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
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
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
Near the center of Hsinchu City there is an old indoor market called Dongmen Market. It used to be a so called wet market where people would go to buy groceries, clothes and other everyday items. The place has been on the decline for a number of years with more and more of the little vendor stalls and shops closing down. Lately however, a lot of young people have been opening little restaurants, cafes and bars in the old vendor spaces. Most of these businesses are only open in the afternoons and evenings, so during the day the place is … Read the rest
Last year I went to Tainan to participate in the Yanshui fireworks festival. Unfortunately I had misunderstood the schedule and managed to miss the whole thing. This year I was determined to join so I planned it better, double checking the schedule several times.
The festival was going to start on Monday with the main celebration Tuesday night until Wednesday morning. I originally planned that I and Renegade Wife could ride my motorcycle together over the weekend ending up in Tainan, so we could see the fireworks. Sadly my wife’s aunt passed away during the Chinese New Year so we … Read the rest
Macau is most famous for its many casinos and I believe most visitors come here for a day or two to do a bit of gambling. Although the casinos are ever-present, the Cotai Strip defining Cotai island, and the Grand Lisboa looming over the old city like a benevolent golden giant, there is more to this city than just gambling.
Macau is a small country and you can check off the major tourist attractions within a day or two, so unless you plan on spending a lot of time gambling, it’s not really worth it to fly around the world … Read the rest
At the beginning of this year I decided I should ride my motorbike from east Taiwan, across the central mountains to the west. With lots of other things taking up our time it’s not until now the wife and I were able to go.
On Friday evening we took the train to Hualien city on the east coast.We have several days for our trip, so instead of setting off directly on Saturday morning, we stayed in Hualien for some relaxed sightseeing. Among the places we visited were Liyu lake, Lien Cheng lotus garden and Qiqi highlands.
Since it was raining heavily the night before we had started to plan some indoor activities for the day, but when we woke up the rain had subsided and there were some blue patches in the sky so we skipped those plans. Instead we decided to go to the beach, because that’s what you do in Kenting. Yini had ferreted out information on some kind of secret beach so of course we had to go there. It doesn’t really feature on the maps and there are no clear signs but after some searching we found it. It’s between Maobitou beach … Read the rest
The thing about driving across Taiwan is, you have to get back somehow, and taking the same road back wasn’t all that interesting, so we decided to go south, round the tip then back north along the west side.
We did a similar trip a couple of months ago but that time we were in more of a hurry, this time we made a couple of stops along the way. First up was an interesting, seemingly abandoned house just on the side of the road. It turned out that all the doors had been padlocked so I couldn’t go inside … Read the rest
The main island of Penghu is actually made up of three islands connected by bridges to form a large horseshoe. We live in the biggest town on one end of the horseshoe, today we decided to go sightseeing on the far end.
We started by heading back out to the little islet connected by the tidal road, and got there just in time to see the tide close over the road. That was kind of neat.
We continued out towards the far end of the island, stopping first … Read the rest