Art and stinky tofu

On another supposedly quiet day, I went to the Fine Arts Museum. It was only whilst writing this post that I saw the museum’s resemblance to the shipping container Starbucks I went to in Hualien a few days ago. The highlight for me was a retrospective of RenĂ© Burri’s work and life. The name rang … Continue reading / view photos Art and stinky tofu

A wooden library in Beitou

On my second day back in Taipei, I took the train to Beitou. Beitou is at the northern end of Taipei and is famous for its hot springs. It still has a Japanese feel to it even though Japan handed over Taiwan to China in 1945. I went to Beitou to chillout at the wooden … Continue reading / view photos A wooden library in Beitou

Return to Taipei

I returned to Taipei after my stay in Hualien. My circumnavigation of Taiwan was complete. I’d initially wondered what I would do for three and a half weeks. Now I realised I needed much more time to see this beautiful country. It repeatedly surprised me. My plan was to take it easy in Taipei, to … Continue reading / view photos Return to Taipei

Coffee and books

I took it easy on my last day in Hualien. I went to Starbucks. But not an ordinary Starbucks. It was built from recycled shipping containers and designed by Japanese architect, Kengo Kuma. Afterwards, I went to the central library. It had themed reading areas (e.g., a Japanese area had tatami mats and you sat … Continue reading / view photos Coffee and books

Taroko Gorge

I bought a two-day bus pass at the central bus station, which was next to the train station. The staff at the station were helpful. I decided, on the bus journey, that I would take the bus to the terminus, which was the highest point in the gorge the bus reached. This would give me, … Continue reading / view photos Taroko Gorge


The fast train journey from Chishang to Hualien is about an hour. The main reason people come to Hualien, on the east coast of Taiwan, is to visit Taroko Gorge. It’s a stunning, dramatic, product of nature and testament to what slight changes over millions of years can produce. When I got to my hostel, … Continue reading / view photos Hualien

Cycling in Chishang

After Kaohsiung, on the south-western coast, my anti-clockwise route should have taken me further south. I initially contemplated Kenting, on the southern tip. However, it was getting unbearably hot and would have been hotter further south. So, instead, I took a train to the east coast. Chishang has a unique selling point. It is renowned … Continue reading / view photos Cycling in Chishang

Monkey mountain

Kaohsiung has a national park on its doorstep. Shoushan National Park was about 45 minutes away from where I was staying. I’d found some hikes online and decided to do one. At some point I needed to take the light railway, which was walking distance from my hostel. On the way, I popped into the … Continue reading / view photos Monkey mountain

Fo Guan Shan Monastery and Buddhist Museum

One of the big attractions near Kaohsiung is the Fo Guan Shan Monastery and its adjacent Buddhist Museum. The monastery was built in the 1960s. Sometimes it’s not easy finding out how to get to slightly remote places. I looked at various guides online and tried Google Maps. There seemed to be an online consensus … Continue reading / view photos Fo Guan Shan Monastery and Buddhist Museum

Dome of Light

Kaohsiung has the largest public artwork made from glass in the world. Designed by German artist Narcissus Quagliata over four years, it was shipped to Taiwan in pieces and assembled in Formosa Boulevard metro station. The Dome of Light, as it’s called, is spectacular and reinforced Kaohsiung’s reputation for art in public spaces. When the … Continue reading / view photos Dome of Light