.
The Alishan Forest Railway is an attraction in its own right, it was established during the Japanese occupation and the old traditional trains are still running to this day. The trains will pass through a beautiful forest to reach the Alishan mountain range. The Song of the Forest is not a theatrical production, but it is a beautiful landmark that serves to celebrate the prosperity of the city of Chiayi, mainly from its thriving timber industry. Forest Song is an egg-shaped dome structure made of local wood and designed according to the vision of local artist Wang Wen-Chih. We will enter the dome through a rattan-covered archway which symbolizes the railway leading to the Alishan Mountain Range.
We now head to Hinoki Village, a charming traditional Japanese village that was also established during the Japanese occupation using the local cypress forests. Various organizations use it as dormitories throughout its history with 28 well-preserved traditional Japanese houses surviving to this day. Today, Hinoki Village is re-established as Taiwan’s first forest creative and cultural park, with its traditional Japanese houses now housing different commercial establishments that customers can visit. Visitors can even rent a yukata, traditional Japanese clothing made of cotton, for a few hours while strolling through the village. It is mainly used for summer festivals or hot seasons. It is much lighter than the kimono because it does not have the layer that normally covers it and because it is not made of silk.
To celebrate Chiayi’s forest industries and represent the culture of the city, the 62-meter-tall Chiayi Tower made of brown aluminum was built to represent the sacred tree in Alishan from a folk tale. Let’s go inside to admire the Sun Shooting bronze sculpture, also from a Taiwanese folk tale. The first floor has plaques of brave soldiers as tributes to the soldiers who lost their lives during the war, keep walking and you will come to an art gallery, cafe, and garden on the roof of the tower.
How about we stop at Chiayi Park for a moment and relax before we continue walking to see historical monuments, fish ponds, and beautiful natural scenery? It’s a great place for nature walks within the hustle and bustle of the city.
We’ve been told that nearby is a historic prison simply known as the Old Prison which developed a legend of its own similar to that of Alcatraz in the United States. Today, it serves as a museum where people can join a guided tour talking about its history, how the prisoners were treated, walk through the well-preserved cells, visiting rooms, bathrooms, central monitoring station, etc. The guide tells us stories about life in prison, rumors about how the prisoners were treated, and interesting supernatural events.
I find that a great way to experience the local culture is to visit the Xingang Fengtian Temple which was built in honor of two Taiwanese deities, Mazu and Tiger General. Every intricate part and design of the temple symbolizes the folklore surrounding these two deities. Goddess Mazu is a beloved deity who keeps sea travelers safe, while Tiger General offers protection to children.
We arrived at the Chiayi Botanical Garden, a huge forest that extends over 8.6 hectares. What a cool breeze! It feels like walking through winding paths and we can take breaks in the shade of the trees with more than 140 different species. It is the experimental ground of the Chiayi Forestry Research Institute, where they study local and foreign tree species.
For food lovers, there is no better place than the Wenhua Night Market, where we can taste every Taiwanese food and snack you can imagine, it smells like endless spices, right? let’s see what to eat…while we feel the busy atmosphere and visit different clothing and shoe stores at very affordable prices.
Undoubtedly, Chiayi is a city that perfectly balances the beauty of nature and the modern conveniences of the city.
The last stop will be the Lantan Lake Scenic Area which offers us a panoramic view of the beautiful Lantan Lake or Orchid Lake. Relax in the scenic area or stroll near the lake shores while enjoying the crystal clear waters and serene atmosphere.
And if you like to cook, I think it’s time to prepare our ingredients to go to the kitchen and make very typical rice with turkey, click on the button or if you prefer, keep traveling.
And that is how we leave this beautiful and interesting region of the planet with the desire to return. We will travel every week to another corner of this wonderful world, to discover, enjoy and fly with the imagination, I wait for you every Friday and I ask you if you like to share the content with your friends and give me a like and a review of your comments because with that you help me a lot to raise the ranking of this podcast, ALTERNATIVE REALITY A UNIQUE AND DIFFERENT SPACE THAT CREATES COMMUNITY. If you are interested in learning more about what the Inclúyeme Foundation does for integration into work and social life for people with intellectual disabilities and support, go to: www.incluyeme.org
We make a difference. And as I always tell you when helping others, we mainly help ourselves. Until next week and thanks for traveling with me. If you haven’t, sign up for free at www.realidadalternativamx.com.mx to access all content.
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