The thing about driving across Taiwan is, you have to get back somehow, and taking the same road back wasn’t all that interesting, so we decided to go south, round the tip then back north along the west side.
We did a similar trip a couple of months ago but that time we were in more of a hurry, this time we made a couple of stops along the way. First up was an interesting, seemingly abandoned house just on the side of the road. It turned out that all the doors had been padlocked so I couldn’t go inside but it was pretty cool looking from the outside.
Next stop was a small town called Chishang where we’ve been twice before because I wanted to buy a lnife, but the shop has always been closed. I guess the third time really is the charm, because today it was open.
It is a real blacksmith shop where knives are made in traditional ways. We were lucky enough that the owner was just about to make a knife shortly after we got there, so we could watch him work. What’s extra special is that he takes some of the steel for the knives from old artillery shells.
Bunch of photos of the blacksmith at work
Both Yini and I enjoyed seeing him work; I think it’s always fun to see handicraft type things being made, especially if the craftsman is skilled, which this guy really is. Of course I also bought one of the knives, an aboriginal style camping/kitchen knife.
When we left Chishang it was around four in the afternoon and our goal was to reach Kenting tonight, so we didn’t make any more stops. Instead we drove on through increasingly heavy rain, and arrived at our B&B around eight in the evening.
One of the fun parts about going to kenting is to try different foods at the night market. You might think the vendors would close down due to the rain, but no, they were still doing business. So, we went out, got a bunch of different food, then took it back to the hotel. Sadly it wasn’t as tasty as anticipated, but you can’t get everything.
The drive today was perhaps a bit too long, but seeing the blacksmith work, and finally getting to buy the knife made it worth it for me. I hope my wife feels the same.