Tainan Trip on HSR

Kiss and RideYesterday morning we saw the Premier of Taiwan and potential 2008 candidate Su Tseng-chang (≤) at the gorgeous new Tsoying HSR train station. He was walking around with an entourage of reporters and cameramen handing out hong bao. Yingwen ran up and got an envelope and got to exchange greetings with him, and I was kicking myself for not having charged our camera battery the night before. Aaaargh! The hong bao had NT$10 in it – a coin glued to the paper. Cute.

Leading in to the station are signs that say Kiss and Ride for the passenger drop-off area. More cute. This train station looked nicer than the KHH airport, which isn’t bad, but just remarkable considering how much money went into this facility and also considering how many of the other regional stations look. There was a Starbucks inside the station, and I fueled up on a Cappuccino before we got moving. We rode the train up just one stop to the one near Tainan and took a taxi into the Anping Harbor District – again kicking myself for not having camera juice – and visited an old building that had been so overtaken by banyan trees that the roof had literally become banyan roots. We then visited the old Dutch fort of Zeelandia and watched as they blew off three rounds from one of the old cannons, and had what looked like a delicious lunch purchased from the local street vendors up on one of the ramparts under a tree. (I can only guess that it was good from the yummy sounds they made – my restricted diet requires me to pack my own food everywhere I go.)

We took the older train from downtown Tainan station back to the Tsoying station. It is so convenient that the older trains and the new HSR all can transfer at this same location. Next time we’ll take the ride up to Taipei, which supposedly takes less than 2 hours. I’ll remember to charge the camera battery…

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