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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

White Horse Not Horse 白馬非馬

About  2,400 years ago,  Chinese logician/philosopher Gongsun Long (公孫龍) made the assertion "white horse not horse". Since classical Chinese lacks indefinite articles, it could read "a white horse is not a horse" which resulted in massive confusions and the entire logician school was dismissed by Confucian mainstream as trivial sophistry.

The dialogue began when someone asked Mr Gongsun: "If a person has a white horse and you say 'white horse not horse', can you say he has no horse then?" (Quite a clever question. By induction, a horse of any color is also not horse. Therefore, horses don't exists!)  

Here's Gongsun Long's reply:

(1) 求馬,黃、黑馬皆可致;求白馬,黃、黑馬不可致。
(2) 使白馬乃馬也,是所求一也。
(3) 所求一者,白馬不異馬也;
(4) 所求不異,如黃、黑馬有可有不可,何也?
(5) 可與不可,其相非明。
(6) 故黃、黑馬一也,而可以應有馬,而不可以應有白馬。
(7) 是白馬之非馬,審矣!

My literal translation (which attempts to retain some of the ambiguity of Classical Chinese, my annotations are bracketed):

(1) When one looks for a horse, a yellow or black horse will do. When one looks for a white horse, a yellow or black horse won't do.
  
(2) If white horse is same as horse (i.e., we can freely interchange "white horse" and "horse" in the previous sentence), looking for a horse would be the same (as looking for a white horse).

(3) If (2) is true, then it follows that white horse is not different from horse.

(4) If looking for a horse is same as looking for a white horse, why a yellow or black horse won't satisfy the search for a white horse? (violates second half of (1))

(5) The condition is either satisfied or not, but it cannot be contradictory.

(6) Therefore, uniformly,  a yellow or black horse satisfies the condition of a horse, but not the condition of a white horse.

(7) White horse is not (equivalent to) horse,  that much is clear!

After I understand the argument, I can hardly believe the controversies! If you had "New Math" Set Theory in middle school, a simplest Venn diagram of two intersecting sets would make the argument completely self-explanatory. Part of the difficulty is Classical Chinese is very terse, part of the problem could be the Logician School was known to be good debaters and enjoyed making grand and shocking assertions -- sometimes taking advantage of the semantics.

The school was actually called "The School of Names" or  名家 。Unfortunately, almost all their important books were lost. I'd venture to guess the word Name could mean that they grappled with names & substance (名實), or maybe even symbolic logic as in the case the name "horse" is not interchangeable with the name "white horse". Regardless, I cannot but to come to the conclusion Mr. Gongsun was a deep thinker in his time, albeit a show-off.



 Zhuang Zi (莊子) was a (much more famous) contemporary of Gongsun Long, his criticism regarding this argument was:
 
(1) 以指喻指之非指,不若以非指喻指之非指也;
(2) 以馬喻馬之非馬,不若以非馬喻馬之非馬也。

My literal translation follows. Here I think the word 指 means the property or attribute of a thing, like the horsi-ness of a horse. Literally, the word could be a noun (finger) or a verb (point). Anyway, bear in mind Zhunag Zi is a very esoteric book and my translation is highly unconventional.

(1) Using an attribute to show what it is not, is not as clear as showing what other attribute the attribute in question does not possess.

(2) Using horsi-ness attribute to define what a (white) horse is not, is not as clear as showing not all horses have the whiteness attribute.

Or, simply: It's more clear to say "Not all horses are white, not everything white is a horse". 



Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Taiwan, Hong Kong (7)

Good Bye, Taiwan

After 10 days in Taiwan, it's time to head back to Taipei City, The drive was uneventful other than something like a shoe got kicked up by a truck and struck our car on the freeway. We arrived in Taipei in the afternoon and still had time to do some sightseeing but our energy had waned so much that we kept getting lost. After crossing the same bridge 3 or 4 times, we gave up and spent the night at a fancy hotel in  New Taipei City 新北市 (the periphery of Taipei City proper), with valet parking and all.

This was the first time I traveled to Taiwan, but somehow Taiwan felt close to what I imagined China ought to be. Remembering the blood mobile in front of the 2-28 Memorial Park before dawn 10 days earlier, I made blood donation my project for the next day.

