Showing posts from October, 2014

Sun Moon Lake (Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village)

It was a slightly rainy day but still a great one to see the Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village. In case you don't know, Formosa was an old name for Taiwan! ;) This park is half roller coasters, and half an educational exhibit on the aboriginal tribes of Taiwan. We only had half a day so we spent it learning about the native tribes. You get there from Sun Moon Lake by cable car. The view was, again, really gorgeous and it was close enough to a roller coaster in itself, since you have to cross over a couple mountains on the way.

This is a really bad picture- it was inside the museum and I couldn't get the lighting right. But I just want to show you that there are 26 tribes on this small island (according to the map). I believe only 13 or 14 are officially recognized and the park only has exhibits on 9 of them. (please correct me, I know I'm wrong on how many are recognized by Taiwan)

They had different houses reconstructed of different tribes- here's an example of one…

Sun Moon Lake (Xuan Zang Temple)

Xuan Zang the monk is famous for going to India in the Tang Dynasty to bring back Buddhist scriptures to China. His story became legendary in the the novel Journey to the West. I read an abridged version in an Intro to Asian Studies course in undergrad and now I'm reading the full version, in English of course. I can't exactly read ancient Chinese yet! So although the novel could not be a true account with all of the monsters, Buddhas and Daoist gods that appear, it still has some roots in what actually happened.
I was extremely excited to find out that there was a temple to Xuan Zang because I love the story Journey to the West, especially the monkey king, Sun Wu Kong. I've been reading the novel (it's broken down into four books, each over 1,000 pages long) and I'm on the second to last chapter. In the book, Xuan Zang is characterized as extremely naive and scared of anything that moves. He also seems to lose heart easily. He's not a well liked character in …