Monday, July 16, 2007

Maokong (Further Adventures with Cath)

Sunday night, Catherine & I headed to Maokong, a town on the outskirts of Taipei that is famous for its tea houses. It's in the mountains, so you have to take the recently opened gondola system to get up there. Neither one of us was thrilled about taking the 20 minute ride to the top in the shaky little boxes. Both of us have weak stomachs. We decided to give it a shot. Here are the photos from the evening:

Snapped this one while waiting for the subway at Zhongxiao Fuxing. My office is somewhere in the mix of those buildings. I still have a difficult time navigating the streets in Taipei.

Same shot with the train coming at us. I don't think the guy in the photo was thrilled that I was snapping away with him in the shot.

Some bizarre Disney promotion tied in to the construction of the gondola system. This is just outside of the entrance to the gondola station.

For those of you considering checking out the gondolas. They allow you to use your MRT (subway) card to pay for the ride, smart move.

The little cartoonish advert for the gondola. There are a few stops on the way up the mountain. It says that it's 4.3 km total. The ride was a bumpy one. When you come to each station it stops rather abruptly. Not something that those of us who are a bit queasy enjoyed.

At the front of the line. The wait was about 15 minutes. I took several pictures from the gondola but none of them turned out because it was too shaky, all of them were blurry.

After exiting the gondola station it becomes abundantly clear that you are in tea country. There were at least 4 of these signs directing you to the various tea houses.

My cutie pie didn't fare too well on the gondola. She was really tired. I think she yawned about 25 times. As I said above, we both get queasy on crazy rides. She is my angel.

Enjoying tea time. It was quiet and cooler up there. We picked one of the tea houses and sat down. The tea was tasty. You have to put the tea leaves in the little brown pot and pour the hot water into the pot. Let it steep for about 30 seconds, pour it into the blue and white pot to strain and serve.

On the way home. Making the transfer at the Fuxing station means you have to take one of the biggest escalators I have ever seen. It seems to take about 2 minutes to get to the bottom. While riding, you can watch the giant TV screen.

Looking up from near the bottom of the escalator, it's a biggie.

We had a nice trip. Not somewhere I will probably ever go again, but I am glad I went. Tea is not something that is in short supply in this country so it seems sorta silly to go so far to enjoy it. Also, there are many areas around town that are just as pretty. Perhaps it is more fun during the day?

If you like a roller-coaster-like ride, then check out the gondola ride to Maokong. It is just a few minute walk from the Taipei Zoo MRT exit.


Wendy said...

You seem so very happy & I am happy for you. I adore all the pictures of your adventures & the story you put w/each one. Catherine looks just as sweet as you describe her & I am happy that you have her in your life to make your heart smile. You are right... She is a cutie! It's a joy to ready how happy your words are about the time you spend in her company. Good luck to you & thanks for all the pics you have been posting. You know me.... the more the merrier! Lol
Love , Wendy

Wendy said...

OOPS.............. I meant to type....''It's a joy to 'read' how happy your words are about....'

I didn't mean to add the 'y' on that word. Sorry... :-/

evan said...

I am Evan. I am too busy, so I can not replying to you.Your grilfriend is very pretty.