The collected writings of a Renegade Tourist

Tag Miaoli

Neglected Statue Park

I’ve been living in Taiwan for more than ten years now but funnily enough it’s only recently that I’ve started to discover just how many odd places there are in this country. If you check the Taiwanese map for landmarks and tourist spots you’re not likely to find them, which is part of the reason it took me so long. However, if you take the time to explore the back streets, country roads and other less touristic parts of the country, and you pay a little bit of extra attention to your surroundings, you might stumble on some such place … 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

Tracing the river

A couple of weeks ago I was in a camping gear store looking for something when a man came up to me and asked something. I couldn’t really give him a proper answer but we started chatting and soon enough he had invited me to go river tracing. I’ve been interested in going for a while, but I’ve just never taken the time to arrange a tour, so when the opportunity came up like that, I happily agreed to join.

At first my wife was planning to join as well but she had some work to do so in the … Read the rest

Chengde temple trail, 7:15 pm

There is a rounded opening in the wall of trees, just big enough for two people to stand side by side, framed by overhanging branches and low bushes silhouetted against the background, a barely perceptible difference between the shades of gray. A path, its gravel surface painted a light gray by moonlight, runs through the undergrowth, undulating slightly as it stretches out to a point somewhere in the distance. Thanks to the full moon my companions and I can navigate the darkness without using our flashlights, it enables us to see the little flickers of light all around us. In … Read the rest

Climbing Flame Mountain

Every time we drive south on the highway we pass a series of cliffs and ridges formed of orange soil, that are commonly called Flame Mountain. Recently Yini found out there is a walking trail there so last weekend we went to check it out. Since my scooter has been feeling tired and slow lately I bought a new one on Friday and to test it out we went there by scooter. It was more or less just a long slog on boring roads but thanks to the new scooter it felt effortless.

The trail itself starts a few paces into the … Read the rest

Plum blossom roadtrip

Today we went on a small roadtrip up into the mountains. The goal was a newly opened section of road that is supposedly similar to the central belt road, which is the road that snakes across the central mountain range from west to east. We went by various smaller country roads rather than the highway and around two in the afternoon we turned up into the mountains. The road we followed was narrow and bumpy and we wound our way upwards and then, as we came around a bend, a large sloping field of white, blossoming plum trees opened up … Read the rest

Miao Li mountains

This weekend the wife and I decided to go for a mini vacation in Miaoli. We started right before lunch, took my motorcycle and went south out of the city. Before long we were entering the mountains and drove along a winding road through lush green landscapes. The road was so perfect for a motorbike ride, I just kept going along and soon enough we reached our hotel.

After checking in we went out again to explore the mountains some more, stopping here and there whenever we found something interesting. Here are a couple of pictures taken during our exploration.… Read the rest

Muesums and restaurants of central Taiwan

Last weekend some of Yini’s old friends had organized a short trip to have a chance to see each other and visit a number of interesting places. We joined but took our own car and made our own hotel booking for convenience.

The trip started with a short drive to Miaoli where the group gathered for lunch and the girls ended up chatting for a long time. Due to my still rather poor Chinese, I was not really able to join the conversation and ended up reading blogs all the while. We left the restaurant and planned to take a … Read the rest

Nanzhuang mountains 7:15 pm

Umbrellas in our hands to shield us against the rain, we walk down a small dirt road in the dark. Save for a few burst from the flashlight to make sure we don’t veer off into the undergrowth, it is near perfect dark. A deep, blueish grey mist hangs over the mountain, the beam from the flashlight spreads a diffuse white glow around us. Against this misty background, the profiles of trees rise up from the shadowy undergrowth, black shapes on a dark background. Among all these half visible shadows are dazzling lights, hundreds of small, florescent dots, lighting up … Read the rest

Nanzhuang mountains 5:19 pm

We follow a small mountain road until we reach a fork, I take the left, which seems to be the main road, but my girlfriend points out it might be wrong, so I back up and turn right. We are now faced with a muddy, broken piece of road undergoing repairs. Gingerly I inch the car forward and, like a little donkey it takes us past without a hitch. It seems this short stretch of roadworks has transported us off the relative comfort of Taiwanese roads to a more remote area a South American jungle. The road is narrow and … Read the rest

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