Day-Trip to Liugui District, Kaohsiung

Liugui District is a rural township in Kaohsiung least heard of to many foreigners. Traveling information to this remote place is not easily found in the ‘whirl’ wide web of English media.

Our journey started off as early as the sun shines brightly from the East in Summer days. The choice of discovering places in Liugui District was worth gaining the traveling experience. Liugui District takes about 100 minutes to travel from Tainan City.

The local tour group described this trip with the theme “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.” I shall highlight more how it relates to each characters of Cowardly Lion wants courage, Scarecrow wants a brain, and Tin Woodman wants a heart.

Monarchs or Dark Blue Tiger Butterfly
Monarchs or Dark Blue Tiger Butterfly, Liugui District, Summer

We gathered at Luigui Community Development Association on our arrival. Some traveled with their transport while we’re on a mini van. Both works with a GPS navigator.

This place doesn’t seem to be found on the map, thought I. True places never are.

Introducing Safety awareness and precautions
Introducing Safety awareness and precautions

We cycled to places with the bicycles provided. It’s the best energy-efficient two-wheelers machine on earth.

There are new and having changeable gears to accommodate the speed when one encounters slopes. Sun was scorching hot that day, but we truly enjoyed a day of cycling!

Cycling in the countryside, Liugui
Cycling in the countryside, Liugui

Not a sight of busy roads but well-tarred lanes in the countryside. At times, you will see local riders on old scooter pass by.

Grandpa, grandma, farmers and rural dwellers, there don’t wear safety helmets cruising at a slow speed of 25 km/hr.

Lessons on Miniature Potted Plants
Lessons on Miniature Potted Plants

We cycled a short distant and stopped over at a small farm. This is our first place to visit.

There’s a lesson conducted by a Taiwanese instructor on how to make miniature potted-plants. We had our lesson under the canvas shed erected next to a large tree.

Miniature Potted Plants
Miniature Potted Plants

We were taught how to place the roots of the small plant in the mini pot, fill in layers of soils, fertilizer, and covering up the top layer with green moss.

The whole pot is no bigger than a palm and learning to make takes patience. Especially on the last part of covering the top layer of green moss.

Miniature Potted Plants
Miniature Potted Plants

One would think how on earth this miniature plant is able to long-live for 10 years, having small fruits and yet remain small like the beautiful Japanese bonsai.

These are tree plants. There grow up to a become large matured tree. Living things do all certain things.

For this miniature potted-plants. It take courage to grow stronger everyday. Just like Cowardice Lion found his courage from a small weaklings to a ferocious brave animal.

The image below showcasing several two-years-old mini trees. There look brilliantly beautiful mini trees, indeed!

More Grown-up Miniature Potted Plants
More Grown-up Miniature Potted Plants

Slightly before noon, we traveled to this organic farm to have our lunch. There served cooked food just like any restaurants in the mall.

No frozen food. All dishes are freshly prepared. Raw vegetables from the organic farm to delectable dishes on tables.And there;s actually more works than one could think of.

Lunch place in an organic farm
Lunch place in an organic farm
Chives Pancakes
Chives Pancakes
Pancakes stuffed with fresh chives
Pancakes stuffed with fresh chives

Organic farming aims for sustainability over long-term. To learn and cultivate takes a whole new idea and discipline. Avoid the use of petrochemical fertilizers and pesticides. It relies on ecologically balanced agricultural principles like crop rotation.

The principles of organic farming shared by the farmer are health, fairness, ecological balance and careful and responsible manner for the environment.

In short, organic farming is a metaphorical resemblance of Tin Woodman who wants a heart. Painstaking, painful sobriety, without any pleasant buzzing in the head but a heart to work on it.

Lunchset, All Natural Flavour and Organic
Lunchset, All Natural Flavour and Organic

Coming up next after our lunch. We cycled to this little house owned by a coffee maker. He conducted lesson about coffee talk and brewing techniques.

The talk lasted 45 minutes. Very theoretical lecture from imparting worldwide coffee knowledge to practical skill of brewing.

