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Taiwan Chiayi Sun Shooting Tower Garden

23 March 2017

Next town over

Today being my last full day in Tainan, I decided to leave it and take the train to Chiayi (Jiayi), the next town over.
Jiayi is where you can take an old train up to Alishan, and then various older trains around the various parts of a big mountain. Its a tourist paradise. But its mostly still broken due to earthquake.
You can take a 3 hour bus ride, each way, from Jiayi station, with no guarantee of a seat back, and numerous reports of people who did not get back for days who eventually decided to hitch hike. Its very difficult to do as a day trip if you want to hike at all.
As it turns out, that didnt matter, theres really only 2 buses a day to one of Taiwans premiere attractions, and I have missed both. I dont really understand this, I had the same issue getting to many parts of Japan, where the bus runs for 3 weeks a year in the hottest part of summer, except on weekends because the demand is too high, and closed mondays. No really, Japan decides to not run buses because of high demand.

Anyway, I decided to head to the sun star killer death tower. I dont know its exact name, it has both sun and star in the name.
Nearby is a very well regarded botanic gardens, a good place for an hours walk through tall trees and greenery, and it was indeed very good.
I will discuss both more using my photos below.

The train journey from Tainan to Chiayi is about an hour, and costs between $2 and $3 I think. Trains come every 20 minutes. The issue was, I did not know if my Easycard would be accepted at Chiayi or not (you cant cross regions or something), so I spoke to the guy guarding the easycard gates and asked him. His response was, in English, 'If you dont know the answer to this question you should not be riding the trains in Taiwan'. Thanks for that.
I found out that it was fine to use my card when I arrived. For the return journey, I thought I would just grab something at the station convenience store for the hour ride back. Except they had run out of food! About all they had left were aged eggs shrink wrapped in plastic and hot duck necks. Really, they had ample supplies of both. So I had to find an alternate food source.

Taiwan-Chiayi-Sun Shooting Tower-Garden - Waiting for my train at Tainan, I spent some time reading the newspaper. Just like the parks in mainland China, they have pinned a copy up on a notice

Waiting for my train at Tainan, I spent some time reading the newspaper. Just like the parks in mainland China, they have pinned a copy up on a notice board so no one has to pay for their own.


Taiwan-Chiayi-Sun Shooting Tower-Garden - Here is the main street in Chiayi. It was nice and wide, with a footpath. However not all the streets here were as pedestrian friendly.

Here is the main street in Chiayi. It was nice and wide, with a footpath. However not all the streets here were as pedestrian friendly.


Taiwan-Chiayi-Sun Shooting Tower-Garden - The Chiayi station is being rebuilt. Nearly every station is being rebuilt. Is this the Taiwanese version of the school funding scheme we did in Austr

The Chiayi station is being rebuilt. Nearly every station is being rebuilt. Is this the Taiwanese version of the school funding scheme we did in Australia to prevent a recession from being recorded?


Taiwan-Chiayi-Sun Shooting Tower-Garden - Chiayi's favourite son is clearly a baseball player, immortalised in gold.

Chiayi's favourite son is clearly a baseball player, immortalised in gold.


Taiwan-Chiayi-Sun Shooting Tower-Garden - Nice tree.

Nice tree.


Taiwan-Chiayi-Sun Shooting Tower-Garden - This is the local tax collection office. Clearly they are good at their jobs.

This is the local tax collection office. Clearly they are good at their jobs.


Taiwan-Chiayi-Sun Shooting Tower-Garden - The local temple is of a high quality, its next door to the tax office, it even has a glass lift attached to the side of it.

The local temple is of a high quality, its next door to the tax office, it even has a glass lift attached to the side of it.


Taiwan-Chiayi-Sun Shooting Tower-Garden - Across the road from the temple, things are not so good. I call this sad old man cyclist pedals past collapsing roof. Prints available, various sizes.

Across the road from the temple, things are not so good. I call this sad old man cyclist pedals past collapsing roof. Prints available, various sizes.


Taiwan-Chiayi-Sun Shooting Tower-Garden - This building is across the road from a huge modern university. I presume its full of students living cheaply.

This building is across the road from a huge modern university. I presume its full of students living cheaply.


