The collected writings of a Renegade Tourist

Tag riding motorbike

The Ride to Tainan

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

Expressway No. 61, 5:59 pm

It's not a proper thunder shower yet, but the rain is still pretty heavy, big drops pelting me as I go along. Speed always amplifies the force of the drops, normally it starts to feel painful when you go above 60 kph and now I'm already doing a little over 90; every single drop hitting my chest or legs stings like a bullet from a BB gun - it's like riding through a barrage of machine gun fire. As if the pain wasn't enough, the thin rain jacket is woefully inadequate, I can feel myself becoming wetter with every second. For whatever reason - maybe it's because I've recently been reading a Finnish World War 2 novel -  I react to the deep feeling of misery by repeatedly swearing in Finnish: Saatana Perkele, Saatana Perkele

The (slightly) failed trip to Chiayi and Tainan

Last weekend, Yini and I planned to go see the famous beehive fireworks that kick off the lantern festival each year in Yanshui. We failed to actually see the fireworks but went to Chiayi and Tainan all the same. What happened was that I checked the date for the beehive fireworks and saw that it would be this weekend so we figured we could go see the fireworks on Saturday evening. What I failed to pay attention to was the fact that the main event was on Friday evening and that the whole thing ended early Saturday morning. I only … 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

The Long Dong scramble

In my last post I wrote about going swimming at Long Dong. I mentioned that people also go there for climbing, and since I like climbing I’ve been thinking of going back there for a while. This month, the authorities have decided that Renegade Wife can’t leave the city, that is she has to go to work on Saturday. Not wanting to stayed cooped up at home every weekend, I decided to go by myself.

I took off right after work on Friday afternoon, steering my trusty motorbike towards the north-east. The road out to the coast is pretty mountainous … Read the rest

The long way to Long Dong

A while ago my colleague mentioned that he would go to Long Dong over the weekend. His description of the place made me interested, and this weekend me and the wife finally had time to go. 

For the sake of added adventure I decided we should go by motorbike and while there are fairly fast routes, they largely go through urban areas which is not much fun. So after a bit of playing around in Google maps, i deviced a route that would take us through the mountains out to the north east coast. Here is roughly the route I … Read the rest

The Big Indochina Trip: the Mae Hong Son loop, day 3

The road back from Mae Hong Son to Chiang Mai is bit longer than the previous two days so I was planning to get an early start. However, just as I was getting ready to go, my hosts invited me to go sightseeing with them and they were so nice to me I just couldn’t say no. They took me to Su Tong Pae bamboo bridge. It’s pretty similar to the one in Pai but they claim this is the original, the one in Pai a copy. They kept being super nice to me so tried to at least buy … Read the rest

The Big Indochina Trip: Ninh Binh to Hanoi

The goal of the day was to reach Hanoi, but it’s only 90 kilometers from Ninh Binh so we could take things easy. What we missed when we went to Tam Coc was Hang Mua,  a temple high up on one of the karsts overlooking the river. Spending the morning there was a given choice. Though the karsts are not particularly tall, they are steep and the climb up was pretty hard work with the sun beating down on you. Once at the top though, that hard work pays off because the view of the landscape below is pretty spectacular. … Read the rest

The Big Indochina Trip: Ho Chi Minh highway to Phong Nha national park 

Today I didn’t have time for any real sightseeing, instead I hit the road and headed for Son Trach,  a small village that works as a kind of hub for people visiting Phong Nha national park. By the main highway it’s fairly short and quick but I decided to take the scenic route i.e the Ho Chi Minh highway. 

Getting there took a bit of trouble because the road was crossed in  several places by the remains of mud slides and rock falls. 

Read the rest

The Big Indochina Trip: hauling ass to Hoi An

Before this trip started I made a rule for myself that I should  not ride more than 200 kilometers a day. Today I broke that rule by a large margin. You see, in order to get more time in Hoi An and Hue I needed  to get there as fast as possible, so instead of staying over in some beach town I decided to go as far north as I could in a day, hoping I could reach Hoi An by nightfall. My backup plan,  in case I got too tired, was to take a hotel in Quang Ngai.

 I … Read the rest

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