Golden Beach and Red Lobster

All I wrote about my life abroad deals with money, weather or cities; but do you know that Taiwan is an island? I hope that you do, and I know it too. First, I was not sure the first two and a half weeks after my arrival because, although Tainan – the city I live in – is located at the western coastline, I haven’t seen the ocean once. That is like you go to Austria and do not see a mountain, unbelievable right!

So my friends and I decided to change our misery and satisfy our need for the vastness of the sea. For a lot of us do not have coasts in their home countries – Austria, Czech Republic, Swaziland – so a day at the beach is even more awesome.

In Taiwan, there are two main beaches to go. The first one is located nearby the city, called K’un-shen Beach. As all of our Taiwan guide books promise, this piece of sandy coastline is popular among local residents due to its location. In other words, it is overcrowded. Because we did not want to do it German style – going there at 5AM placing our towels and go back to sleep until 8AM – we decided to go to the second beach in Tainan, the Golden Beach.

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In our guides as well as in the depth of the world wide web this beach is handled as a secret place, barely touched by any tourists and not so popular for locals. To go there we had to take four cabs. A half-an-hour ride later, we arrived and could not stop to astonish. Because there was no beach at all!

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The cab driver brought us to the abandoned ruins of some kind of infrastructure. The empty hall facing the ocean was clearly meant to function as hide out for savages during normal days, on holidays it may functions as an activity center. Unfortunately, when we came there, Moon-Festival was already over. Also the entrance to the sea was not really user-friendly, because swimming was not allowed at all.

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Facing all troubles, the optimist always finds a way! Our eagle eyes spotted a beach one kilometer away, so we walked to our new set location of choice. Arriving there we were finally satisfied. It was a beach with shallow entrance and a golden sand –  *Cough*Golden Beach. Our little group was the only humanoid formation besides some fishermen and we built our Fort exchange near the calming waives.

The weather was perfect and so was our mood. We jumped into the water, played Frisbee and did some body surfing – everyone with his own body, of course. We also tried building towers while sitting or standing on each others shoulders. It was, and I love this expression, quality time at finest.

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Soon it became noon and we wanted some shadows and cold lemonade *cough*beer*cough*. We got to experience why not many tourists, or people in general come to this coast, because besides an old lady selling ice cream and another selling warm drinks there wasn’t any infrastructure.

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So one and a half refreshingly half cold beers for lunch was all we got, but that was okay. In Austrian measurements three buns is enough food until the evening. So we went on swimming, laughing and trolling in the ocean. We even met new Europeans.

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Although it was all fun and funky we get to know to full strength of Taiwanese sun and we decided to separate and go home by cab. Later we were glad that we came home, but until than three of my fellas and me had to wait for a taxi for like 30 minutes. But it felt like waiting two hours in the full hell of heated Taiwanese concrete. After arriving we all showered the sand of our bodies and made a remarkable discovery. Although we all used sun protection, more or less – in my case less – we all get red such as lobsters. That is the reference to the title.

The photos do not completely reveal my true redness.

I often got sun burnt, but this one lasted for nearly two weeks. Sleeping on the back was impossible and water evaporated on our skin within 2 seconds, maximum. Unfortunately, I shed myself completely so I was whiter than before!

So next time when we want to go to the beach, we will try K’un shen–Beach and maybe sun protection with factor 100!

Deutsche Fassung

Da ich in meinen Artikeln über das Wetter, Geld oder Städte geschrieben habe wird es Zeit über das Meer zu schreiben. Taiwan ist ja bekanntlich eine Insel! Obwohl ich die ersten beiden Wochen daran zweifelte, weil ich keinen einzigen Tropfen Ozean gesehen hatte. Dabei liegt meine Universitätsstadt Tainan doch direkt am Meer. Also beschlossen meine Freunde und ich dem großen Teich einen Besuch abzustatten.

In Tainan gibt es zwei Strände. Einen zentralen direkt angebunden an Zivilisation, welcher sehr beliebt bei den Einwohnern Tainans ist, mit dem Namen K’un shen Beach. Durch seine Beliebtheit ist der Strand aber oft überfüllt, deswegen beschlossen wir zum Golden Beach zu gehen, der als Geheimtipp gilt.

Dort angekommen wussten wir, was ein Geheimtipp wirklich bedeutet. Durch die Ferne zur Stadt – 25 Minuten mit dem Auto – kommen nicht viele Touristen oder Einwohner zu diesem Strandabschnitt. Dadurch wiederum gab es hier kaum Infrastruktur, beziehungsweise gar keine. Uns war das egal, wir hatten uns selbst und plantschten fröhlich im Meer. Für einige von uns war es noch aufregender im Wasser zu sein, weil man in Österreich, Tschechien oder Swasiland keinen Ozean vor der Türe hat.

Zu Mittag besorgten wir uns die tägliche Dosis an Hopfen bei einem kleinen Stand am Straßenrand (das reimt sich). Weiter tollend im Ozean spielten wir Frisbee, machten Bodysurfing und bauten Menschentürme.

Nach einiger Zeit merkten wir dann aber die starke Tropische Sonne recht deutlich und wir bewegten uns langsam heimwärts. Wirklich langsam, denn wir mussten 30 Minuten am Beton auf ein Taxi warten.

Zuhause angekommen sahen wir unsere Souvenirs vom Strand. Jeder hatte einen ordentlichen Sonnenbrand, der bei einigen bis zu zwei Wochen anhielt. Am Rücken schlafen war unmöglich.

Nächstes Mal versuchen wir den K’un shen Strand und vielleicht eine Sonnencreme mit Faktor 100!

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