I took the subway back to the 2-28 Memorial Park and found I was more than two hours early. Wandering around the park, I saw the same homeless man I met 10 days ago, I nodded and commented on the weather and suddenly he started to talk in Taiwanese rapidly, so fast that I couldn't make out a single word. He was a decent looking, if not handsome, man with long hair who could pass off as a Bohemian artist in different circumstances. I soon realized he was getting worked up and my sympathetic sighs and nods really had no effect on his ranting. After what seemed like ten minutes and many panicky moments later, I decided to pat him on the shoulder and make my exit. Incredibly, he stopped in mid-sentence and flashed me a broad ear-to-ear grin showing a couple of lonesome teeth. The transformation from an angry man to this comical face was so abrupt and complete that I was too stunned to respond. I heard him said "bye bye" cheerfully and disappeared into the dark near the gate.

The blood mobile opened at 10AM and I found 3 nurses in pink uniforms busily setting up the equipment. I quickly filled out some forms using my passport for an ID, that's when the head nurse shook her head grimly and said "Xi ni lo, xi ni lo." I couldn't understand what that meant till she showed me a pamphlet about West Nile Disease (Xi is literally "West", ni lo is "Nile" phonetically and hence my confusion). They were not accepting blood from Mainland Chinese because of hepatitis and Americans because of West Nile disease. By that time, a small queue of blood donors was already forming outside the door and I left feeling a little presumptuous. Decades ago, it was quite difficult to persuade ordinary citizens to give blood. Obviously, it was no longer the case and they hardly needed my blood.

Al that's left to do was to return the rental car and catch our flight back to Hong Kong.  At the mom-and-pop car rental company in 中櫪, we discovered the car had taken a severe beating, the Toyota emblem had fallen off and the hood had several potato sized dents on it. Since we didn't buy the optional collision insurance, I was a little worried but my negotiator-extraordinaire sister told me to just wait outside. After several anxious minutes, W emerged with the entire family in tow exchanging pleasantries, she later told me the damage was about 100 US dollars.

In a few hours, we would land in Hong Kong, a place where I grew up, but it has changed so much that I still can't wrap my head around it. For now, the Hong Kong portion of this travelogue has to be abandoned. There is a Chinese saying 近鄉情怯 which comes from these two lines of a poem: "近鄉情更怯,不敢問來人" - when I get closer to home, my resolve weakens and I dare not ask strangers (for information).

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Taiwan, Hong Kong (6)

Kenting Nation Park (墾丁國家公園)




Seven Miles Aroma Chick (七里香)

Heading toward the southern most point of Taiwan, we were not very hungry but decided to stop for dinner when we saw a crowd gathering around this rustic looking place.  

The chicken was placed on a TV info-mercial rack in a clay urn which was in turn heated by firewood on the outside.  On every picnic tables there was Apple Daily food critic's review giving it high marks. Long story short, it tasted like regular rotisserie chick and whatever the substance the girl sprayed on the bird would soon make us both thirsty like rat poison. 



Bed and Breakfast Sans Breakfast (民宿)

Stopping briefly for a couple places along the way, we arrived at the vicinity of the Kenting National Park in late evening. Taiwan's middle class with disposable income just could not be overestimated, we had to have driven through 10 kilometers of rush hour traffic of vacationers (on a weekday). W managed to find B&B like accommodations for the night. It was owned by a Hong Kong lady and was quite tastefully decorated.   






Beautiful Beach

I was slightly disappointed by the looks of Atlantic City in this remote area. On the other hand, all we had to do was cross the busy street and we had the Mainland and Taiwan Strait to the west and the Pacific Ocean to the east, not to mention the beautiful view of the rugged coastline.




Mainland in this direction  (西望神州) 






Seafood Restaurant

A grouper was being cleaned outside this seafood restaurant. The restaurant owner assured us there would be plenty fish left in the evening.






It looked better than it tasted

After hitting the ATM and other errands, we returned o he restaurant and had some unknown part of the fish, the streamed grouper was chewy and certainly not the belly part we had hoped for. The patrons were mostly Mainland tourists, for some reason we saw many visitors from Canton in Kenting , maybe they were attracted by the seafood. 

Earlier, we met a bus load of Cantonese on the beach, one rail thin man was curious about my bicycle and we struck up a conversation in Cantonese, he looked like a starving communist from decades ago, but the real reason for his leanness was because he was a ridiculously picky eater, there was almost nothing he could put in his mouth in Taiwan.  





