Monday, May 26, 2014

A Visit from a Fellow Jayhawk

Just a few days after coming back from Malaysia one of my best friends from my program at KU came to visit. She has also been teaching abroad in Yangon, Myanmar since September. Last February, we traveled to the UNI International Job Fair where we both accepted our positions abroad. It was so great to have her visit and to show her everything I love about Taiwan. I plan on visiting her in Myanmar in October. 

The harbor in Keelung 

Yehliu Geopark in northeast Taiwan

Hiking in the geopark

This lady playing the rock piano was fantastic 

Jiufen, an old mining town on the northeast coast

The view was spectacular 

We hiked up Teapot Mountain on the outskirts of Jiufen 

We found dinosaurs in Yilan 

Biking in Yilan County 

I accidentally booked us to stay at a cat themed bed and breakfast. It was a pretty great accident. 


In April I had the opportunity to travel to Malaysia with Katie and Angela. Our plan for our trip consisted of beaches, multicultural food and sun. Malaysia is a melting pot of cultures from all over Asia and that was highly evident in all parts of Malay life. We spent one day in the capital Kuala Lumpur and then four days on the island of Penang. 

Kuala Lumpur
A highly populated, sprawling city filled with dozens of different types of people. We wandered past Chinatown, Little India, the Muslim Quarter and old colonial buildings. Mixed in with all this were towering modern skyscrapers. The city was a blend of old and new, foreign and native. 
Petronas Towers

A park in the financial district 

A delicious meal of different curried vegetables

Batu Caves

This monkey, at the caves, snatched my water bottle right out of my hand

The entrance to the Batu Caves

Penang is an island on the north-west coast of Malaysia, close to the Thai border. We stayed at an adorable hostel across the street from the beach in the town Batu Ferringhi. We spent our days hanging out at the beach, eating meals like hobbits and soaking up the Malaysian sunshine.

Katie on the beach 

The secluded beach we found after hiking through the national park on the island

A mass of pigeons in Georgetown 

One of the mosques in Georgetown 

Ninja fighting on the beach

The perfect Malaysian sendoff 

Family Road Trip

In March I had the wonderful opportunity to host my dad and sister in Taiwan for one week. It was awesome being able to share my love for this beautiful country. It is one thing to talk about a place but it is completely different to experience it firsthand. After just a few days, really just a few hours, of being in Taiwan they both understood why I love it here so much. It is a great feeling knowing that they share my love for my home away from home. 

During their stay, we rented a car and had ourselves a cross-Taiwan road trip. We ventured from Taichung to Puli, across the Cross Central Highway to Hualien, down the coast to Taitung, across some ocean to Green Island, through the mountains to Kaohsiung and back up the plains to Taichung. We really squeezed everything that Taiwan has to offer into those four days. 

Europeanesque village somewhere between Puli and Cingjing Farms

Cingjing Farms

Cloud River!

The majority of the roads we took the first day were filled \with clouds

Taroko National Park

Our fabulous driver

The view from our hotel in Hualien 

Scenic stop somewhere along the East Coast

A picture of two weirdos taking pictures of themselves 

Marker for the Tropic of Cancer

A boat church close to Taitung 

We found these beautiful flower fields across the street from an aboriginal cultural center 

A giant swing at the cultural center


Tide pools close to Taitung

One of the closed down prisons on Green Island

Propaganda artwork on the prison's walls

Walking into fairy and elves land

The Pecking Dog and Sleeping Beauty rocks

On the beach in Taimali

Driving the East Coast highway south of Taimali

Temples in Kaohsiung 

Art Walk near Kaohsiung Harbor