Ten Thousand Years A River

Down by the Wannian River in Pingtung City
Down by the Wannian (Ten Thousand Year) River in eastern Pingtung City.

I’m on the move again. A few days ago I packed up all my stuff, shipped my bike down south, and made my way down to Tainan 台南 to embark upon a short bicycle tour of the deep south of Taiwan. My first stop: Pingtung City 屏東市, administrative seat of the southernmost division of the country, and a blank spot on my map.

I knew nothing of this city when I arrived. For whatever reason I haven’t come across any articles detailing its history, attractions, or much of anything else. People visiting Pingtung 屏東 go south to Héngchūn 恆春 or into the mountains but I was curious—and also in dire need of a rest after my first day of riding in the tropical sun—so I stuck around to look for famous food, night markets, old temples, Japanese colonial era storefronts, ruined skyscrapers, and weird public art. I found most of these things and have since posted a full account of my day in Pingtung City.

At any rate, I wanted to leave a small postcard from my time here just as I’m leaving. Yesterday I captured this scene from a bridge over the Wànnián River 萬年溪 at sundown. Earlier in the day I was caught in a torrential downpour for half an hour. Darkly beautiful storm clouds roiled on the horizon for the remainder of the day, threatening rain without following through. More than most other major Taiwanese cities Pingtung City 屏東市 feels like a flat, sprawling, almost North American style suburb.