The collected writings of a Renegade Tourist

Category Taiwan

Art Under The Bridge

A couple of months ago I wrote about something I call neglected spaces. This weekend we found a place that isn’t actually neglected but has a lot of the same vibes. It’s a place called 大里溪橋下小人國 which roughly translates to Little People Country Under Dali Creek Bridge. It’s hidden away underneath country route 63, just at the end of the Dali river bridge. Most people will never even know it’s there, passing over it on their way somewhere else, and if they pass by on one of the small roads on the side of the bridge, it’s still unlikely they … Read the rest

Learning to Hike Using The Map Room

My friend runs a website called The Map Room which focuses on hiking, river tracing and other outdoor activities in Taiwan. He has written a series of posts called Learn to Hike in Taiwan which, as can be expected from the name, provide the reader with some basic information about hiking trails suitable for beginners. Since we have to bring our son along for hiking, I figured it could be a good idea to try one or two of the trails from this series, just to see how well it works while carrying a toddler on your back. We started … Read the rest

Going to Kinmen With a Baby

Ever since I moved to Taiwan, my wife and I have slowly been working on visiting all of Taiwan’s outlying islands. So far we’ve been to Green Island, Penghu and Matsu, and last weekend we went to Kinmen. It is a small island just a stone’s throw (well, a rather long stone’s throw) from Mainland China. Given its location there has been a lot of military activity on the island and most of the actual fighting between China and Taiwan took place here in the 1950’s. Before it became militarized, Kinmen was home to a fair amount of merchants who … Read the rest

Urban Exploration in Hsinchu City

Finding and exploring abandoned buildings is generally referred to as Urban Exploration (or Urbex for short). The ironic thing is, most of the urban exploration I’ve been doing has been out in the countryside; abandoned amusement parks or hotels up in the mountains, or old bunkers out by the coastline. Perhaps in my case calling it “exploring modern ruins” would be more accurate, but that doesn’t have quite the same ring to it as Urbex. Recently however, I’ve been doing some actual urban exploration.

Whenever I’m out and about, could be the morning commute, could be running some errands after … Read the rest

Mountain Climbing With a Toddler

In my last post I talked about hiking Wuliaojian. I liked it a lot because most of it is proper climbing and not just walking along a smooth trail. However, it’s rather physically demanding which means it’s not suitable for everyone. The same weekend as I went to Wuliajian, me and my wife also decided to bring our son out for a short hike somewhere. My wife found a trail called Xianshan Trail that seemed suitable for us so we went there. It turned out to be an easier, less demanding alternative to Wuliaojian.

The trail head is at … Read the rest

Climbing Wuliaojian

I can’t remember who gave me the tip but ever since I first heard about it I’ve wanted to climb mount Wuliaojian (五寮尖山). Due to circumstances I haven’t been able to until now. I have to say right from the start that I’m really happy I finally went, because it’s a really good climb. The mountain isn’t particularly high, only 639 meters, but there are several near vertical sections that require some proper climbing and you more or less need to use the fixed ropes to get up or down. This makes it a lot more exciting than your … 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

Neglected Spaces

There’s a certain type of spaces that I feel strangely drawn to. The kind of spaces at the edges of the urban landscape, half forgotten spaces hidden behind and below the infrastructure that keeps our cities running. I don’t really have a good name for them, liminal spaces isn’t quite correct, backstreets indicates something that is more populated, they’re definitely not slums and you can’t call it wasteland; forgotten spaces is wrong, people still remember them, and they’re not abandoned or deserted. Perhaps the best term would be neglected spaces, they’re a bit dirty, they don’t get taken care of … Read the rest

The Plastic Problem

I guess that we are all aware that our oceans are full of plastic. For me at least, this awareness was what I like to call an intellectual awareness that let me keep a kind of detected attitude to the problem – I knew it existed but it didn’t really affect my day to day life. Last weekend however, that changed. Me and my family went out to the beach and to my great surprise there was a wide belt of plastic trash topping the dunes, stretching the entire length of the beach. It had not been there the last … Read the rest

Mapping the Tunnels part 2

Shortly after I made my last post about the old military tunnels at Fengqi Sunset Trail, my friend Johan, who is a Youtuber, contacted me saying he wanted to make a video about the tunnels. My other friend David, who was the one to introduce me to the tunnels in the first place, said he would also like to join (you can find David's post here). Said and done, the three of us met up at the trail head and with Johan filming we made another foray into the tunnels. Continue reading about our underground adventure.

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