The collected writings of a Renegade Tourist

Tag Hsinchu mountains

Baby’s Second Adventure

Before becoming a parent I thought having a small child would mean being stuck at home most of the time. Recently I’ve found more and more that while there are some limitations, it is possible to go out and do fun things. Granted you have to make some adjustments to what you are doing and where you are going but still, you can go on little mini adventures. For instance me and my wife used to really enjoy taking the motorbike up into the mountains then go hiking to some semi-remote waterfall. We can’t go by motorbike anymore, but if … Read the rest

Baby’s First Adventure

A couple of weeks ago I was out with the motorcycle in the mountains and rediscovered a trail that we tried to hike many years ago but never finished because part of it had collapsed, then forgot about. From what I could see it seemed to be in good shape, so last weekend we decided to give it another go…this time with the baby.

It’s actually not much of a trail, only a few hundred meters long, but it leads to a waterfall which in my opinion makes it a worthwhile hike. The place isn’t particularly popular and it’s a … Read the rest

Guyan Waterfall, 4:03 pm

I stand just meters from the fall looking up at it. It is tall and narrow, the stream of water tumbling down a near vertical cliff, hitting little protrusions in the cliff face on the way down, sending a fine mist into the air. The mist catches the rays of the sun, forming a permanent rainbow that hovers in the air just above the the shallow little pool at the fall's base. The little gully where I stand lies in the shadow of the cliffs above and the air is filled with the rushing of the water. Outside, the landscape is bathed in sunlight, all green and bright and swelteringly hot, but here it's cool and calm with the soothing sounds of the water drowning out all other noise. As I stand there admiring the view, the excitement of successfully scrambling my way up the lower falls to this place slowly dissipates and I feel a calm settle over me. It's as if my mind has been emptied of all worries and negative feelings and I simply feel happy.

Buddha World part 3: the Last Castle

Last year we explored an old hotel in the abandoned amusement park temple (which I later found out is called Buddha World). When we went there we thought the hotel was the last unexplored building, but we spotted another castle-like structure out in the jungle. That time we weren’t able to go explore it so I had to make do with a couple of pictures taken from a distance.  This weekend we’ve finally taken the time to come back so I could take a closer look.

Yini didn’t feel like going into the building so I left her in the … Read the rest

Revisiting the Abandoned Amusement Park Temple

About two years ago Renegade Wife and I visited an old amusement park that had been turned into a Buddhist temple. There were some parts of the park that we didn’t have time to visit and I’ve always wanted to go back. Last weekend we finally took the time to go there again. Because it’s been a while since I took the motorbike out I decided it would be a good day to go for a ride. However, it was a bit cloudy so we packed some rain gear and a couple of umbrellas just in case.

It was … Read the rest

Afternoon mountain ride

A couple of weeks ago I was studying the map and found a route just outside Hsinchu that looked like it would be fun to ride on the motorbike. Renegade wife and I attempted to do it that weekend but got caught in some heavy rain and had to turn back. This weekend we decided to try again. For those interested, the rout consists of a series of small roads that connect two of the main mountain roads near Hsinchu, you can can see the map below for details.

The ride out of the city is rather boring but once … Read the rest

Mountain road outside Hsinchu, 4:41 pm

The rain is truly torrential now, large drops falling at a  rapid pace. The road we’re on has turned into a veritable river; dead leaves and other debris from the surrounding jungle have been washed out onto the road and gotten caught on the edges of the many cracks in the asphalt, forming little islands here and there. The road is steep enough for a current to form, it keeps splitting and reconnecting as it flows around the little islands, even building up swells as it passes around some of the bigger ones. Separate streams flow down the ditches on … Read the rest

Jungle trail and waterfall

Always on the lookout for places to go and things to do my wife recently used her googling skills to find a hiking trail and waterfall in the nearby mountain area that we hadn’t been to yet (good work Honey). It seemed like a fun trail, so today we decided to go there. We took the motorbike up to the mountains and parked at the trail head; from there it was only a few hundred meters to the waterfall. Since it was a pretty hot day, the pool of clear, turquoise water at one the steps of the fall looked … Read the rest

The mountain loop

A couple of Taiwan’s major country roads (road number marked by a blue shield) go through the mountains. Last year, Renegade Wife and I rode across the island on one of them, number 14 – often referred to as the Central Cross-Island Highway – and despite some rather miserable weather, it was a fun little adventure. There are a few more that look very tempting to a motorcyclist studying a map of the country and as it happens, they are connected in a big loop. With Tomb Sweeping day extending the weekend to four days, and the weather finally becoming … Read the rest

Roads not traveled

When the wife and I go up in the mountains we often pass through a place called Neiwan. It’s a kind of vacationers paradise with a lively food market, several go cart tracks and a number of hot spring resorts within a short distance. Basically city dwellers can go there to enjoy the mountains without having to forfeit modern amenities.

Every time we drive through the area I see roads that look very inviting but for some reason or other we’ve never really driven on them. Recently however, I’ve been determined to see where they lead and yesterday became the … Read the rest

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