Day 3: 921 Earthquake Museum and Taichung Cultural & Creative Industries Park (Oct 2016)

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October 23rd 2016
Published: January 30th 2017
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Sunday, 23rd October 2016

I spent sometime at the 921 Earthquake Museum today. Getting there was supposed to be very straight forward as the U Bus # 50 would bring me straight to the museum entrance within 45 minutes. However, for some reason, I waited to the point of giving up when the bus failed to appear after 45 minutes. I kept telling myself (and my legs) to persevere for the long wait. When the bus did arrive eventually, it was rather empty despite the long intervals in between the services. Perhaps that explained the low frequency since there was not much of a demand in the first place.

The 921 museum was built on the site of a former elementary school in Taichung which was devastated by the powerful earthquake on 21st September 1999. I was serving National Service when the incident occurred and was certainly shocked by the extent of damage and the huge casualties (amounting to thousands) in the days that followed. A wreckage of the original classroom block and the running tracks were preserved to this day showing the strong magnitude of natural forces when the quake struck. My admission included a free guided tour of the premises even though it was also quite easy to DIY the routes myself.

It was lunch-time by the time I finished touring the complex and decided to settle my meals at the Museum Café. Interestingly, there was no wifi service as the owner encouraged patrons to "talk to each other" during meal times. My lunch was hearty with a bear-shaped rice, pork slices and plenty of greens and sweet potatoes.

I returned to Taichung in the late afternoon where I took sometime to tour the Stock20 warehouse and the Taichung Cultural & Creative Industries Park. Both were a short distance from where I stayed. The Creative Industries Park was a former brewery which was given a new lease of life for art events and exhibition spaces. I loved its red-bricked structure and tall chimneys which was befitting of an old era. I was so glad that this piece of architectural gem was nicely restored and re-opened for the enjoyment of the public.

As my day turned into night, I walked over to the nearby Zhongxiao Night Market for snacks before strolling back towards the direction of my hotel. My Taichung experience this time round was rather unique as I did not focus on the many night markets and commercial squares that the city is famous for. Rather, it was a series of mini excursions to nearby counties on a road less travelled.

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