Nanwan Beach

Nanwan [南灣] is located in Pingdong [屏東] – Taiwan’s southernmost county.

Here are a few pictures from our recent trip south.  We were blessed during the trip with fabulous weather.  Although it was summer vacation for students, most of the places we went were largely free of crowds.  Perhaps most people were inside avoiding a suntan or busy going to full-day English summer camps like the unfortunate children who attend the school I work at.
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Favorite Posts of 2009

With 2009 coming to a close I thought I would take a moment to highlight some of my favorite posts [in no particular order]:

  • Growing up a short drive from Sandusky, Ohio, I’ve never been too impressed by amusement parks in Taiwan.  The rides at the Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village were really nothing to write home about, but the cherry blossoms sure were nice.
  • Skip the Sitou Forest Recreational Park and go to the Wangyou Forest instead.  It’s a real gem and almost deserted [for now].
  • I visited the Old Taichung Winery with blogger Mark Forman in October and had a great time.  On this trip I learned to love my 50mm f/1.8 all over again.
  • My trip to Kaohsiung with my wife was a blast.  It’s hard to choose one post to highlight here but the one featuring shots from Formosa Boulevard MRT Station’s the Dome of Light really stand out for its panorama goodness.
  • I wrote a short little article about Reverse Lens Macro Photography that you may find helpful.  The examples in the article are fairly dull, but the subsequent Daily Photos came out nice.
  • Surprise!  Nantou had a flower festival!
  • I never knew a ceramics museum could be so interesting!  Now I need to find time to visit Yingge again!
  • Cathy and I had a great time walking around the Gold Ecological Park in Jinguashi.  Check it out to learn about Taiwan’s intriguing mining history!
  • I’ve written a few posts from our honeymoon to the Czech Republic and Austria.  Unfortunately, I’ve experienced quite a delay getting pictures online due to my pre-Intel processor iBook G4 showing its age.  Out of the posts I have made, the one of the Old Jewish Cemetery is my favorite.
  • Can I pick just one cycling post?  Of course not.  My trip on the Northern Cross Island Highway was the most fun I’ve ever had cycling in lousy weather, mainly because of the great people I went along with.  My recent solo-ride to Xinshe was great because it was more challenging than any other ride I had done before.

This year I started doing Weekly Links as a regular feature on the blog.  I hope my readers have found this useful for finding interesting content.   The Daily Photo feature began last year and unfortunately posting has been sporadic at best.  I usually post a Daily Photo if there wasn’t a long post and usually only post a photo on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday [and technically Thursday if you count the Weekly Links header photo].  Regardless, here’s my 10 favorite Daily Photos [sorted by date]:

Anping Tree House

January 22 – Anping Tree House [4]

Cyrestis thyodamas formosana
February 2 – A Sign of Spring

March 17 – Electric

April 27 – The Tenth Floor

May 7 – Bamboo

May 14 – Lotus

Taiwan Barbet
May 25 – Time to Take out the Trash

June 8 – Corrosion

Nikon FM2
August 18 – FM2

October 7 – All Your Weight Falls on Me and Brings Me Down

Notice anything missing?  Yeah, no people.  I’ll try to work on that in 2010.

In personal news, Cathy and I just celebrated our one year anniversary!  I’m looking forward to plenty more anniversaries and travels with my beautiful wife!

Have a Happy New Year!

Kaohsiung – Zuoying Lotus Pond

Dragon and Tiger Pagodas
The last attraction on our Kaohsiung trip was a stop to the Lotus Pond in Zuoying [蓮池潭龍虎塔].  The man-made pond is a short bus ride from the Zuoying KMRT and HSR Station and is located between Gui Mountain [龜山] and Banping Mountain [半平山].  Here are a few photos of the pond’s Dragon and Tiger Towers:
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Kaohsiung – Urban Spotlight

Kaohsiung’s Urban Spotlight [城市光廊] is located near the KMRT’s Central Park Station.  It’s theme is light and is the collaboration of nine local artists.  It’s a great place to stroll around after dusk.  Here are some pictures from our visit:
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Kaohsiung – The Ciaotou Sugar Refinery

Our weekend in Kaohsiung began with a trip on the KMRT to The Ciaotou Sugar Refinery [橋頭糖廠].  The area is characterized by its sugar refinery which has been made into a museum of Taiwan’s sugar industry.  There are plenty of old buildings, narrow gauge trains, cafes, bike paths, and artwork by local artists on display for visitors to enjoy.
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Kaohsiung – The Singuang Ferry Wharf and Tunix Sky Tower

Tuntex Sky Tower
After breakfast on our second day in Kaohsiung we hopped on the KMRT and got off at Sanduo Shopping District Station [三多商圈站].  We had two things in mind: 1) buy new shoes for my wife because the pair she was wearing was not cut out for the walking we were doing and 2) visit the Tunix Sky Tower [高雄85大樓].
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Kaohsiung – The Dome of Light

The Dome of Light [1]
View the large.

This is the first of a series of posts from our recent two-day trip to Kaohsiung [高雄].  Kaohsiung is located in southwestern Taiwan and is the second largest and most densely populated city in Taiwan.

Formosa Boulevard Station [美麗島站] serves as a transfer station for the Red and Orange lines of the Kaohsiung Mass Rapid Transit System [KMRT 高雄大眾捷運系統].  The station hosts the Dome of Light, which is the work of Italian artist Narcissus Quagliata and is the world’s biggest one-piece stained glass creation.
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We arrived in Kaohsiung early Saturday afternoon, after checking into our hotel our first stop was the British Consulate at Takao. Designed by a British architect and built in 1865, this Renaissance-style building was the first Western-style building in Kaohsiung.


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Tainan’s historical sites


The last major activity during my week off was a tour of some of Tainan’s historical sites. Our first destination was the Anping Artillery Fort which was found as we were in the process of getting lost in Tainan.

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Kenting National Park


After we visited the Aquarium, long prior to the arrival of Typhoon Kaemi, we went to Kenting National Park which is the oldest and southernmost park in Taiwan. The northern section of the park has large mountains:
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