*take nothing for granted!
Unless otherwise indicated all photos © Richard McKie 2005 - 2015

Who is Online

We have 109 guests and no members online

Translate to another language

Kenting National Park

 

The penultimate morning was spent in ‘Taiwan’s top tourist attraction’.

We spent some hours negotiating winding roads, that required buses to pass in single file while others waited on wider sections and gave our driver a chance to display his skills, with jagged rocks and other vehicles passing just centimetres from our sides.

 

There is a spectacular gorge in which the water can rise quite high.

 

 

During Typhoons can water volumes can grow sufficiently to sweep away bridges.

 

This bridge has been replaced several times

 

 

These narrow older roads were built by the army in Chiang Kai-Shek’s time. He needed to keep his huge army occupied and his son Chiang Ching-kuo understood that an army with time on its hands is a dangerous thing and proposed the Cross - Island Highway that gives access to this park.  In 1956 serious work began with as many as 10,000 workers using hand tools and explosives.  Many of the soldiers were veterans of the failed military campaign against the PLA on the mainland.

 

 

The soldiers and other workers had their pay withheld and were unable to leave.  Thus they were effectively slaves.  In excess of 450 were killed in the initial construction period, during which a single lane was built with passing sidings to allow traffic in both directions.  The road has since been widened using modern machinery and methods but is still frequently closed by floods and earthquakes and there have been additional deaths.  There is a shrine to the memory of the dead workers that is now a tourist focus.

 

Shrine to the dead workers

 

For lunch we went to a chicken place that roasts chickens en-mass in large spherical wood fired ovens and then presents them at your table to be ripped apart and the meat torn into chopstick manageable pieces by hand. 

 

 

Heat resisting gloves and plastic over gloves are provided.  Lots of fun.

 

 

 

Add comment


Security code
Refresh


    Have you read this???     -  this content changes with each opening of a menu item


Travel

Hong Kong and Shenzhen China

 

 

 

 

 

Following our Japan trip in May 2017 we all returned to Hong Kong, after which Craig and Sonia headed home and Wendy and I headed to Shenzhen in China. 

I have mentioned both these locations as a result of previous travels.  They form what is effectively a single conurbation divided by the Hong Kong/Mainland border and this line also divides the population economically and in terms of population density.

These days there is a great deal of two way traffic between the two.  It's very easy if one has the appropriate passes; and just a little less so for foreign tourists like us.  Australians don't need a visa to Hong Kong but do need one to go into China unless flying through and stopping at certain locations for less than 72 hours.  Getting a visa requires a visit to the Chinese consulate at home or sitting around in a reception room on the Hong Kong side of the border, for about an hour in a ticket-queue, waiting for a (less expensive) temporary visa to be issued.

With documents in hand it's no more difficult than walking from one metro platform to the next, a five minute walk, interrupted in this case by queues at the immigration desks.  Both metros are world class and very similar, with the metro on the Chinese side a little more modern. It's also considerably less expensive. From here you can also take a very fast train to Guangzhou (see our recent visit there on this website) and from there to other major cities in China. 

Read more ...

Fiction, Recollections & News

Skydiving

 

 

On the morning of May1st 2016 I jumped, or rather slid, out of a plane over Wollongong at 14,000 feet.

It was a tandem jump, meaning that I had an instructor strapped to my back.

 


Striding Confidently Before Going Up

 

At that height the curvature of the earth is quite evident.  There was an air-show underway at the airport we took off from and we were soon looking down on the planes of the RAAF  Roulette aerobatic display team.  They looked like little model aircraft flying in perfect formation.  

Read more ...

Opinions and Philosophy

A Carbon Tax for Australia

 12 July 2011

 

 

It's finally announced, Australia will have a carbon tax of $23 per tonne of CO2 emitted.  This is said to be the highest such tax in the world but it will be limited to 'about 500' of the biggest emitters.  The Government says that it can't reveal which  these are to the public because commercial privacy laws prevent it from naming them. 

Some companies have already 'gone public' and it is clear that prominent among them are the major thermal power generators and perhaps airlines.  Some like BlueScope Steel (previously BHP Steel) will be granted a grace period before the tax comes into effect. In this case it is publicly announced that the company has been granted a two year grace period with possible extensions, limited to its core (iron and steelmaking) emissions.

Read more ...

Terms of Use                                           Copyright