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Victoria harbour in the golden light


Postcards From Badouzi 八斗子明信片

Sundown over the coast of Badouzi
Sundown over Badouzi, a peninsula on the eastern periphery of Keelung, Taiwan 台灣.

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 Zhōngzhèng 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!

From The Far Side of Yeongdo Bridge

The far side of Yeongdo Bridge
Looking back at Nampo-dong and the Korean Peninsula.

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.

Taichung Jiande Container Yard 建得台中貨櫃場

Taichung Jiande Container Yard 建得台中貨櫃場

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.

Postcards From Nanfang’ao 南方澳明信片

Returning to Nanfangao harbour
A fishing boat cruising through the outer reaches of Nanfang’ao harbour.

Nanfang’ao 南方澳 is a major fishing port in Sū'ào 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.

Victoria in the Golden Light

Victoria harbour in the golden light
Victoria’s upper harbour in the golden light of afternoon.

Time for another blast from the past! This is a lightly retouched version of a photograph I captured of the upper harbour in Victoria, British Columbia, way back in 2008. Even then I was fascinated by the specific quality of light seen in the golden hour of afternoon.

The Shipyards of Nanfang’ao 南方澳船廠

Shipyards along a fishing harbour in Yilan.

Today I visited Nanfang’ao in Sū'ào 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!

North Shore Road Trip

Allied Shipyard, North Shore

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.


Standing tall in Gibsons Harbour.

Captured on a walk around the harbour in Gibsons during my summer sojourn in 2010.