Rice Fields & Mangroves!

So it's not exageration to say that for the last 2 {almost 3...eeek!} months that I have lived here I have said more times than I can count that I want to go check out the rice fields. Weird sounding...maybe...but let me tell you, they are soo beautiful you would understand if you could see them yourself!

Now if you know me well, you may think I am sick in the head for writing this (if not a gentle disclaimer, I hate car rides, I don't like driving, I don't like having to be the passenger, planes, and trains, and everything else were made for a good reason!). Last weekend, I, Tracy, went for a joy-ride...JUST FOR THE HECK OF IT {clearly this whole scooter deal has affected me more than what I would have thought haha} and of course I had to stop and take some pictures once I felt that I was sufficiently "in the middle of nowhere!"

Ummmm, so pretty gorgeous, these pictures don't even begin to do it justice!

A little panoramic action so you can get a feel of where I was at!

Close up of the rice growing {if anyone would like to explain harvesting this to me, I'm all ears!}

Love this view!

As I kept driving I came across this home. This style house is a traditional Hakka style home, the Hakkas are an indigenous group to Taiwan that are heavily populated in the  Hsinchu area that I live. 
After driving around the country for a while longer, I headed for home with a new goal in mind. I had heard mention of mangroves near my house, but knowing that the word "near" could be really relative and not knowing exactly what a mangrove was, I didn't have much idea of where to turn to next haha {general story of my life when it comes to directions!} I drove into what I thought was the right direction telling myself that if nothing else it was a beautiful day for a drive!

I ran into this on my way to the mangroves...no where else in the world have I see so many arches in the middle of the road and parking lots "just because"!

And just when I was starting to give up hope to ever finding these mangroves and starting to fear that not only would I not find them, but now also not find my way back home, I got a hunch.  I saw several cars all heading in the same direction (there was hardly any traffic where I was) so I started to follow them, and guess what I found....a parking lot! Ok, but really, I found a parking lot, and I did what any good person who knows they are lost does....I parked my scooter and began walking around. And then guess what I found...yes now you guessed right...the mangroves!!! And the best part {ok I'm fast forwarding a bit here} but on the way home I realized that they are only a 5 to 10 minute drive from my house...score!!

One of the many paths snaking through the dense mangrove trees.

Had to get a picture to prove I made it there!

While I was there I saw many parent/child combos dangling over the side of the railing doing 'something'. Of course I can't ask them what's down there, so I found a friendly looking father-son duo and dangled next to them...they were CRAB FISHING!!! They had a chopstick with a string tied on the end and some bread/meat tied on the end of the string that they were using as bait. When I started looking I realized there were crabs everywhere. I walked on a little further and found an abandoned "fishing pole" and decided to try my hand at crabing (disclaimer, I have no idea what this is actually called!) and am proud to say I caught and then quickly shook off several little crab friends before going along my merry way!