A journey to the East of Taiwan

The second day of Chinese New Year is to move around the country and pay the extended family a visit. This is not exactly what we did,  but we still went on a journey to Shifen, Raifung and Houtong.

First stop : Raifung

There was an hour layover to our final destination. In the meantime, we stopped in Raifung, which is very different than the modern and industrial Taipei. We stopped for breakfast and a few street snacks. My stomach full, we went towards the temple, where an elder lady invited us in the back of the temple to offer us more homemade food. Couldn’t say no.

Second stop: Shifen

Another packed train later, we finally arrived in the mysterious Shifen. The town was right on the train tracks, where people were releasing colourful lanterns. We bought one and each of us, as we were four, wrote his wishes for the new lunar year on one side. I wished I could get more of things that matter, even though I feel already quite lucky.

After wandering around the numerous shops & food stands, we headed towards a magnificent waterfall. The trail was crowded but so much worth the long walk. By the way, it was the first time in my life that I got a sunburn in January outside of a ski resort.

Third stop: Houtong

Better known as the cat village, Houtong is, just like Shifen, built around a train station. Except that this one us a giant metal cat. Armed of my Sony A6300 and a fast prime lens, I was able to go for cat photography hunting in the hills of Houtong. Some were great subjects to photograph, I think they are used to be cats superstars and are used to people feeding them and taking pictures.

After a quick meal, we took the train at dusk that took us back to Taipei. That was it for day 3. Next post will be full of traditions and colourful surprises only Taiwan can do.

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