Old Town Hang Chun (恆春, Forever Spring)

The nearby old town Hang Chun. Actually, the only old part was the gate. The streets were full of restaurants, 7 Elevens. they looked sort of like Hong Kong in the 70s, but not a lot older than anywhere else other than the big cities. I bought some anti-inflammatory pills from Watson's, a drugstore chain owned by Hong Kong's Superman Li.





The mandatory picture (到此一遊)

Actually, we did manage to do some bicycling along the coast, totally enjoyable except for the gusty winds. Since we only had a couple of days left, we decided to returned W's Giant rental bike in Kenting. The Giant store was a in a stand-alone resort a little up the west coast, we soon saw many signs related to the movie Cape Number 7, a famous movie that I vaguely remembered. The resort itself was very fancy, with valets clad in Hawaiian shirts outside,  fancy restaurants and spas inside.  

My bike in the picture was a Bike Friday Crusoe, "Bike Friday" is a play on "Man Friday" from Robinson Crusoe. This versatile model is called Crusoe, sort of amusing. (Bike Friday makes many other models, all with whimsical names.)   


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Taiwan, Homg Kong (5)

Sun Moon Lake (日月潭)






Sun Moon Lake (日月潭)
I was hoping to go to the number one tourist trap in Taiwan, Alishan (阿里山), a famous mountain range in Taiwan.  Alishan is known for their beautiful women by virtue of a popular song The Girls of Alishan (阿里山的姑娘) in the 60s.
Ethnically, Taiwan is incredibly diverse with tens of well known aboriginal tribes, by and large, they are ethnic Polynesians. In the early years, the natives were converted to Christianity by Catholic missionaries, in a strange case of Lamarckian evolution, some of the later generations of the natives started to resemble the priests and produced many beautiful round eyed Eurasian girls that made it to the entertainment industry.
Regrettably,  we were too weary to drive to yet another mountain and settled instead for the other big attraction, Sun Moon Lake.

The Road Arounf The Lake




Sun Moon Lake is actually 2 lakes: Sun and Moon, this road goes all around the lake (or lakes), but we could only tell there's a big body of water (maybe we only drove around one?). The street is typical of a tourist town,  full of eateries, restaurants, and souvenir shops.

The store on the left was a big tea shop, we made friends with owners who invited us to a hike around the lake 6AM the next morning. We bought some Assam tea (the Japanese grew Indian Assam black tea during their occupation) and local millet wine (小米酒).   Millet wine is often mentioned in Taiwanese novels, back when people were less politically correct, millet wine and aborigines were put in a context similar to whiskey and American Indians.  I drank the bottle and we ate some native fried fish by the lake that night.



Sun Moon Lake campground

They reminded me of trips to the beach when we were small in Hong Kong, excuses to lounge and prepare food and had little to do with swimming.





A Fish Farm

I think only the natives are allowed to raise or catch fish on the lake. The natives used to set up floating platforms to attract fish. They also farm fish today.





Everything is lush green






Beautiful Colors

This place was truly paradise 100s of years ago. A freshwater highland lake with plenty of fish and games all around. They said the lake was discovered by a native hunter stalking a deer.  Deers (which had  few natural predators) ruled this land for a long time, even after "civilization" came to Taiwan, deer was its greatest export and many geographical names still bear the word "deer". Taiwan likes to be called Treasure Island (寶島), for once, the substance matches the marketing term.



Many college aged kids were fishing



None too seriously





Our tea shop friends

I think all or some stores must be owner by people with aboriginal blood. the tea shop owners were Taiwanese (Han) Chinese and only had native in-laws. They walked to this gazebo every morning with rice and a jug water . After a breakfast of rice porridge and freshly brewed tea, the folding table, the portable stove, pots, and kettle were just put away under the gazebo floor. (They drank Oolong tea from their farm, in case you wonder.) 



Shao Ladies


The two younger women in leggings were daughter-in-laws. I was told full-blooded natives are rarer than giant pandas. The local tribe is Shao (or Thao, 邵族), the tribe of the beautiful Alishan girls.

W and I figured one could easily live to a hundred keeping such a lifestyle, in fact, their mother who was in her late eighties, walked as if she was weightless. The old Chinese cliche "great hermits hide in the market" (大隠於市)  crossed my mind although their business hours were quite long.

