Ride to Jiangjun

A few weeks back, the kids and I went on another round of exploring in our local neighborhood. Without much planning, we headed off to where we though we might see something, and were then pleasantly surprised to actually see something interesting.

Heading in a NNW direction from my home, we were on our way to the town of Jiangjun, only a few kilometers away. The town’s name is rather strange as it translates directly to “General” as in the military kind. Not sure why, but there you go.

We were on our way through the town and were actually on our way to go out, when we stumbled upon this place. Not too sure what it was, but liking the look of it, we stopped and looked around.

Fangyuan Museum

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Fangyuan is a small art museum in the house of a generous army guy who lived in the town many years ago. HIs residence was reconstructed and is home to the small collection of pictures of local things, some of the old guy’s possessions, and other Chinesey things that I was happily told had nothing to do with the old man or anything else in the area.

Outside there was this small stage and grassed area, where the kids had a little run around, and I had a lie down before taking this picture.

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A traditional Chinese bed that has nothing to do with anything related to the house and it’s previous owner.

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On our way out we spotted this old church on the other side of the road. From the looks of the washing hanging outside, I wonder if it is really still used as a church, or is just someone’s house. Very quaint though.

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Now that we were done with our distraction we headed off to find the place that we had originally set out to discover. Although the tourist map of the area indicates both of these places, there is a lot to be left to the imagination.

The map is only in English, which is rather annoying as nobody else can understand anything on it. The other thing is that the marking for these sites has no address, no exact location, and could be anywhere in the area.

This second place proved a little difficult to find. And I doubt any locals know there is anything special there.

As it turns out, I simply went to the near vicinity, visually located the biggest building apart from the temple and headed straight towards it.

I was spot on.

And this is what we found…

Jiangjun Memorial

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… and I still don’t know what it is. Well, it’s a memorial to someone or something, but he must be a very local hero because nobody I have shown this to knows who he is. Even the plaque with details doesn’t help ring any bells.

The highlight was that the kids went climbing on the rocks, Christopher plopped his leg straight into a murky green puddle of water that went half-way up his leg. A nice little adventure for them I think.

— It’s really easy to forget, especially with Taiwan’s culture that aims to entertain kids, that kids are quite content with very small and simple things. I bet my two could have spent over an hour there, just exploring, but we had to get on our way a little sooner than that.—

Heading Home

The rest of the journey doesn’t provide anything too interesting to look at. I did find out that the riverside path is NOT complete and had to take other roads and wander around to find out where to go.

Quite a bit of meandering through farms, which is actually quite pleasant in itself, as long as you avoid any dogs. Not always easy though.

But I did manage to get this shot of something which I really just can’t figure out. It makes no sense any way I can think of.

The Tree in the Middle of the Road

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Just this had to be included as it is so odd.

I have obvious missed the memo on this one.

Why have the tree in the middle of the road? Couldn’t the road be built with a bend in it to go around this probably sacred tree? My amazement is not that there is a sacred tree and they won’t cut it down, but that it’s just plop, smack bang in the middle of one lane.

I think it falls into the selective blindness that afflicts so many in Taiwan. It’s as if someone looked at the tree, then decided that by not acknowledging that the tree is actually there, things would go easier for everyone. So the road just goes straight through it. Absolutely no attempt to make way for it at all. They also chose to not have any official warning signs of any kind that there is a friggin’ tree in the road.

It’s these little things that really make my day in Taiwan. They are just beyond my foreign understanding, and at the end of the day, just give me a little giggle.

Obligatory Posed Shots

I believe it is impossible for any kid to not pick up this habit here. Posing for shots is mandatory, or it so seems.

Christina does it…

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…and Christopher is still in the learning phase.

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Click here to see the album on Picasa.

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