A hike to Pingxi crags

I went to pingxi recently
With some ranomd people from australia and usa
We were heading for 2 places...a waterfall hike and a hike with crags...
Pretty steep start...
The crags hike is around 1-2 hours..
Wires are attached to the mountain
Crag top view...
Later some made a decision to continue further on the crags hike...not many other people make this extra route...
Stairs carved out in the mountain...
A wall of mountain...
Macho man climbing the stairs
As usual in taiwan, there is often a risk of falling far...one need to be cautious every now and then...
Some flying lantern...I found 9 of them in the forest....sine the nearby villages sells them...these vilalges are famous all over china...
Some small break, on the ridge....
And some map...they are not always super precise...so it can be hard to estimate how far it is left...
Some more carved out stair...
There was a rope to hold on to...but some times this rope was gone...
This extra route was to the Tzmu peak...
An ozzy boy pointing in the jungle..
After a while we were back in pingxi...
A place where people rest on the rail...

A trip to Jiaoxi

I joined some friend to the east coast recently...
Visiting jiaoxi...and a local bakery...
...they put the old bread near the entrance...so most people take this bread...
I had it with some yiland beer....pretty nice...
Next stip was kavalan whusky distillery
Some touring...i was here some years ago...same exhibition...
I the Jim and dads city store was shut down...not sure why...
But the logo was still light...
We went back to the yilan beer place...they have "black fungus with hot pepper"...sounds intersting...
More beer and cheese bread...
The place was a littlbit wierd...they suspected all money (cash) they got to be fake....and asked us ot to use some money... wierd...
I ended the trip by sipping some Kavalan ex bourbon Oak whisky...

A visit to taipei revolving tower (摘星樓星月旋轉餐廳)

I paid a visit to a chimney recently...(Star Star Star Moon Restaurant)
Its convept is like my faovire resturant in hongkong...a revolving tower (摘星樓星月旋轉餐廳), the restaurant is a littlbit pricy..but its free to visit the top sceenic floor...
From here one cen see both the downtown city in the horizon and yangminshan...
And some famous bridge...
Taipei 101 far away in xinyi...
Banqiao.....in the horizon
North towards beitou
As usualy they have christmas docoration the year around here in taiwan...
"Voclka"....
Some visitors who will soon move left...
They also had an elevator with a nice view...starting from 1 meter
...up to 120 meters..
The chimney...
Almost like bertils mast in rotterdam...
I ended the tower visit with a drink in ximen...
And a platter, reminding me of the seafood in sydney...(even if its not even close)...

A visit to Wanli Ufo village

West of keelung (and west of the Yehliu Geopark), there is a UFO village...long time ago there use to be many like these:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanzhi_UFO_houses
But now there are mainly in Wanli:
http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/wanli-ufo-village
Many are abandoned...
 
But some of them...maybe 1 out of 4 has people living in them...
This shape is the coolest...
Many had sea view...
The atmosphere reminded me or arild in sweden....however its very much "taiwan north coast atmosphere" here...
Some platform...and house...seems like a summer cabin...
Keelung island was visible in the horizon...

Hongludi hiking trail

I went for a hike recently in the southern parts of taipei
Omg...a roof elephant...
There are many trails in the southern part of taipei...acctually trails eveywhere in taiwan...just hard to know how ot find them, since not much are in english, nor do many tais like to hike (in comparison to the huge population)...
...another elephant...
First city view...it was very hot this day...
Some small path..but not our path..
The hike had allot of stairs...
And it was a "temple trail" so we passed by many temples...some were selling things...
Thuis cute munk had problems counting, so the customers had to help her to calcualte the final price...
Most locals didnt eat or drink the things anyway...they donated it to the gods...
omg...a door as in the hobbit town...
A trail map...
"Yuantong Temple Hongludi Hiking Trail Guide Map"
...also many cats were walking around...
Once in a while there were some signs...
...we also passed by some graveyards...they also had elephants....
 
It was a peaceful landscape...
Once in a while it reminded me of the Sanxia trails, or Shidong trails, with allot of clifs and wires...
Many squirrels ere jumping around in the trees too...
After some hour we arroved to the peak...if it was sunny, we would see the whole taipei from here...
302m above sea level...
Not far to the city...
However...warning signs for slippery surface near the temples...
Another temple view over the cloudy city...
And some cute cat scupture...
...and some japanese house...like in jiufen area...
...omg, a person with a Saab, treating it very special...
After another 5-10 minutes I was back in civilsation and the hectic taiwan traffic...
And some random night market...2017 continues...

A trip to Manyueyuan national forest recreation area

I recently made a trip to sanxia, and the mountain area to check out some water falls...
It was in Sanxia at a forest recreation area
Many hikers were here...
And as usual many locals prefer full hiking gear for recreation area walks
One needed to buy tickets here... 
The path was along a river
It is a dangerous river, where people yearly die
Since it was a forest recreation area they charge to enter, but in contrary its pretty good quality of the path
Some line up to enter
People living in taipei get discount...its common in taiwan that people living in a nearby area gets discount
They had different routes here
No cooking here...
The path was partly in asfalt...
They also had snakes in the area...it was near road 7, which is called the "snake road"...
...also monkeys might appear...
More rivers...
And some cosy tea cabin....
...where they sell local specialities such as duck feet...
...but it smelled like brobacka kaffestuga outside alingsås...probably due to the wooden interior...
Some rangers hut
There were many trails here...or 3-4 of them...all pretty short
This was the Manyueyuan waterfall
They had plenty of view spots, as most waterfalls in taiwan has...
...some other angle
Omg..."hsinchuv"..
many people taking pics of the water falll
 
And more stairs to see the waterfall from an other angle....
...max 5 people at the porch...it means 2 foreigners...
Some trail was broken...in the country of landslides
Next waterfall was the virgin waterfall...oit was a littlebit bigger...
...maybe 15 meters high...
Many people taking pics...
...and taking selfies...
...omg a rainbow...
...and another wildlife sign...
I also went on an "self guiding tour"...
...and found that they had some almost 10km hike here...but currently it was closed...
Some creek...it was pretty similar to brobacka naturm here...except from the exception that here was no giant kettles...
They had many of these info signs...and even in english..which was a plus...
This seemes to be the mountain that named this area...
I wonder where this peak was...
The self guiding trail took 15 minutes...
And the park was in a nature reserve...
Hmm...women...handicaped...and men....i knew the toilet signs...but they also offered a family shit together room...
I had some local frui before I left...I hope it was local...but wouldnt surprise me if some things were imported...
Before leaving I had some local honey...
They had some ricewine with bees...however I bought some honey from a special flower, making the honey bitter...I bought it not for the taste..but rather that the texture of the honey reminded me of swedish honey...

A trip to Bayan wild Hotspring

Early morning queuing at jiantan MRT, bus 15 should take me to some trail entrance for the Bayan trail...
...many locals are here, since its weekend...
...omg a fjällräven bag...
...after some time, the small bus of 15 arrived...(but 5 is the ones that most ppl took)...
At this visit center the trail started...
...with some info about the park...
...and the route...
...my friend brought his speaker..playing scandinavian music...
...some brige..."10 people or 1000kg" the elevators usully say...im 95-100, I guess its "5 foreigner or 10 taiwanese"...
...lizzard...can u see it?
...most of the first walk looked like this...
....and some part we had to take stairs...
...the locals usually hike with some super heavy outfit...I never understood why...
...this part reminded me of the caoling trail...some grass fields...
...and some high peak in the horizon...
...not sure where we are heading...but looking for "bayan"...
...many locals seem to go here...most take car or scooter...car is very slow...since taipei is a multi million ppl city, and many of them try to hit the country side when its weekend...(scooter can often pass by the queuing cars)...
...local cow...
...Bayan 4.8km...
...and warning signs...
the trail heads downhill from now...
...Bayan 3.9...
...still stairs...
...and some smoke from some dry geyser...
...this seem to be some historical trail...
...and some ancient temple...
...but this one seems new..
...some 200-300 year old civilization...
...still have some distance to go...
...and some old bridge construction...
...ahrd to see it...
...this trail part was broken...
...and this too...
...but there was a new part we could take...and we found a small cave...
...and some small waterfall...
...no "bayan"...but I think we are pretty close...
...some advanced water system...
...and some volvanic activity...
...omg "aboriginal period"...
...thats my new period...prior 1684...
...maybe its possible to take bus 1717 directly to Bayan...
...or car...
Yangminshan peak...
...back on road 2...
...and some military area...
the guy on the taiwaense sign has a short neck...
...we also made soe food stop at a local market...
...and had to cross some rice fields...
...a small creek making the rice fields wet...
...this field you could pay to walk on...
...these are the people who paid...not sure why...
...closer to Bayan...and more hot areas...but not that smelly...I think this hotsprings are not sulfur based...
...some large volcanic field...
more smoke...
...and anohter 100meters we saw the wild hotspring...
...some warning signs...
...many locals seem to go here...
...warm water from this creek...
...meeting colder water from some small river...
...it was probably 35-40 degrees...
...some pools had cold water also...
...but the air temp was probably 25-30..not hotspring swiming temp, in my opinion...
The guide...he likes to ask foreigners where they are from...
...and the hike continued downhill...
..."america" these 2 white ppl replied, when the guide asked..."oh, freedom" the guide replied...truly the country of freedom...
...the river heading west...
and some civilization...
...not late we arrived to some local parking lot...
...with lockers...
"Bayan hotspring resort"...
On road 101....
...this road was not that heaily trafficed as road 2...
some land slice...
bus 1717 and its schedule...
...it was almost empty when we entered...bus after some stops it was very full...
the guide showed me some euorpean book...even went christian cus he likes "western culture"...I tried to learn more about christianity from him...
...ppl lining up fo the bus...
...and a payphone...in case your cellphone runs out of battery? They can aswell have a charger station instead...

