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Bai Sha Wan----A day at the beach
Pros: beautiful beach, clear and blue water, relaxing and adventurous
Cons: communication problem

Bai Sha Wan, Taiwan
Monday, Jun 21, 2004 19:38

Hello!! And once more, thanks for visiting!! I'm just going to get right to it...

About a week ago, I headed north in search for Bai Sha Wan, which literally means "White Sand Beach." I'd heard it's the most beautiful beach on the northern side of the island, so I definitely had to go! One thing that you guys must realize about being in Taiwan and not speaking or reading the language is that when I am in or near Taipei, getting around is very easy. There are a lot of English translations and many English speaking people. BUT, the further I go from the city, the more difficult traveling and communicating becomes!!

So I went as far as I could on the MRT (subway line), then I had to take a bus. First of all, the bus to Bai Sha Wan didn't have a number on it, much less an English translation. My solution to this problem was to study the characters "Bai Sha Wan" and find them on the bus. I stood at the bus stop for about twenty minutes, and as it seemed that the same three bus lines kept passing, none of the them showed these characters. Second, I felt like I stuck out like a sore thumb! People kept looking at me as if they were wondering why I wasn't getting on any bus! One taxi driver offered to take me there for 300NT, which is about nine bucks. I denied him because the bus is only just over a dollar! The next cab driver offered to take me for 500NT, and I laughed and politely denied him as well. Finally, Gary came to my rescue! He is a Taiwanese man who knows very good English because he fought with the Americans during the Korean War. He asked me if I was going to Bai Sha Wan, I said yes, then he told me to come with him. He explained to me that Bai Sha Wan is not the last stop for that particular bus, so the screen doesn't display it on the front of the bus. I would have waited all day!!

As we waited for our bus, some sort of Chinese procession passed. With music, costumes, and masks, it was very traditional! Gary didn't know why the parade was happening, but it was a nice touch to a long wait. When our bus finally arrived, I recognized it as one that had passed at least twice before!! Oops!

The bus ride was about an hour, but it was very entertaining with Gary to tell me stories and the nice scenery as we slowly left the city.

Bai Sha Wan is a beautiful beach town with only a few shops and restaurants. Gary showed me around, told me where the bus would pick me up, then we parted, but not before we took a picture together.

The beach was amazing! The water was clear and blue. The sand area was filled with people, pets, and toys! Some beach bums had even camped the night before. To the west were huge rock areas where people were fishing in the holes. The rocks were tough on my feet, but if I walked on the green moss, it was like a soft, grassy yard. I found a place to lie, went for a quick dip, then began to relax in the sun.

It wasn't long before a Taiwanese girl approached me, and with broken English said, "Sorry, excuse me? Can I take picture with you?" With much excitement and enthusiasm I replied with, "SURE!!" I sat up, got situated, and before I knew it, she was poised to TAKE a photo, and her three guy friends were surrounding me, smiling and gesturing "peace" with their fingers! I laughed and said that she should get in the picture. She giggled "no," so I told her that I would take a picture with her friends if she would be in a picture with me. We made a deal, had a little photo session, then they were on their way.

The afternoon proved to be relaxing and adventurous. I finished with a tuna sandwich at one of the restaurants, hopped on the next bus, and was on my way back to the mountain.

Ahh, almost nothing can beat a day at the beach!