Coffee grinding, the correct temperature, the flow direction, its speed, proportion of water to coffee powder, etc.

Honestly, I was like attending a lecture of fluid mechanics on how to derive Bernouilli’s Equation. Scarecrow wants a brain, so am I. Plus, a coffee addict, certainly thinks I.

Hey, but the overall experience of making coffee was brilliant. It’s basically fun to learn when it comes to practice.

Lessons on Coffee Brewing Session
Lessons on Coffee Brewing Session
Hario Coffee Dripper
Hario Coffee Dripper
Hario Coffee Dripper
Hario Coffee Dripper

Some other places we have visited during our trip to Liugui District. Photos below.

The word Liugui literally translates as ‘six turtles’. Another spelling is Liouguei which the English pronunciation seems unpredictable and guessing it is a terrible strategy. We shall stick on to simplest spelling as Liugui Township.

For more information, please refers to Rural Travel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Day-trip to Neiman District, Kaohsiung

A day-trip to the hinterland of Neiman District was an eye-opener to the truly authentic culture in Taiwan.

The touring experience was overwhelmingly enjoyable and educational. It’s a kind of cultural visit one don’t get to see in modernized Taipei in north of Taiwan. Songjiang Battle Array is one of the featured itineraries.

Neiman is a rural district in Kaohsiung, about 42km south from Tainan Train Station. We started our journey at 7.30am.

Our first visit on the itinerary bring us to the local farm producing dried preservatives, mango pickles and coffee.

The small farm is owned by the low-land indigenous tribe. Olden days photos with framed portrait of indigenous people are displayed on the upper shelves.

Traditional farm owned by low-land indigenous tribe.
Traditional farm owned by low-land indigenous tribe.
Portrait of woman dressed in fashion of indigenous costume.
Portrait of woman dressed in fashion of indigenous costume.
Tour guide and narrator presentation
Tour guide and narrator presentation

Next on the list, we traveled to the guava farm plantation. We didn’t have the chance to pick any fruits. The rain deterred our planned activity, albeit, the overall experience for this trip turned out to be very successful.

Farm owner prepared sliced guava to welcome us.
Farm owner prepared sliced guava to welcome us.
An unripened guava fruit.
An unripened guava fruit.

On this trip, we had a rare chance to meet up with the another farm boss producing tail flower (Laceleaf). This can be organized because the owner was very friendly and welcoming.

Tail flower farm in nets-enclosure. That's the farm boss. Very friendly guy!
Tail flower farm in nets-enclosure. That’s the farm boss. Very friendly guy!
Tail flower bouquet, ready for shipment.
Tail flower bouquet, ready for shipment.
Closed-up of red tail flower bouquet
Closed-up of red tail flower bouquet

Visit to traditional temples in Neiman District.

Traditional temple in Neiman District
Traditional temple in Neiman District
Main hall of temple with a big incense burner.
Main hall of temple with a big incense burner.
Temple altar and religious worshipers.
Temple altar and religious worshipers.

One of the famous culture less seen in modern days is its roadside banquet. Neimen was once famous for training banquet chefs to serve in wedding parties and birthday celebration in the past.

A lunch buffet.
A lunch buffet.

We learn to make mango prickles.

learning to make mango prickles
learning to make mango prickles

One of the must-see and experience when traveling to Neiman is to visit the house of Songjiang Battle Array.

Songjiang Battle Array, drummer
Songjiang Battle Array, drummer
Songjiang Battle Array, The Flag Leader
Songjiang Battle Array, The Flag Leader
Songjiang Battle Array, The Long Pole stunt
Songjiang Battle Array, The Long Pole stunt

For more information on this tour, please refer to Rural Travel

Kite Flying, Lin Mo-Niang Memorial Park

“Matilda said, “Never do anything by halves if you want to get away with it. Be outrageous. Go the whole hog. Make sure everything you do is so completely crazy it’s unbelievable…”” – Roald Dahl, Matilda
 kite
Traveling from Tainan Train Station is about 6.3 km.