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A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Page 7

Day 19 - Thursday, 23 March 2017

Next town over

Today being my last full day in Tainan, I decided to leave it and take the train to Chiayi (Jiayi), the next town over.
Jiayi is where you can take an old train up to Alishan, and then various older trains around the various parts of a big mountain. Its a tourist paradise. But its mostly still broken due to earthquake.
You can take a 3 hour bus ride, each way, from Jiayi station, with no guarantee of a seat back, and numerous reports of people who did not get back for days who eventually decided to hitch hike. Its very difficult to do as a day trip if you want to hike at all.
As it turns out, that didnt matter, theres really only 2 buses a day to one of Taiwans premiere attractions, and I have missed both. I dont really understand this, I had the same issue getting to many parts of Japan, where the bus runs for 3 weeks a year in the hottest part of summer, except on weekends because the demand is too high, and closed mondays. No really, Japan decides to not run buses because of high demand.

Anyway, I decided to head to the sun star killer death tower. I dont know its exact name, it has both sun and star in the name.
Nearby is a very well regarded botanic gardens, a good place for an hours walk through tall trees and greenery, and it was indeed very good.
I will discuss both more using my photos below.

The train journey from Tainan to Chiayi is about an hour, and costs between $2 and $3 I think. Trains come every 20 minutes. The issue was, I did not know if my Easycard would be accepted at Chiayi or not (you cant cross regions or something), so I spoke to the guy guarding the easycard gates and asked him. His response was, in English, 'If you dont know the answer to this question you should not be riding the trains in Taiwan'. Thanks for that.
I found out that it was fine to use my card when I arrived. For the return journey, I thought I would just grab something at the station convenience store for the hour ride back. Except they had run out of food! About all they had left were aged eggs shrink wrapped in plastic and hot duck necks. Really, they had ample supplies of both. So I had to find an alternate food source.

A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Waiting for my train at Tainan, I spent some time reading the newspaper. Just like the parks in mainland China, they have pinned a copy up on a notice

Waiting for my train at Tainan, I spent some time reading the newspaper. Just like the parks in mainland China, they have pinned a copy up on a notice board so no one has to pay for their own.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Here is the main street in Chiayi. It was nice and wide, with a footpath. However not all the streets here were as pedestrian friendly.

Here is the main street in Chiayi. It was nice and wide, with a footpath. However not all the streets here were as pedestrian friendly.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - The Chiayi station is being rebuilt. Nearly every station is being rebuilt. Is this the Taiwanese version of the school funding scheme we did in Austr

The Chiayi station is being rebuilt. Nearly every station is being rebuilt. Is this the Taiwanese version of the school funding scheme we did in Australia to prevent a recession from being recorded?


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Chiayi's favourite son is clearly a baseball player, immortalised in gold.

Chiayi's favourite son is clearly a baseball player, immortalised in gold.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Nice tree.

Nice tree.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - This is the local tax collection office. Clearly they are good at their jobs.

This is the local tax collection office. Clearly they are good at their jobs.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - The local temple is of a high quality, its next door to the tax office, it even has a glass lift attached to the side of it.

The local temple is of a high quality, its next door to the tax office, it even has a glass lift attached to the side of it.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Across the road from the temple, things are not so good. I call this sad old man cyclist pedals past collapsing roof. Prints available, various sizes.

Across the road from the temple, things are not so good. I call this sad old man cyclist pedals past collapsing roof. Prints available, various sizes.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - This building is across the road from a huge modern university. I presume its full of students living cheaply.

This building is across the road from a huge modern university. I presume its full of students living cheaply.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - One of the trains you used to take up to the mountains. I recently also learned that there is now only one road across the mountains, the other one wa

One of the trains you used to take up to the mountains. I recently also learned that there is now only one road across the mountains, the other one was due to be reopened after a billion dollars of repairs, but then a typhoon damaged it again, so the government has decided its closed forever.
Which means deep in the mountains there are basically brand new roads sealed off going over mountain passes and through tunnels more than 3000 metres high. Sounds like a challenge.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - The Chiayi park has lots of paintings on show, of the park. I saw some people doing paintings too. Presumably at some point theres judging of which pa

The Chiayi park has lots of paintings on show, of the park. I saw some people doing paintings too. Presumably at some point theres judging of which paintings get featured in the park.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - The sun star sphere tower comes into view.

