The collected writings of a Renegade Tourist

Category Taiwan

The Neglected Temple

I’ve previously written about what I like to call neglected spaces, those places that are not fully abandoned but rarely see any use. An interesting example of such a place is the Putian Temple which sits on a hill overlooking Hsinchu City. The temple itself is in use and seems to have a fair amount of visitors. However, on the hillside below it it is a semi-abandoned park full of weird statues, that becomes more overgrown and dilapidated the further you get from the main building. Actually the temple itself is pretty weird as well. Instead of trying (and … Read the rest

The Trail Under The Highway

I’ve previously written about two parks that are underneath major roads in Taiwan; the semi-abandoned Wuri Tank Park and the strange art exhibition/miniature world under the Dali Creek Bridge. Last weekend my wife found another similar place called Shalu Leisure Landscape Trail (沙鹿休閒景觀步道 in Chinese). For some reason, this one also happens to be in Taizhong city; perhaps the citizens of Taizhong really like to utilize the available space.

Like the name suggests, this is a hiking trail, or rather a strolling trail, because to be honest it’s far too flat for any actual hiking. It’s roughly two … Read the rest

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

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