Taiwan: Epilogue

This is absolutely the last entry of this series and I must say I’m relieved that I’ve already come to this point.  As I’ve already mentioned before, the events of this series occurred more than 1 year before and I’m eager to blog about my more recent travels.  I originally planned to have this epilogue as the last part of the previous entry on Taiwan, but since that was getting to be too long, I just decided to create a separate entry for it. Continue reading


Taiwan: Leaving Yilan, Arriving in Taipei

Woke up the next day with an image of somebody – might have been Sam or Pavel – leaving the room and wishing me well.  I was still sleepy enough to not make sense of anything.  Later on, after a few more minutes of dozing off, I realized that my 3 roommates were gone (they’ve taken an early bus going back to Fo Guang Shan Monastery in Kaohsiung) and that I too had to quickly take a shower and pack my stuff for the trip going to Taipei. Continue reading

Taiwan: Science and Religion

By this time it was apparent that we would never have as much sleep as we wanted or needed because there was simply not enough time.  The past nights were always spent competing with others in doing the laundry and sometimes, practicing a dance number (more on this later.)  It’s a good consolation that, so far, we have been given excellent and comfortable lodgings with air conditioning. Continue reading

Taiwan: Tainan & Taichung, with Lukang in between

For the 3-day cultural tour of Taiwan, we were given new groupings, based on the destinations that were pre-assigned.  We didn’t all go to the same places.  My group, as well as a few others, were to tour the western coast of Taiwan.  Another group or two toured the eastern coast, and then a few others toured other parts of Taiwan. Continue reading

Taiwan: The International Youth Seminar on Life and Ch’an, day 2

One thing I forgot to mention in the last entry was that my participation in this seminar did not in any way obligate me to convert to Buddhism, nor was there any expectation on me to undertake further studies in Buddhism afterwards.  Basically, it’s the closest thing to the proverbial “free lunch” as far as I was concerned. Continue reading

Taiwan: The International Youth Seminar on Life and Ch’an, day 1

Photo credit: The 2012 International Youth Seminar on Life and Ch’an Facebook page.

So I’m starting to properly blog about my Taiwan trip that happened in July last year.  For a long time, drafts of this entry and a few others were languishing in this blog’s draft queue due to an unfortunate combination of mental block, inertia and plain old laziness.  Meanwhile, I almost fell into the trap of just posting slideshows, while I allowed this Taiwan series to be overtaken by my blog of my Tarak Ridge climb, which actually occurred after the Taiwan trip, as well as by some other entries. Continue reading