South Taiwan Ride 2015: Tainan to Pingtung City

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Riding through the countryside in southern . This looks remarkably like the area near where I grew up.

Bicycle touring is one of the best ways to experience . 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 . My intention was to cover some of the same territory that I had rushed through on my first bicycle trip down south in 2013. I ended up racing a typhoon from to that year—so the chance to explore the backroads of at a more relaxed pace really appealed to me. I started my journey in , my favourite city in , and cycled through to , putting about 70 kilometers behind me. Gathered here are some photos from the first day of this trip, continued here.

On The Edge of Agongdian Reservoir 阿公店水庫

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The control tower near the north end of the levee at Agongdian Reservoir, .

Agongdian Reservoir 阿公店水庫 (occasionally romanized in the old Wade–Giles style as Akungtien Reservoir; literally “Grandpa’s Shop”) is located amid the low hills of central in southern . Construction began in the but was not completed until 1953, largely because of the high amount of silt in the waterways flowing into it. Even now considerable effort must be undertaken to dredge the reservoir every season.

Wushanding Mud Volcano 烏山頂泥火山

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Wūshāndǐng Mud Volcano 烏山頂泥火山 is a modest geological curiosity in the hilly badlands of , . It is the largest and most impressive mud volcano field in . I first heard about the place through this excellent article by Richard Saunders, who also published an illuminating article about mud volcanoes in the China Post.