The man showed me an album of pictures of Nobel laureate Mo Yan (莫言)who was their house guest for 3 weeks. Mr. Mo, who is from mainland China,  famously praised Taiwan by saying the everyman in Taiwan is Leifeng (雷锋) -- an exemplary communist soldier who gave his life to the people.



Some anti-government banner
Apparently the rights of the natives were infringed. Man On The Street comment was the banners will come down as soon as they pay up. Increditbly, we would see simmilar banners and hear the exact same comment a few days later in Hong Kong!




The boat
There were no personal pleasure boats on the lake, the tour boats all made the same stops. Here we visited a temple and the personal protestant church of Chiang Kai Shek. No clear what denomination was the Jesus Church (耶穌堂), Madame Chiang was Southern Methodist!

On this boat we met one of the few Americans we encountered, he was a recent Princeton grad on his way to a Japanese aerospace program and decided to take some time off in Taiwan teaching English. More than once we met Americans fluent in Mandarin, another time after checking email, I was browsing NBA scores and this young man asked me for an update, he was totally at home surfing in Chinese and typing street names in Pinyin faster than I could, he claimed he just picked up the language on his own in Denver, CO.

(Everything new is now in Pinyin, Wade-Giles Romanization is only seen on older signs. To me, many parts of Taiwan is now indistinguishable from Mainland)






Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Taiwan, Hong Kong (4)

Bicycle riding in Taiwan. 

This is how it's like riding in traffic (I am pretty sure it's in the Town of Yi Lan). I was riding fast to keep up with the scooters. You may notice Asian style driving in the clip, more than once I was in gentle physical contact with buses and scooters.  Actually, despite the crazy driving (which we also participated), I only saw one minor fender-bender during the entire trip.




Sunday, December 1, 2013

Taiwan, Hong Kong (3)

Taroko National Park (太魯閣國家公園)


Sister W may have some photos, I was so in awe that I forgot about taking pictures. Once we entered the Central East West Highway (中橫公路)near Hua Lien (花蓮), there's the Taroko National Park vistor center that didn't look a lot differnt from its counterpart in the US. The information counter was staffed with very enthusiastic senior citizen volunteers, they said there would be a international bicycle race the next day. The following is the promotional blurb from the race organizer:

The Taiwan KOM Challenge saw more than 400 riders from 23 different nations around the world gather to take on the very serious challenge of riding from sea level up to 3,275 meters over 95km, from Hualien up to the peak of Hehuan Shan, also known as the Wuling climb.
3,275 meters is the height of the mountain but with elevation gain taken
into account, the cyclists actually climb some 3,800 meters! ...

3,275 meters is about 11,000 feet in elevation, there's nothing on the east coast of North America remotely compares to that, let alone rising from sea level so rapidly. It was already afternoon, we jumped back to car to drive to Tianxiang (天祥) hoping to do a quick loop from Tienxiang which is about 20 Km from the gate. 




Check out the terrain
From the gate to Tienxiang is not so bad. Toward the finish, the gradient is just incredible. I rode only the relatively easy part with a vertical drop of less than 400 meters from Tianxiang to the start line on the coast.





Tianxiang (天祥, I gleamed from other names that it's named after a historical figure 文天祥)

Tianxiang is a major stopping point alone the highway, people would recommend it as a must see place to visit. The road to Tianxiang was just stunning, I was busy I eating and drinking as much as I could to prepare for the ride,  even wolfed down a sweet potato we abandoned 2 days ago.

At Tianxiang, we saw touristy stuff we had little interest in: pagoda, temple, and some rock statues. We never  did bother with these attractions but there's where most of the tourists were. 
It was almost 2PM and I make haste getting ready (in a Porta Potti), putting on biking shorts, jersey, and helmet for the first time on this trip. 




This picture still makes me grin

This picture I borrowed from Wiki. I can only describe the ride down from Tianxiang using the adjective orgasmic, it's 30 minutes of sensory overload and the scenery was as dramatic as this photo. 
I didn't touch the brakes but didn't go all out either.  The distance was about 20 Km and it took 30 minutes to cover it, so the average speed was roughly 40 Km/hour going downhill. 

On the steeper part, seat-of-the-pants estimate was probably 60 Km/hr and easily gaining on cars. How I wish I had my regular bike instead of the Bike Friday Crusoe.
(BTW, Chinese phrase for sexual pleasure is "fast feeling", so I am hardly originally in my word choice.) 