The sun star sphere tower comes into view.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Nearby is a restored Shinto shrine, now the Chiayi historical literature society.

Nearby is a restored Shinto shrine, now the Chiayi historical literature society.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - A bit more of the galaxy doom tower.

A bit more of the galaxy doom tower.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - You can stand on the top and look down through glass. If the sun shone through the glass dome at this point its energy would focus through the parabol

You can stand on the top and look down through glass. If the sun shone through the glass dome at this point its energy would focus through the parabolic lense and melt my shoes.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - The top levels are an art gallery, and there was some kind of invite only launch going on with free cake. Perhaps the judging of the park paintings, e

The top levels are an art gallery, and there was some kind of invite only launch going on with free cake. Perhaps the judging of the park paintings, except they werent of that.
I tried to pretend to be a New York Times art critic but they would not give me any free cake.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - The view from the top is open air, no glass!

The view from the top is open air, no glass!


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - The baseball stadium where the gold statue above did his best work.

The baseball stadium where the gold statue above did his best work.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - I was very appreciative of the open air tower.

I was very appreciative of the open air tower.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Now it was time to descend over a cliff into some greenery, which was great.

Now it was time to descend over a cliff into some greenery, which was great.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Except there are huge spiders, seriously they are a foot in diameter!

Except there are huge spiders, seriously they are a foot in diameter!


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - The park was very nice, there were dirt, gravel, wood and concrete trails to test out. I think my feet liked wood the best.

The park was very nice, there were dirt, gravel, wood and concrete trails to test out. I think my feet liked wood the best.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - In addition to spiders I saw squirrels, lizards, dogs of course, and this very unusual land bird. I dont think it was capable of flying. Later I might

In addition to spiders I saw squirrels, lizards, dogs of course, and this very unusual land bird. I dont think it was capable of flying. Later I might see one on a stick battered and deep fried.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Time to leave the park and start my journey back to Tainan.

Time to leave the park and start my journey back to Tainan.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - I purchased some traffic shoes. No footpath here, just shoe stands in traffic. Seriously, thats extending out into the road by metres. Trucks are swer

I purchased some traffic shoes. No footpath here, just shoe stands in traffic.
Seriously, thats extending out into the road by metres. Trucks are swerving to avoid.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - One last photo of Chiayi.

One last photo of Chiayi.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - And as mentioned, no food at the station other than mister donut. So a stale mister donut it is. Not a very satisfying lunch.

And as mentioned, no food at the station other than mister donut. So a stale mister donut it is. Not a very satisfying lunch.


The modern north side

Its my last night in Tainan, so I went to a night market. This night market is only open on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, and I had read that it is impossible to get into due to being so busy. I think that must be the case on the other days cause this Thursday it was just reasonably busy.
The flower night market is just one of many such night markets in Tainan, they seem to go hand in hand with temples, and theres a hell of a lot of temples here.
Getting to the market took me to the Northern part of the city, a side I had not been to at all previously, and it is quite different.
The streets are wider and more modern, its greener, there are more parks and modern looking apartments. Using my detective skills, I have therefore worked out that where I am staying is the original old part of the city, and the north part is the new part of the city.
Of course this being Taiwan theres the possiblilty the north part of the city used to be the old part and was at some point destroyed in a natural disaster.

Anyway, I enjoyed my long looping walk around the northern part of the city, everything is bigger over there, less claustraphobic, a bit less neon.
Tainan as a whole is a very clean city. It goes on and on forever. There are indeed lots of temples, and lots of food places. The food places are mostly outdoors, this is something I dont really enjoy, which leads me to two outdoor food stories -
1. I watched a scooter repair man empty an entire can of WD40 onto a bike chain strung from the roof, and most of the overspray just went all over a food stalls vegetable buffet.
2. I watched some people sitting and eating some kind of pigs blood soup with oysters in it, whilst a construction crew armed with angle grinders sprayed sparks directly into their soup. They never flinched.

