As we do almost every weekend in Taiwan, we packed up some diapers in a backpack, picked up some milk tea, and drove with the kids on two motor scooters for another family adventure in Southern Taiwan. We usually pick a direction, or sometimes a destination, but the real enjoyment comes from discovering the unexpected people in unplanned places.
Today we ventured towards Sanhua, towards a place called Solar City on the map. I figured I would see my first “green” community in Taiwan, so I looked forward to it. Along the way, we passed a long Taoist procession heading into the town of Anding. It was large enough and interesting enough for my wife, Shu-min, to ask a local where the parade was headed. We parked at a local temple and found a decent spot to sit and watch the loud and colorful performances in the temple courtyard. The family watched, as my son, Johan, and I found our way through the crowd to take photos. After taking photos of self-mutilation, colorful performances for the deities, and cheerleaders, we got back on our scooters to proceed with our adventure.
We headed down Hwy 178 towards the small city of Sanhua. We passed the train station and got directions back to Hwy 178 after it disappeared. We ended up at the brewery for Taiwan Beer in Sanhua. Pulling into the brewery parking lot, the smell of the hops and distinct “Taiwan Beer” smell permeated the air. We went into a gift show and looked at many gifts and products available from the parent company of Taiwan beer, Taiwan Tobacco and Alcohol (TTL). It was quite impressive. I asked Shu-min to see if there were any free beer sample, or at least discounted beer. But surprisingly, there was not even a discount. We walked across the parking lot to the beer cultural museum. It was smaller than I expected, but still worth the visit.
After seeing so much beer, and breathing in beer fumes, without having any for myself, it was time to leave for Solar City. We found our way there down Highway 1 in about 15 minutes, but there wasn’t much to see. There was a bathroom, fountains, and a small playground, with solar cells powering the entire complex. There was empty farmland all around, indicating a housing development that had yet to be built. We let the kids play for awhile, and then we started to head back home.
On the way home, we saw an interesting house. We stopped to take a second look, because it looked much like most 2-story American houses, but there were solar panels on the roof, on the top of a small parking structure, and there was a solar array that could swivel to follow the sun. The house was locked, but just as we were about to leave, two cars pulled up and a few people let us in the home. It was a very interesting tour. This home had some pretty amazing features. It actually supplied enough energy to sustain itself, and it was built from recyclable materials. The home could also be assembled, and disassembled to be rebuilt anywhere. There were some very interesting features that made this home very desirable. I think there may be a good market for this company in the USA.
It was a pretty good adventure, and we drove home on our scooters in he cold, night air. Tomorrow, we travel to Kaohsiung for another family adventure I look forward to reporting. We are taking scooters to Sanhua, where we will take the train to the big city of Kaohsiung. We will connect with the subway, and find ourselves at the Dream Mall, to give our children a taste of Christmas.