Sunday, September 10, 2006

Taiwan In The New Year PART V

Taiwan In The New Year

PART V – Day 2


The next morning we had our bacon and cheese buns and a cup of the Oolong Tea that was supplied with the room. We were out of the hotel by 10:00am.

Our main task of the day was to buy our train tickets to the northern city of Keelung the first stop on our round the island trip. The trains would be very crowded during the three day Chinese New Year holiday so if we wanted a seat it was important that we bought our tickets as soon as possible.

First however we thought it would be a good idea to find an Internet cafe and check our e-mail.

Walking around Panchiao is an adventure in itself. Even crossing the road can be a dangerous business. When the little green man appears on traffic lights the crowd almost runs to the other side of the road. If you hesitate and get caught in the middle of the road when the lights change, you will probably never make it to the other side alive. The traffic is an unstoppable force that will go right over the top of you.

You do seem to spend a lot of time walking on the edge of the road instead of the sidewalk though as you dodge people, parked motor scooters and shop merchandise which commonly spills out of the shops. The noise is also a constant distraction. Not only the roar of the traffic but every second shop has loud music blaring out of it as a way to entice customers in.

We did eventually find an Internet cafe on the second floor of a building above a hairdresser and a noodle house. We spent about an hour sitting up above the street on the computer drinking coffee, and then we made our way to the old Panchiao train station where we caught a bus to the new Panchiao train station. On the way we walked through some back streets that were lined with literally thousands of motor scooters.

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