What to do in Taiwan?

My friend recently asked me what one can do in Taiwan, as a tourist. Below is what I 
spontaneously recommended (for a 1-2-3 weeks visit). If you are a student, or have some card looking like a student ID, or driver license, bring it where ever u go, since student discounts often are offered (some people even manage to rent scooters by showing a library card!?!).
I also advice you to rent a car, for this you need a international driver license (Taiwanese companies became more strict since 2011 with car rentals for some reason), and then you can drive around the island. it´s about 1200:ish kilometers in total.
The price level differ at the north compare to the south and east (taipei is most expensive) of the island, but cheapest hostels are around 300-500NTD per night, and hotels are probably around 500-1000NTD.
 
Else remember that Buses, Trains and High Speed Rail, Scooter and Car are ways to travel on the west part of Taiwan. Car and Scooter and Train are usable on the East part. In the mountain area, cars and scooters are needed. (If you don´t choose to cycle).
 
 

Johan´s traveling suggestions in Taiwan (for people whos staying for some week) are: 


 

Taipei & "Taipei New City"

 
 

National Palace Museum:

 
 
Why? All the treasures from the forbidden city in Beijing is taken here…mostly jade and some old pottery. They have 12 exhibitions that they switch every 6 month...so it takes some years to see all of them...The museum is in Taipei City, but still some 40 minutes by MRT and bus from Taipei main station.
 
 
 

More info at: 

http://www.npm.gov.tw/en

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Palace_Museum

 

 


 

Longshan Night Market “Snake alley”

 
 

Why? Its one of the oldest and coolest night markets (most of them look the same all over Taiwan, but this one is a little special) (other night markets that’s “famous” in Taipei are “Shilin” night market and “Guting” night market. (the MRT station has the same names as the markets))

Info: Take MRT (it’s the name of the metro), to Longshan station (one station from Taipei main station), and ask how to go, its about 2-3 minutes from the station. The Taiwanese movie Monga, which deals with some mafia gang members was partly made here. You can also try some Snake and Turtle here.

 

 

More info at: 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snake_Alley_(Taipei)

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/taiwan/taipei/sights/markets-bazaars/snake-alley

 


 

Taipei 101

 
 
Why? Its one of the highest buildings in the world (508 meters high)
Info: Take the MRT to the Taipei 101 station (it´s on the east part of the city)…
It use to be the highest building in the world, however a little bit over rated… look further down how to better experience Taipei 101 (in the hikes). But it has the worlds fastest elevator… They also have some hiking trails near here (walk south from Taipei 101, until you reach the jungle, one famous trail is “the 4 beasts” starting with the “elephant mountain”. More info about these hikes are found on Google.

 

 

More info at:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taipei_101

 

#6 in Tallest buildings in the world 2015 at:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_tallest_buildings_in_the_world

 

#9 in free standing structures 2015 at:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_tallest_buildings_and_structures_in_the_world

 


 

Maokong Gongola

 
 
Why? A nice place to visit, up in the mountains, not far from Taipei zoo, its famous for the tea houses and its great view over Taipei city…It is also a spot to relax at any of the tea houses, or go for a hike. If you are brave and want somthing extra you may take the special cabin that has a glass floor.

Info: (take the MRT (Neihu line towards the end station Taipei Zoo, and you will find the gondola station, you can use the MRT-card or MRT-badge to enter).

 

 

 

 

More info at:

 

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maokong_Gondola

 

http://johansvennung.blogg.se/2013/june/a-trip-to-maokong.html

 


 

Taipei Zoo

 
Why? Only a few zoos in the world has pandas. I think Taipei zoo is one of the biggest in Asia (or so I heard). The names of the pandas are in Chinese something like "Re-unite" and has been a political discussion, since China claims preservation fees for all the worlds pandas, except the ones in China (and then they didn´t ask for the fee from Taiwan, which was considered provocative).

Info: The brown Neihu line (south bound) takes you all the way to the zoo.

 

 

More info at: 

 

english.zoo.gov.taipei

 

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taipei_Zoo

 


 

Yangming Mountain

 
 
Why? Taiwanese people loves mountains, and this is the highest near Taipei. It also has a lot of hot springs and hotspring activities. Yangming shan also has wild hot springs. The most popular season to go here is during early spring "cherry blossom" season. Just remember that Taiwanese locals like to go here during weekends, Thus its super looooong queues, I recommend people to take scooter, bike or bus here, especially if you want to go on holidays and Saturday/Sundays.

Info: Take MRT (red line north) to Beitou station, from there you take bus (you can ask at the station).

 

 

 

More info at:

 

english.ymsnp.gov.tw

 

Partly related blog post:

http://johansvennung.blogg.se/2013/august/a-saturday-trip-in-northern-taipei.html

 


 

Wulai

 
 
Why? Taiwan has 14 aboriginal tribes, most of them lives in the south and east part of Taiwan, but here in the mountain south of Taipei there are a lot of aboriginal traces. “Wulai” (originally "Urai") means “hot spring” in the Atayal language. They have plenty of hot springs in this area, some are public others you rent a room, and you can even swim for free in the hot river (if you walk pass the little village. You can also try aboriginal food, and take some hikes here. Free foot bath in the city center. In general Beitou hot springs are a little cheaper, however the Wulai hot springs are carbonated hot springs, while Beitou is sulphur, so for people who don´t like the "egg smell", come to Wulai´s hot spring.

Info: Take MRT south to Xindian, ask for the bus to Wulai, it should be “green 3”, but might have changed.

 

 

More info at: 

 

wikitravel.org/en/Wulai

 

http://johansvennung.blogg.se/2013/june/another-trip-to-wulai.html

 

 


 

Pingxi and Shifen

 
 
Why? A place up in the jungle/mountains, famous for its flying lanterns. Easiest to get here is by Train (north) from Taipei, tickets can be bought at Taipei main station. And ask them how to go. They have a connection train to Pingxi, which is very small and cute., or take taxi, or bus is to go here. Personally I went by scooter most of the time. However it can be tricky to rent a scooter in Taipei without a driver licence (in the south and eastern parts of Taiwan it´s easier).. Near Pingxi Taiwan´s largest waterfall can be found in Shifen. However they charge you money to see the waterfall, and thus I think it is over rated, most people I know turn at the entrance.Hiking-wise they have some really nice hikes here, just ask some locals and they will show you some 1-2 hour trails.
 
 

More info at:

 

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pingxi_District

 

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shifen_waterfall

 

http://johansvennung.blogg.se/2014/august/a-day-at-northeastern-taiwan.html

 

Most waterfalls in taiwan listed:

http://taiwanswaterfalls.com


 

Juifen & Gold museum

 
 
Why? Seen the anime movie Spirited away? It was inspired by Juifen, which makes you feel like in an Italian coastal village, try the local food and enjoy the tea bar. If you continue some kilometers south along the road, you can visit old Japanese village that was big during the gold rush some 50 years ago. They also have a hike to “tea pot mountain”, you can see signs near the museum (the museum has the largest gold bar in the world, which you can touch, security is not that important in Taiwan). They also have plenty or trails in the area. Teapot mountain is close to the gold museum, just follow the trail signs that are found nearby.

Info: Bus from Taipei, or train with connection bus.

 

 

More info at:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jiufen

 

 

wikitravel.org/en/Jiufen

 

http://johansvennung.blogg.se/2014/august/a-trip-to-teapot-mountain-and-the-gold-muesum.html


 

Ximen

 
 
Why? Ximen is the “times square” of Taipei. I love the gay street which is one of the few spots where you can sit outside in Taipei. "Ximen" means West gate" in Chinese, and its actually possible to see a monument of a "gate" both south and north of the MRT station. 

Info: Take MRT to Ximen station (blue bannan line). The gay street is behind the red building near exit 6.

