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
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
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!