First adventure under “Funemployment,” appropriately in the theme of new beginnings, was visiting Taoyuan for this year’s Lantern Festival. The Lantern Festival marks the ending of the Lunar New Year festivities, along with letting go of the past and embracing the coming year with new expectations and goals. Ever year in Taiwan, a city is chosen to host the extravagant light show and lantern exhibits to showcase all of the greatest works collected from craftspeople all over the country who have slaved over these colorfully clothed, wired, and sometimes robotic, exhibits.
My impression was it would be another touristy gimmick, with endless monkey or minion-shaped lanterns lined up one after another for children’s pleasure.
To my surprise, it was actually a visually stimulating, enjoyable experience. Just like everything else done right in Taiwan, the lanterns were hardcore, with mobile parts, moving eye balls and gadgets, while blasting tunes like Linkin Park or “You Are My Flower.” You are never too old to enjoy an entire football field-sized area filled with lanterns, with adorable music and search lights filling up the cold night sky.
Outgoing: NT$300 in HSR tickets
About NT$200 in night market food. Best choice was the NT$35 aboriginal boar skewer. SO YUM!!
+An inspiration to learn how to build something, after being humbly impressed by all the crazy mechanical mobile lanterns built by high school students!!