Kai Heng

Pre-trip


I was very happy to be able to go for this trip as I have waited forever for it to be approved. I am looking forward to being able to spend time with my friends, learn new things and to revisit my memories. I hope to learn more about the culture of Taiwan, the history of Taiwan and the life of Taiwan. I hope to be able to learn more about astronomy through friends, more about their hopes and aspirations and how they view me as a friend. I hope that I am able to learn that I am self-disciplined, resilient and courteous. I want to be able to learn as much as I can on this trip, participate actively in the activities and to develop my self-confidence. I expected Taiwan to be very similar to Singapore, such as the weather, the culture and language.

Day 1

Tired. Fun. Rewarding.  Today is the first time, I have gone overnight without sleeping. It was very fun to be able to visit all the places and I felt accomplished when I managed to get to the Yehliu Lighthouse as it is a distance to walk. I learnt that Taiwan’s pace of life is not as fast as Singapore, people do not really rush to go anywhere. Taiwan’s weather despite looks similar to Singapore on paper, in reality, it feels a lot different. I learnt that I am able to persevere when walking all the way to the Yehliu lighthouse and after not sleeping for a long time, I am still able to participate in the activities. I also learnt that for once, I could do more than what I thought I could. Things I didn’t do so well would be not being so active during the visit to Astronomy Museum as I was absolutely worn out by then. Also, I was too shy to ask for directions in the night market. Lastly, I did not consider the fact that the night market was really warm, and that I had worn a clothing that does not disperse heat easily. I look forward to visiting the Weather Bureau tomorrow. I look forward to visiting the institutions tomorrow and I look forward to having fun tomorrow.

Day 2

Exciting. Interesting. Enjoyable. We went to the Central Weather Bureau, National Central University and Shida Night Market. The campus in Taiwan is really huge, I also learnt that Taiwan has a huge telescope and I learnt that June to October is the typhoon period for Taiwan. I did not like the fermented beancurd as much as I did last time, I learnt that I can eat 4 bowls of rice. I need to work on my Chinese so as to be able to better understand the lectures. I also need to learn to better appreciate Taiwanese food. I look forward to the lectures at National Taiwan University tomorrow and the visit to Lishan High School.

Day 3

Fun. Amusing. Eye-opening. The visit to National Taiwan University was an eye-opener to me, I learnt so much about physics, for example, the drinking bird, which uses heat to tip over the head of the bird periodically. The talk by Pisin Chen has taught me a lot about space. Finally, the visit to Lishan high school has allowed me to take a look at their curriculum. I learnt that in Taiwan, they only have major exams every three years, unlike two years in Singapore. The Lishan High School campus is humongous. I learnt that I should try and be more attentive during long talks and that spicy food is not my thing. I should wake up and shower faster. I look forward to experiencing the simulated earthquake at the 921 Earthquake Museum in 台中. I look forward to the long and relaxing bus journey. I look forward to the new hostel tomorrow.

Day 4

Wet. Fun. Exciting. The visit to the 921 museum and trying the earthquake simulator was a new experience for me. The long bus journey was relaxing as I got to listen to my music and munch on food. I learnt that Taiwan has over 44,000 earthquakes a year. Taiwan has narrow rivers which cause it to flood easily when it rains. Just a few hours ago, we received news that it was flooding in Taipei. Luckily, we were out of the city before the flood hit. The waters reached knee-deep levels. I learnt that I love the rain. I love to go on a long bus journey and I can eat fatty food. I overspent and had no more money for dinner. I ate too much fatty food. My Chinese needs to be worked on as I had trouble communicating with the China students. I look forward to visiting the 台南 astronomy museum. I look forward to the long bus journeys and I look forward to going to the night market.

Day 5

Tired. Congested. Rewarding. The visit to the Astronomy Museum was exciting, the hostel was way under expectations. I learnt that today Taiwan has experienced the worst rain in 21 years. According to locals, even typhoons are not even that bad. Taiwan has a lot of  PhD holders, almost everyone goes to a university. 高雄 is the largest city. I need to work on my Chinese as I still need some time to comprehend the locals. I need to eat a lot of food for breakfast so that I won’t be famished before lunch time. I keep overspending as the food is quite expensive. I need more sleep. I need to pack my luggage more effectively. I look forward to moving to the new hostel. I look forward to visiting the nuclear power plant tomorrow. I look forward to visiting the observatory tomorrow.

Day 6

Rewarding. Fun. Tired. This morning we woke up at 4.30, it was the earliest I have woken up so far during this trip. As I woke up very early this morning, I slept throughout the bus journey. The nuclear power station is interesting as I got to understand the advantages and disadvantages of nuclear power, as well as understand the different type of rays, such as alpha rays, beta rays, gamma rays. The 4D clip was interesting as I got to learn about the history of dinosaurs. Afterwards, we went to the 出火 site. Mr Tan bought a bowl of popcorn and tried to cook it. The fire is fueled by the escaping methane. Unfortunately, the bowl of popcorn caught fire and we couldn’t eat them. The visit to the 墾丁 observatory was fun as we got to go into the mini observatory. At night, we went to the 恒春 night market. At the night market, I enjoyed myself as I tried out the BB guns and won some prizes! I need to work on my attention, as sometimes I find myself being distracted at times. I also need to work on my mental calculation to add up the cost of food. I learnt that I am addicted to seaweed fries. I also learnt that I am a decent shooter at the shooting game. I look forward to visiting the 墾丁 marine science museum tomorrow and finding out about the marine life. I look forward to witnessing the 社顶 corals on the mountains.  


