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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!

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.

The Sky Above the Port Was the Color of Television

A great view of the port of Keelung
A great view of the port of Keelung from an abandoned bowling alley on the east side of the harbour.

I snapped this photo in eastern Keelung from the rooftop of an abandoned bowling alley. Pictured here is the terminus of highway 62 where it meets highway 2, the road that rings the northeastern shore of Taiwan 台灣 down into Yilan.

I don’t know very much about how ports work but I find them very fascinating. This is how most goods move around the world. I would love to take a closer look but most ports are closed to the public and securely guarded—and the port of Keelung is no different. Even so, this rooftop vantage point afforded a rather nice view and I thoroughly enjoyed watching the cranes move containers around in the famous northern gloom.

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.