A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Here are some new apartments, on the north side of Tainan, the south city of Taiwan. The northern south. BEI NAN.

Here are some new apartments, on the north side of Tainan, the south city of Taiwan. The northern south. BEI NAN.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - After quite the walk, I am at the night market. Note the flags. I think you walk around the outside and spot the flag of where you want to go, then he

After quite the walk, I am at the night market. Note the flags. I think you walk around the outside and spot the flag of where you want to go, then head that way.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Not too busy!

Not too busy!


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Tonights blow torch options include whole cuttle fish.

Tonights blow torch options include whole cuttle fish.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Plenty of seating at the steak houses. I think I have worked out the steak houses always have the seats cause you need to use a steak knife, and thats

Plenty of seating at the steak houses. I think I have worked out the steak houses always have the seats cause you need to use a steak knife, and thats not easy to do whilst standing.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Where as eating these bugs can be done whilst wandering around. You can get them with chilli. I like chilli.

Where as eating these bugs can be done whilst wandering around. You can get them with chilli. I like chilli.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - This Singapore laksa house is by far the most popular place. Taiwan is very popular with Singaporeans, half the time I research where to go its writte

This Singapore laksa house is by far the most popular place. Taiwan is very popular with Singaporeans, half the time I research where to go its written by a girl from Singapore (always a girl). So I am wondering if all the people eating Singapore style laksa are from Singapore.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - If you are going to eat east mountain duck heads, you might as well eat the best east mountain duck heads.

If you are going to eat east mountain duck heads, you might as well eat the best east mountain duck heads.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - You can also make yourself up a bag of mixed lollies, now with added night market flavour.

You can also make yourself up a bag of mixed lollies, now with added night market flavour.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Or you can have some fried bacon wrapped cheese. Good for the healthy.

Or you can have some fried bacon wrapped cheese. Good for the healthy.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - I predictably ended up back at a steak house (plastic table), to enjoy somewhere to sit and eat.

I predictably ended up back at a steak house (plastic table), to enjoy somewhere to sit and eat.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Now it was time for a long looping walk back. Here is tonights night temple.

Now it was time for a long looping walk back. Here is tonights night temple.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - This almost looks like Singapore, except there are scooters. Its a kind of indoor / outdoor hawkers hall.

This almost looks like Singapore, except there are scooters. Its a kind of indoor / outdoor hawkers hall.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - And here I am, enjoying a discount clothing warehouse that goes nearly as far as the eye can see.

And here I am, enjoying a discount clothing warehouse that goes nearly as far as the eye can see.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Last photo for tonight comes to you courtesy of a convenient overpass. Enjoy a bit more neon.

Last photo for tonight comes to you courtesy of a convenient overpass. Enjoy a bit more neon.


There are currently 3 comments - click to add

David on 2017-03-24 said:

I dont recall saying it was horse meat last time? It was very good quality beef both times.


Jenny on 2017-03-23 said:

So was the steak horse meat again?


mother on 2017-03-23 said:

Best main street yet. Shop signs nicely colour coordinated.



Day 20 - Friday, 24 March 2017

Mountain village metropolis

Now I am in Puli. Getting here was surprisingly easy. More on that shortly.

Yesterday I went to Chiayi, this morning they had a small earthquake. Perhaps my visit was the cause. However since I am now in a small city that was almost flattened by an earthquake only a few years ago, I better be careful what I wish for.
In all my travels to countries that have daily earthquakes, I still dont think I have felt one.

