You Can’t Get There From Here

When the guidebook tells you that the bus station is five blocks south and one block east, sometimes, that means, four blocks south. Yes, there may be a bus station at that first location, but not one with a bus that goes to your destination. But fret not, with a little help from the locals and a lot of hand gestures, you’ll get there.

But when the guidebook tells you there are buses running from Changhua to the Taiwan Folk Village, it lies.

I suspect I’ll never know the reason why, but apparently buses no longer run to the Folk Village. When I inquired at the bus station about the trip, I was initially just waived off with only a terse Chinese explanation to guide me. I persisted with some other members of the station staff and eventually figured out that no, you can’t get there from here.

The staff teamed up and helpfully suggested that I go to visit the giant Buddha that sits on a hill overlooking the city as an alternative to my planned day. I was ushered onto a bus and off I went to visit Baguashan.

A network of paths criss cross the hill leading to various points of interest, the most notable of which is, of course, the 22 metre tall Buddha statue. I spent most of the morning wandering the area and taking photos. Other sights on the hill included a temple behind the Buddha, the Nine Dragons Pond and pavilion, and the Silver Bridge. A good place for anyone looking for a picnic spot in Changhua.

I also managed to venture into a couple of temples in the city before heading back up to the hill in the evening to catch the Buddha in a different light.

And now, I’m resting in my hotel room that, yes, cost more than the guidebook suggested. But, despite the guidebooks misinformation, I managed to have a fun day. By the way, I can’t fault – I can’t even imagine the amount of effort that would go into putting together a guidebook for an entire country. And keeping it up to date is near impossible. As soon as one establishment changes a price, you need a new edition. Though, I would very much have liked to have gone to the Folk Village.

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