Step in between - Tungchu island
Trip Start Nov 06, 2006
106Trip End Dec 31, 2008
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The owner brings the tourist couple to the harbor and offers the same to me - at 9:30 am we all go. The couple and I board the same boat to Nankan ( anyhow only one boat in the harbor ) for the 10 minutes smooth ride. On board they tell me that they will continue by ferry to Tungchu ( Tung=east ) island. As noone is waiting for me I decide also to go. At 11:00 am we board a bigger passenger boat, catamaran style, for the one hour trip
In the harbor the couple is picked up by the hotel they are going to stay in. The driver offers me a ride, but I decline citing my " walking " purpose. On the right side of the harbor is a pretty sand strip, I am not sure its used as a beach, and a white wall which looks like a medieval castle with large red letters written on it. I walk a small road up to the 120m summit, which is covered with military communication equipement. Some soldiers look a bit puzzled at me, I am not sure I should be here and they might think that I am a spy for the PRC - I say a friendly 'Hello' and walk on, back down to the sea. Its a lovely walk in the shadow of pine trees. A small temple stands just beside the sea in a kind of park under trees. The shadow and the breeze make it very comfortable and I lie down on the grass, enjoying for a while
On the northern peripherie of Daping I find a new nice homestay with a shared room with several beds and individual rooms - noone there. I walk to one small shop on the other side of the street. They tell me to go to annother shop where I could find the owner. I must have looked so helpless in how to find the other shop ( all in Chinese characters ), that they asked a small boy to accompany me - this shop, as many of the other places ( such as the coffee shop " Remember " described in Lonely Planet - forget it ) was closed. Suddenly a very active woman comes out of nowhere - the owner - and shows me her homestay: 500 NTD for the bed; I agree, but then find out that the smell of campher wood, although pleasant, is just too heavy - they had just nailed campher wood pannels all over the walls. I change to the double room for tough negotiated 800 NTD. After dinner of fried chicken leg with rice and vegetables I walk in the dark to the light tower - obviously easy to find at night and look at the stars. I see the couple from the boat again, we greet each other, but I leave quickly - don't want to disturb the romance. Back in the village I have a milk tea in a very small shop renting Japanese comic books. Two ladies are running the shop and they speak some English. They confirm that times are tough since many soldiers have left the island and tourism has not really picked up yet. I go to my room - decide to make up my mind what to do next tomorrow.
Again rough ride to Nankan?