172012Feb

Winding Down in Yilan, Sorta

I wish I could say I knew the city of Yilan, because that was where we wanted to go after Hualien. However, we ended up staying in Jaoxi, a town one stop north of Yilan. It was a hot spring town and we stayed at a hot spring hotel that had an outdoor unisex (bathing suits required) hot pool, inside hot pools, and private room hot spring baths. Really good stay given the amount of relaxation due from all the traveling. It felt good to do nothing and soak in…

162012Feb

Misty Hualien

Although having a chance of rain was worse than it raining all day, it did make for a mystifying view of the Hualien mountains. The way the clouds move around the peaks makes me want to daydream all day. Sometime you couldn’t tell if clouds were swooping down from the skies or billowing up from the mountain side. It was as if a mythical battle had finish and the air was damp of fatigue. And here we were, pack animals, wandering through the battle field in marvel of what was…

142012Feb

Kenting with a Chance of Rain

Kenting was a small beach town. It’s made of three areas connected by one road. The main street was the surrounded by the other two areas, meant for people who wanted to stay away from the hectic main area. You won’t get lost here. And actually, you may run across the same people over and over again like us. We met a Dutch couple and bumped into them every time we were on main street. Granted, there’s only one main street. And it was the off season. There were enough…

122012Feb

Sidetracked in Pingtung City

There was a miscalculation in our plans. We took the train to Pingtung City before we realized it was easier to take the bus from Kaohsiung. Instead of doubling back or even continuing south, gambling on catching a bus in Fangliao, we decided to stay a night in Pingtung. What we were looking for was a place that was cheap and close to the station. What we got was a “love” hotel, something we Americans would call a roadside motel, but this was far superior. I’ve walked by these places…

112012Feb

Sunshine in Kaoshiung

We didn’t expect much from Kaohsiung. It was going to be another town on our expedited journey to Kenting. What a miscalculation on our part. I definitely wanted to see more of this city. For starters, the Liuhe Night Market 六合夜市 was good, filled with competing food stalls. That led to some good king prawn eating, freshly cooked and I mean fresh. They were swimming and skewered right before you eyes. Not for the squeamish. But in the end, definitely worth it. Firm and tasty meat after you pull off…

102012Feb

Tainan Night and Day

The first thing we did after arriving, renting a scooter, and checking in was to go check out the Hua Yuan (Flower Garden) Night Market 花園夜市. It’s only open Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. Being Thursday night, it was our lucky day. Unfortunately, it was lucky for everyone else who loved this market. I can see why. It’s out in the open, like in a large parking lot and was split between food, shopping, and games. We stuck to the food area like everyone else. The place was packed and you…

092012Feb

Passing Through Taichung

I love the train systems in Taiwan. The run regularly to every major city and this was just the normal railway. There’s the high speed railway which I haven’t tried out yet. Moving from place to place within one or two hours on the Tze-Chiang, limited express, trains were fine for us. I didn’t even go for the tourist railway pass, which is similar to the JR Railway Pass in Japan. The one in Taiwan seemed affordable, but doesn’t allow you to go on the express trains we were taking….

082012Feb

Soaked in Hakka Land

We left a surprisingly dry and cold Taipei back to a rainy and even colder Hsinchu. A great start to our journey around the island of Taiwan. Thankfully, we didn’t bike or even rent a motorcycle. The cold wetness would send us back to Taipei in a hurry. On the other hand, arriving here in this weather meant staying indoors. However, Vicky’s cousin Che was available to pick us up and show us around town. Score! And also, we’ll be staying at his folks place. Bonus! From the station we…

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