To escape for a little bit from the crowded city life of Kaohsiung, we boarded a train and headed to Sandimen. We really didn’t know what we would do in Sandimen once we got there, we just heard that it was absolutely beautiful and there were some cool hiking trails to do.
We ended up taking a taxi once we arrived in Sandimen and asked to be taken to Pingdong. Once in Pingdong, we tried to find a scooter rental only to find they didn’t exist so we asked our taxi driver to take us to a visitor center—all this communicating was done with google translate… let’s just say we paid a bit more for our taxi because of the amount of time it took to try to explain what we were looking for.
The taxi driver dropped us off at the Taiwan Indigenous People Cultural Park and we were a little apprehensive considering we didn’t know that this place existed before we arrived, and it didn’t seem like anyone else did since it looked like there were about 7 other people in the park. We decided we’d try it out though since we had no other plans and no way of getting any where else after our taxi left.
After a short presentation (completely in Chinese), we boarded a bus not knowing why we were boarding or where we were going. It was incredibly beautiful though riding through the mountains!
When the bus stopped and the driver looked at us and then the door, we figured we should get off. We were greeted by these lovely natives who ushered us into a theater.
We had no idea what to expect from the performance, but it was incredible! The drums were Carter’s favorite part. He was dancing and drumming along the entire time! The show was about the different Indigenous tribes of Taiwan and some of their clothing, rituals, and ceremonies. We got to meet some of the performers after the show.
We then followed a crowd of people to another bus and were very grateful that another man on the bus spoke some English. He explained a little bit about some of the “houses” we were driving around and how they were replicas of the indigenous peoples homes.
The bus stopped at one of the homes and we learned about musical instruments, sacred tattoos, and toys for that specific tribe. There was also this giant swing in the area and Carter absolutely loved it!
All in all, it was a very successful accidental trip to the Taiwan Indigenous People Cultural Park! We learned a lot, did a lot of walking, and got to see a lot of beautiful scenery in the mountains.