The collected writings of a Renegade Tourist

Month September 2021

Wuliaojian trail 7:34 am

I don’t think my photos can accurately show how steep this is. It’s more like rock climbing than hiking. The trail is a jumble of rocks and exposed roots, polished smooth by thousands of hands, thick knotted ropes trailing along the sides for you to hold on to. Climbing is strenuous work: two steps forward, take a deep breath, step over a jutting out boulder, take a deep breath, grab on to some roots and haul yourself up, take a deep breath, a few meters of flat ground then at it again. This is exactly the kind of hiking that … Read the rest

The Sunken Road

First I want to thank my wife for finding out about this place and sharing the information with me so we could arrange a trip. Now on to the post

Down in Jiayi (Sometimes also spelled Chiayi) in South Taiwan there’s a region with a lot of fish farms and oyster farms. In fact it’s so many that the GPS makes it look like the expressway is running on a bunch of islands and sandbanks out in the ocean, even though it’s actually on land. Over time the usage of these seafood farms has changed and some of the old … Read the rest

Baishuihu, 11:26 am

tall grass line the road and poke up through the cracks. Low waves, little more than ripples on the pond's surface, lap the edges of the asphalt. The ride is bumpy, every now and then I have to slow down to a crawl to avoid hitting a large pot hole too hard, and the weeds keep rubbing against the sides of the car as I go along. It feels like I'm the first person to drive here for many years. The road is long enough that I can't actually see if it connects to anything at the other end or if it gets swallowed up by the water somewhere up ahead. I really hope that it goes all the way across because it's so narrow it would be really hard to turn around. The thought that I might have to drive the entire distance in reverse flashes through my mind but I brush it off and press on. A sensible person would never go down a road like this, but there's something about the dilapidates state of it, as well as the fact that I can't see where it ends, that imbues the place with a sense of adventure and compels me to steer my car down it, heading towards the unknown.

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