Taiwan

Fisherman’s Wharf Taiwan

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If you want a nice afternoon of relaxation and sightseeing just hop a jet to Taiwan and take the bullet train to Kaohsiung and go directly you the fisherman’s wharf. If you hike up to the top of the hill and you will find a beautiful little outdoor cafe where you can grab a drink and a snack, but the real treat is the view of the wharf. If hiking up 1,000’s of steps to catch the view is not your thing you can just walk around the fishing boats and you can find a small cafe where you can sit outside and enjoy the fresh sea breeze and close your eyes and just imagine your back 200 years before cars and motor scooters became the noise that drown out nature and the relaxing sounds of the ocean.
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All images and words © Bill Hamilton, All rights reserved, copying and or distributing these images without my permission is strictly prohibited.


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Sign of the Times or Just Gibberish?

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Is this the sign of the times or just gibberish? When I got off the train in Danshui Taiwan my first reaction was WTF? Where am I going from this point and then of course you follow the crowd or if you’re lucky like me you’re traveling with someone who speaks and reads the language and you navigate from there. If you don’t have a local guide, you learn to ask strangers for help and read maps even in languages you don’t understand. This got me thinking about people who risk everything to migrate to a foreign land where they don’t know anybody and don’t speak the predominate language of that new country and they risk it all for the chance at a new and better life for themselves and their families, man what guts and faith that must take. You wonder are things so bad where they are coming from and what made them so desperate to feel they have no options left, or on the flip side do they have a dream so big, so consuming, and so strong they don’t view this as a huge risk because their faith is so huge, so strong that this is their calling it’s no longer a risk but the only path for their life. Have you ever had a passion so strong that you went against the dominate belief or the general condenses that you were willing to risk a sure thing and risk the safety of what you were taught and threw caution to the wind and followed your heart, your passion, your dream because your faith in God and yourself was enough that the fear left you and it was replaced with a calm and clarity of what your future might be? If you haven’t had that voice inside you, I hope and pray that one day you too will find your calling, your passion, and your reason for being.
If you would like to view my gallery please visit www.billhamiltonmedia.com, thank you!

All images and words © Bill Hamilton, All rights reserved, copying and or distributing these images without my permission is strictly prohibited.

 

Taiwan Bilkes

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In Taiwan and most major cities in Asia traffic is very intense and they do drive really crazy! With that said gas is expensive; it’s hard to find parking. In Taipei they have great public transportation that is affordable, clean, safe, and convenient still the cheapest mode of transportation is the bicycle. This photo was in Taipei and I was amazed with how many bikes were parked on this corner, then when you visit the college you find even more bikes…Knowing the poor air quality I prefer the subway system or walking and experiencing the local ambience, but most people on scooters or bikes wear a mask to filter out most of the pollutants caused from massive traffic congestion, air quality isn’t in the forefront as it is in the states. As I traveled through Taiwan and China the trend continued, here a bike, there a bike, everywhere a bike bike!
To view my gallery visit www.billhamiltonmedia.com. All images © Bill Hamilton, All rights reserved, copying and or distributing these images without my permission is strictly prohibited.

The Dome Of Light

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This is the ceiling of the Kaohsiung MRT Formosa Blvd Station; better know as the “Dome of Light”. Pretty amazing for a metro station located in Sinsing District of Kaohsiung, Taiwan. This is the largest glass work in the world. It was designed by Italian artist Narcissus Quagliata, and its 30 meters in diameter and covers 2,180 sq meters, and has 4.500 glass panels, wow! When I first saw this amazing ceiling, I thought this was making a true statement of civic pride, and this place is very clean, like all the MRT stations in Taiwan. We were taking the bullet train or high speed rail as they are called to Tainan, quick trip at 200 mph.
www.billhamiltonmedia.com. All images © Bill Hamilton, All rights reserved, copying and or distributing these images without my permission is strictly prohibited.

Til Death Do Us Part (Two)

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I thought it would be appropriate to post another cemetery or graveyard photo blog “Til Death Do Us Part (Two)”. This was at the same cemetery in Tainan Taiwan where my first “Til Death Do Us Part (One)” blog originated. There is something eerie, creepy, and yet so calming to just wonder around and read the history each tombstone shares, it truly tells a story. I seem to enjoy not only the thought of life after death with anticipation of being reunited with departed loved ones, but the beauty of life transiting from birth to death, and the journey in between. Believe me, I thank God for every extra day I have, and I’ve had a very blessed life. But, I’m in no hurry to leave my current circumstances, life, celestial plane, or another phrase for this existence either!

To view my gallery visit www.billhamiltonmedia.com. All images © Bill Hamilton, All rights reserved, copying and or distributing these images without my permission is strictly prohibited.

Til Death Do Us Part (One)

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This photo I’m drawn to, actually I seem to be drawn to photograph graveyards when ever I travel, it might be the history, it might be the solitude, it might be the story each grave provides, and it might be the unknown of life after death? I struggled to even come up with a title for it; it was between Til Death Do Us Part, No Vacancy, or Gated Community. The picture is of the Tongpanqian Cemetery in Tainan, it is vast and contains some of Taiwan’s oldest and most historic tombs and graves. The tomb of Ceng Chen Yang is the oldest known Ming dynasty tomb in Taiwan that dates back to 1642. The Ming dynasty tombs are marked for tourism, but may not attract much attention form tourists. In Western countries, visiting tombs of historic figures is a large part of tourism and cemeteries can have a National Park feel and look to them. In Taiwan this type of a cemetery or tourist destination would not seem appropriate. Cemeteries are not tourist attractions, and often cemeteries are only visited during Tomb Sweeping Days or when the proper attention can be paid to the grave site. You can visit cemeteries in Taiwan, and you’re free to wonder around as long as you don’t disturb the solemnity of the place. You may find your Taiwanese friends reluctant to accompany you, however. There are many superstitions surrounding cemeteries, and no one wants to risk any negative attention from the ghosts.
To view my gallery visit www.billhamiltonmedia.com. All images © Bill Hamilton, All rights reserved, copying and or distributing these images without my permission is strictly prohibited.

Burning Money or Money 2 Burn?

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When I first went to Asia and saw people burning money I thought man this is crazy! Then they explained that they would use real money to purchase the other money called Joss paper also known as ghost money, or spirit money. The more contemporary or westernized varieties of Joss paper include hell bank notes, paper credit cards, and cheques, these burnt offerings which are common in traditional Chinese religious practices including the veneration of the deceased on holidays and other special occasions. Joss papers, as well as other papier-mâché items, are burned in traditional Chinese funerals, to ensure that the sprit of the deceased has lost of god things in the afterlife. In other words the deceased will have plenty money to burn.
To view my gallery visit www.billhamiltonmedia.com. All images © Bill Hamilton, All rights reserved, copying and or distributing these images without my permission is strictly prohibited.