I finished work on Friday, and the very next day, Mike and I headed out on the next installment of our adventure in Taiwan: 我們騎自行車環島. We are riding our bicycles around Taiwan! We started with the northern cross highway over the mountains to the East coast, and I’m currently sitting in a great B&B in Luodong writing this. I have been taking some notes, and I’m going to write a more detailed description of everything when we get back to Hsinchu. Until then!
Baseball’s a popular sport in Taiwan, and on Thursday we got out to see a CPBL (Chinese Professional Baseball League) game! There are four teams which rotate play through 12 stadiums across the island. The number of games at each stadium is weighted by population, and Hsinchu’s stadium has 10 scheduled games (out of 240 total) this season. I was really excited for this game, as there won’t be another in town until the end of July.
When you drive around the Hsinchu area, it is not uncommon to see many people sitting in lawn chairs around shallow, aerated concrete ponds. As it turns out, they are shrimp fishing, a popular pastime here!
I’ve been intrigued by it for a while, and a friend just had his birthday party at a shrimp fishing place that is near his house. I should tell you now, we don’t live that close to the coast. It turns out that urban shrimp fishing adds convenience to the joy of fishing… by bringing it right to your doorstep!
It is pretty simple to do. First you rent a rod by the hour, with bait provided. The proprietor at our pond was even kind enough to check that the hooks and float were set to the right length. That’s all that you really need! Stick a small piece of bait on your hook and then be patient. You simply watch your float, and as soon as it moves unusually, you tug the shrimp out of the water and stick it in your net. Here we are giving it a try:
We were told the shrimp weren’t too active because of the cool weather, but each of us landed to manage a few! The best part is that when you are done they’re salted, barbecued and served with soy sauce and wasabi. Yum!
Want to see shrimp fishing in action? The BBC did a story about it in November, which you can watch here.
The last leg of our Chinese New Year vacation was in Cambodia. We spent a few days using Siem Reap as a base from which to explore the temples of Angkor, and then took a bus down to Phnom Penh, where we flew home from.
This was the big day of the trip, and the one I was most worried about going wrong. There are so many accounts of other travellers having a tough time with this leg of the typical Southeast Asian tour, and I was determined not to have any trouble if it could be helped. In the end it went off without a hitch!
With the arrival of Chinese New Year and a 2 week vacation, Mike and I set out for a whirlwind tour of parts of Southeast Asia. The plan: to fly to Singapore and make our way mostly by surface travel to Phnom Penh, Cambodia over 2.5 weeks. We spent the first week with my dad’s girlfriend Olivia’s family in Malaysia and Singapore before hopping onto a plane to Koh Samui, Thailand for some relaxing on the beach.