Yianziko (燕子口 - Swallow Grotto)

I took this picture on our way up. You can see how the road became single lane, there's a foot wide drainage gutter on the mountain side. There were quite a few tunnels like this, riding with my sunglasses on, I couldn't see the ditch nor much of the road in the unlit tunnel (was in too much a hurry to bring a headlamp), and I knew oncoming cars probably won't see me (I had a blinker clipped on my jersey pocket, I was visible from behind).  Heck, I was so deliriously happy and honestly didn't care.





Hand made in Taiwan

The highway was hand carved in the 60s. You'd see tour buses swing wide to avoid the overhang sometimes, there were random places where the buses couldn't pass through if they stay in lane. 

Shot past the gate and kept on going for a while not wanting to stop, had my water bottle refilled by a food vendor.  
The return leg took me 3 times as long and I made it in an hour and a half of almost constant climbing.  (I didn't notice the front shifter cable was rubbing the tire coming down, when I down shifted to a smaller chainring to start the climb, the cable housing buckled and I was stuck between the big and the middle chainring, clicking and clacking the entire way up.) 




Catholic church

Meanwhile W had had lunch and checked out possible accommodations for the night. The choices were either a 250 USD resort hotel or the Catholic church for one tenth the cost.  The resorted hotel was occupied mostly by Mainland visitors (陸客) and the church cabins by Europeans (I didn't see anyone obviously American), we opted for the tres chic Church. 



The cabin

High up on the hill, our cabin had a million dollar view, shared swat toilets and showers, wandering collarless dogs.  In another word, perfect.
I slept as well as any other place until I was awaken by W scolding two German girls not to talk so loudly outside our cabin.
  


Xiao Feng Ko (小風口 - little wind pass)

Race day, we were ready to watch the race at Tianxiang but by the time we got out at 9AM they racers were gone. We drove and caught many amateurs stragglers, this pictures was taken  near the peak of Wu Ling (武嶺). The professionals were long gone. Temperature was only a few degree above freezing.
We stopped for breakfast at eithe Wuse (霧社) or Xiao Feng Ko (小風口 ). We found ourselves amongst backpakers in artic mountaineering gears.  The well equiped hikers were climbing He Huan Shan (合歡山, it's literally "happy couplation mountain" in Chinese, turns out it's Japanese for "happy join forces").  



At 10,000 feet

We were both feeling the altitude just walking around. Soon started the long drive toward Sun Moon Lake (日月潭).




Descending fast

We passed a bunch ponytailed female cyclists and was later overtaken by them bombing down the mountain, those girls were adorable!  




Blue Mountains like a watercolor painting

Going toward Sun Moon Lake, the mountains are behind us.




Some sort of Lake

Woe is the landscape photgrapher, I couldn't capture the grandeur of the view with my camea. Regardless, we thought it was money well spent when we paid for the overpiced cofees for the privilege of this view.


Next stop, Sun Moon Lake.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Taiwan, Hong Kong (2)

(2) From Taipei to the east coast




Finally, all set to ride
Riding out of the city, along the river Dan Shui (淡水河, freshwater river).  This beautiful bike path was very lightly used. We started to wonder aloud Taiwan's claim to be "bicycle kingdom" was grossly exaggerated. 







We stopped for lunch when we saw the long line
For me, that was our best meal in Taiwan. The minced meat rice 魯肉飯 sauce was a little heavy handed, but the 虱目魚 fish belly soup was absolutely delicious. 
This restaurant was also the turning point of our bike trip, the couple we shared the table with started to put ideas in our heads, they managed to convinced us that the east coast of Taiwan was worth visiting.





Highest point on our way to Tao Yuan (桃園,peach garden), almost all downhill riding from here to the airport city. 
We were surprised how rural Taiwan looked. (I think this was taken on Wan Shuo Road 萬壽路)





Motel
We were 20 Km from our destination Xin Shu (新竹, new bamboo), with much trepidation, we checked in to this motel.  At this point we had ridden 50-60 Km and it started to get dark. W had to walk some hilly parts, but held up okay otherwise. 
The motel was in a town called Yang Mei (楊梅, bayberry), the room (including the ground floor garage) was relatively inexpensive  (about 35 USD) and looked like a love nest sort of place. Despite the jacuzzi with neon lights, everything turned out to be decent. I particularly enjoyed their simple breakfast. 
Outside of major cities, Taiwan is still very Taiwan, few people speak Mandarin and there are betel nut (檳榔)stores everywhere, working class people chew betel nuts all the time (because of the narcotic effects). I paid about 2 USD for a bag, chewed the heck out of them that night and felt nothing.  