Now, getting to Puli, was train, high speed train, then bus. I had no tickets, and I had questions to answer about every leg of that journey. Amazingly, it all went fine, with no more than 10 minutes between each transfer.
The final bus leg up into the mountains was not even an hours ride, but the scenery was spectacular, more on that below too.
My favourite part of each leg of the journey was watching people immediately go into a deep snoring sleep. Board train, sit, sleep. Head flop over or forwards with snoring. I cant do this. I also saw the same thing in Donutes whilst I was sipping my coffee. Buy coffee, walk upstairs, sit, place backpack on table as pillow, face into backpack, sleep, immediately!

Puli is supposed to only have 80k people, but the city is all city centre, set up largely for tourists I think, of which I am one.
Oh and buddhists, rich buddhists. Look at the photo below of the visiting monk hotel. I saw a convoy of Mercedes S class AMG's deliver a heap of them in their robes to the hotel. Why go the whole AMG V12 twin turbo option in what is effectively a taxi? Only the monks will know. They are probably bullet proof too. Monks, keep begging for more money, you must need it.

A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Leg 1 of the journey, the local train from Tainan to Tainan high speed rail station which is nowhere near Tainan.

Leg 1 of the journey, the local train from Tainan to Tainan high speed rail station which is nowhere near Tainan.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - The high speed rail station however, is excellent. Like an airport, lots of places to shop and eat.

The high speed rail station however, is excellent. Like an airport, lots of places to shop and eat.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - There is even a small food court. I am quite fond of food courts.

There is even a small food court. I am quite fond of food courts.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Here comes my train. They sit on 300kmph. I have been on these in Taiwan at least 3 times previously, its old hat now.

Here comes my train. They sit on 300kmph. I have been on these in Taiwan at least 3 times previously, its old hat now.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - A bit more view of the Tainan high speed rail station and immediate surrounds.

A bit more view of the Tainan high speed rail station and immediate surrounds.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Leg 2 of 3, inside the high speed train. Very quiet and comfortable apart from tremendous snoring. My ride was not even 45 minutes.

Leg 2 of 3, inside the high speed train. Very quiet and comfortable apart from tremendous snoring. My ride was not even 45 minutes.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - I had to transfer to the bus at the Taichung (Taizhong) high speed rail station. Astute readers will remember on my last Taiwan trip I spent a few day

I had to transfer to the bus at the Taichung (Taizhong) high speed rail station. Astute readers will remember on my last Taiwan trip I spent a few days in Taizhong.
The terminal here is even more like an airport, a large airport. The trains come about every 20 minutes.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Underneath I quickly found my bus stop to Puli. Well signposted.

Underneath I quickly found my bus stop to Puli. Well signposted.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Leg number 3 of 3, the bus ride, which was very comfortable, not very long, cheap and the view was amazing towards the end, when not in a tunnel.

Leg number 3 of 3, the bus ride, which was very comfortable, not very long, cheap and the view was amazing towards the end, when not in a tunnel.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Some bus view, now to see what Puli looks like.

Some bus view, now to see what Puli looks like.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Here is Puli, it is much more city like than I imagined it would be. I expected farmers herding dogs and ducks. Thats a nice mountain in the backgroun

Here is Puli, it is much more city like than I imagined it would be. I expected farmers herding dogs and ducks.
Thats a nice mountain in the background!


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - My hotel room is ridiculously large. The hotel is kind of old but huge. I guess it survived the earthquake. Actually I think all modern buildings did,

My hotel room is ridiculously large. The hotel is kind of old but huge. I guess it survived the earthquake. Actually I think all modern buildings did, and the only village part of Puli village was destroyed.
Note to self - stay out of old village housing.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Bathroom shot, here for my mother, she has some kind of thing about bathrooms.

Bathroom shot, here for my mother, she has some kind of thing about bathrooms.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - My hotel has a wrap around balcony. I can keep an eye on this roundabout, one of many in down town Puli. Its where you can watch scooter roulette unfo

My hotel has a wrap around balcony. I can keep an eye on this roundabout, one of many in down town Puli. Its where you can watch scooter roulette unfold, and wonder why adults have helmets and small chidren and babies just hang on and hope without a helmet.
Also, some poodles have helmets. Just not children.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - A bit more view from my balcony. More mountains. Mountains in every direction. I have no idea if its possible to climb them. Information is very hard

A bit more view from my balcony. More mountains. Mountains in every direction. I have no idea if its possible to climb them. Information is very hard to come by!


