Meinong is a beautiful quaint town located just a short drive from the city of Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan. (Kaohsiung City and Kaohsiung County recently merged to form one large city so maybe I should say that it is an hour drive from the city center.) It is situated near the foot of several low elevation mountains which serves as a perfect backdrop, making the town visually stunning. I love visiting the place and here are six reasons why I keep going back again and again!
~1~ Paper umbrellas
These handmade creations are a sight to behold. They contain painted words of wisdom as well as beautiful vibrant artwork of different varieties of flowers, birds, and butterflies. They make for great gifts and decorative pieces and with an outer layer of oil, they can withstand the test of time.
~2~ Ban Tiao
These flat noodles (made from rice) are sold at most stands and restaurants all over town. It is famous dish of the town, so I highly suggest you sample it.
~3~ The Lake
This area makes for a perfect peaceful get away from the action around town. I have captured some great photos around the lake: the reflection of the pavilion as well as a man fishing in a rubber tube. It is the perfect place to relax for a while and enjoy the beauty of the mountains and banana plantations. And if you are as lucky as I was, you will be able to purchase coconut juice there, right from the coconut.
~4~ The Slow Pace of Life
Even though it is not far from the city, it still has a small town vibe. Farmers tends to their rice fields, farms, and plantations wearing a typical Taiwanese straw hat. There is a pleasant atmosphere about the place that needs to be experienced to be thoroughly appreciated. It is the perfect escape and temporary retreat from every day city life.
~5~ Hakka Culture
The area is rich in Hakka culture, as the majority of the residents are Hakka. Also, most residents of Meinong converse using the Hakka language. To learn more, there is the Meinong Hakka Culture Museum in the town as well.
~6~ The Spectacular Views
Every time I went to Meinong, the weather has been amazing. I often associate the place with blue skies and white puffy clouds but extremely hot temperatures (being surrounded by mountains means that there is hardly any wind in the town.) However, I find that winter is the perfect time to go there as the weather is beautiful and fields of cosmos can be seen all over town.
Now, over to you! Do you prefer to visit cities or towns or a combination of both? Be sure you jot me a line or two in the comment box below.
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