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

Artistic Kaohsiung

From Chiayi, I took the train in the morning to Kaohsiung. I read some interesting things about it, especially its art in public places. You notice the attention to art the minute you arrive at the central station. At the station, I especially like the section for children to read (books provided!). The transport options … Continue reading / view photos Artistic Kaohsiung

Return to Alishan

My original plan was to spend just the day in Alishan. I was smitten with Alishan. So, I asked the hotel owner if I could extend my stay. She replied that my room was available. Today, we followed the same routine as yesterday. It started with breakfast, which consisted of rice porridge (congee), a mixture … Continue reading / view photos Return to Alishan

Astray in amazing Alishan

I would have preferred to stay in Alishan, but accommodation is difficult to find and it’s expensive. I therefore stayed in Fenqihu. My hostel owner said she’d drive me to Shizhao an adjacent town, at 8am to get the bus to Alishan. When we arrived at the bus stop, I could see something wasn’t quite … Continue reading / view photos Astray in amazing Alishan

Fog in Fenqihu

The tourist train from Taichung to Fenqihu is slower than the coach. But I went by train because I read that there were stunning views as the train climbs from sea-level to 1500m. The old-fashioned look didn’t stop the train having (very cold!) air-conditioning which, by the last stop, most of us were trying to … Continue reading / view photos Fog in Fenqihu

Chaotic Chiayi

After yesterday’s whirlwind tour of Taichung, I decided to continue moving south. Taichung train station looked different from when I arrived . Going to Chiayi was a stopover before heading for Alishan National Park, a place with stunning mountains. It was a popular tourist destination. In Chiayi, I was staying in a capsule hostel with … Continue reading / view photos Chaotic Chiayi