 

 

 

 

More info at: 

 

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ximending

 

www.redhouse.org.tw

 

http://johansvennung.blogg.se/2013/october/a-night-in-ximen.html


 

Lin Family Garden

 
 
In the south western parts of Taipei, near Banqiao, there is a hidden garden which design and architecture reminds a lot of the ancient Chinese houses. Almost like the Hutongs in Beijing, but here its more peaceful and more focus on quality of the real estate. Just walk around and feel the Asian spirits dancing around. Perhaps also enjoy a tea from a local tea store.
 
The easiest way to go here it to take MRT from Taipei Main station, and leave one MRT station after Banqiao, then walk west. Both Google maps and the links below has further information about the address.
 
 

More info at:

 

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lin_Family_Mansion_and_Garden

 

http://www.linfamily.ntpc.gov.tw

 

http://johansvennung.blogg.se/2013/august/a-visit-to-the-lin-family-mansion-and-garden.html

 


 

Fulong beach

 
 
Why? If you like the beach, you should go here. Just take the train (you can even use your MRT card of badge) north towards Yilan/Hualien etc  (in Taipei there are more or less only 1 north bound and 1 south bound line). The stations name is Fulong, and just ask how to go to the ocean, it’s a 5-10 minutes walk. They also have nice festivals here occasionally.
 
 
 
 

More info at: 

 

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fulong_Beach

 

http://johansvennung.blogg.se/2013/july/a-visit-to-fulong.html

 

wikitravel.org/en/Fulong

 


 

Caoling Trail

 
 
Why? Some people say it’s the easiest hiking trail near Taipei, and its an 2-3 hour walk (maybe). You go to Fulong station (just as above) and ask your way, of follow the signs). Most hiking trails are found online if you Google.

Info: its mostly roads initially, bring some food etc, it becomes a nice picnic. The trail ends further south, near another train station. Which will take you back to Taipei.

 

 

 

More info at: 

 

http://www.taiwan-adventures.com/trips-and-tours/day-trips/caoling-historic-trail

 

http://johansvennung.blogg.se/2013/august/caoling-historical-trail.html

 

wikitravel.org/en/Fulong

 


 

Waiao Surfing

 
 
Why? Yes Taiwanese people surf! From Taipei you take the train north, towards Yilan/Hualian etc. And leave at the station Waiao. Locals say that the best surfing is in the morning, but I arrived many times after lunch, for some hours surf.  At the train station, walk to the coastline, along the path south. After some 2 kilometers you will see the surf shops. They speak English and u can rent board and clothes for like 500NTD, they will also offer you food chairs etc, at the beach and sometimes free teaching course. For advanced surfers I would recommend to surf down in Taidong or Green island. Waiao is partly protected by Turtle Island, and thus the waves are more suitable for beginners. And its a perfect 1 day trip from the north western part or Taiwan.

Info: Train north, leave at Waiao station, walk south along the coast for some kilometers.

 

More info at: 

 

http://johansvennung.blogg.se/2013/march/a-surf-trip-to-waiao.html

 

http://johansvennung.blogg.se/category/surfing-in-taiwan.html

 

https://hikingandridingintaipei.wordpress.com/2013/07/17/surfing-wushigang-%E7%83%8F%E7%9F%B3%E6%B8%AF-and-wai-ao-%E5%A4%96%E6%BE%B3-how-to-get-there

 


 

Shiding 20cm ridge

 
 
Why? Interesting cliffs and jungle some 30 minutes from Taipei. Its a perfect 1 day hike, when you actually can spot the top of Taipei 101 in the horizon. Some peaks on this trail has temples. It is a good chance that you meet other Taiwanese hikers, who probably can give you some recommendations for other nice hikes.

Info: Take MRT south to Muzha station, and transfer to bus 666, leave at Shiding (or Shiting) station, pass the village and look for stairs and a sign for the trail. You will return to the same spot after the trail is done.

 

 

More info at:

 

http://johansvennung.blogg.se/2013/july/searching-for-the-20cm-ridge-at-shijing.html

 

Shiding oldstreet:

http://taiwan-photography-blog.com/2010/08/03/must-see-taiwan-shiding-and-shenkeng

Also lonely planet explains how to reach this trail.


 

Tamsui

 
 
Why? Nice market and walk, tea bars and hang out, where Taipei meets the ocean.  Perfect to be around sunset. It also has on of the oldest houses in Taiwan from 1623, build by the Spanish people.

Info: Take red line north to the end station (Tamsui) and you will find the place directly. It takes 40-50 minutes by MRT, just be aware. Usually the last MRT leaves the end station around midnight!

 

 

More info at: 

 

wikitravel.org/en/Tamsui

 

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tamsui_District

 

http://johansvennung.blogg.se/2014/july/a-trip-to-danshui.html

 


 

ShiDa night market

 
 
Why? Its actually more like a student block, but the night market and the restaurant here are nice. Check my blog post below, for some restaurants that many people say "are famous" (which in Taiwan means are good?!?!)

You take the MRT to Technology building station, and ask for “Shida road”, from there you walk north, and ask people where the night market is.

 

 

 

More info at: 

 

https://guidetotaipei.com/visit/shi-da-night-market-師大夜市

 

http://johansvennung.blogg.se/2013/january/exploring-shidaagain.html


 

Guting Riverside park

 
 
Why? Actually not that special for a tourist. But for people who lived in Taipei for 5 years and are sick of scooters, scooters, scooters…Guting riverside part is a nice escape. From Guting MRT station you walk south, until you reach the river. Only accessible by walking or biking. You can use the public bike system, if u register. It’s a nice tour to enjoy the sun set, they also have some tea bars. This park is also perfect if you just want to go for a run in the city without inhaling fumes from the scooters.
 
 
 

More info at:

 

https://foursquare.com/v/%E5%8F%A4%E4%BA%AD%E6%B2%B3%E6%BF%B1%E5%85%AC%E5%9C%92-guting-riverside-park/4baebdf2f964a520fad33be3

 

http://johansvennung.blogg.se/2013/august/a-sunday-evening-in-august.html

 

http://johansvennung.blogg.se/2013/april/guting-riverside-park-hang-out.html


 

Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall

 
 
Why? Just makes you feel like you are in the “Republic of China”. Chiang Kai-Shek was a friend of Chinas chairman Mao, but they later on got enemies, and Chiang Kai-Shek escaped to Taiwan, (with treasures form the forbidden city), his plan was that when the communist regime collapsed, Taiwan and China would reunite. However this hasn’t been the case. And in 1970 united nations kicked Taiwan out, and as new generation Taiwanese kids grow up they are not keen to join a communist China, when they can have democracy (however Chiang Kai-Shek is not that popular in these days, people prefer to call Sen Yat Sen the father of Taiwan, who formed the country already in 1911 (from when they start to count their years). This also split the country in 2 parts, “China friendly” (blue political party) and “less China friendly” (green party). Whatever you do, don’t talk to much about the political situation with Taiwanese people, especially if there is more than one person nearby, since they might start to argue.

Info: take the MRT to the station “Chiang Kai-She Memorial Hall Station” (its south of Taipei main station)

Hostels in Taipei:

I think the cheapest ones can be found on hostels.com, like Happy family hostel and Elephant hostel But also my friends hostel is “Three little birds Taipei” is found at:

 

 

More info at:

 

https://www.facebook.com/threelittlebirdstpe?fref=ts

 

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiang_Kai-shek_Memorial_Hall

 

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiang_Kai-shek_Memorial_Hall_Station


 

Sanxia Trail

 
 
On the road 7 connection in southern Taipei, a place called Sanxia is places just where the mountain starts.Its a perfect place for 1 day hikes. An easy way to get there is by scooter or bike (it is like 20-30km south of Taipei city, taking road 3 south), when it connects with Road 7 a convenient store, take left and continue another 2-3 km for this hike, else continue further (many hikes are marked with signs at the trail entrances). If you want a wild hot spring, you need to continue anohter 40-50 kilometers (Sileng hot spring, which is pretty cool)..
 

They have several trails in the area, this one is probably the closest from Taipei, and has easy parts.If you don´t want to go this far south, one can find many other trails along road 3 between Tucheng and Sanxia.

 

 

More info at:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_JEUhXWYkY

 

http://johansvennung.blogg.se/2014/february/2-hikes-in-1-day.html

 

https://hikingtaiwan.wordpress.com/tag/sanxia

 

Similar Sanxia hikes:

http://hikingintaiwan.blogspot.se/2007/12/wulai-to-sanxia.html

 

 


 

Kavalan Whisky Destillery

 
 
It is highly ranked and awarded with many prizes. It is even available at the Swedish Systembolaget. Kavalan Whisky. They have several kind of whisky, and have since some years offered guided tours and whisky courses at the factory in Yilan. Preferably visited when visiting Yilan city, which is said to be the most rainy place in Taiwan. 2015 Kavalan Solist Vinho Barrique a number of prizes including a gold awards from the Beverage Tasting Institute (World Whiskies Awards) (see links below).
 