Taiwan-Chiayi-Sun Shooting Tower-Garden - One of the trains you used to take up to the mountains. I recently also learned that there is now only one road across the mountains, the other one wa

One of the trains you used to take up to the mountains. I recently also learned that there is now only one road across the mountains, the other one was due to be reopened after a billion dollars of repairs, but then a typhoon damaged it again, so the government has decided its closed forever.
Which means deep in the mountains there are basically brand new roads sealed off going over mountain passes and through tunnels more than 3000 metres high. Sounds like a challenge.


Taiwan-Chiayi-Sun Shooting Tower-Garden - The Chiayi park has lots of paintings on show, of the park. I saw some people doing paintings too. Presumably at some point theres judging of which pa

The Chiayi park has lots of paintings on show, of the park. I saw some people doing paintings too. Presumably at some point theres judging of which paintings get featured in the park.


Taiwan-Chiayi-Sun Shooting Tower-Garden - The sun star sphere tower comes into view.

The sun star sphere tower comes into view.


Taiwan-Chiayi-Sun Shooting Tower-Garden - Nearby is a restored Shinto shrine, now the Chiayi historical literature society.

Nearby is a restored Shinto shrine, now the Chiayi historical literature society.


Taiwan-Chiayi-Sun Shooting Tower-Garden - A bit more of the galaxy doom tower.

A bit more of the galaxy doom tower.


Taiwan-Chiayi-Sun Shooting Tower-Garden - You can stand on the top and look down through glass. If the sun shone through the glass dome at this point its energy would focus through the parabol

You can stand on the top and look down through glass. If the sun shone through the glass dome at this point its energy would focus through the parabolic lense and melt my shoes.


Taiwan-Chiayi-Sun Shooting Tower-Garden - The top levels are an art gallery, and there was some kind of invite only launch going on with free cake. Perhaps the judging of the park paintings, e

The top levels are an art gallery, and there was some kind of invite only launch going on with free cake. Perhaps the judging of the park paintings, except they werent of that.
I tried to pretend to be a New York Times art critic but they would not give me any free cake.


Taiwan-Chiayi-Sun Shooting Tower-Garden - The view from the top is open air, no glass!

The view from the top is open air, no glass!


Taiwan-Chiayi-Sun Shooting Tower-Garden - The baseball stadium where the gold statue above did his best work.

The baseball stadium where the gold statue above did his best work.


Taiwan-Chiayi-Sun Shooting Tower-Garden - I was very appreciative of the open air tower.

I was very appreciative of the open air tower.


Taiwan-Chiayi-Sun Shooting Tower-Garden - Now it was time to descend over a cliff into some greenery, which was great.

Now it was time to descend over a cliff into some greenery, which was great.


Taiwan-Chiayi-Sun Shooting Tower-Garden - Except there are huge spiders, seriously they are a foot in diameter!

Except there are huge spiders, seriously they are a foot in diameter!


Taiwan-Chiayi-Sun Shooting Tower-Garden - The park was very nice, there were dirt, gravel, wood and concrete trails to test out. I think my feet liked wood the best.

The park was very nice, there were dirt, gravel, wood and concrete trails to test out. I think my feet liked wood the best.


Taiwan-Chiayi-Sun Shooting Tower-Garden - In addition to spiders I saw squirrels, lizards, dogs of course, and this very unusual land bird. I dont think it was capable of flying. Later I might

In addition to spiders I saw squirrels, lizards, dogs of course, and this very unusual land bird. I dont think it was capable of flying. Later I might see one on a stick battered and deep fried.


Taiwan-Chiayi-Sun Shooting Tower-Garden - Time to leave the park and start my journey back to Tainan.

Time to leave the park and start my journey back to Tainan.


Taiwan-Chiayi-Sun Shooting Tower-Garden - I purchased some traffic shoes. No footpath here, just shoe stands in traffic. Seriously, thats extending out into the road by metres. Trucks are swer

I purchased some traffic shoes. No footpath here, just shoe stands in traffic.
Seriously, thats extending out into the road by metres. Trucks are swerving to avoid.


Taiwan-Chiayi-Sun Shooting Tower-Garden - One last photo of Chiayi.

One last photo of Chiayi.


Taiwan-Chiayi-Sun Shooting Tower-Garden - And as mentioned, no food at the station other than mister donut. So a stale mister donut it is. Not a very satisfying lunch.

And as mentioned, no food at the station other than mister donut. So a stale mister donut it is. Not a very satisfying lunch.


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