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2017年7月14日 星期五

Getting Acquainted with the WKCD (認識西九文化區)

I've heard and read in bits and pieces about what's come to be called the West Kowloon Cultural District (WKCD) for a while but I never visited the site after actual construction of the relevant facilities began in earnest. Yesterday, I did so.


I first had to cross the highway serving the Western Harbour Crossing tunnel from the Kowloon Station of the MTR's Tung Chung Line to the seafront

2017年7月10日 星期一

A new adventure (新冒險)

I'm familiar with D'Aigular Street in Central. But I never knew until recently that's there's a beautiful place called Cape D'Aguilar, or Hok Tsu. It's a cape south of Shek O on the south-eastern tip of Hong Kong Island.  The cape is named after after Major-General George Charles D'Aguilar.


I got off the at the intersection of Shek O Road and Cape D'Aquilar Road and walked along the road for some 10 minutes before arriving at the road actually at a round about where I discovered that in fact, It's served by Route No. 9 Bus.  There were plenty clouds in the sky.

2017年7月8日 星期六

Pingxi ( 平溪)

Pingxi District ( 平溪區)  is where the Keelung River begins( in fact it starts Jingtong) In early 20th century, the Pingxi town itself was an important coal mining  centre. The area was first settled in the 1870's when the local population started growing a plant called in Chinese 大菁(大青)or 細葉臭牡丹、臭腥公、山尾花、淡婆婆、鴨公青、山漆, used in the preparation of blue dyes but with the growing use of artificial dyes that declined and the population switched to growing Ooloong tea (大葉烏龍、青心烏龍)  as well as 青心大冇 and 硬枝紅心.  In 1920's the Poon and Ngan clans began mining coal in the area. At its height, it had more than 20 such mines. But in the 1970s, with the  import of petroleum, coal mining declined and its days of glory are over. Now the population has dwindled to only less than 5,000. The Pingxi District is however very rich in water resources. It's got more than 200 rainy days per year with average rainfall of 3,500 mm each year. In 1912, it had a record 8,500 mm and in 1986, 6224 mm. It's also known for its 36 waterfalls.   


 
My first view of Pingxi,a rural district in eastern New Taipei City in northern Taiwan, the average age of whose population is more than 50 compared to the national average of about 38 and is the highest in the whole of Taiwan. 

2017年7月7日 星期五

Jing Tong (菁桐)

The next stop in my short Taiwan trip is a small town along the old diesel engine railway line called the Pingx Line (平溪線): Jing Tong(菁桐)  The small railway station was built in 1929 to serve this small coal-mining community. At its height, it boasted more than 10,000 inhabitants. With the global switch from coal to petroleum and natural gas as energy, the nature of the town's economy is completely transformed: from mining to tourism. In 2003, it was declared a cultural heritage by the Taiwanese Ministry of Culture.  It was not always called by its present name. It used to be known as  菁桐坑驛. The station underwent some renovation in 2014-2015.


There's a prominent sculpture to mark its historical past right at the side of the road close to the local police station. 

2017年7月6日 星期四

Cape Santiago Lighthouse(三貂角燈塔)


Our last stop for the day was to be a famous lighthouse at a place which got its name from the Portuguese when they first came here in 1626 and built a small fortification: Cape Santiago, translated into the local dialect as  "三貂角"


According to internet sources, this lighthouse was built by the Japanese governor shortly after two Japanese ships sank off its coast, one after another, the first in 1929 and the other in 1931. It was commissioned in 1935. The tower is some 16.5 metres high but its lights project up to more than a hundred metres from the ground up. It flashes out both white and red lights. The white light has a range of some 24.5 nautical miles whilst the red some 20. The lights make one complete turn every 28 seconds. The white light streams out continuously but the red flashes only intermttently.


2017年7月5日 星期三

Magang Village (馬崗村)

Our third stop of the day is a small fishing village most of whose youngsters have moved to seek their fortunes in Taipei. It's at the eastern-most tip of Taiwan. It's the Magang Fisherman Village (馬崗漁村)

 

 Many of the old houses in the village are now deserted and left in ruins

2017年7月4日 星期二

Wave Power (浪能)

After a foretaste of the inventiveness and immensity of Nature's sculpture near to the fishing port of Cape Shen O (深澳岬) our car sped along the highway to our second point of interest. 

 

After parking at a passing place, we had to go down a path, crossed the highway by following a stony path passing under tiny bridge to reach the seaside.

2017年7月3日 星期一

Destination North Taiwan (終點北台)

As far as our politics are concerned, it's clear whose flag is up and whose down.


But whether our flag is up or down, one can always fly away, at least for a time and visit some exotic places, where the eating habits are quite different.