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Photography – Curious

Curious

A curious juvenile oriole spotted at Gardens by the Bay

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Taiwan – Golden Party in Kinmen 金色派對High翻金門

金門酒廠2014金色派對Kinmen held its 3rd Golden Party 金色派對 on 26 July at Hou Hu beach 后湖沙灘 as part of the county’s month-long summer beach activities 夏艷金門海洋風活動. The beach party (free admission) organised by Kinmen Kaoliang Liquor attracted many local residents and tourists who came to have a fabulous summer chillout with family and friends. No expense was spared to make this event a success, such as the unique pyramid-shaped stage 金字塔, inviting the country’s top DJs, pyrotechnics, as well as giving out LED bracelets and cocktail tasting for visitors. There were also activities suitable for kids such as spectacular sand sculptures, waterplay areas and clam digging. It was definitely a great way to beat the summer heat!

金門酒廠2014金色派對

谢谢金門酒廠举办那么棒的活动! 干杯!
Cheers to Kinmen Kaoliang Liquor for organising such a fab event, thanks for the invitation! :)

金門酒廠2014金色派對

I think the entire population of Kinmen came. The queue went on and on…

金門酒廠2014金色派對

年滿18歲者體有机会驗情趣多樣的金高調酒風味
Visitors were treated to cocktails specially concocted with the county’s specialty Kaoliang liquor. The uncle definitely looks very pleased :)

金門酒廠2014金色派對

Bartenders conjuring up a mean cocktail with Kinmen Kaoliang

金門酒廠2014金色派對

Trying to masquerade as a hot babe 辣妹

金門酒廠2014金色派對

Kids enjoying clam digging

金門酒廠2014金色派對

Kids having fun at the water play area.

金門酒廠2014金色派對

Even doggy pals got into the fun!

金門酒廠2014金色派對

Representatives from Kinmen Country and Kinmen Kaoliang Liquor activated the crystal ball and got the party going!

金門酒廠2014金色派對

There were really cool light and fire performances

金門酒廠2014金色派對

The sound-activated LED bracelets given out by the organiser lit up with each music beat.

金門酒廠2014金色派對

I want his visor!!

金門酒廠2014金色派對

LED light performance

金門酒廠2014金色派對

The dancers were really hot! I felt like a red onion beside them.

金門酒廠2014金色派對

Everyone starting to groove to the beat.

金門酒廠2014金色派對

These hot-blooded boys must be really happy with so many hot babes around

金門酒廠2014金色派對

And your shorts are tinier than my granny underwear…I hate your washboard abs too! *jealous*

金門酒廠2014金色派對

金門酒廠2014金色派對

She-devil spotted.

金門酒廠2014金色派對

Taiwan’s top female DJ Cookie lending some klout to the event

金門酒廠2014金色派對

DJ Cookie

金門酒廠2014金色派對

I think she just earned a new fan. :)

金門酒廠2014金色派對

Spotted a lady dancing away at the back, thoroughly enjoying herself. Afterall, it’s not everyday you get to go to a beach party in Kinmen.

金門酒廠2014金色派對

Something tells me she must have been a party queen in her younger days…

金門酒廠2014金色派對

Father-and-son bonding

金門酒廠2014金色派對

More pyrotechnics!

金門酒廠2014金色派對

Girls engrossed with the performances

金門酒廠2014金色派對

And then we had bubbles!

金門酒廠2014金色派對

It was definitely a full house, or should I say full beach.

金門酒廠2014金色派對

玩high到跌破眼睛

金門酒廠2014金色派對

Show me the light

金門酒廠2014金色派對

Brothers & sisters unite!

金門酒廠2014金色派對

It wasn’t like the other beach parties I have gone to where the participants were all hard-partying youngsters; everyone in the family had fun, not to mention exercise with all the dancing!

金門酒廠2014金色派對

I felt peckish after all the ‘exercise’ and headed for the food stalls

金門酒廠2014金色派對

She sells seashells on the sea shore
All sorts of shells, the perfect snacks to go with liquor

金門酒廠2014金色派對

Oooh my fave – Taiwanese sausage!

金門酒廠2014金色派對

A sea of cheerful-looking sunflowers where visitors could take photos at

金門酒廠2014金色派對

There were also a number of giant sand sculptures depicting Kinmen’s military history.

金門酒廠2014金色派對

I know these two gentlemen…

金門酒廠2014金色派對

金門酒廠2014金色派對

金門酒廠2014金色派對

Move over selfie – sandfie is the new thing haha

金門酒廠2014金色派對

金門酒廠2014金色派對

金門酒廠2014金色派對

How life-like is this? Awesome!

