So I am back from my homeland!!! Here’s a quick breakdown:
-2 days in Taiwan
- visited several temples to the goddesses Guan Yin (whose jade pendant I wear) and Mazu (whom I learned my grandmother prayed to when I was born!)
- got a fortune (about my writing!!)
- visited the beautiful Yehliu Geonational Park, where I saw some incredible rock formations by the sea (and had tiramisu milk tea!)
- attended a Night Market!
- the National Palace Museum! Unfortunately, the most famous artifact–the Jade Cabbage–is on tour, but it’s a great museum.
- had the best beef noodle soup in Taipei (of 2015)! Yep, won a contest and everything.
- the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall
-7 days in southern China! We came for Fuijian Province, where my ancestors were from, so no, we didn’t see the major tourist/cultural sites like Beijing, Shanghai, etc. But that’s for another trip! And we did have a really excellent tour guide (even if he didn’t speak English, which meant I didn’t totally understand his anecdotes…but hey, learning experience) and I got to meet my mom’s extended family. There, we:
- learned about the Hakka subgroup of the Han, visiting a cultural museum and real tulou farmhouses
- took a (rainy but still spectacular) scenic boat ride through the mountains
- saw a local Fuijian dance/acrobatics show with a spinning stage–the highlights were a kraken performer with a jet pack/hose stilts and a jump roper on a Wheel of Death!
- also at Fuijian Province, we got paper fans with our family’s names on them!
- tea tasting/knives/silk/jewelry/traditional medicine shops in Xiamen!
- gorgeous ferry ride (on jade-colored waters) to an English-style seaside town
- KARAOKE CRUISE!!!
- and finally, went to a very unique museum–at the top of a high tower on a mountain, with all the artifacts beneath the glass floor under our feet!