Tag Archives: Nantou County
Along my travels I’ve come across a lot of interesting statues, monuments, places and things of worship… but definitely not this one!
The first shot is the most decent I could take in-between giggles (mine and the others’ in my group).
We were spending a morning at the Formosa Aborigine Culture Village in central Taiwan – an amazing 150 acre theme park where all aspects of Aborigine life are displayed, from model homes to cultural dances and crafts. As I mentioned before, the Aborigines were the first inhabitants of Taiwan; there are 14 recognized tribes today, with the majority living in the mountains and on the east coast of the island.
This, my friends, represents the God of Fertility. The Aborigine belief is that a woman who wants to get pregnant must “worship the penis” – rub on it a few times for good luck.
Our guide Ivy told me that I shouldn’t just rub it, but hug it. I think she was pulling my leg! Ha! No way, I wasn’t going to stand there and glorify a penis, giant or not, in public no less. Or was I? Ah hell, even if I definitely wasn’t trying to get pregnant, it was too funny of a photo op to pass up. Some day I might just look back on it and laugh, right? So I hugged, posed and tried not to look silly doing it. Don’t laugh!
As we walked away, Ivy told me that if it worked, I should tell her so we could come back here to pay respects. She totally freaked me out for the rest of the day… thanks, Ivy!
Two months ago, in August, I went to Taiwan on a week-long press trip - a Foodie Tour, at the invitation of the Taiwan Tourism Board. An opportunity to eat my way around the island, with visits to cultural, spiritual and historical places – all while indulging in authentic Taiwanese cuisine, 10-course meals, night markets, tea houses and even beer breweries. You name it, it was on the itinerary – the first of its kind planned by the Taiwan Tourism Board, on occasion of the country’s centennial anniversary.
When MatadorU first posted the opportunity for its graduates, I jumped on it. A couple of weeks later, I was selected by the Taiwan Tourism Board, along with eight other travel writers and bloggers from around the US.
It would be my first time in Asia, and lucky me – that first time would be on an island (we all know my penchant for such places).
Shortly after that selection, I was offered a spot as Matador’s second Road Warrior in Belize.
Belize and Taiwan, all in one summer?! It was a whole lot of excitement for one girl. But I knew I could handle it.
The trip to Taiwan was the longest I’ve ever endured, because I had to make my way from Belize all the way to Washington DC, then LA and finally Taiwan.
LAX-Taipei alone is a 15-hour flight.
Phew. If it wasn’t for that comfortable, direct EVA Air flight with the extra leg room and the snazzy movie-on-demand feature, I wouldn’t have made it.
But the flight woes and back pains were all a distant memory the moment I arrived in Taipei and we pulled away from the airport and into the city.
Aah Taiwan! I experienced so many moments of intrigue at every hour of the day, let alone in a week. My senses were on overload, as was my camera – the farther we ventured the island, the more I felt connected to the culture and the more I wanted to look deeper.
Yes, Taiwan proved to be more than just an island off the eastern coast of China.
The country is a reflection of its complex history – because wow, Taiwan’s been through it! Portuguese settlers, followed by >>