Looks like another new railway station is going in.
The city of Pingtung (屏東 Píng dōng) is located on the southwest part of Taiwan, just east of Kaohsiung (高雄 Gāo xióng). It is admittedly not a major tourist destination. Though like all of Taiwan there are things to see if you look around. I suppose it depends on what you are looking to experience. The county of Pingtung on the other hand, has some very nice beaches making it very popular with the tourist crowd.
As for us, it was a good place to stop. On account it would be dark soon and we should find lodging. Pingtung is at least passingly familiar to us so it seemed a logical place to stop.
We got off the train and not finding a city map we attempted to find out usual hotel by memory. Not an easy task in a city like Pingtung, nothing resembling a grid here. Sure there are a couple hotels to the east of the train station. But we usually stay over by the Zhongshan Park (中山公園 zhōng shān gōng yuán) at the Tzu Chi Hotel (子琪大飯店 zi qí dà fàn diàn).
After some doing we found the hotel about the same time as a couple van loads of Japanese paragliders arrived. Luckily they still had a room. So stowing our bags we were off to look about. We headed back over by the train station to the 慈鳳宮 Cí fèng gōng, the local Mazu temple. You know, because it had been about four hours since I visited a Mazu temple.
Afterwards we found a bite to eat. While Pingtung does have a pretty good night market, we opted for vegetarian instead. After which we retired for the night.
The next day we were up early so we waded through the Japanese visitors once more to get some buns and soy milk for breakfast at the hotel. Then walked to the train station to check the rail schedule. It is a much quicker walk when you go directly. Anyway, looked like we had some time to kill.
Pingtung city is sort of the gate way to the Paiwan and Rukai aboriginal villages that lie in the mountains to the east of the city. So having some hours to spend we went to the local bus station, located just down the block to the west of the railway station. There we got a bus up to the villages of Shuimen (水門 shuǐ mén) and Sandimen (三地門 sān dì mén) which have a number of small shops run by some notable aboriginal crafts people.
After some time looking through some of the shops of Shuimen. We did not feel the need to climb the hill to Sandimen. Even though there are a number of shops up there. Including Dragonfly Beads Studio (蜻蜓雅築 qīng tíng yǎ zhú) and Shatao (沙滔 shā tāo) both of which make handmade Paiwan glass beads. Instead we thought we would grab lunch and head back to Pingtung.
We found a rather standard lunch stand on one of the side streets and grabbed a pretty standard lunch. It wasn’t bad and it was definitely inexpensive.
Now find a bus stop.
I find the bus ride fascinating and I always make sure I get a good window seat. It goes through a number of small villages on the way to and from Shuimen. All of which seem to be littered with neat little, old traditional style houses and shrines. I really want to bicycle around this area someday and take it in at a more civilized pace.