Posted by: atarimonos | November 23, 2008

Ying Ge and San Xia

Wicked cool Sunday!

Sunday is my one day off. Last week I caught up on sleep; this week, I went on a bit of an adventure. With a couple maps, a newspaper, and a camera I set off for the village of Ying Ge. A 10 minutes, 15 NT, train ride later I arrived. Taking a right, I walked up to and though “Old Street”, filled with cobbled streets and numerous shops, pedestrians only. Yingge is know for its clay and pottery. A majority of the shops display, and earn their keep from, intricate and simple pottery, from cups to full sculpture. You can find out more from the local ceramics museum. A post-modern building that I fell in love with, architecturally. The museum is well worth a visit, and the 100NT (about $3USD) ticket price. The museum is three stories, one story for a specific display. The third floor is a modern art gallery, with the second and first floors designated for the history of pottery in Taiwan. Lots of information. I’ll have to head back for another look.

After wandering about Yingge I heard of a near by village called Sanxia. I flagged a betel-nut-chewing taxi driver who delivered me to the village’s civic center. Sanxia is my kind of town. There is a lot of character in this town. Old buildings (late 19th-early 20th) cover a majority of the town. Midst these is the central focus: Tzu-shir temple. The temple is currently under renovation (and has been since the Japanese occupation); however, I’ve never seen a more active worship space. Vendors sell food in front of the temple. People crowd about the complex. Within is a mixture of tourist groups and worshippers. The odd thing is how the tourist group becomes a group of worshippers. I witnessed the change quite a few times and felt myself to be the only ‘tourist’ in the area. Downtown Sanxia has an “Old Street” of its own. This one much more exciting as the shops varied in their wares. A lot more to see. Unfortunately, it began to rain and I was forced to return to industrial-Taoyuan. I’ll head back as soon as I’m able.


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