9th ABF Chiayi - Arrivals, Museum, Food!

Once again I have been blessed with the golden opportunity to join another Asian Bird Fair, the 9th ABF in Chiayi, Taiwan. So far, this is my fourth ABF since it started in 2010 and I am truly amazed at how big the ABF family has grown. The ABF slogan is “Celebrating Birds Across Borders” and each Asian Bird Fair lives up to that, connecting birders across the world with each other.

Logo featuring the Pied Avocet designed by Arnel Telesforo
This year’s ABF is the largest so far, with more than 180 delegates from 29 countries flying to Taiwan and making their way to Chiayi. Upon landing in Taipei, we immediately saw Boris, Patricio, and Eduardo from Ecuador. Ecuador! I haven’t even stepped out of the airport and I was making new friends with people from a continent away! 
Group shot at the Taoyuan Airport!
We said goodbye to Boris, Patricio, and Eduardo who were staying in Taipei for a night. Victor, Andrew, Mike, and I boarded a van and headed for Chiayi to prepare for the different activities in the next few days. That meant meetings, rehearsals, site inspections, and of course... eating! 

Dinner at a chicken restaurant as we arrived in Chiayi
The specialty! Tender and flavorful chicken! It was served
with the delicious black pepper salt that I love!
Other delicious dishes to go with the chicken
The chicken are cooked in these ovens!
Site inspection as the tents were being set-up
Rehearsals for the opening ceremony with Greg, my co-emcee
Lunch! Eating again!
Dumplings, noodles, tofu, beef soup! I loved everything!!!
After our dumpling lunch, we headed to the Southern Branch of National Palace Museum for a tour with the delegates who have arrived early in Chiayi.

Andrew and I joined the delegates at the museum
View of the bridge and museum building. It was quite a
walk from the parking/drop-off area to the museum
building itself.
Museum building
We were given a guide map and earphones to better hear
our tour guide as she brought us around the different
exhibit rooms,
The ABF delegates on tour
The tour ended and we made our way to the Renyi Lake Hotel where the Welcome Dinner was held. The Renyi Lake Hotel is located in a remote place near the Renyi Lake and is quite bird-y! Some delegates went birding after the Welcome Dinner and even saw an owl!!! 

Entrance of Renyi Lake Hotel
Morning view from my room at Renyi Lake Hotel

The next day was the official start of the 9th ABF! That's another post coming up next!

To be continued...