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - It was still early, so I did a lap of the city, mostly looking at the mountains, studying the map. I looked for a hiking gear shop to ask advice, coul

It was still early, so I did a lap of the city, mostly looking at the mountains, studying the map. I looked for a hiking gear shop to ask advice, couldnt find one.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - This is the buddhist luxury hotel for visiting monks (I think?). The foyer has a large solid gold buddha, 500 small solid gold buddhas, an no admissio

This is the buddhist luxury hotel for visiting monks (I think?). The foyer has a large solid gold buddha, 500 small solid gold buddhas, an no admission to peoople like me, there are guards.
That thing on the roof thats like a satellite dish, and it may well be one, but I think its also some kind of moon beam shooting thing to communicate with the dalai lama or the other rich monks, or possibly scientologists cause this is all just a bit too sketchy for my liking.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - I returned to my hotel, and they must have worked out I was staying here, because a parade of some sort is being set up.

I returned to my hotel, and they must have worked out I was staying here, because a parade of some sort is being set up.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - I was now shaking from starvation, so another balanced meal of cow piss soda, banana and peas in chilli cracker form.

I was now shaking from starvation, so another balanced meal of cow piss soda, banana and peas in chilli cracker form.


A quick run up a small mountain

I think I like Puli. It has mountains, lots of them. They seem to have paths. Some of these paths are actually for cars, but thats ok because the view is fantastic and there are street lights and a designated walking path off to the side so you can run all the way to the top and enjoy the view at dusk.
And what a superb view it was, very orange thanks to the sun disappearing behind a mountain, cloud and pollution.
There were actually a lot of people jogging, biking, walking and being towed up by their dogs all appreciating the view and the exercise. Earlier in the day a few paragliders were taking off from here, but as I believe they rely on thermals, they become parachutes once the sun goes down, which meant they had packed up by the time I had run to the top.

The rest of Puli is great too. Its a very compact city, but I believe it largely exists purely for tourism. The views from the mountain suggest a population much greater than 80,000 but perhaps that figure is just for residents, with tourists included it feels like it must be a larger city.

There are a lot of good places to eat within a rocks throw of my hotel, but I found the best of all, a place where you can get pork chops and ice cream and much much more.

A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - This might be the geographical centre of Taiwan. But stay tuned as there is another contender for those not as lazy. Note this one is at the top of ju

This might be the geographical centre of Taiwan. But stay tuned as there is another contender for those not as lazy. Note this one is at the top of just a few stairs, in front of a cliff.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Then there were a lot of stairs. So many stairs. I was surprised by the number of stairs, but I do like to climb stairs. There are probably 10x as man

Then there were a lot of stairs. So many stairs. I was surprised by the number of stairs, but I do like to climb stairs.
There are probably 10x as many stairs in total compared to the number of stairs shown in this photo.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Once at the top of the stairs, its time to enjoy the excellent view! So orange.

Once at the top of the stairs, its time to enjoy the excellent view! So orange.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - And here we have another contender for the geographical centre of Taiwan. I am not sure how they even measure that, because I read recently the coast

And here we have another contender for the geographical centre of Taiwan. I am not sure how they even measure that, because I read recently the coast line moves up to half a metre a year due to earthquakes, and somewhere in their territory new islands are forming due to volcanic activity.
Regardless of the meaninglessness of this monument, a man has sacrificed his dog and is yelling at the structures pointing directly to the centre of the universe.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - The road loops around a few times, and gives you lots of opportunity to enjoy the view. So I did. Whilst running up hill. I was so happy to be running

The road loops around a few times, and gives you lots of opportunity to enjoy the view. So I did. Whilst running up hill. I was so happy to be running!


