From “Ho Chi Minh” to “Taipei” – during the night for 3 hours flight. I saw a beautiful sunrise from the plane. The Visitor Visa is free for 3 months in the country. This is awesome.
I came in “Taiwan” to be volunteer in a Hostel as a photographer. What would you like more in Life ? Went downstairs in the airport to buy a ticket “Ubus” to get to “Chaoma Station” – 230 TWD ( 6,60 euro ). for 2 hours drive to get to “Taichung” South of Taipei.
Arrived to the Hostel – “T-Life” at 9.30 am for 2 weeks & have my own bedroom at the top level next to a little terrace with the toilet & another terrace with the laundry & a little lounge in front of my door. The Hostel started early 2015.
I find the opportunity by the website “workaway” ; It is a website to be a volunteer in many different projects that people need help for. You will have accommodation & food ( sometimes ) in exchange of few hours a day. You can make your profile & visit the countries of your choice & send messages to them to know if you could join them & have your first experience as a workawayer !
About “T-Life“ ;
It is the most amazing place to come to stay – it is young, clean, modern & calm in the bedrooms. Gary is the owner of the Hostel, he is 35 years old ( 2016 ). It is a beautiful hostel with an enthusiastic mood & friendly. If you need time alone, go in your bedroom but if you want to join the party ; Go in the kitchen / lounge where everyone share & talk to each other all the time with some musics, cooking, discussions in English, Chinese or even French ( between a man & I )… Questions & smiles between each other.. A fantastic place to feel warm & at home.
The team in “T-Life” is young as I said ; the girls working there are between 19 – 32 years old & study in the University next to the Hostel.
My volunteer work for “T-Life” ;
The “T-Life” website got also a “Blog” with articles wrote from volunteer coming in the Hostel. I wrote an “article” in French about the people working & making this Hostel so particular by asking them some few questions & take their portraits.
The next part of it, was to move around “Taichung” & take photos. The girls were so nice that we started to hang out together & went to the first place ;
Wang Gao Liao Lookout ; 2 spots to stop to see a magnificent view on town. One where you can enjoy looking at the view on buildings & another one where you can chill out on the grass or the stairs. We went there to enjoy the sunset with clouds & then had fun taking photos with Light Painting.
Rainbow Village ; 6.40 am meet everyone at the entrance of the Hostel to go 3 motorbikes & 6 people to visit the “Rainbow Village” in “Caihongjuan”. A very tiny village with colorful draw everywhere on walls, floors.. If you come early like we did, you will probably be alone before a lot of people come & then it is not the same to enjoy the colorful draw & the mood of this special place. I was just a bit disappointed as I was thinking it will be bigger but I loved the color so bright of this place & make it so unique.
We did the tour & you can buy some few accessories like cap, mugs, postcards.. A wall is for the lovers & the best Friends writing in Chinese of course. It was pretty hot for us already at 7 am.
Gaomei Wetland ; We left with another volunteer at 2 pm – took the bus N’ 303 – 304 or 305 to “Dhing Shuei High School” – 45 mins to get there. Then 40 mins with the bus N’ 178 or 179 to “Gaomei”. This bus is very tiny & in general very full as it is the only one who goes to this place as it is the Terminus. Everyone goes out in a busy road full of people, street food, music & a very strong sun. We walked on the bridge in the middle of the water in low tied. A part of it is close because of the tied for this part to high.
Lots of people are sitting on the wooden planks, feet in the water. We walked out of it with some time as it is full. Finally, we walked along the coast to find a good spot to catch the sunset & the bridge full of people on it. I organised the tripod & we chill out until the sun goes down & it is much cooler. A family mood comes out from this peaceful place.
When the sunset comes, nobody talk anymore & it is magical. A lot of people go away when the sun is gone, but we staid a bit to try some Light Painting again when it will be dark. They open the last part of the bridge & people spread on the bridge.
On our way back to the bus stop & have to go at the end of a long queue to get a bus. The bus is late but we talked to some people in the queue & started to hope, we could be on the next bus with all the people waiting in front of us. We had to push the people inside to finally fit in !
The next bus arrived luckily straight away & we went back to the Hostel to enjoy a good shower & lots of beautiful pictures in our head before bed time.
Night Market ; Along the main road, a lot of street food take place to sell specially food but also some accessories etc.. It is a very busy moment, between people walking in the middle of the road & the motorbikes everywhere. I took my tripod & let’s have some photos by night with long pose. I really enjoy the mood coming out of this place.
Freestyle Motorbikes training ; About 20 of them with motorbikes “Home made” – I watched them having fun with their motorbikes & talking about it to each other. I took a lot of photos, trying different kind of shoots.
Gary proposed me to make postcards & calendar with my photos & I really enjoyed to have this souvenir from this place ! I felt really sad to leave this place after 2 weeks all together. It is a second family in my heart.
It is definitely the best place to go to enjoy a time with the young generation of Taiwan.