Well, Kaohsiung, it seems you have redeemed yourself in the skeptical eyes of two well travelled people not too fond of big cities. For today, as we rode our beach cruisers down your winding, tree lined paths we found the real beauty that is this city. Way to add some flowery flare and gorgeous smelling greenery to your concrete jungle.
As I mentioned before, their metro system seems to be encourageing their 2.7 million people out to take the transit, and what’s more, they have rental bike stations near all of them, where you can pull out a 3 gear beach cruiser and head the rest of your journey. You can also drop them off where ever you like at any of the stations.Weee for us, I love bike rides!
This picture above is of Central Station
So, this morning, we headed to the central park station near us and hopped on, following our map as a guide we sidewalk-rode completely until we located the path along the Love River, then followed its winding,random paths all the way up for about 2 hours. It wasn’ta fast ride, as we still had to stop at many traffic lights and cross with alongside the cars and scooters especially in the first half of the 10ish km route. But, with the breeze on our cheeks, and our backpacks in the front basket it was an enjoyable way to see the city, and get some exercise.
You know what one of my favorite things is? Seeing people watching us and smiling, or just saying hello because they want to practice their english (ok so we can practice our Mandarin) or because we smile at them and they say hi back. Such friendly people, even in the big city. We always seem to catch the attention from older school students in groups (regardless of which Asian country we’re in) either wanting pictures with you, just to chat, or commonly for us to participatein their surveys (which I think just help them with their English). Last night we had our photos taken for a wall of “couples” for a project. Haha.
Anyway, we stopped afew times along the way for a photo here and there, and to check the map, but mostly we were headed up to the Lotus Lake to check out some vibrantly coloured Pagoda’s that we heard were neat to see. Riding around this lake, is about 4km or so, with nice views as well. It even has a cable park to wakeboard across (though it looked a little bit shmingy and perhaps not very sturdy) but there was no one riding it.
From there, we rode part way back, dropped off the bikes and headed to a large mall to have some lunch. We found Subway. The mall was decorated for Christmas, and inflatable Santa was poking his head down a huge wall decorated chimney while two little girls twirled like princesses in front of it for a picture. Tee hee. Tonight, we head to the “Dream Mall” complete with roof top ferris wheel (which we’ll NOT be riding) and we’re not too sure what else we’ll find!