05 Jun 2011 Taipei to Kenting: Flying on the High Speed Train
Going to Taiwan felt different to me. I did not really converse with George about it. I did not waiver. I just decided and organized the tickets with frequent flyer miles. Sometimes I do not know what I want or honestly I do not want to share my preferences but this time I just did it and it felt liberating.
I do like being in a partnership and compromise is required, but sometimes it feels great to say no or to make my own decision.
Having been to some of the best beaches in the world, like Anguilla in the Caribbean, La Guaijera in Colombia, and Koh Lipe in Thailand, I cannot say I expected too much for Kenting Beach, Taiwan. The photos I had seen looked good but they did not mean it would be a happening hot beach getaway in April.
Video: Taipei to Kenting
Fortunately the trip started like a rocket blast, on the High Speed Train. I felt like an astronaut speeding along the rail at 345 km/hr. The whole experience reminded me of a Jetsons cartoon. The ticket-purchase machine worked like an ATM and I could buy the tickets myself easily. I was unsure why locals would stand in a long line to buy tickets when I could figure out the express ticket machine.
George selected a meal-box chicken to eat on the train. I often worry about if there will be food or what will we eat when we travel. Since traveling with him, I am working hard to change from the “it is always something” family to the “it always works out” life style. As usual, events worked out; the food was not great but edible and easy to acquire from the server who walked through the aisles with a cart. We documented our train experience with our new flip video camera.
Upon arrival, my first impression of the area was not so great. The town seemed deserted and a bit dismal, but that feeling was exacerbated by the color of the sky. Kenting Beach has so many hotels that at certain times, the place must be a big busy party scene. We let ourselves be persuaded to stay at Ocean Breeze and had a lesson on Chinese with the owner. “Hun How” means very good. George also mastered some numbers in Chinese but I have a hard time with all the tones.
Our day on the beach was relaxing and the area is pretty but it was not my favorite part of our trip. Maybe we had too many locations on our agenda or maybe the weather was not quite right to fully enjoy the area.
Overall I am glad we went to Kenting, especially as we got to ride the amazing train; we went from Taipei to Kenting in 90 minutes. It really felt like flying. I wish Los Angeles would take a lesson from Taiwan. The Taiwanese capitol has an integrated public transportation system with trains, regional and local buses and is very easy to use. You can find maps and information stations everywhere. I wish there were more transportation options in California.
Article first published as Taipei to Kenting: Flying on the High Speed Train on Technorati.
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(photos taken June 5, 2011 9:50am)