As we all know, international travel isn’t possible with a global pandemic going on but domestic travel is still possible, at least here in Taiwan. We’ve been thinking of going back to Yilan and the secret beach for a while now and last weekend we decided to do it. Previous trips with the baby have either been day trips or trips back to Yinis parents house where we already have plenty of baby things. This was the first time staying overnight in hotel with the baby which was an entirely new experience for us but we decided to take on … Read the rest
I thought I could go swimming but it's too dangerous. The beach slopes steeply down towards the water, and when a big wave comes sweeping in it's like a giant trough of water that empties then fills back up in matter of seconds. Though swimming is out of the question I still enjoy the feeling of waves washing over my feet, so I walk a few meters down the slope, let my feet get swallowed up by the pleasantly cool water while the afternoon sun warms my back. I hesitate for a moment, thinking about taking a few steps more, then another big wave comes rolling in and crashing onto the beach with tremendous force; white foam rushing forwards, the water rising from my knees to my chest in an instant, the force pushing me back at least a meter. Just as I recover my balance the water rushes out again, pulling at my legs, threatening to drag me with it. Behind it, a million little rocks come rolling down the beach, filling the air with a rattling, rushing noise against the background booming of the waves.
The water is a nearly perfect navy blue topped by a faint streak of orange from the warm glowing ball of the setting sun. I lie in the water after my run over the soggy grey sand, letting it cool me down. A wave comes rolling lazily along, slowly lifting me up then gently dropping me down as it passes. I take in the beauty of the sunset and just drift, total relaxation.
Before I tell about my experience, here is little bit of background. In the 19th century the town of Yanshui was suffering from a cholera outbreak. Locals called on Guan Gong, the god of war, to ward off the decease. The god agreed to help but said he had to be greeted by fireworks, so people organized large amounts of bottle rockets to be fired off. Apparently it worked (some say the sulfur in the fireworks killed the bacteria) so the town has made it a tradition to set off masses of fireworks on the 14th and 15th days of … Read the rest
The sun has just started to set, it's noticeably lower in the sky but still bright and warm, shining right at me. My hat shields my face from its rays but I can feel its warmth on my bare chest. It paints a broad streak of silver on the water's surface, like a glimmering road across the tops of the waves, from the ever shifting waterline on the wet sand all the way out to the horizon. I stand a few feet out in the water with the waves washing over my ankles, watching that strip of silver as if mesmerized by the way it sparkles, drawing in my eyes until I see nothing else. I feel the cool breeze one my back, I feel the sand being washed out from under my feet as I sink down into it, I hear the wooshing of the waves that, though not loud, drowns out the sounds from the people around me. It is a strange thing this, this urge that makes me kick off my shoes and go stand in the water, this instinctive need for meditation that only the ocean can fulfill.
A vast expanse of grayish brown sand, broken up by a couple of large puddles left over by the receding tide. Shallow canals winding their way through the wet sand, leading out to a large lagoon of pale blue water, and in the distance the white crests where the waves break over the outer sand bank. The sun shining down from a cloudless sky, topping every unevenness in the sand and every ripple in the water with a dash of silver. The distant roar of the breaking waves fills the air, every other sound seems to have been blown away … Read the rest
The sky, clear now after a cloudy afternoon, is absolutely full of stars, the three in Orion’ s belt outshining everything else in the vicinity. The waves come rolling in to the beach just a few meters away, the black water crashing down on the dark sand with a loud booming sound that fills the air. I put my arm around my wife, feel the warmth of her body against mine as she leans on my shoulder, and just enjoy the moment. … Read the rest
This is the most exploited beach I’ve seen in a long time. Miles and miles of parasols and deck chairs set back from the water under the the shade of a row of trees, behind them, a wide road lined with shops and restaurants and out in the water, by some floating jetties, a whole flotilla of boats and jet skis. Far in the distance, tall white skyscrapers that I can only presume are hotels. I like a good beach but this level of exploitation kills the relaxed vibe.… Read the rest
Since we had seen most of the really worth while sights on Saturday we took it pretty easy on Sunday. Penghu is supposed to be a good place for snorkeling and diving but all the diving tours seemed to have closed for the winter, so I simply bought a cheap mask and snorkel from a sports store on main street and then we headed out to one of the many beaches.
At the far end, near some tall cliffs I found a nice area to explore. It was by no means as good as a coral reef but I still … Read the rest
We arrived in Korea’s second city, and all around beach paradise, Busan yesterday evening. By the time we had checked in to our luxurious hotel room (we suspect it is a love hotel, but who cares) and rested up a bit, we only had time for a short stroll around the neighborhood before going to bed.
Today we set out to see more of what we only glimpsed last night. We strolled down the high street until we reached the local beach, but the sky being somewhat cloudy and the waves high, we decided to just go for a walk … Read the rest