We pedaled back to Fangliao Station 枋寮 and got a train to Zhiben 知本 station.
Before this trip, I had made a plan to go cycling 60 km to Dawu 大武 and get a train to Zhiben 知本, but we gave up it because the route with 400 m of elevation is too hard for the fathers who are the captains on Tandem bikes.
After the first plum rain season started, the temperature dropped down and we had comfortable cycling to Fangliao 枋寮 station. (Or we got accustomed to hot temperature in Taiwan.)
We arrived at Fangliao 枋寮 station then I bought the train ticket to Zhiben 知本. Only 11:34 train had vacant seats so we started packing our bikes immediately.
Ruthy and I had finished packing our bikes in several minutes because we rodr on Bike Friday pocket Rocket, fast folding single bikes.
Waiting for other people complete packing, I went shopping for lunch and mango shaved ice ordered my husband.
I found a nice lunch box shop, in which customers can choose various ingredients on top of rice in the box. I found various meal including vegetables fish and meat and all they looked delicious.
I got one box because we would have a chance to buy lunch boxes on the train.
Next, to the lunch box shop, I found a shaved ice shop. I left only 10 minutes to get the train, but I ordered mango shaved ice. The staff put lots of slices of mango and shaved cube, finally push all of them with the lid.
The lunch box was 100NT$ and mango ice cube was only 50 NT$.
I rushed to the station and we got 11:34 Tze-Chiang Limited Express307 and get some lunch boxes on the train. It was also delicious.
We arrived at Zhiben station and assembled bikes.
In front of the station, lots of middle-aged male Taiwanese or Chinese visitors were waiting for buses.
All of them were chatting incessantly like the tweets of birds.
It was really interesting for us because Japanese middle-aged men were talkative.
It was only 6 km cycling from the station to the Zhiben Hot spring town 知本温泉.
Zhiben hot spring town looked like Kinugawa Onsen, which is located 100km north east of Tokyo and had been a popular hot spring resort town, but now there were lots of abandoned buildings of large ryokan (Japanese style hotel) complexes developed in past decades.
We arrived at the inn . It was a big building but the hotel nameplate was covered by a wood panel.
It might be a bankrupt hot springs resort hotel and the present owner bought some rooms, renovated them and started her hotel business there.
We went to Da Tou Mu Restaurant 大頭目野食館, Taiwan’s aboriginal cuisine recommended by the owner of the inn owner.
We ordered 3500TW$ menu for 10 people and all dishes were excellent.
Lots of vegetables and seafood were served the waiter and waitress wearing the ethnic costume.
An elderly man sitting next to the entrance came to our table and talked us in broken Japanese.
He said he is a native Taiwanese and he loves Japanese songs.
(Before WWII, Taiwan was colonized by Japan and elderly people can speak Japanese. )
After dinner, children and some adults went to outside Onsen, hot spring on the first floor of the inn.
There are two big pools and the spring qualities are different, alkali and sulfur springs. We enjoyed both pool and relaxed.