Day 7

Tiring. Fun. Eye-opening. Today, we went to the 墾丁 Marine science museum. At the museum, I learnt about the history of marine life and how it came about. I learnt about the evolution of these sea creatures. We went to the Waters of Taiwan exhibit. There were some exotic creatures and they were magnificent. I learnt that Taiwan has such diverse marine life. The visit to Sheding was tiring as we had to trek through uneven roads, squeeze through narrow crevices and manoeuvre through muddy paths. Luckily, the roads to Eluanbi was quite even and waking there was a piece of cake. Finally, the visit to the Manchurian Port Drawbridge was fun as I got to walk across the suspension bridge. I learnt that I am able to walk a lot further than expected. I learnt that I can endure the hot sun. I should not have drunk 5 bottles of water as my bladder was bursting by the time I reached the nearest toilet. I should not have brought my entire bag for the Sheding trekking as I had a hard time squeezing through the crevices and with the additional weight, I was slower. I look forward to the visit to the technology museum tomorrow. I look forward to going back to Singapore. I look forward to the scrumptious breakfast at the hostel tomorrow.


Day 8


Fun. Interesting. Today, we went to the Technological Museum. The School of Science and Technology going to the technological museum. At the museum, we saw many advanced gadgets. I learnt the convenience and advantages these technologies have provided us with. Technology is a double-edged sword. If people misuse it, it can bring great harm to us. As such, we must have the right mindset whenever we are dealing with such high-technology. I realised that I am very fascinated by technology. I learnt that in 2009 a typhoon named Morakot hit Taiwan. 2854mm of rainfall descended over a span of three days. The typhoon caused mass destruction, leading to 699 dead and missing. Within those three days, it has rained a year's worth of rain. Landslides struck, everywhere was flooded. I learnt that in Taiwan, technology has improved their lives a lot. Unfortunately, I did not expect the museum to have experience theatre which requires me to pay. As I have spent all my money at the gift shop previously, I was unable to go for the experience theatre ride. I was so amused by the technology present there, that I did not want to leave the museum. Finally, we are heading back to Singapore. After spending 8 days in Taiwan, I have learnt a lot of things. In the beginning, time felt as if it was passing by slowly, as the days got by, time just flew by. With the blink of an eye, we are about to board the plane. I hope that I can return to Taiwan again.


Post trip
The Taiwanese culture seems similar to that of Singapore. Their accents are similar to that of Singapore. Their food is also similar to Singapore. In Taiwan, their pace of life is not as fast as Singapore, the people do not really rush to go anywhere, whereas Singaporeans will rush despite having a lot of time. For example, Singapore has the highest average walking speed. This shows that Singaporeans are most of the time in a rush. Taiwan was under Japanese rule, the Republic of China (ROC) was established on the mainland in 1912 after the fall of the Qing dynasty. As Taiwan was under Japanese ruling, till today, some locals are still able to converse in Japanese.

Science and Technology has brought a better understanding to their lifestyle. For example, with the advancement of technology, the Taiwanese are able to implement better earthquake detection systems, such that they can warn the citizens of danger. Another example, is the weather bureau. By having technology to be able to detect the amount of rainfall, weather predictions can be made. Real time predictions can be made so as to update citizens of current situations such as the recent flooding. With many new ways of producing energy being introduced, the efficiency is constantly refined. By having advancement in green energy production, the CO2 emissions will be reduced and the greenhouse gasses in our environment will be reduced. According to research, nuclear power is the greenest form of energy production, also the most efficient way of producing energy.. However, if not properly managed, it can also cause huge destruction. Nuclear fallout and leakage does a lot of damage not only to the environment but also to us.   
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Science education is very important in relation to the technological and economical progress of a country. Without science education, the fundamentals would not be known, as such improvements cannot be made. With science education, more jobs related to the science field will be created and as such, the economic of the country will be improved. New sectors will be introduced such as, based on microprocessors, telecommunications, biotechnology and nanotechnology. Products are transforming business practices across the economy, as well as the lives of all who have access to their effects. With the improvement of the economy, more money can be channelled into developing the technology. Technology can help to bring people closer, as well as improve the quality of people’s lives. Improvements in technology can bring about better health care systems. With science education, people will have a better understanding of nuclear power. As nuclear power is the greenest energy of all, but only if well-managed can it have more advantages than disadvantages. By letting people know about nuclear power, they can make an informed decision on whether to support nuclear power.  All these starts from science education.  

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