Very early again, we departed from Taichung moving down south to Kaoshiung.
As we passed by smaller towns, we realized that the occurance of this betel nut kiosk are abundant along the national highway.
The girl, known as 槟榔西施 are usually scantily dressed, so as to attract customers to stop and buy from them. A lot of them are students trying to earn a living from selling the betel nuts.
According to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Areca_catechu):
Areca catechu, known commonly as Betel palm or Betel nut tree or Pinang is grown for its economically important seed crop, the Betel nut. The seed contains alkaloids such as arecaine and arecoline, which when chewed is intoxicating and is also slightly addictive. Areca palms are grown in India, Malaysia, Taiwan and many other Asian countries for their seeds.
So, the first stop for the day is the Sun Moon Lake 日月潭
This place is right high up on the mountain. The lake used to be a lot bigger before the recent big time earthquake. A lot of the things been submerged as together with the quake I think.
Nearby is a temple, and the management people kept pestering us to donate for the temple rebuilding. You take a look yourself and see if rebuilding fee is necessary for this temple.
Then after that we move on to the famous Fuo Guang Shan Monastery 佛光山.
This is where Xing Yun 星云法师 devoting his entire life building up a highly well managed monastery, in view to promote a brand new image of Buddism teaching that fits the new generation spiritual needs.
Can see a lot of work been done at this place. With well organized layout and land scapping too.
These days, master Xing Yun pretty much retired to the back scene due to old age. He has left all management work to his followers. I have listen to his talk on the TV before, and through his speech, the understanding of Buddism seemed so much more meaningful. Followers can easily related to the teaching of Buddism with usual life. So I guess that much be one of the reason he is so famous.