Near the end of my first summer in Taiwan 台灣 I visited Bādǒuzi 八斗子, a rocky headland, coastal park, and major fishing port at the far eastern edge of Zhongzheng District 中正區, Keelung. I went there on impulse, not knowing what to expect, just to see what was out there. Google Maps and Taiwan’s excellent public transit system make random explorations like this almost effortless: pick a point of interest and follow the directions—the digital equivalent of throwing a dart at a map. This post features a selection of retouched photos from this expedition alongside the sort of explanatory text I wouldn’t have been able to write back in 2013. Fair warning for arachnophobes: this post contains several gratuitous photos of giant spiders and other creepy crawlies!
Pictured here is the historic Yeongdo Bridge (Yeongdodaegyo 영도대교 in Korean), originally built during Japanese colonial rule in 1934 as a single-leaf drawbridge to allow large vessels to pass. It was the first bridge connecting the island of Yeongdo with Busan and the rest of the Korean Peninsula. By the 1970s it no longer operated as a drawbridge but was restored to its former glory in 2013.
Intermodal shipping containers are strangely fascinating to me. I am, like most citizens of consumerist democracies, dimly aware of their contribution to the background hum of global trade, but I seldom have an opportunity to see them up close—not in their natural environment, anyway. Most ports have security measures that prevent laypeople from gallivanting around container yards for obvious reasons.
Nanfang’ao 南方澳 is a major fishing port in Su'ao 蘇澳, Yilan, on the east coast of Taiwan 台灣. It is located just south of the end of the Lányáng Plain 蘭陽平原 where a rocky headland juts out into the ocean to form a natural harbour. It opened in 1923 after development by the Japanese colonial authorities and is now considered one of the top fishing ports in the nation, often ranking in third place by measures unknown to me, and is particularly known for its record-breaking mackerel catch. Part of why the port is so productive has to do with the nutrient-rich Kuroshio Current 黑潮 (literally “black stream”), which lies just offshore.
Today I visited Nanfang’ao in Su'ao 蘇澳, one of the largest fishing ports in Taiwan 台灣. It is nestled between several low mountaintops on a peninsula in southern Yilan. The shipyards pictured here are easily seen from the wet market across the harbour. For more about this place be sure to check out the rest of my postcards from Nánfāng’ào 南方澳!
I met up with an old friend to hit the road in search of adventure today. And so we crossed the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge to the North Shore. We stopped in some random industrial area just off the Dollarton Highway then proceeded to Cates Park before entering Deep Cove. I figured it would be picturesque. Instead it was kind of dull and vaguely unwelcoming. We forged ahead to North Woodlands, which I only knew about from messing around with Google Maps. Turns out this remote community was even less welcoming than Deep Cove—virtually every vantage point was blocked by private homes. We snapped a few photos from the wharf and called it a day.
Captured on a walk around the harbour in Gibsons during my summer sojourn in 2010.