JunJian Trail – near Yangmingshan

A language partner suggested this quick hike (JunJian 軍艦岩親山步道) near where I was living. The name literally means Rocky Warship Trail, perhaps because of the eroded rock formations near the top. The trailhead is easily accessible from the Shipai 石牌 Redline MRT station, and there there are plenty of signs from the MRT stop.

It wasn’t until a few days after I found out that my grandma had hiked up this trail everyday to stay fit. It’s accessibility with the surrounding area makes this a great convenient hike. I saw a few mountain bikes at the top as well.

Time:  45 minutes to 1 hour

Does this look like a warship?!

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Sandiaoling Hike – Pinxi Area

Sandiaoling Hike (三貂嶺) – Pinxi Area

A friend invited me to join a group Taiwanese through a 18km hike in an area between Pinxi and Jiufen. The weather held up quite well, and it turned out to be a hiking experience I had never experienced before. For one, the average age was somewhere between 40-50 years old. We were by the youngest of the group. Second, this hike takes you through open fields, brush fields, an old mining facility, and a beautiful waterfall to top it all off.

Unfortunately, my camera was acting up and the majority of the pictures were completely lost 😦 The pictures shown are all within the last 5 km the hike.

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Sky Lanterns in Pinxi

Pinxi (平溪區) is an area most well known in Taiwan for lighting sky lanterns (Tiandeng, 天燈). These lanterns carry the wishes of the owner into the sky in hopes that they will come true. The old style streets in Pinxi also add a bit of flavor making the experience enjoyable whether or not you decide to light your own sky lantern. The affordable street food, lush green landscapes, and romantic feeling of the area makes for a great date location ;). Otherwise, still a good places to go with friends.

Train track in Pinxi

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Shoushan, Kaohsiung

Being a stone’s throw away from Kaohsiung city, Shoushan (壽山) with a max elevation of 365 meters, it provides a hilly and highly elevated escaped and is sometimes coined the “lungs of Kaohsiung”. It is home to the Formosan rock macque (particular to Taiwan), maked palm civet and black-throated Laughingthrush (ref:Wikipedia). There is quite a bit of wildlife including over 100 bird species.

Trail map of Shoushan (click for full resolution)

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Kaohsiung – Slower, Smaller Taipei

Every city offers something a little different. for Kaohsiung, it seemed like slower, smaller Taipei. I had the opportunity to couch surf with a young gentleman and his family for a few days and my interactions with the people here have been nothing but friendly, generous, and humbling. It seems that the further south I travel, the nicer people become (not that people in Taipei are mean) and striking up conversations was very easy.

Welcome to Kaohsiung

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