Some random shots from back in Taiwan. I do still live here after all!
I’ll be posting more from Indonesia again but here’s Ilha Formosa in the meantime.
With a vacation to Korea, an apartment move, and a visiting family member, I didn’t go out to document this year’s Lunar New Year as much as in the past.
With that said, it was a great time of relaxation for me even if it was a bit busy. This time of year always sorts of reignites the spark and excitement of living in Taiwan for me and this was no exception.
Above: Mazu, goddess of the sea, at Cixian Temple, Taipei.
Above: Cherry blossoms on a (very) foggy day at Lion’s Head Mountain (獅頭山).
Above: Temples on the same foggy day at 獅頭山.
Above left: worshippers walk under a lantern for blessings at Longshan Temple, Taipei. Above right: temple lanterns hang at Cixian Temple, Taipei.
Above: temple worshipers gather at Longshan Temple, Taipei.
Above: lanterns hang at Longshan Temple, Taipei.
Above: an incense burner at a temple on Lion’s Head Mountain.
Above: fried noodles being prepared at Shilin Night Market, Taipei.
Above: the calm before the crowds at Liuhe Night Market, Kaohsiung.
These were taken on January 23, the day which Chinese New Year began on this year’s lunar calendar. It was a bit early for this year, but I didn’t mind having a week off to relax and take a photo or two. Most of these take place in temples and markets as both are full.
Temples are full, as Jhubei Mazu Temple above shows, as people make prayers and concessions on the first day of the new year. Certain things are considered auspicious depending on the year – many couples will get married and have kids for example, in the Year of the Dragon.
…and another at the incense holder in front of the temple. The area was crowded an the 18mm end of my lens came in handy.
A fire burns away ghost money, used as a form of currency for spirits in the afterlife.
Deals, deals, deals are everywhere on the first day of Chinese New Year. Competitions and contests offer free trips around Taiwan and heavily discounted travel deals to those who ask. This guy was getting his audience stirred up for trips around the island.
This exterior of a Hakka teahouse was taken later in the evening during Chinese New Year as my family visited. I’ve posted this located before when telling about making tea during my first visit.
I love the location of this place, as it’s on a side-street in an old town. You get to it by going down an alley near the large temple nearby.
Taken at 35mm, f/8.0, 1/200 shutter speed at ISO 200. I found myself set on f/8 more often with this lens – I love the versatility that setting provides.
At the end of my CNY break, I visited Kaohsiung and Kenting, two coastal southern Taiwanese cities with my family. In Kaohsiung, I had the camera out, while I spent the time being a beach bum in Kenting. I miss it terribly!
When we left Kaohsiung to get on the high speed train back to Hsinchu, it was 80F (about 27C) and sunny. I had been swimming the previous day. When I came back into the Hsinchu station that afternoon, it was 53F (~12C) and cloudy/rainy. Nasty.
Anyway, here’s a picture of some kites at the beach. Not a bad way to spend an evening at all.
…this time for Chinese New Year’s! Many towns around here are “trading off” when their main NY celebration will be – much of it way after the time that most people (like me) go travel for vacation time. This one was much smaller than the last Jhubei extravaganza, but still had some music and a small night market.
First off is 潘裕文, or Peter Pan. Yes, I typed the English name correctly, he goes by the name of our favorite flying kid.
He does have a music video, which I’ve posted after the photo. More regular Taiwanese-style pop, as to be somewhat expected.
The other singer (there were actually many more) was singing more traditional songs in Hakka. Yuling didn’t know her name, but she was quite talented.
Since I finally have time off from work, I’m spending my day cleaning the apartment and later will be welcoming some family members to Taiwan to wander around the island with me as we celebrate Chinese New Year. I’ll try to post, but won’t be writing heavily – though I’ll be taking lots of photos during this time.
Here’s a wish for everyone to have a prosperous year - 新年快樂!
Next week is the beginning of Chinese New Year, and it seems like things are already winding down. I’m planning on showing some family members around and am looking forward to exploring southern Taiwan. In addition, we’ll be taking part in New Year’s festivities, so it’ll be a loud week, if anything!
These were taken while walking around a year-end celebration in the community. Lots of reds here, as you’d expect!