Saturday, March 10, 2012

A Short Trip To Taiwan

My husband and I went on a short trip to Taiwan to attend the wedding of his friend’s daughter. He used to be a business associate of my husband’s but now they are friends.

At the reception table, large size photos of the couple taken beforehand were displayed and small ones for the guests to pick up.

Like here in Japan, guests bring gift money in the envelope. 

There are some wedding “do’s and don’ts” I noticed later though it was the second time to attend the ceremony. How careless I was!
One of them is: gift money envelopes should be red. I brought white one tied with beautiful gold paper string. However, they say white one makes breaches of wedding manners because it is used on funeral, oh, what a cultural blunder!

Second; the amount of the number of paper money should be even number. A friend of my husband’s, who is Japanese, asked us to present her gift money instead of him and that was odd number!
I only wish they gave an allowance for me being an ignorant foreigner.

                                         reception hall before the  party begins

                                     The  guests were more than 400 but on her  
                                     brother's occasion five years ago, more than 800 
                                     guests were invited. we were one of them.

As you might know, this is the year of the dragon according to the Chinese calendar.
They believe getting married or giving birth to a baby especially in the year of the dragon is lucky at life or born lucky, so on that day there were four weddings in the afternoon and one at night. I hear when invited guests think of gift money to bring one after another, red envelope of invitation is called “red bomb”.

Anyway, I have known her for some years and she is a very intellectual and thoughtful lady. When I saw her entering the hall accompanied by her father, I was very much moved. I wished the couple’s happiness ahead. 

The following  day her father, though he must have been tired I’m afraid, took us to one of the most beautiful places in the middle part of the country.

It’s called “Sun Moon Lake”, the biggest lake in Taiwan.

                       Over the clouds, the summits of the mountains are seen.


                                  the lake seen from a ropeway
                                  Scenery changes every minute of time

 the hotel we stayed, Lemidi Hotel, situated at the altitude of 1250m

Look at the lower right of the picture of the hotel. They are a pair of giant stone lions.
Originally they sat several meters apart at the front door. However when the typhoon hit Taiwan, two stone lions were moved by the landslides and found later sitting side by side.

                          Since then they became a symbol of strong love despite the
                          relentless attack of nature and popular place among couples.

                           morning view seen from the window of the room

There is a big forest near this hotel.
We enjoyed strolling around 2 hours to make up for a lack of exercise before leaving it.
I felt like I was walking around Shinshu in Japan. I even enjoyed "sky walk"

We owed it a lot to him to make this short trip a wonderful one. 


  1. How very interesting! I expect they made allowances for you being a "foreigner" ! The hotel looks wonderful - what a view. And the lake is gorgeous. Was the weather nice?

  2. Envelopes should be red? Money should be an even number? Uh-oh. That's so different from Japan!

    I love the story about the two lions who moved in the typhoon. I think they're definitely in love! :)

    Those are huge trees! What kind?

    Thanks for taking us on an interesting trip!

  3. The wedding must have been amazing. It's always so interesting to read about different customs. The lake is very beautiful. I would be afraid to go on the sky walk. This was a special trip--thank you for sharing it!


  4. Jenny

    This international resort hotel is the only one situated in the woods at the altitude 1250 meters above sea level in the country and another “only one” about the hotel is that it has the heliport. Actually it is owned by the bride’s sister-in-low’s parents. Otherwise we wouldn’t have had a chance to stay such a luxurious hotel. The environment was wonderful. The weather there was, say, around 20℃, very comfortable. It was about one hour and a half drive from the lake. Around the lake, it was quite warm that day, more than 25~27℃ during daytime.


    Red seems auspicious and their favorite color.
    The forest is a Taiwan University experimental forest recreational park. There are also bamboo groves and ginkgo groves
    Interestingly some bamboos are quadrilateral, not round..
    The trees in the shots are Taiwan cedars and Yanagi (willow) cedars.
    When I asked local people if there were people who were suffering from hay fever, they said no.


    Thank you for visiting here. Cross-cultural communication is interesting but I should be more careful to respect what is acceptable and what is not in different culture. I liked the natural surroundings, fresh air , fresh water and fresh food!

  5. What cultural differences even among neighboring countries! In Japan, odd numbers are considered to be lucky. Regarding the wedding, even number is (superstitiously) no-no as it can be divided by two implicating divorce.
    Your hotel is gorgeous and the episode of the two stone lions is interesting. “Sky walk” looks so thrilling. I like the cloud-hung mountains in the distance seen from the lake. Thank you for the glimpse into your wonderful trip and the extravagant wedding. Wish the newly-wed couple’s long and loving life together.