金門酒廠2014金色派對

I ended my night with a cocktail…well, maybe 2 ;)
Not many things in life are free, so I am sure the residents appreciated this annual event which brought the entire community out together at night to have fun. The numerous varied activities also meant that there was something to interest everyone. I wish I had the time for clam-digging, so I will be looking forward to my next summer. :)

Visiting Kinmen? This map of Kinmen will be useful for you (Source: Kinmen County website).
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Taiwan – Living in History at 銃樓民宿 Chong Lou Minsu, Kinmen 金门

銃樓民宿 Chong Lou Minsu, Kinmen 金门

欢迎来到銃樓民宿 Welcome to Chong Lou Minsu!

When visiting heritage-rich Kinmen, there is nowhere better to stay than a historical resident house. These traditional southern Fujianese 闽南 buildings often came with a rich history and heartening stories as Kinmen was the site of fierce fighting between Communist and Nationalist forces when the latter withdrew from the mainland in 1949. I stayed at Chong Lou Minsu 銃樓民宿 located in the Shuitou village cluster.

銃樓民宿 Chong Lou Minsu, Kinmen 金门

One of the most distinguishing cultural characteristics of Kinmen would be the red-bricked Min-Nan style architecture and villages, mirroring those found in Zhangzhou and Quanzhou where most Kinmenese immigrants came from.

銃樓民宿 Chong Lou Minsu, Kinmen 金门

Shuitou in Jinchen Town was a community inhabited mostly by the Huang clan. The 18-house complex of the Huang clan, constructed during the Qian-lung reign is characterized by its lower gates and walls, wide roofs, smooth and flat stone plates in the yards, and alleys between houses leading to narrow passes.

銃樓民宿 Chong Lou Minsu, Kinmen 金门

Spotting the signage for our minsu

銃樓民宿 Chong Lou Minsu, Kinmen 金门

Chong Lou Minsu was the movie setting for a Taiwanese idol drama Summer Fever 戀夏38℃. It was the home of the main actor Ah Kuan 阿宽。This signage at the entrance was left untouched after the movie was completed. It’s also easier for us to identify which is our minsu out of the umpteen houses along the row!

銃樓民宿 Chong Lou Minsu, Kinmen 金门

Poster of Summer Fever proudly displayed in the minsu

銃樓民宿 Chong Lou Minsu, Kinmen 金门

这不是阿宽,是阿凯 This is not Ah Kuan, but Ah Kai who loves to get into my camera frame lol. Scoot! :D

銃樓民宿 Chong Lou Minsu, Kinmen 金门

Looking at the western-style Quanzhou white stone wall house built in 1934, I felt like I stepped back into history. Nice.

銃樓民宿 Chong Lou Minsu, Kinmen 金门

Shuitou villagers mostly engaged in agriculture or fishery, which may explain the use of fishes to adorn the house exterior. Fishes also mean abundance “鱼=余” in Chinese so it’s a prosperity symbol.

銃樓民宿 Chong Lou Minsu, Kinmen 金门

OMG, this is the first time I am seeing a hand-drawn well pump, and it works! Someone quick pass me a bucket of clothes to wash haha!

銃樓民宿 Chong Lou Minsu, Kinmen 金门

I may be living in history, but I still have wifi to link me back to civilization! Phew, and I was just about to hunt for carrier pigeons ☺

銃樓民宿 Chong Lou Minsu, Kinmen 金门

An air of serenity greeted me at Kinmen; everything just slowed down and bade me to enjoy the calmness…a hard-earned one considering the years of war the island had gone through.

銃樓民宿 Chong Lou Minsu, Kinmen 金门

Say ni hao to the minsu owner Sister Li. She is a burst of energy and so friendly! She used to drive a 小蜜蜂 or Little Bee, which is a truck selling snacks and everything you can think of to the army boys around Kinmen. Maybe that’s why she has a motherly feel about her, and very huggable haha!

銃樓民宿 Chong Lou Minsu, Kinmen 金门

The main hall of the minsu decorated with cultural momentos and memorabilia

銃樓民宿 Chong Lou Minsu, Kinmen 金门

The wind-lion god 風獅爺 is something very symbolic of Kinmen. Seen here as part of a chess set.

銃樓民宿 Chong Lou Minsu, Kinmen 金门

Side hall

銃樓民宿 Chong Lou Minsu, Kinmen 金门

Little courtyard perfect for a little chat or intimate meal gatherings

銃樓民宿 Chong Lou Minsu, Kinmen 金门

Kitchen

銃樓民宿 Chong Lou Minsu, Kinmen 金门

Chong Lou has rooms that can accommodate 1 to 8 people. They come with the essential basic amenities such as air-con, TV, wifi and ensuite bathroom.