 
 
 
 
More info at:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kavalan_distillery
 
http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/taiwanese-whisky-named-best-in-the-world-10125563.html
 
http://time.com/3753768/world-best-whisky-taiwan-kavalan-world-whiskies-awards
 
http://johansvennung.blogg.se/2012/october/yilan-whisky-distillery-visit.html
 
 
www.kavalanwhisky.com/en/about
 

 
 

Yehliu Geopark

 
 
Just some hour from Taipei City, there is geological park just at the coast line at the very north of Taiwan, named Yehlui ( 野柳 ) (just along road 2). The "Queen's Head" (女王頭), is a very famous landmark in Taiwan (seen on the picture). It is a geological park where the rocks formed shapes that looks very interesting, and the most spectacular shape. While visiting the park, one can also take a ride to two of the northern most island of Taiwan. Heping island and Keelung island, the later one might be hard to get to, but ask at the harbour east of Keelung, they offer some random rides.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
http://www.ylgeopark.org.tw/ENG/info/YlIntroduction_en.aspx
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yehliu
 
http://johansvennung.blogg.se/2012/august/travelling-in-northern-taiwan.html
 
http://johansvennung.blogg.se/2014/february/an-attempt-to-visit-keelung-island-2.html
 
 

 

Turtle island

 
 
This island on the north east of Taiwan was a military area until 2001 something. After that it became a tourist island, however, the requirement for permit remains "never ask why" locals often say. You need to apply for a permit, and bring your passport. But this island near Yilan in the north of Taiwan has an “under water hot spring” (There are only 4 of these in the world! (that we know about)). Its also the only active volcano in Taiwan, even if it doesn’t look much as a volcano in the 1970:ies more than 600 people lived on the island, which had its own school and stores. Today its pretty empty.
 
 

More info at:

 

http://johansvennung.blogg.se/2012/october/a-visit-to-turtle-island.html

 

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guishan_Island_(Yilan)

 


 

Middle of Taiwan

 
 

DaJia Mazu Temple (north of Taichung)

 
 
Famous for being the tampe for the “most powerful goddess” and that the temple owner is in the mafia (which most temple owners are in Taiwan). Fun to see is a  250 kilo large gold statue, and a white jade statue, in the basement, thus: the richest temple in Taiwan) (north of Taichung). And pay attention to that the door is always open, without guards and barely any cameras...but i guess a 250 kilo statue is easy to smash but hard to grab...
 
 
 
 

More info at: 

 

http://www.rtaiwanr.com/dajia-mazu-temple

 

http://www.travelking.com.tw/eng/tourguide/taichung/da-jia-zhen-lan-temple.html


 

Alishan

 
 
Overrated place for many reasons, but a nice forest recreation area and they also have nice aboriginal artefacts. Their hiking possibilities use to be good, where you more or less could cross some larger mountains to get to Nantou and a lake created by an earthquake, but they are closed due to landslides. Most Chinese people go here to see the view (sun rise), its pretty nice and sometimes cold (elevation over 2000 meters), you can also see Taiwan´s highest mountain Jade mountain" from the top if Alishan. They have some easy hikes nearby that are open.
 
 
 

More info at:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alishan_National_Scenic_Area

 

http://wikitravel.org/en/Alishan

 


 

Sunmoon lake

 
 
The largest lake in Taiwan, made by the Japanese, also a little over rated, but still interesting to see a lake in Taiwan. They also have some theme park near by. It is popular to rent a bike and cycle around the lake or take a tour on the lake, they have plenty of boat rides. It is not OK to swim there, except during a race held in the summer. But they have some hiking trails in the area. Recommended is to watch the aboriginal activities, the tribe living here are rather small compare to other groups.
 
 
 

More info at: 

 

www.sunmoonlake.gov.tw/English

 

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_Moon_Lake

 

wikitravel.org/en/Sun_Moon_Lake


 

Lugang

 
 
One of the oldest cities in Taiwan, near Taichung, it has a nice red brick path that you can walk ,and many nice houses in the old city. Many cities in Taiwan has "old roads" like this one, mostly made by red bricks. However this might be one of the oldest. And a unique history. Don't forget to check the "half well" and visit the temples in the area.
 
 
 
 
 

More info at:

 

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lukang,_Changhua

 

http://www.travelking.com.tw/eng/tourguide/taiwanoldstreets/lukang-old-street.html


 

Taiwan Times Village

 
 
What is Taiwan? History-wise, culture and retro-culture? This recently opened arena is a great way to explore the Taiwanese peoples own view of Taiwan´s recent History. Stands about comics, great entertainment, aboriginal artefacts and old train stations and police stations are possible to visit. Classic soft porn and actors walking around. Kind of touristic but that's why we are here...See more info about how to find the place and when its open below, (location wise its rather middle-southern parts of Taiwan, in Nantou).
 
 
 
More info at:
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taiwan_Times_Village
 

http://johansvennung.blogg.se/2014/march/jiayi-marathon.html

 

http://www.rtaiwanr.com/taiwan-times-village


 

921 Earthquake Museum Of Taiwan (Nantou)

 
A huge earthquake happened some decade ago, and demolished many parts of Taiwan Most spectacular area due to this is the Nantou region, which a lake created from the earthquake, and a school that was totally destroyed. This school is now a museum, and is worth a visit, showing what causes earthquakes and how to build houses and skyscrapers that are earthquake safe.
 
 
 
 
 
More info at:
 
www.921emt.edu.tw
 
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/921_Earthquake_Museum_of_Taiwan
 

 

Hehuan mountain

 
 
The highest road in Taiwan, above 3000 meters was built for the military, however now its a public road. Where road 7 from north, 8 from east to west and road 14 from the south all meets. You need car or scooter preferably to get here. Taking road 7 from Yilan (in the north) or road 14 from Nantou (from the middle of Taiwan). It’s a nice view, where you (during sunny day) can see 200 km away. The highest toilet in Taiwan is said to be here. Amazing for people who barely seen mountains, nor seen snow. It is also a easy place to get to, compare to other mountains, and a great way to see the "real Taiwan" since Taiwan mainly is a mountain island.
 
 
 

More info at:

 

http://johansvennung.blogg.se/2010/december/mountain-climbing-in-taiwan.html

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hehuanshan


 

Other mountains above 3000 meters

 
 
Officially there are about 100 peaks above 3000 meters in Taiwan, and you often need to apply for permit to enter the trail, you do this on the national park´s home page. You can, if you are a foreigners, apply at the spot (for non popular mountains) the popular ones are “Jade mountain” and “Snow mountain” (the highest and second highest ones). Ask Johan for more info.

 

 

More info at:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mountains_in_Taiwan

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_volcanoes_in_Taiwan

 

http://johansvennung.blogg.se/category/mountain-climbing-taiwan.html

 


 

Southern Taiwan

 

Tainan

 
 
Also, one of the oldest cities in Taiwan.  Houses from the Dutch occupation are worth a visit a.k.a. “the Dutch tree house”. They also have a salt mountain; u can find information about this at the local tourist bureau. And some Portuguese fortress. Many people consider Tainan as a nice city, personally I think it’s a little over rated. Taiwanese people appreciate the food here. Not far from the Dutch tree house and the Portugese Fortress you will find a special cafe that everyone always take me to called "Anping Bean Jelly", when visiting here (with the common argument "its famous). Tainan also has a famous university N.C.K.U, and in their campus they have a nice coffee ship sponsored by the TV company Chimei, that I can recommend. Their pineapple cake is very good.
 
 

More info at:

 

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tainan

 

www.tripadvisor.com/Tourism-g293912-Tainan-Vacations.html

 

http://wikitravel.org/en/Tainan


 

Kaohsiung

 
 
The second largest city in Taiwan, it has a nice atmosphere which barely makes it feel that big, and the roads are like in Manhattan, like a chess board, so its very easy to navigate. I would recommend you to take a evening walk along the Love river and enjoy the lights. Also near the wharf, they have some nice sub-culture art places and interesting tea bars near Pier 2. To get here from Taipei, the fastest way it by “High speed rail” (HSR). But bus and normal train is cheaper. Also pay a visit to the 85 building, which is the highest building in Kaohsiung, they have a nice sky bar. Also one can take the ferry to the island just outside Kaohsiung harbour, and try to local seafood (taste the same as at other places, but its still "local food".
 
 

More info at:

 

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaohsiung

 

www.tripadvisor.com/Tourism-g297908-Kaohsiung-Vacations.html

 

Art center Pier 2:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pier-2_Art_Center

 


 

Kenting

 
 
Party! Beach! The most famous tourist spot when it comes to beach in Taiwan, preferably take taxi from Kaohisung, or bus. They have wild parties here in April (spring scream), but the whole year around they offer nice night market, and places to chill at. I can recommend the mobile bar at the very south stand in the road in Kenting. A funny guy has it, and he also offers people challenges like cycling on his small bikes (see the Youtube clip below). If its full at the hostels, in Taiwan its OK to put up a tent at almost any elementary school, they also offer free toilets. Which makes city camping very useful.
 