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - The whole of the city. A bit less orange at this point.

The whole of the city. A bit less orange at this point.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Push her.

Push her.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - View from the cliff.

View from the cliff.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Heres the best I could do. Enjoy my sweaty head.

Heres the best I could do. Enjoy my sweaty head.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Back in town now, and I had less reason to do neon photos tonight because I had already done view photos. So here is a bonus neon photo anyway.

Back in town now, and I had less reason to do neon photos tonight because I had already done view photos. So here is a bonus neon photo anyway.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - A very Taiwanese thing to do, is to group everything similar next to each other. You will see more evidence of this below, and it happens with everyth

A very Taiwanese thing to do, is to group everything similar next to each other. You will see more evidence of this below, and it happens with everything you can think of. This is obviously take away pizza shop designated zone.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - This entire street is selling nothing but garden tools.

This entire street is selling nothing but garden tools.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Now I am at the buffet restaurant. I was sceptical, but rewarded! EVERYTHING INCLUDE! Vegetable bar, tofu buffet, make your own instant noodles with a

Now I am at the buffet restaurant. I was sceptical, but rewarded! EVERYTHING INCLUDE! Vegetable bar, tofu buffet, make your own instant noodles with all the extras, dessert bar, ice cream sundae station, fruit bowl, drinks, tea, coffee, chocolate fondue fountain.
I had to restrain myself.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - I chose the fat free pork leg steaks as my main course. This place is like sizzler, but $9 and EVERYTHING INCLUDE!

I chose the fat free pork leg steaks as my main course. This place is like sizzler, but $9 and EVERYTHING INCLUDE!


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - The photo everyone wanted, my dessert! 3 scoops of different flavoured ice cream, I am guessing the purple is taro but I have no idea about the others

The photo everyone wanted, my dessert! 3 scoops of different flavoured ice cream, I am guessing the purple is taro but I have no idea about the others.
Then I added peanuts, some kind of mystery sauce, and the best part, half cooked chocolate chip smashed cookies.
I might go back tomorrow.


There are currently 4 comments - click to add

David on 2017-03-24 said:

Probably no more than 5km each way


adriana on 2017-03-24 said:

Too many stairs! Nice view. How far by walk?


Jenny on 2017-03-24 said:

Googled. YOu can go to Carp Lake and climb Mt Hutou to the geographical centre of Taiwan - only two hours - you better do it twice.


Jenny on 2017-03-24 said:

You didn't say horse meat, one of your fans said it was.

Was that bus pillarless? Good view, but safe?
must go and check this place out on Google.



Day 21 - Saturday, 25 March 2017

Huge number of steps

Right now I have done 55,800 steps today. Close to a record. I still have to go and find dinner, so I will set a new personal best. Exciting times indeed. Photo of watch face step counter will be provided with todays second update as proof.

My mother will no doubt have noticed by now that I am late on my update, thats because I started walking at 8am and only just returned home to the hotel at 6pm, without taking a break!
Yesterday I had selected my mountain based on a geospatial analysis of local options and paths showing up on maps on openstreetmap. A great deal of planning went into this selection process. So when I go to the start of the path and there was no path, I was mildly annoyed!
Not to worry, there are other paths, I will just keep trying until I find one that works out, and I did, and it went up really high, but it went a really really long way around the back of the mountains up a valley to get there.
I believe my path of choice was an old logging track, it would be possible to take a 4 wheel motorbike up it, so no chance of getting lost today. But despite the good path, the great scenery, and a mystery temple as you will see, I did not see a single person in 8 hours.
Where was everyone? The path would have been ok for mountain bikers but there were none, and who was looking after the temple? So many questions unanswered, so many pictures of view to scroll past.

Dont expect a huge update later on tonight, I wont be going far!

A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Before finding the defining path of the day, I had to hike out of the city to the mountain area. About 5km. This took me past the old people exercise

Before finding the defining path of the day, I had to hike out of the city to the mountain area. About 5km. This took me past the old people exercise park and its well cared for trees.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - I should have stolen this and driven to the start of the mountain.

