On the road again in Manzhou Township
South Taiwan Ride 2015: Manzhou to Dawu
My fifth day of riding around southern Taiwan in June 2015 delivered me to the most remote parts of the island’s 1,139 kilometer-long coastline. On the previous day I rode from Fangliao 枋寮, on the southwestern coast, around Hengchun 恆春 and into the foothills of the Central Mountain Range 中央山脈…
Aug 2016
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Don’t do fashion
Taiwan Night Market Fashion 1
In addition to their reputation for novelty foods night markets in Taiwan 台灣 also offer an almost endless variety of cheap goods, particularly clothing and accessories. Much of Taiwanese night market fashion is amusing, quirky, provocative, bizarre, or even incoherent, though some of it is also quite clever. My understanding…
Jul 2016
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Inside an abandoned theater in Yonghe
Yonghe Grand Cinema 永和大戲院
Yonghe Grand Cinema 永和大戲院 is one of dozens of derelict movie theaters in Greater Taipei. Like hundreds of other theaters all around Taiwan 台灣 this one went out of business in the early years of the new millennium due to changing consumer habits, a topic I have already discussed at…
Jul 2016
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Crossing the Linbian River at sunset
South Taiwan Ride 2015: Pingtung City to Fangliao
After spending a day riding around Pingtung City I was ready to hit the road again. With no specific destination in mind—only an intention to head in the direction of Hengchun 恆春, far to the south—I checked out of the vintage homestay I lodged at the previous night, stopped at…
Jun 2016
Mazu Temple in Pingtung City
South Taiwan Ride 2015: Pingtung City
One of the pleasures of bicycle touring in Taiwan is the freedom to change plans on impulse. On my second day of a trip down south in June 2015, having previously cycled across Kaohsiung from Tainan, I opted to hang out and see more of Pingtung City 屏東市. A dire…
Jun 2016
A pink sanheyuan in Alian District
South Taiwan Ride 2015: Tainan to Pingtung City
Bicycle touring is one of the best ways to experience Taiwan 台灣. I don’t have an opportunity to go touring as much as I’d like but managed to find some time last year, in June of 2015, to embark upon a multi-day bicycle trip around southern Taiwan 台灣. My intention…
Jun 2016
In the heart of Jiahe New Village 嘉禾新村
Jiahe New Village 嘉禾新村
Jiahe New Village 嘉禾新村 is one of more than 800 military dependents’ villages (Chinese: juàncūn 眷村) built in Taiwan 台灣 in the late 1940s and 1950s to provide provisional housing for KMT soldiers and their families fleeing from the Chinese Civil War. Around two million people crossed the Taiwan Strait…
Jun 2016
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Beneath an electric blue sky
Qingkunshen Fan-Shaped Saltern 青鯤鯓扇形鹽田
The southwestern coastal region of Taiwan 台灣 is salt country. From Budai 布袋 in Chiayi 嘉義 down through Beimen 北門, Jiangjun 將軍, and Qigu 七股 in Tainan 台南, an incredible expanse of manmade salt evaporation ponds sprawl across a completely flat and almost featureless landscape, much of it reclaimed from…
Jun 2016
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Silly tiger at Daodong Academy
Daodong Academy 道東書院
Dàodōng Academy 道東書院 is one of many Qing dynasty era academies scattered across central and southern Taiwan 台灣. Located in Hemei 和美 in Changhua 彰化, it was built in 1857, the 7th year of the Xianfeng Emperor 咸豐帝 (清咸豐七年), and operated as a private school devoted to classic Chinese literature…
Jun 2016
The view from within the abandoned aquarium
Golden Birds Paradise 金鳥海族樂園
Not long after returning to Taiwan 台灣 last year I received an invitation from the ubiquitous Mr. LoveGod to go road tripping down to Hsinchu 新竹 to check out an abandoned theme park. Along the way we stopped off to check out a derelict cablecar station and the restored Héxìng…
May 2016