 
 

More info at:

 

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenting_National_Park

 

Bike clip:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GhsXuLGfZ9Y

 

Festival info:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spring_Scream

 


 

Penghu island

 
  
Also known as Pescadores Islands?!, are a group of islands mostly connected with bridges between Taiwan and China. It was ranked as "#6 The world´s best secret island" by lonely planet (see link below). A little over rated, but famous for seafood and diving and some Dutch occupation houses. Boat from Tainan or fly from Taipei are the ways to go here. They have plenty of beaches.
 
 
 

More info at:

 

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/travel-tips-and-articles/76176

 

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penghu

 

http://go2taiwan.net/taiwan_map_penghu.php


 

The great Buddha statue (Kaohsiung)

 

 
Taiwan has one of the largest Buddha statues in Asia (Which actually Myanmar, Thailand, Bhutan and China also claims to have?!?!)... This one is north on Kaohsiung, and even has one of the three teeth that is left from Buddha. Not far from this monastery there is a temple for the munks. I heard that its possible to mingle and sleep there, if you are nice. (There are several Big Buddha statues at other places in Taiwan to, one can be found in Hsinchu country, and one in Taizhong county).
 
 
 
More infor at:
 
 
 

 

XiaoluiQui

 
 
A small island in the south of Taiwan, and the most Temple crowded island in the world. Long time ago the weather here was very unstable, so the fishermen never knew when they could reach Main land Taiwan, and thus became dependent on praying to the gods. It is easy to move around on the island. Boat from Pingdong (south of Kaohsiung or road 17) takes you here regularly. Its famous for a mushroom cliff (see the picture). You can easily rent scooter or bike when you are here.
 
 

More info at:

 

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xiaoliuqiu

 

http://johansvennung.blogg.se/2012/august/a-weekend-in-kaohsiung-1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9.html

 

http://www.travelking.com.tw/eng/tourguide/scenery699.html


 

Eastern Taiwan

 
 

East Rift Valley

 
 
Rent a car or a scooter and drive on the East Rift valley,It is road 9, between Taidong and Hualian (the two cities on the isolated East coast that it connects), given that you chose not to drive the coastal road 11. On both roads there are plenty of things to see, but the rift valley is something special, like waterfalls, archaeological monuments, nice hikes (like the famous Walami trail (you need a permit, but if u come before 9 in the morning it is OK to apply on spot)), see the blog post below). It’s a 10km hike (one way) with a lot of historical meanings. They also offer rafting in the rivers arranged by the local aboriginal Amei tribe (near Ruishui), just ask at a random 7-11 or hostel and they should know. The valley also offers coffee plantation, milk farms, Aboriginal villages, monkey bridge, and some lakes. The local tourist information will give you detailed information about recent happenings.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

More info at:

 

http://eng.taiwan.net.tw/m1.aspx?sNo=0002123&id=5794

 

Walami trail (ranked as a top 10 trail in taiwan by some websites):

http://www.rtaiwanr.com/walami-yushan-national-park

 

http://johansvennung.blogg.se/2014/september/a-quick-visit-to-the-walami-trail.html

 


 

Green Island

 
 
An island 40 minutes by boat from Taidong, not that special but here you can enjoy the flying fish, and swim in the hot spring near the ocean. The place to meet by night is a 7-11 or Family mart convenient store. They have plenty or guiding tours, and some interesting temples. You should try flying fish and deer meat, and do some diving when you visit this place. it´s about 21-21km around the island. Many times it is included a scooter when renting a hotel/hostel.
 
 
 

More info at:

 

http://johansvennung.blogg.se/2012/may/3km-swimming-at-green-island.html

 

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Island,_Taiwan

 


 

Orchid Island

 
 
The biggest island on the east of Taiwan (but not the largest of Taiwan´s islands, I think Matsu is 3-4 times bigger). To get here you need to take boat from Kaohsiung of fly from Taidong (6 flights per day, but many are cancelled). The island is ranked as the top 10 best diving in the world by New York Times. They also have many aboriginal villages, and old houses from the Japanese occupation. They have guiding tours to see owls. Several hikes, 2 easy to some lakes. I spent 2 days trying to find the path to the highest mountain (more than 500 meters high), but it was hard. I was here during low season (February). The boat on the picture is a common symbol for the aboriginal tribe that lives here. It is around 40-45km around the island, and the road that is, goes around it, with one shortcut in the south. "why do you never build houses in the middle of the island?" I once asked a local. "Why should we?" she replied.
 
 
 

More info at:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YjrYfIJfIYQ

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orchid_Island

 

http://johansvennung.blogg.se/2014/march/on-a-quick-visit-to-orchid-island.html

 


 

Taroko Gorge

 
A famous gorge on the east coast of Taiwan, near Hualian. Famous for its view, and hikes. The Japanese found this road with help for the Aboriginal Tairuge- tribe, in order to enable transportation of gods from the west coast to the east coast. The military built the roads, and rumour has it that many people died during this dangerous construction project. Today its one of the most spectacular scenic sites in Taiwan. You go here by train to Hualian, and either rent scooter or car/taxi. (from Hualian city go north on road 9, and take road 8 west (just follow the signs to “Taroko gorge”).
 
 
 
 

More info at:

 

wikitravel.org/en/Taroko_Gorge

 

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taroko_National_Park

 

http://johansvennung.blogg.se/2014/august/hiking-an-old-trail.html


 

Taidong

 
 
My favourite city in Taiwan, they have a very calm atmosphere, many hot springs in the south (in Jiben) and a nice bike path with artists showing their art on the old railroad going around the city. You can come here easiest by train. 3 hours from Taipei with the new fast train (Puyuma). They also have many tourist areas like Badlands, Balloon festival terrace, several Aboriginal villages and art district, and hikes. Ask at the tourist information at the train station when arriving. If you are interested in history I can really recommend the Pre-historic museum in Taidong.
 
 
 

More info at:

 

http://johansvennung.blogg.se/2014/september/a-quick-visit-to-taidong.html

 

http://johansvennung.blogg.se/2014/august/a-trip-to-taidong.html

 

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taitung_City

 

http://www.tripadvisor.se/Tourism-g304163-Taitung-Vacations.html

 

http://johansvennung.blogg.se/2013/february/i-saw-some-3000-year-old-tomb.html

 

http://johansvennung.blogg.se/2013/february/in-taidong.html

 


 

All over Taiwan

 

All you can drink!

 

Many bars clubs and restaurants have free alcohol in Taiwan. Let me know where you can and I can recommend you some!

 


 

Beer bars

 

Visit my facebook page Taipei Brewing where I listed the addresses in Chinese (usable for google maps). Taiwan has atleast 20 microbreweries and restaurants, most of them are avalabile in Taipei, some in Taichung, Hsinchu and in Tainan

More info on Taipei Brewings facebook page at:

https://www.facebook.com/taipeibrewing?fref=ts

 

 


 

Additional links about Taiwan:

 

http://www.bubbletea101.com/10-things-you-didnt-know-about-taiwan

http://www.taipeitrends.com.tw/15-facts-you-didnt-know-about-taiwan

http://www.taipeitrends.com.tw/a-walk-into-taipeis-hidden-history

http://www.taipeitrends.com.tw/14-days-of-life-in-dulan

http://www.veronikasadventure.com/20-pictures-that-will-make-you-want-to-visit-taiwan

https://rtaiwanr.wordpress.com/2015/12/28/top-10-winter-warmer-hot-pots-in-taiwan

http://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/destinations/asia/taiwan/taipei-taiwan-travel-itinerary

 http://www.taiwanoffthebeatentrack.com

http://www.snakesoftaiwan.com

https://www.forbes.com/sites/ralphjennings/2017/07/23/3-spots-your-tour-guide-doesnt-know-about-in-increasingly-popular-taiwan

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/sponsored/taiwan-photography-slideshow-cultural-travel-inspiration-beauty-180964113

https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/3247203


A trip to XIaowulai waterfall, and baibai party with the swedes

I paid a visit to Xiao wulai (little wulai) yesterday (wulai means hotspring in Atayal language (an aboriginal tribe from nothern taiwan))...
Wulai is easily accessable from Taipei, however, Xiaowulai one needs to go some hours to reach...since its on another side of a mountain...(or one can river trace I heard)...
Many people went here this day...
And many places to visit..but many people wanted to see a waterfall...from a transperent bridge...not sure why...
This was the path to the view from the waterfall base...
With some metallic stairs...
And some locals swimming..
Up there somewhere is the waterfall...
It was a 10 minutes walk in 30 degrees...
Omg..there is the waterfall...
Pretty big...
With some old temples that one can see the waterfall from...
It was a pretty small river right now...
And some smaller waterfall over the first one...somethere there the transperent brdge is...
Not sure which waterfall is the biggest in taiwan but this seemed pretty big...
From the road one could also see it...
Later on I went to taipei 101...for some all u can eat...and drink...
Many swedes joine up...
Patric was the one who announced it...
It is one of my favorite ones...
We were 9 people so they gave us 2 tables...I walked between the tables..its fun to mingle around...
Patric has striped shorts, pretty fancy...
Omg, so weird...they had many jars with chocolate etc at the ice cream bar..but only 1 was for eating, the rest was for decoration...how wants forbidden food as decoration?
Later on we went to a nearby bar...where I had this IPA:..
I was told that they also have local beer but it was out of beer this day...
Most beers were about 242 nt (or 220 nt plus 10% service charge)...
This guy was the bartender...Stanley 18 years old...
Later I also had an Hoegarden...
Later Joel insited of visitiing a night club...
We were heading to Club Halo...
But ended up at Club Spark...never have high expectations in taiwan...or anywhere else...
They often encourage people to spend money here...and they try to have a luxurious attitude...
More girls shoing everyone someone who bought champange...
OMg...broken sofa...
Joel was happy..
And drunk...
More sparkling wine bottles in the air...
Joel also bought some champange...but no girls holding up the bottle with a light...
Some picture taking...most people here were celebrating some event...the foreingers went here cus it was saturday...
Some guys who couldnt stand the pressure...
And some numbers sharing...business also on the freetime...