  6. Different countries have different customs but I never thought the envelope's color has such meaning. But in japan,I heard there are a color of kimono guests shouldn't wear.
    " Sky walk" I want to try. it looks adventurous.

  7. 台湾の結婚式の風習は日本といろんな面で違うようですね。独特な朱色で彩られた式場はエキゾチックで素敵ですね! 昨年夏、私達家族も初めて訪れた台湾ですが、日本にとても友好的で一度訪れただけで好きになりました。cosmosさんは風景写真がとてもお上手ですね。蒼い山並み、刻々と変わる雲の様子を美しく巧みに撮られていますね。素敵です。

  8. ポストを開いた瞬間、赤一色の写真に目を見張りました。日本からこれ程近い国なのに、文化の違いは大きいのですね~。興味深く読ませて頂きました。セレモニー用の赤い封筒が売られているのでしょうね。見てみたいです。素晴らしい眺めのゴージャスなホテル。一足先に春の散歩を楽しまれましたね!日本からも新しいカップルのお幸せを祈ります!

  9. Lovely pictures! A great wiew in the morning and I like your angle of the pictures of trees.
    I can not these wedding customs:-)

    Hope you have a blessed weekend Cosmos!

  10. Red and Orange are the auspicious colors used here in India too during weddings. Also we give 51, 101, 501, etc The one rupee being the lucky thing.
    What a beautiful reception hall, full of red.
    Also your hotel is so fabulous, the sky walk looks interesting.
    Have a nice Sunday:)

  11. Such lovely shots of that fabulous lake!

    It's taken me about ten minutes to leave a comment because of word verification. You might think about removing it?

  12. Very interesting post! I enjoyed a lot rading this post and imagined how wonderful time you had there.
    The lake and the sunshine are stunning. Thank you very much for sharing this precious experience.

  13. Thank you for all your comments.

    I have to stand correct in saying "gift money should be even number", like I rewrote in the post, what I mean is "the amount of the number of paper money should be even number".
    The Japanese friend of my husband asked us to present 3 paper bills as a gift money.
    Arti, it's interesting to know 1 means something good in your country.

  14. Oh this is a very interesting and lovely post, cosmos! I enjoyed it a lot. What interested me most is the cultural differences in wedding. "gift money envelopes should be red" I have never seen red envelopes in person but it sounds great and sounds a little like Christmas.
    I wish I had a sky walk! As for Taiwan, I visited only Taipei and didn't know the lake. As you say, the scenery looks like that in Shinshu! Thank you for virtually taking me to the highland in Taiwan!

  15. amazing photos, especially I liked the lake!!

  16. Hello Cosmos,
    Seems like you had an interesting trip to Taiwan.The dining room looks quite splendid in red and silver.It must have been special to be given a guided tour of the beautiful countryside.
    And the lions........they are so happy! We have a saying, "It's an ill wind that blows no one any good".Perhaps you have a similar one in Japan!
    Best wishes,

  17. A very interesying report, Keiko.
    The view from the window impressed me greately.

  18. What an enchanting place! It's been a long time since we've been to a wedding. They are a lot of fun, especially if there's dancing at the reception. I'm glad you got to stretch your legs in such a beautiful forest. It must have refreshed you.

  19. Hello, cosmos.

     Your sweet message and works charms my heart.

     I thank for your usual and hearty support.
     The prayer for all peace.

    ruma ❃

  20. thanks a lot for this gorgeous trip!!

  21. Hello cosmos,

    Thank you very much for your visit and your warm comment on my blog!
    These wedding superstitions are quite funny sometimes, mostly because I think it's impossible nothing "forbidden" to happen. And yet, long years after the ceremony, you find the pair still together, healthy and happy. In my country, the dispute odd-even is related to the flowers you have to bring: an even number is appropriate only for funerals.
    I liked your humour and the easiness in describing the event!

    The morning view from the window is absolutely fantastic, also the way you captured it.
    I enjoyed reading about the "love story" of the two lions: you would really say that they share a secret bound, seeing them smiling and "speaking" to each other like that.
    Taiwan seems to be a beautiful country, blessed with such a green richness!

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  23. Hello, cosmos.

      Your heartwarming work provokes my impression.
      The passion for the art.  It is universal.

      Thank you visit to the garden of the cherry blossoms.
      The prayer for all peace.

    Have a good weekend. ruma ❀

  24. How beautiful and expressive cherry tree to see!!!


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