銃樓民宿 Chong Lou Minsu, Kinmen 金门

Exploring the rooms upstairs

銃樓民宿 Chong Lou Minsu, Kinmen 金门

Large enough for the whole family or a group of friends

銃樓民宿 Chong Lou Minsu, Kinmen 金门

I was intrigued by the stairwell with an iron grille. In the past, residents would lock up this stairwell when they slept at night to prevent pirates from sneaking in and kidnapping them. Of course, there is no need for that now.

銃樓民宿 Chong Lou Minsu, Kinmen 金门

And here’s my cosy little room! Shucks I should have brought my cheongsam to match the ambience lol

銃樓民宿 Chong Lou Minsu, Kinmen 金门

Toilet equipped with bath towels and shampoo/bath gel. And flushing system :D

銃樓民宿 Chong Lou Minsu, Kinmen 金门

It’s a nice, sunny day to explore Chong Lou’s surroundings!

銃樓民宿 Chong Lou Minsu, Kinmen 金门

Most of the Min Nan style houses here are relatively well-preserved. I was soaking in the atmosphere with much enthusiasm, and couldn’t stop taking photos.

銃樓民宿 Chong Lou Minsu, Kinmen 金门

銃樓民宿 Chong Lou Minsu, Kinmen 金门

Jinshui Elementary School
The building of Jinshui Elementary School in 1931 at the sponsorship of overseas Shuitou natives marked the beginning of new-style school architecture in Kinmen. During the Japanese occupation, the school had served as a wartime makeshift hospital. It was later transformed into an elementary school.

銃樓民宿 Chong Lou Minsu, Kinmen 金门

A very important place to note just opposite the school – food! :D

銃樓民宿 Chong Lou Minsu, Kinmen 金门

Look what I spotted growing just beside Deyue Tower 得月楼 – a tree full of longans! Yumz!!

銃樓民宿 Chong Lou Minsu, Kinmen 金门

All in a day’s work

銃樓民宿 Chong Lou Minsu, Kinmen 金门

The minsu provides a hearty breakfast. Just come eat with the rest of the guests at the communal dining hall, very village-feeling indeed. And a great way to make friends :)

銃樓民宿 Chong Lou Minsu, Kinmen 金门

This Cantonese porridge, a Kinmen delicacy, was chockful of ingredients and delish to the max! And I am still thinking of it…

銃樓民宿 Chong Lou Minsu, Kinmen 金门

Bon Appetite!

銃樓民宿 Chong Lou Minsu, Kinmen 金门

A group photo of us all from Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore
We may come from different parts of Asia, but we are one happy big family in Kinmen!

銃樓民宿 Chong Lou Minsu, Kinmen 金门

And the 2 monkeys showing how much they enjoyed Kinmen :D

銃樓民宿 Chong Lou Minsu
金門鎮金城鎮前水頭84號
Tel: 0980 988 077 / 0919 761 231 (Look for 李碧玉 Li-jie/Sister Li)
Website: www.5657.com.tw/baewan
Email: libe03@yahoo.com.tw

Getting to Kinmen
You can reach Kinmen by domestic flight in approximately 1 hour. Flights are aplenty daily from 3 domestic carriers from Kao Hsiung, Taipei, Taichung or Tainan. You will fly to Kinmen Airport金門尚義機場。

Another way to get to Kinmen is via Xiamen International Ferry Terminal or just from Wutong port which is close to Xiamen airport (around 30 mins). Another way is from Quanzhou Shijin port which takes about one hour (Taiwan passport only).

When to go Kinmen?
Kinmen worth visiting all year round. The annual average temperature is around 21 degrees Celsius, though it can get quite hot in summer (hats and sunscreen are a must unless you are aiming for aboriginal-worthy tan skin). There are northeasterly winds during the winter and the rainy season runs from April through to September. Travel between Taiwan and Kinmen is often affected by heavy fog during early Spring.

In spring, admire the golden sea of rapeseed flowers. In summer, hang out on the beach. Autumn is the best season to feast on fat yellow fish and crabs. Come winter, migratory birds make for an impressive sight.

Map of Kinmen: bit.ly/KinmenMap

Getting to Chong Lou Minsu
Map:
http://www.5657.com.tw/baewan/p04.htm
Public Transport: Take the public bus from Kinmen Shang Yi airport to Jincheng Bus Station金城車站, change to Bus 7 towards Shuitou Village水頭村莊. Alight at Li Gong Suo Zhan 里公所站, turn left and walk 1 minute to the minsu.

Pick-up from airport or car rental (with GPS navigation) can be arranged by the minsu, contact Sister Li via mobile or email for more details. You can ask the minsu to help arrange for sight-seeing activities as well. I would recommend getting a driver/self-drive if you can so as to save travelling time and see more attractions. It’s pretty affordable.

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