Monday, 20 May 2013

Taipei River Cruise

Always on the lookout for Sunday afternoon activities, I spotted a reference to river cruises on the Taipei government tourism website and decided to investigate. Several cruises are mentioned, but I'm not sure if they're all actually running. We went to Dadaocheng Wharf, which is supposed to be the embarkation point for three trips, but only the Danshui cruise was in operation that day.

The last time we'd been in Dadaocheng River Park was for the Republic of China 100 year anniversary firework display, not long after we first arrived in Taiwan, so it was interesting to see the place by day. It was large and very busy with cyclists, walkers and people playing games, flying kites and exercising. Sitting on a boat for the fun of it doesn't seem to be popular in Taiwan, however, as only 10 or 12 people joined us, and only one trip was available, at 3 pm. We took the MRT on the red line to Zhongshan Station and walked the kilometre to the wharf. No buses seem to run in that direction, but getting a taxi there would be easy enough.

I have to apologise for the slightly unusual photos for this post, due to an embarrassing circumstance. It was a very windy day and I was wearing a flared skirt which billowed up and threatened to reveal all and sundry to everyone aboard if I moved from my seat, so I passed the camera to my son instead. This is his photo of the boat:
It was rather rough and ready but apparently river-worthy. To sweeten the trip, passengers received free gifts. 

My first face mask ever.
The weather stayed dry and brightened towards the end of the trip, about two hours later, but the cruise would also be a good rainy day activity as passengers could stay inside the boat. 

It was very relaxing and enjoyable watching the riverside scenery pass by, especially as we got into the greener areas of outer Taipei.

Occasionally planes from Songshan airport would provide a diversion, crossing the wide sky. 
The cruise ended at the Danshui Ferry Terminal, where we joined the weekend tourist crowd. The noisy atmosphere was a strong contrast the peaceful serenity of the cruise. Maybe loud music would entice more Taiwanese people to take the river trip? Here's hoping the operators don't think of it.

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