A trip to Teapot mountain and the Gold muesum

I left the scooter crowded taipei today...
Millions of scooters every day...
...I headed east...(ironically not by bike this time...(but by scooter))...
To the touristic place called Juifen...
Omg...taiwan has many ways to spell the same place..."Sijhih" or Xichi...etc
Here the "cliff" teapot mountain can be seen...
Not sure why...but they say it looks like a teapot...
To get here I had to pass by a gold geological park...this house was made by the japanese a long long time ago...
Many tourist were here...
Omg..they used a mini rail to pull and push the gold...
Another view of the teapot mountain...
One of my long term goal in taiwan is to see the boggest gold bar in the world...i think it should be here...
Omg...many people guarding different areas...not sure what they are for...
Its open during daytime...no wonder I often miss the opening hours...
Cool...they had rail going everywhere here to transport the gold...
And a big cave (or gold mine)...cute kids wearing helmets...
Omg...gold has been found here for thousands of years...
An interesting illustration of the gold mine...
And some medals...
Gold art...
And here it is...the biggest gold bar...
So interesting, no guards...
Covered by some plastic glass...
4 meters from the exit that doesnt have any guard either...i remember when I went to a temple north of taizhong and they had a 400kilo gold statue also unsupervised, the taiwanese said that they didnt need to guard it since "no one would steal any religious thing..."...hmm...smash and grab...i wonder how much one would get for this bar...
It was interesting...
I should have strachted some of...
it was pretty heavy though...
And here is the exit...in 20 meters from the exit, one could meet up bu scooter...
...enought security discuttion...here is another mountain opposite to teapot mountain...
And the path from gold museum to the trail entrance for the teapot mountain...
Omg...some japanese style house again...I really like their archititcture...
Signs to find the trail...
And the teapot...
And some tunnel...not sure where it leads...
Here it the trail entrance...I was told...
Stairs...stairs...
And nice view...
Omg..some car road also heading up hill..it felt unnecessary to climb if i could take the car...
They also had many of these small temples...I wanna build one of these back in swedes...its pretty nice with this asian architecture...
Not far now..."chahushan" is teapot mountain in pinyin...
Here is the "real" trail entrance...after some kilometer walk uphill...
or "ear-free teapot"...
900 meters left...
The stairs were partly broken...
But later they were fixed...
So it wasnt much of a climb...more a walk...
Omg...so close...
And some sign...not sure what they mean...
From here I could see juifen...
And keelung...
But I had to walk in some cave...to reach higher...
Here is the path...it looks interesting...
More tunnels...
Asome random guy was here...changing shirt..it was super warm...
Up on the "top"...
But not the real top...some high rope was indicating that its possible to climb higher...
The random guy also suggested me to go higher...to anogher mountain...but i think i could take the car to that mountain another time...comepare to the caoling trail that i did some year ago...this wasnt that spectacular...
just a cliff on a mountain...
Omg, I can also see taipei 101...i always see that building from peaks in northern taiwan...
To reach another peak further up I had to continue to in the caves of teapot mountain...
The ocean is pretty close...its the north coast of taiwan...
To the left one can see the higher ridge passed teapot mountain...
Some interesting field near the gold ecological park...
And the car road heading down...
And some hugh statue near the trail entrance of teapot mountain...
And a cool tree house...
Here is the gold museum...
Many tourists here...(mostly japanese I think)...
More people taking pic of the gold bar...
I had to see it again..so cool...
And the door didnt have any specific lock or anything...so interesting...
Next think on my schedule: geocaching...
I walked back in the gold ecological park...
Closer to Ruifang...a nearby train station I was told that there should be a cache with a trackable...
Near this old tunnel....
 
It was pretty deep...
 
I remember the "hint"..but my gps wasnt that accurate...
After a while i found it...now I better head back to taipei...the sun is really strong here...i use to be Mr Shadow man..a day out side in the sun is killing me...

A trip to Jiaoxi

A new day in Scooter world...
Convenience first, environment last...
Omg...a parkinglot for pregnant women...
And a parking lot for people with high heels...so funny...usualy people who are handicapped have their own parking lot...seems like taiwan qualify women to this :S
I wish it could be more equal one day...and parking lots for guys will exist...
So funny...
Even id it was only 10-12 of them...
Omg..french croissant at 7-11...
Usually the toilets are naimed Toto, but this one was nemed Alex...
In Jiaoxi a visit to Yilan Beerbar was paid...
Its the 3rd of 4th time im here...
They only had 3 flavours this time...
But still free hotspring...
Which most people come here for...
Its more like an outside bar than a restaurant...
With a big poster...
Minimum charge 100nt...
And in nights they have a dancefloor here...
"Yilan Maitian" in chinese...
More people using the free hotspring...
and some "hotspring fish"...
And nice sound system...
They ahve both Wheat and Barley beer...
And some take away barrels...
I also had some french fries (what did johan eat today)...
Even from the street they promoted...
Nex tstop was a Houdongkeng Waterfall...
Due to rain it was not super many people there...
They had some ditch for water tansportation...
And some small waterfall at the entrance...
And then some bigger one...
And even huger uphill...
If one dared to take this slippery stair...
Some small creek...
And locals swimming...
Pretty steep...they better watch their step...
Luckily it was only a 5 minutes walk from the road...
this place must be on www.taiwanswaterfalls.com...
Omg...I held on tight when walking down here...
 
Later on the scooter was heading north...of jiaoxi...Omg..many new houses...
And later on this place...
Many people wanted to take pice in here...
On anything...
Omg...a turish waterpipe...
And free coffee machine....
On a telephone booth...
Omg...a german sticker...on a car,..as a decoration...
Wellcome to Jiaoxi...Taipei is some 5km on the other side of these mountains...
I also passed by this famous place...atleast for me...everytie i go around taiwan i see this "rotary and lion"-watch...
I ended the stay by do some geocache search...on Toucheng...

