Sunday, March 29, 2009

Da An Beach

After being in Taiwan for over 2 months, Nick and I decided it was about time to actually see the ocean.

Saturday morning, we hopped on Nick's newly-purchased scooter and headed west out of the city on Taichung Gang Road toward the ocean. Once we hit Taichung Harbor, we turned right (north) and headed up the coast following signs to our destination: Da An "Beach Resort." We didn't know what to expect, but I have to admit, my hopes weren't particularly high - when we ask local Taiwanese about the beaches of Taiwan, this one is NEVER mentioned - but it was the closest beach to Taichung City that we could find, so we figured we'd go for it.

The ride up took about 2 hours (we later found out we had taken the long way) and it was quite a windy and overcast day. (looking back, it was not really the best day to head out to the beach) In my mind I had been picturing Nick and I spending some time lazing in the sun on a warm beach, and so I was a bit cold in my T-shirt and Capri pants (luckily I brought along my fleece, just in case!).

Rice paddies lined the road for much of the drive and it was quite cool to watch them as we rode past. They were mostly small, flooded plots of land with little green sprouts coming out of the water in perfect rows.

Several of the rice paddies even had their own little temples or shrines right on their edges like this one:
I thought it was pretty cool!
We also saw some tombs placed right on - and in - rice paddies as well:

I guess that's kind of a nice place to be buried if you think about it... it seems pleasant.

When we finally reached the town of Da An, the first thing we saw was a big temple. The temples here in Taiwan are mostly very similar to one an other, so I didn't take many pictures of this one, but one thing that always strikes me about the temples here is the sheer amount of detail that goes into them. They are so colorful and vibrant, and covered in the tiniest little details. I always think about how much time and energy must have went into decorating these things. One of my favorite parts of the temples are the dragons that usually line the top:

And for some reason, I just really liked this relief painting as well, so I took a picture of it:

Ok, so after our short temple-viewing detour, it was off to the beach.

I must say, Da An isn't the most beautiful beach I've ever been to... the area was apparently established as a Coastal Park in 1932, left desolate after WWII and then reopened in the early 1960's, but it appears to be mostly desolate again these days. It had a good amount of trash laying around on the edges of the beach and an old worn-down water park near by.

During low tide, the beach is HUGE; however, it is apparent from all of the wet sand, that high tide covers over half of the beach. Even though it's not really that beautiful, I think I'll reserve my final review of the place until I visit it on a nice warm, sunny day. I love any beach, so it may turn out to be a nice place for me to get some rays on the weekends.... we'll see.

There was a kite-surfer in the water (you can vaguely see his kite in the picture below) and as a result Nick has added kite-surfing to his list of things he wants to do while we're here in Taiwan.

I also talked to a student today who said that he goes surfing at this beach as well.... this has also piqued Nick's interest!

So... all in all, it was a successful trip. Nick and I are doing our best exploring the island, but we have MUCH to see and do. Life has gotten quite busy with me going to school on Friday morning, us working on Sunday, plus our weekly language exchange dinner on Friday nights with Angel and Eric... we really only have one full day per week with no obligations... not much time to get too far from Taichung on a regular basis. Nevertheless, I'm compiling a list of places we'd like to see, I have high hopes that we will get to explore lots of this place before we leave.

1 comment:

  1. Dude, did you find a place that rents surf boards or do you bring your own?
    Holler back :-)