I should have stolen this and driven to the start of the mountain.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Heres my zoomed in shot of Puli street life for today.

Heres my zoomed in shot of Puli street life for today.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - A sure sign I am on the edge of town, the local discount TV warehouse.

A sure sign I am on the edge of town, the local discount TV warehouse.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Its still a long way to the mountains!

Its still a long way to the mountains!


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Starting to look promising, the ridge nearest to the left of this photo was where a path was shown on my fancy mapping app. I asked some bored old peo

Starting to look promising, the ridge nearest to the left of this photo was where a path was shown on my fancy mapping app.
I asked some bored old people sitting nearby yelling at clouds, and they laughed at me hysterically. I tried to find the path anyway, but it was just rubbish and big spiders.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Now I have found the logging trail. I felt relieved. Time to bound up the trail as fast as I could.

Now I have found the logging trail. I felt relieved. Time to bound up the trail as fast as I could.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - It didnt take long for the view to get great. Rain was forecast, it didnt rain all day. The cloud seems to settle in the valleys, the various peaks we

It didnt take long for the view to get great. Rain was forecast, it didnt rain all day. The cloud seems to settle in the valleys, the various peaks were less cloudy. Thats my cloud update for now.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - The first part was the steepest, then there was a lot of looping around over different peaks. The mountain has no name, the range has the knife charac

The first part was the steepest, then there was a lot of looping around over different peaks. The mountain has no name, the range has the knife character in the name and some other traditional Chinese character hieroglyphic outdated nonsense I cant read.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Interestingly, ok mildly interesting at best, this is the top of the path that I failed to find when laughed at by old people. So it does exist. Oh we

Interestingly, ok mildly interesting at best, this is the top of the path that I failed to find when laughed at by old people. So it does exist. Oh well, not today!


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - The scenery changed a number of times. I was never sure if the trees were natural or old plantations.

The scenery changed a number of times. I was never sure if the trees were natural or old plantations.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - I could have stopped at this point, but no, lets see how far this path goes!

I could have stopped at this point, but no, lets see how far this path goes!


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - The trees here look very much like those on Japanese mountains. There was lots of wildlife, these black and white peacock looking things, a deer, monk

The trees here look very much like those on Japanese mountains. There was lots of wildlife, these black and white peacock looking things, a deer, monkeys and some very large birds. All managed to escape my camera lense.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Cheap accommodation. This really was the only sign of other humans between the bottom and the temple. There was no sign anyone had been here for a lon

Cheap accommodation. This really was the only sign of other humans between the bottom and the temple. There was no sign anyone had been here for a long time.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - And then out of nowhere, there was a temple. I dont know how you get to it other than the way I had. Surely people must come up here and look after it

And then out of nowhere, there was a temple. I dont know how you get to it other than the way I had. Surely people must come up here and look after it often, it was spotless.
I always question how these things get built.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - It looks brand new to me. There is no one here that I could find, and I looked everywhere they might be. I could have done whatever I wanted with only

It looks brand new to me. There is no one here that I could find, and I looked everywhere they might be. I could have done whatever I wanted with only gold statues watching. Instead I pushed on!


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Out behind the temple theres this flat picnic area, and a view of where I still had to get to.

Out behind the temple theres this flat picnic area, and a view of where I still had to get to.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - I think I had been walking up through all those as far as the eye could see.

I think I had been walking up through all those as far as the eye could see.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - And then the ridge goes up and around a bit, and its the end of the path. You can see a bit of Puli below.

And then the ridge goes up and around a bit, and its the end of the path. You can see a bit of Puli below.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Time for the pose. Not one of my best, legs too close together.

Time for the pose. Not one of my best, legs too close together.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - I briefly considered trying to descend another way, there was a logging trail grown over. It gave a better view of the city below but I had not guaran

I briefly considered trying to descend another way, there was a logging trail grown over. It gave a better view of the city below but I had not guarantee it actually ever went back down. I didnt have enought light left in the day to find out so I retreated back the way I had came.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - The light kept changing, it was an eerie twilight for a while but it hasnt translated into the photo too well.