A day at northeastern Taiwan

I met Karate kid and Captain Haddock yesterday...
Dressed for success as usual...
We planned to see some water fall in the north east of taiwan...
Omg...Puyuma train is the fast one...but it doesnt stay at that many stataions...
Its hard to find the right train...some random police helped us out...
Then we went for beer...
Alfred had his tourist bag with him...
Omg...a fjällräven on the platform...
They are more often promoting taiwan destinations now on the trains...
First stop was Shifen...for some waterfall and night market inspectations... (and I took the karate kid role)...
Its pretty chaotic on the rail...
Train arrives...feels like in india...very crowded...losses are expected...
"JS"...thats me!...
This place is famous for the flying lantern, I bought one here last time i visited...
Itw a big industry...
People writing wishes...and taking pics...
Strange but funny...when the train comes everyone moves...then they get back on the rail again...
Even the pavement decoration have flying lanterns...
We went on a path fo see the waterfall..but it as very crappy, since the locals want to earn money...they more or less blocked the view...
...so that people, after walking 1-2km had to pay to see tha waterfall...
...taiwan turns touristic....
We went on some bridge back...
This is tha waterfall on a "nice day"...
Since im with the swedes, they have a different way of thinking aobut spending money...a "cheap" taxi took us 700m for 150nt...
But we still had to walk 500m since the driver wanted to save time...
Taxi drivers here act like in vietnam och main land china...
Back to the night market...
The train was pretty full back to Ruifang...where we started...
But we squeezed...since it leaves like once or twice per hour...
Once down at ruifang we took andother bus up to another village...
With nice view...
Its near Teapot mountian, which i wanted to climb for a long time...
We also had some coffee there...boosting my caffein level...
More picture taking...
Kodak moment...
It was an inferno of taxi cars driving up and down and people running back and forth...
This is the old main street...
It reminds me of italy here...
...and this town was used as model for the best anime movie ever..."spirited away" (based on imdb ranking i think)...
Many slized ice stands...
And some peanut in dark sugar cubes...
And other things you didnt knew you needed...
Anothe coffee store...
The guys wanted stinky tofu...
Every now and then one could see the view...
Funny soap store...
Slow spring roll stand...
This guy didnt want to recommend any of his products...or maybe its my chinese that sux when it comes to the word "recommend" (Tuidian)...
Asian style red balls...
My friends wanted some beer...
We got this balcony...it seemed like a coffee store...
But the view was nice...
Omg...halloween decoration...
And keelung island...the island i spent 1 day trying to get to...without result :S
The waiter spilled half our beer on the table....
...but greedy resturant owner, gave us the rest of it in glasses, pretending that nothing happened...and later on charged us full price...the consequence of tourist industry...
Alfred was enjoying his snus...(tobacco), which he brought from sweden...
Pretty interesting.....he use to buy it online in taiwan to save money...
The rest of the team also tried... 
Keelung by night...
And fishing boats with strong lights to attract squid or something...
More beer...
And Monopoly deal...
Alfreds favorite game...
It was a pretty fun game...
Easy to play...
And based on taiwanese sites... 
The owner didnt want to be on picture...maybe since he charged us over price and cheated us...
They had funny spelling on the places...
I might buy one of these games...
We continued on the small path through juifen...
Many people taking pics...
They even had this "selfie stick"...seems to be the new thing...
We tried to catch a cab..but it was hard.. .
After some negotiation we found some guy, he had nice music in the cab...
Then we went back to taipei...
Many people to mingle with...
Omg...the Q-square elevators had their own life...
The "le blé d´or" had hawaii theme again...
Pretty expensve,...1 beer and 1 pizza was more expensive as an "all you can eat and drink" price...
They als told us that we cant play monopoly there...strange...
Thats ok...we didnt understand chinese for a while...
It use to be my favorite beer after all...

A trip to Danshui

I made s quick trip to Danshui today...
The MRT leaves, pretty convenient...
A sunny day...
Passing some mountains...
Danshuis "famous" road...
And riverside...
Its e big contrast from Taipei city...
Omg..."north kenting", kenting is the famous spot in southern Taiwan...
Some high mountian near danshui...
The place I was loking for was closed...
We picked some other place...
They had some intereting beers...
We had some brazilian beer with chocolate flavour...with chinese name "XinGu"...
It was pretty nice....
And the place looked like those hang out places in Bali...
Far away there we could see Taipei city...
We also visited some kebab place...
The guy was from pakistan and has been here for 14 years...
Nice rolls...
Some random tourists who wants to take pics...
And some random guy...
We got some almond cream...
Many people were also enjoying STarbucks....they have a good location here...
I had some peanut butter roll...
And lamb roll...
And lamb chicken dish...
Some street dancers...its common with performance here in danshui...
Many ppl enjoy watcing...
I think I paid 40-50 NT to get here...the most expensive is 65 nt...
Up on the mountain they have a university and some bars...I wanna go there some day...

Thursdays trips and trekking...

Taking the first MRT at 6, I had to wake up even earlier...
In a dark Taipei...i walked to JingAn MRT Station...
I lated joined the car taking us eat...
I got some nice coffee...
Nice mountains at the east coast...
And the "ghost village" near Juifen, itwas built during the gold rush...
More narrow woars in the djungle...
And some garden work...
My friend had nice plans...he already had some plants there...
We also got sandishes...so professional...
Even if we were far up inthe djungle innorthern Taiwan...there were many houese here...
Omg, Keelung island...the one I wanted to go to some weeks ago...
I later visited a recently opened café...
And made a new batch of beer...
Before I went for a hike near Taipei 101...near where I did a trail run some years ago...
The first place was called the "elephant mountain"...
Impressig stone plate...withinformation...
Anders joined up, and showed some hip mobile apps...
This is a famous spot where people take pics of taipei 101...
We also found some strange machinery...
Some cable car...
More people enjoying the view... 
Sexy...
Photo shooting...
It was easy to get lost up here...there were many pathes...
What does this sign say....no pics?
Near this sign...pics?
As usualy, they were doing some constructions of the trailll
Among the people enjoying the view...
ämy friend Anders likes this cap...its common that tais wear strange words on caps...
We found many maps...but not many that showed our location...
More construction...
And some holy buddha...
I think this is the character my teacher gave me some month ago...
We were getting further and further away from Taipei 101...
Sometimes it looks strange..with the gray colours of the building...
We had some cookies during aquic break...
Andmore app sharing...
Anders has been here some years ago...he could recall...
Somered plants of a temple in the mountain...
And some old folks...drinking tea...just likethe mountains at the south part of taipei...
Some christian room...
The sun was setting...so we started to return... 
Many times her in taiwan, the sun sets over the horizon.-..due
to fog or something...
We checked how far we went as welll...
Except some minor GPS errors...we could conclude our distance and speed...
Later that night I also met an aboriginal from the Bunun tribe...they are famous for archery and hunting...so cool...
I also made a quick visit to my negihbours neighbourhood...
I passed by many times but i never entered...
We had some Weissbeer from taiwan here...
And some meet...it was pretty slow kitchen...
And some salty shrimps...
The waitress was also half aboriginal...her father was Amis...

A visit to north eastern parts of Taipei...

I paid a visit to the north eastern parts of taipei today...
I took the MRT...and saw a girl with a Fjällräven bag...
People were also dancing salsa or soemthing at Dahu MRT station...
They seemed to have many hiking trails here...
And nice bridges...
I met up with Anders and Nils...
And later went up hil...
Anders were filming...some short clips...
It was a nice view...
Many locals were here to exersice...
Not sure why...I guess its the fresh air that is nice...
It was warm...I like...after some weeks of raining...
They seemed to have many hikes in the area...
Omg, somce cool wall...Anders is an expereinces photographer...he saw this was...and had the sense that it will be a cool pic...
He is using both a normal camera and his smartphone...depending on...
Nils fell asleep later on...
German cars...so many in taiwan...
Omg...a fishing store...never seen that before...here in Taiwan...
We later on headed to a dumpling place...
With hot drinks...it was hard to carry the cups...
Nice food...
We later on went for geocaching...its a fun website, if you have nothing to do...to go for a world wide treasure hunt...
One of the Geocach treassures were near this lake...
A guy who doesnt want to get wet on his head...using a plastic bag...thats good...reuse!
We had some problems with finding the coordinates...and to match them with google maps...
Here is the place...
Later we found the place...
We also found a mobile pizzeria...
And some nice park...
Maybe this could be the tressure...
Omg, many bords at this place...
Even Anders were taking pics of the birds...
Omg, Anders are sitting on the priority seats...thats the beneits with having a kid...
Welcome to taiwan...They hae "Anti-spy camera detactors"...not sure how they work...but the Tais surely figured this one out...
Next stop is the ferris wheel in Neihu...
We went to Le ble d´or...
For some honey beer...I can tell that it tastes better with some side dish...but it was still ok...
Another interesting sign...it reminds me of the "area for girls at night"-zone and the pink whistle in the bus...it makes taiwan a more interesting place...

Taipei Beer run

I came to taipei today at 6...
Back in taiwan, the heaven for scooter lovers...
And where birds are not allowed to take bus...
Directly when I arrived to went to the beer run near guring riverside park...
Many people were there...
My friend christopher was promoting it...
They didnt have any beer at the start, so many people went to a local 7-11 to buy some...
Many foreingers there...
The queue system didnt work totally...some queues were 1 or 2 people...
Long queue here...people prefered line up on this one...
I haf a Gold medal Taiwan beer...
They started people every 20 minute...
And we needed tattoos and an age check before we could start...(but they never checked it for real, i guess anyone could have started and participated for free)...
Many people taking pics...
And alot of light beer waste...but this we could not drink...
Everyone needed to wear the "beer run" t-shirt...
Some people ran, some walked, it was 3 km in total...
At many places they already wasted all the beer...I guess the early birds had more fun...
The first pitstop...
I felt sorry for people try to cycle here...so crowded...
And no strucutre...the kids working here did now know how to manage it...they asked everyone to queue somewhere else...(i guess its a consequence of the high power distance in this culture), since no one came with any good solution, just do as they were told...(barely anyone got to drink here...(when I passed by)...
They had this malt drink at the first stop...
The ran continues...
Ukulele performance...
I use to run on this field...its close to zhonghe...
Some maze that the participatns needed to passs, mad upon beer cans...
They were all full...
Some people took the bottles....
After a while everyone ended up stealing cans from the decoration...
After onther 10 mins we came to the end...
And got a medal...
With super long queues for everything...I alwyas wonder why they dont have double instead of single queue system...chalmers often has it, it speeds up the distirbution by double...
This was some competition, that people lined up for...not sure what you could win...
More queing...
Another queue...
I won a beer helmet...
And tried some peanuts, with malaspices...it makes my mouth go numb...not a good idea to eat if i want to be able to drink...
The queue were very slow, many foreingers blocked the entrance...since they didnt display who won, except on internet, they wanted to ask if they won, befoing queuing for 20 minutes...
But if they won, they took the prize directly...it was irritating for those who lined up...
But drunk foreingers dont care about others...
This is the prize...
Omg, a guy sneaked a whole box of beer...
I had my beer from the maze...some nice guy shared...
Else everyone got 3 cans...
I went back to the maze to see if they had any cans left...but it was all gone...
Some guys took a box of beer...and so did I...they had soo much left over...
Later I went to an all you can eat and drink...
It was with hotpot and sushi...
And Tsingtao beer...
Joel was amazed by the fish...
We also went by costco...
And tried local whisky...
And checked the wine...
Omg, christmas is approaching...
Later we went out drinking...and catching up on time...
Many different kinds of beer...
I also brought my glass from the oktoberfest in Munich...
To get the real beer feeling...(but it didnt taste better)...
They restores the hi-life near Joel...not sure why...but it was a face-lift...

