After leaving Cijin Lighthouse, I took the ferry back across the bay and then went to check out the former British Consulate at Takow. Takow (or Takao if you use the Japanese-derived spelling) is the old name for Kaohsiung that was in use up until the Japanese government left Taiwan and the RoC government took over. The consulate was originally built because Takow was one of the ports opened to foreign trade during the Qing Dynasty rule of the island. The building was used as a British consulate even after Taiwan was ceded to Japan in 1895, and it wasn't until 1910 that the Japanese took the building from the British and converted it to another use.
On the way there, I passed by this temple.
And here's the former consulate residence. It's a very handsome building with lots of shaded verandas where one can imagine some empire-building dandies drinking their gin and tonics when the weather was too hot to work (just about all year round in Kaohsiung).
We can see Cijin Lighthouse clearly across the way.
I did visit on a weekend when the weather was nice, so it's to be expected that the place would be a little crowded, but unfortunately this place seems to have become even more of a destination for busloads of Chinese tourists than it was last time I was here a couple years ago. (Or maybe my timing was just bad.) Since there are lots of thin, hilly paths in the area here, I had many opportunities to go mano a mano with middle aged Chinese women who, despite having lived many decades already, have never been introduced to the concept of "staying to the right side of the road/walkway".
One of the above-mentioned hilly paths was this one in back of the main consulate building. This wasn't here last time I came, so I walked down to see what there was below.
There was a gnarly tree...
...an imperialist oppressor and naturalist, frozen in time....
...and a whole new building below! They must have opened this sometime in the last 2 years. According to the absolutely gorgeous English-language pamphlet that they provide (also new for me on this visit) this building was the actual consulate office. Since it's at the bottom of the hill, it's closer to the actual port where ships come in, and the primary business of the consulate was helping British trade interests in Formosa, so this was an important factor. (Also, comedy note, the beautiful pamphlet was, they told me, only available in English, and not even in Chinese.)
To be honest though, the newly restored/rebuilt consular office was a big disappointment. While it was pretty from the outside, it was lacking much in the way of museum material inside. Instead, the inside was mostly just a big shop selling British things like tea, and cups with which to drink tea. Most of the historical exhibits are up at the residence on top of the hill, so I'm not sure it was even worth it to come down here.
Here we are back up at the residence.
The consular officials would have seen this view too, though with more trees and rice fields and fewer buildings.
A lock for the shutters
Papaya trees in the sunset
After leaving, I headed down to the water to check out Cijin lighthouse in the dark. I saw this gecko on the way. Not a rare occurrence, mind you, but I think they're cute, so I like to take photos of them.
My camera's not very good at night photos, so this is all I got.
Until next time!