Monday, 11 October 2010

Taitung Spotlight

To experience local culture on your travels, follow the spotlight. At least that is what the Tourism Bureau seems to be trying to say. They've been rolling out places they're calling "spotlights" all over the country, starting with Eastern Taiwan. This is Taitung's spotlight, the site of which used to be an old train station. They've built a space for live performances where local indigenous musicians can sing and play music for tourists, locals and fans alike. Saturdays and Sundays, (mostly) locals turn up to sell handicrafts and homemade food. Some of the food is quite interesting - popsicles made with local fruits like custard apple, cake made of rice flour (Taitung is known for its rice) rather than wheat, rice flavored ice cream, hibiscus tea, etc.

None of these spotlights that I've been to so far are exciting and spectacular. Rather, they're places where you come with the expectation to spend an entire morning, afternoon or evening "discovering" and "exploring" the local culture there by slowly taking in what you see, listening to the sounds, tasting the food and chatting about the experience with the friends you've come with.

My Taitung Spotlight story will air this Friday/Saturday.

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