Hash run in Fulong

I went to fulong today...
I took the train...passed by a 7-11 where i met a local who dont know what lining up means...she just sneaked ahead so interesting...
THe ticket machines at the trainstation only took coins...
"extra cool tshirts"...maybe I need those...
Oskar was prepared, for the "freedom hash run", since it was USA´s national day some days ago..this hash run was a Freedom run", oskar was thus wearing swedish cloloures shirt and brittish sox, to show the americans that history comes from europe...
He also studies chinese...
And played some saxophone...
Finally at fulong...
Sunny day...
Many people met up at the meeting point...
It was a temple near the beach...
Signing up...it cost 200nt...
Many foreigners....
Oskar was preparing the run...
Many old men were also there...
This is Anders from Sweden...he use to come here once in a while...
The beer truck arrived...
And the people creating the track left...
And then we took of...some girls started earlier as well...
Oskar told me to run slow in the beginning, and faser in the end...
We went in the forest...on pathes many times ppl were lost trying to find the right path...
On mudd etc..
And some creek...
And a river....
And on a wall...
Finally after some hour, I saw this sign, i was told that this was the end...think it was about 10km...
Then it was beer time...
Many people discussing the day...
And they played some american songs...
I had some snacks,,, they were good...
Some dogs were also playing in the area...
More drinking and mingeling...
And more snacks...
And then people were heading to the beach...
Oskar thought the americans were interesting...with their mindset...
Clouds in the horizon...
Some were talking about a ceremony...
But most ppl were heading to the water...
Firsti didnt want to swim...
But everyone else went there...
Even oskar...so i joined to...
The rain never reached us...
It was a nice evening...
They had somestage on th other side of the beach, for next weeks beach party here...
More music...
And beer...
And american flag...
They were interesting...
And some ceremony...
With firecrackers...
For freedom...they said...
Omg, someone hadaFjällrävenbag...
Oskar was mingeling...
A guy Chris joined us back to taipei, he has only beenintaiwan for 4 month, and works as an english teacher in Miaoli...
We later on headed to 1885 burger...oskars favorite place...
Nicewith koppargerbs cider...
Oskar showed me his favorite...
It was nice...
But the frenchfrieswere fake...
Not totallyfulll...thats a minus...
Tomorrow is monday...hao3

quarter ironman

I did an quarter ironman yesterday...it was ok, i burned my skin...on my right hand, i missed a spot when putting sunblock all over my body, several layers...
I took it rather easy...might have been the last one up from my starting group after the swimming part...
We swam in a river...
Slow Johan, enjoying the stream...
but I catched up on bike and by foot...as usual...
No running in the transit area...
It was warm..and sunny, I drank 2 liters of beer the night before...so i had plenty of carbs in my body...
After some 3 hours...I finished...
I also passed by a steak house/burger bar...it was ok, they said they had a "big burger"
however, the big part with it was the bread..the meat was like a BK whopper size. (Cowboy station)

I also lost my camera...somewhere...hmm...
But managed to take this pic, I was treated some snails ata local resturant in taipei...

I ended the day with some beers, with my friend Joel...he just fixed so that Pripps Blå, a famous swedish beer will be sold in 7-11 this summer...what a man...here he got 1000nt from me...
 
Last years swedish beer:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=romxzHyGufQ

Beer safari in Taoyuan

I went on my second beer safari in taiwan yeserday...

Starting off at this place in Linkou, Taoyuan (in Taipei new city)...

They served their beer in these cans... They had algea, dark, light and strawberry beer...their light beer was not that good...

And we got snacks...

They served the dark beer later than the other ones...not sure why...

If you check in on facebook, you also get free chicken wings...they were far more strict on checking this, than at Barhi in Beitou...it was confusing...

Taoyuan is famous for the maffia...I saw a maffia car outside this beer house...

The next stop was at this beer house...

They had live band that were pretty good...

The menu was in chinese...

They have new performers every day of the week...

Their beer glasses were pretty funny...

They had 2 kinds...one grape flavour and one draft beer...

And some carlsberg euipment....

Today tey also had some dark beer, I got a sample, but it was not that good...

They store the beer in these barrels, I was told that one can visit their factory in taoyuan...Maybe i will do that some time...

The stage was at one side of the room, but the furnitures were places in all directions making if hard for the customers to see the show...

I orderd this bread with sweet and sour sauce...

The room looked like a church...

We checked in at this place, and were suppose to get ome snacks, but the service was pretty slow....

This girl was filming the show...

They had a minimum charge of 350nt per person...its kind of high...
I later on found a "style binglang" place...
Omg, so stylish...
 

A trip to Yilan

I went to Yilan yesterday...

Taking the bus...it was convenient...

I was dropped of at the same pace as I left from after my 53k marathon this summer

On road 9, going from Taipei to the south of taiwan, passing the east mountains...

And the hill, that I often take pics of, which I ran up on at the same marathon...

Wow, a chirstmas tree, in novmebrer...welcome to taiwan...

I brought my Whicky, that I never finished from last time I was here...

Yilan by night...if often seems like a very small village...
 
 A famous night market
 
 This was famous...
 
 I bought some fried salad...and also met 2 girls from france and germany, who was here 1 year as rotary exchange students...interesting...many restrictions...
 
 This place was also famous...
 
A nice temple in the city...
 
 Wow, Yilan produced beer...
They had 4 different kind...one with algea...as I drank in singapore... 
 
 I never heard of this brand before...
 
 I tried all the kinds, excet the algea one...
 
 One had pineapple flavour...tha dark one was suprisingly good...

They also had dance performance...

Faomus place...maybe...

And this to...

Omg...Alishan tea...

I went to a uesum the day after, near Wai ai, where I use to go and surf...and where the boats leave to Turtle island...

Omg...so many umbrellas...

_nice view of Yilan, with turtle island in the background (taiwans only active vulcano...)...

And mountains...xueshan...for instance...

Andanintersint projection of rht world...not using mercator...

Omg...so many lakes in Yilan...I love taiwanese lakes...

How to spell "Qing" dynasty? "Cing"!?!
Or "Qing" dynasty?
 
 or "Cing"...
 
 Or "Qing"...
 
 Or "Cing"...even in the same paragraph they used different spelling...confusing...
 
 "Gaga" so intersting...
 
 Omg so many island I wanna visit...
 
 An old map of Taiwan, made by dutch people...
 
 Wow...5000 years ago...people settled in Yilan...
 
 Aboriginal tattoos, reminds me of the tattoos in New Zeeland...
 
 And the move Seediq Bale...

And at the Souvenir ship, one could by the Eiffel tower...

And miniatures of the museum...

On the way out, I saw some lockers for umbrellas...some one could bend lose anyway...but it was a interesting solution...

A resturant was the next stop...

They had alof of pics of fishes...

It was still raining in this "they rainy city" of taiwan...

So weird...in taiwan, they serve chicken with the head on the plate...

More rain...

Here is a map of a water fall in Yilan...

One had to walk a path up hill...

It was kind of touristic...

But also nice...

Aobut 20-30 meters high...

Up towards the jungle...
In the winter, it get snowy here...(or in the near by area)...
I bought a bottle of the local beer...a dark beer...
Later I went to the german restaurant at taipei main station (that is 100% taiwanese, btw)...
And alot of side ddishes were ordered...
Spicy sauce...one of the guys going there did an "italian", he took the reciept for company purpose, while everyone paid for themselvess (more or less)...omg south europeans...
After this a trip was made to a spanish bar in the city...
The door was locked...but it was full party in side...
Many ppl at the bar...
And in the basement they had a band that played and people danced...
I tried this german beer "Faust"...it was fruity and good...
Many foreigners  there...I will come back here some day to try their spanish food...

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