Car
We tried to board a train to the south but decided to check out some rental cars in the town of Zhong Li (中壢, middle lowland). We ended up getting this spacious white Toyota (偷油的) for 10,000 (about 300 USD) for a week. The rental company required us to have a temporary Taiwan driving license so most of the day was wasted biking around to get the paper work done. That's when I discovered Hong Kongers are becoming Singaporeans, W was complaining constantly how inefficient Taiwan was and how superior Hong Kong was in everything... 




The long side of this map is only 2 miles

With the car, we changed our plan completely, we decided to make seeing as much Taiwan as possible our primary goal

 At around 4PM when the painful paperwork was finally done, we set out to drive to the east coast via Northern East West Highway 北橫公路.  Up to that time, everyday had been overcast and drizzly, through the fog the scenery was spectacular. The reason I didn't take pictures was the road was so treacherous that it demandeded all our attention. You can see from the Google maps (check the scale on the bottom)  how tight the switchbacks are, the switchbacks are usually single lane meaning you must look at the convex mirror installed at the apex to know whether to proceed or wait in an area wide enough for both cars to pass.
As dusk fell, visibility became nil, we got to Yi Lan (宜蘭,suitable for orchids) late in the evening, probably at an average speed of 20 Km per hour or less on the "highway". 





Hotel in Yi Lan

Checked into the first decent hotel we saw,  so cool to park right on the sidewalk, inches from the lobby door.




Gentleman Framers

I saw many giant tractors, and a Range Rover and other SUVs parked on this dirt road, I'm guessing the produce is not their only livelihood. (I heard country people got rich from the land.)




Near the ocean




At mile 0 of the bike trail

I was up so early that when I rode back to the hotel, the nearby market was just getting ready to open, W was just getting up. 





The Market

Truth be told, food in Taiwan was not great. But it turned out the market was staggeringly good, so much so that at we were asking strangers if we could borrow a kitchen to cook the food ourselves.




Fashionista

A shopkeeper gave us some advice on where to eat.





Many different kinds of chickens

  I could only imagine how good a home cooked meal could be. I could think of no reason for people to go to the supermarket where the selection was very poor. 




Friendly Photogs

A section of the bicycle trail I rode earlier was now blocked by SUVs and photographers.





Dedicated birdwatchers

Local birdwatchers had been monitoring the water around the clock both electronically and personally. I could only see the bird through a huge 800mm telephoto lens.




Serious Hobbyists

I had not seen so much top-end photo equipment used by amateurs in one place. 
Some of the photographers were decked out in waxed cotton jackets and Wellington boots, properly attired to go skeet shooting with QE2 and Prince Philip. 




The star bird was a stork

Strangely, I would see the same kind of bird later in downtown Hong Kong, a giant bird perched on a tree in Central!





Su Hua Highway

We took it easy the rest of the day in Yi Lan. The only project left was to visit a famous hot spring in Jiao Xi (礁溪, fish rock brook) 10 miles away. We wisely chose the (town owned ?) Japanese styled bathhouse, the other option was private bathtubs in by-the-hour resort hotels. 
Japanese style is befittingly called 裸湯, naked soup, people share soups of different temperatures in several pools. Thankfully, male and female patrons are segregated these days. 

On to Hua Lian (花蓮, flower lotus) the next day via Su Hua Highway (蘇花公路).  All of a sudden, the  sun came out and we were too dsitracted by the breathtaking view to take pictures. Running out of road, we stopped to look at the sea, this was a popular spot with mainland China tourists and the parking lot was full of yellow taxis.





Priceless beach with coarse charcoal colored sand

This is by no means extraordinary, cliffs and turquoise sea was everywhere. 






Big waves

My foot with Achilles tendon problem flared up after Jiao Xi hot spring, managed to hike down to the beach and feel the water nevertheless.



Ocean of youth

Sister W lost 90% of her age playing with pebbles. She took a 5 pound bag of rocks home. 




Most of the visitors were properly dressed for cold weather except these two

We were soaking wet and about to enter Tarako National Park (太魯閣, a name I first thought was Japanese, it's actually indigenous.)