Tag Archives: kindness

King of the Jungle

4 Oct

Banana Signs Guide You to the Trails

Just a few minutes in a cab up the mountain from National Sun Yat-sen University and past the Wanshoushan Zoo, you will be delighted to find Monkey Mountain! Myself and a few other exchange students drug out buts out of bed on a Saturday morning on search of all the monkeys.

There are three different trails that take you around the park and into the jungle where you can enjoy the company of many monkeys, big and small. We were not to sure if we were heading in the correct direction to start, but no more than 50 meters into the trail we were delighted when we saw a monkey skurry on to the path ahead of us.

Monkey's Guiding the Way

Getting our cameras out and ready we were soon surprised to see that the first monkey we saw was the lookout man and behind him came the rest of the pack (not sure if that is the correct terminology for a large gathering of monkeys, but that is what I’m going to go with). The monkeys came one after one after one…. you get the idea. We decided that the smartest thing to do would be to follow them and by this time there was more people on the trail with us, they looked like they were going to do the same thing, so off we went! Up and up the stairs to arrive at what looked like a monkey’s playground, families were grooming each other, little ones were eating and others were very curious about us (sniffing for food is my guess). The hike to the top took us about 1 hour and on the way down it started to rain, so we took shelter in a hut surrounded by monkeys, one was even brave enough to hop on the roof and peer over at us to have a look, he was my most favourite monkey of the day.

My Favourite

Throughout the walk we were greeted by many locals who were out for a sunday hike with the family or a daily exercise routine that many of the Kaohsiung elders have. A young father and small son were happy to show us shortcuts along the way, big smiles and the general kindness of the Taiwan people were very heartfelt all along the trails. I think we may have taken the long way back down the mountain, but it lead us to a beautiful view of the city (everything happens for a reason, right?). The signage on the trail is in English and Chinese but the direction of the signs left you guessing, as well as what the numbers meant on them, we had no clue! We decided that we will have to go back and try out the other two trails, so I will keep you posted if we do!

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Welcome to Taiwan

9 Sep

Well, I have survived the first week here and I might even be starting to get used to the heat. You could say that I have become acquainted with some of Kaohsiung city and I am able to navigate the MRT (subway system). Luckily there are many people here who are willing to help you learn, if they have been here for two years or two days every one is really great about sharing advice. We are all in the same scenario or they have been in the same situation at one point or another so it is really good to know you have people who are so willing to help. It is all about good karma, so when new people arrived after me I was there to help them out as well.

In order to get to know the city better I feel that I just need to get out there and do things! So far I have seen only a couple places and gone to eat at a few different restaurants, but the city is full of life and there will be much to preoccupy my time with this semester (between classes and studying of course 😛 ). Prior to coming here everyone kept telling me that I was going to love the food, the people and the beauty of the country… well this was all extremely true. Here are a few pictures for you to see what I mean:

The first weekend here my exchange buddy took me to Cijin Island

Trying new food with my buddy's friend… yum yum!

Shaved ice with mixed fruit topping

Inside Famosa Boulevard MRT Station - 'Tunnel of Light'

The NSYSU campus is so beautiful

On the Taiwan tourism website, they say Taiwan is the ‘Heart of Asia’ and I totally agree with this, not because of the location but because of the kindness of the local people, they have beautiful hearts! On my first trip into the city from the school I was walking around a busy street with a few other exchange students trying to decide what food to try from the vendors. We clearly stood out in the crowd and a Taiwanese high school aged student walking with friends comes up to us smiles big and in English says, “Welcome to Taiwan” then walked away. This really touched my heart  ❤