Days 31 & 32: Weekend Trip to Penghu Islands Part 1

by Theresa

Penghu, Penghu, Penghu!!!!

Where do I even begin?

Day 31: Thursday, July 25

It’s not hard to wake up bright and early when you know you’re headed to a tropical, Asian Island…

Step 1: Ride a tour bus southwest for 2+ hours

Step 2: Get on the boat from hell for 80 minutes/therestofforever

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Step 3: Place head between legs and meditate

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Step 4: Kiss the ground of Penghu’s Main Island

Step 5: Get on another boat????

Step 6: Stand outside, enjoy the fresh air, and start taking pictures!

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Step 7: Load all of our bags onto the back of a sketchy pick-up truck and hope for the best

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Not quite three simple steps, but it gets the job done.

And that, my family, is how I arrived in Chipei island of Penghu (which is technically an archipelago, in case you’re confused).

First things first: fill your belly, get settled into the hotel, change real quick, and head to the beach! For the next few hours, we enjoyed laying out on the Sand Tail, reading books, playing frisbee, tanning, and collecting broken pieces of coral.

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That evening, we congregated outside of the hotel for an outdoor seafood BBQ, KTV included, and then walked back to the beach for some nighttime explorations and firecrackers.

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Once we made our way back to our beach bungalow, we took full advantage of the small pocket of wifi available outside of main office building, while also just chatting and enjoying others’ company late into the night, making friends with neighbors and local residents alike.

Day 32: Friday, July 26

In case you thought we were relaxing too much, don’t worry. Only a few hours after calling it a night, we woke up again to pack everything up and travel to the main island, where we would be spending the rest of our weekend.

Activity #1: Hit up the “Breakfast Street”

Activity #2: Snorkeling!!!

How cool does that sound?? It really was a lot of fun, although not nearly as colorful as I expected. My favorite part was seeing a school of gray fish dancing in the currents.

Also I was really surprised by how our guides took us snorkeling. One guide per group held two different floating rings. Three people held on to the rings and then we made a human chain, so one person was holding onto the back of the person in front of them. Then we all stuck our faces in the water and got pulled around. I can’t wait to see some pictures of how goofy we all looked!

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After snorkeling, we got to change into clothes, have a quick lunch (shaved ice with local cactus fruit!) and tour the island of Chimei, stopping at all of the popular sites: the seven beauties, the fisherman’s waiting wife, little taiwan, the dragon and the tiger, and the double heart.

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The waves surrounding Chimei are incredibly rough. Eric told us that they are the worst out of all 64 islands in Penghu. Although the boat ride from the mainland to Chimei was not nearly as bad as the previous day’s (we were on a smaller boat, I sat outside, and took seasick medicine), I had a pretty rough time and was afraid to eat anything of substance throughout the day.

So when I survived the boat ride back to the main island, and Eric brought a bag full of “black jelly ice” for each of us to try, I scarfed it down…. plus an apple… and some leftover bread…

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Doesn’t that look crazy different?! I kept trying to find out exactly what.it.is but to no avail. As far as I figured out, the brown/black color is from brown sugar, and the toppings include various shapes of tapioca pearls, red beans, and sweet potatoes. I’m happy to say that I ate a truly authentic Taiwanese dessert.

Just a short time later, the group ventured to a seafood restaurant for more traditional island food.

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Then we spent the evening walking around town…

"Rainbow Bridge"

“Rainbow Bridge”

…and doing a little shopping at the most tourist-y tourist spot I’ve yet to see:

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Giant Cruise Ship on land, hollowed out and filled with gift shops!

And here are some safety suggestions to meditate on until “Penghu Part 2” is ready:

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