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Bob.. in Taiwan.

I've been in Asia investigating the Taiwanese and Chinese markets for cherries.  And having some fun too. 

I met with many Taiwanese food companies.  Wow, are they generous.  I received so many gifts from them.  These are fun boxes full of Almond and Strawberry Nougat.  We talked about making Cherry Nougat.


Check out the warning signs at most trailheads.  When the Taiwanese people found out I was hiking in barefeet they went nuts jabbering in Chinese about poisonous snakes.  I was lucky-- my tough little toes were only bitten by non poisonous ones.


Buddhist temples were on every corner.  I learned how spiritual the Taiwanese are.  When China went communist, many of the believers left the mainland and headed to Taiwan.


Here is the most famous photo spot in Taiwan.  It is a rock with Sun Moon Lake on it.  The mainland Chinese tour buses only have 5 minutes at this stop and the riders fight to get their photo taken there.  So, the Taiwanese government added 7 more rocks with the same writing.  That’s my Taiwanese friend Michael and I with the original.



Somehow this enormous 5 city block temple feels like the witches castle from the Wizard of OZ.  I think it is because the outdoor stairwell up to the 500 monk meditation room looks like the chase scene just before Dorothy douses the witch.



Specialty food stores were everywhere.  I learned a lot about layouts and display.  Check out how fun this dried fruit store is, with a little car sitting right in the storefront.


This is one of those spots that I am so glad my kids are not with me.  Would ten feet away from 300 foot drop be too close for them?  Awww.  I bet their Momma is going to chastise me for being this close to take this photo.


Here is my two cents on Taiwanese food.  It is delicious and healthy.  Of course, on the bottom is the worst thing I ate-- stinky tofu.  Yeech.  As for healthy, this mix of tofu, green bean sauce and sweet potato jello is a dessert.  I had my doubts… but it was really good!

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Here is a temple that has a river and waterfall running right through it.  And water coming right out of a tunnel.  There are tunnels everywhere in Taroko Gorge.



I really don’t remember what this chinese letter means, but it was fun to paint.


This High Speed Rail goes 200 miles per hour.


Going to the Fo Guang Temple was like going to Disneyland.  It has animation, 4D programs, light shows,  100 foot buddhas and never-ending reflective buddhas pictured here.

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This would have been an idyllic paddle in a canoe, but I was on a tour boat with 100 Chinese mainland tourists.


Here I had a nice hour to myself in this steep river gorge.  It is difficult to find alone time in this small island of 20 million people.


The Narrow Door Cafe has a front door that is only 14 inches wide.


I was sent back here to the bathroom.  (It was in one of the puny metal cabinets on the right.)

This was my biking-- on quiet single lane roads thru jungles and rice paddies (in the distance).


As fun and important as Taiwan was, it feels so good to be home.