The light kept changing, it was an eerie twilight for a while but it hasnt translated into the photo too well.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Almost back down now, I was enjoying these strange trees with their big leaves, and the cliffs.

Almost back down now, I was enjoying these strange trees with their big leaves, and the cliffs.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - I am finally back to civilization! Enjoy these pink blossoms and a gate.

I am finally back to civilization! Enjoy these pink blossoms and a gate.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Back at my hotel, they had heard about how many steps I had done today, so the celebration tent singers are going full blast. I am the only person in

Back at my hotel, they had heard about how many steps I had done today, so the celebration tent singers are going full blast. I am the only person in the audience.


Ritual sacrafice

As promised, this will be a short update because I walked enough today.
As promised, there will be a photo of my watch screen, but also my phone screen.

Other than that, I found a dumpling place, I think it may be the same chain as I ate at in Taitung, it won by default due to location, more on that below.
After dinner, I wandered back to the supermarket and admired their collection of pink things for white day which was a week and a half ago already.
White day is reverse valentines day a month after valentines day and was invented by a chocolate company in Japan in 1978. Originally you gave white things, but pink is so hot right now, more specifically millennial pink which is trending hard, so pink has replaced white on white day, and white day is now an entire month in the supermarkets and convenience stores.
Here is how valentines day now works in Asian countries thanks to the forward thinking chocolate company in Japan.
On Feb 14, girls select boys who they would like to receive a gift from on white day. Thats it. Valentines day over.
Boys who are selected then have an entire month to save money, find a loan shark, win at gambling, sell a kidney or rob someone to get enough money to give the expected bounty of gifts on March 14.
Boys who were not selected the month prior become the envy of all those who were selected. Some offer high interest loans to selected boys to profit from their misfortune.

A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - First photo of the evening is my dinner, cause I was starving. The soup is very plain but has hand made noodles. The dumplings are pork and leek and a

First photo of the evening is my dinner, cause I was starving.
The soup is very plain but has hand made noodles. The dumplings are pork and leek and are delicious, boiled of course, for the healthy. And to bolster the good for healthy, kim chi, if you dont eat kim chi every day and you have Korean DNA, you will die.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - The most common stores in Taiwan are no doubt tea shops of every kind, second would have to be hairdressers, then scooter repair shops, and close behi

The most common stores in Taiwan are no doubt tea shops of every kind, second would have to be hairdressers, then scooter repair shops, and close behind is scooter helmet shops.
You can collect the entire hello kitty helmet collection to match each outfit.
With the reliance on scooter repair and helmet stores, Taiwan can never abolish scooters.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - I returned to my hotel to find the singers had put on black robes and are now staging some kind of ritual sacrifice around a mobile fire trailer, dire

I returned to my hotel to find the singers had put on black robes and are now staging some kind of ritual sacrifice around a mobile fire trailer, directly under my balcony window.
After considering all possible reasons why, only one reason remains so it must therefore be true.
Earlier when they honored me with song, as the mythical creature of the long walk up a lonely mountain path, I largely ignored them, despite being the only person nearby.
They were deeply offended by this, and are now pulling some kind of voodoo ritual trying to kill me with carbon monoxide fumes going into my air conditioner.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Here it is, the final count, 60,315 steps. 48.9km apparently, I should have done that extra 1.1km.

Here it is, the final count, 60,315 steps. 48.9km apparently, I should have done that extra 1.1km.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - And heres the graph that shows I did not stop all day. Let me explain the dips in the graph. The first one was getting ready to leave and putting my s

And heres the graph that shows I did not stop all day. Let me explain the dips in the graph.
The first one was getting ready to leave and putting my shoes on.
Soon after there are a couple of very minor dips, thats when I went into 2 convenience stores to buy supplies. Then we get a couple of blips where I took photos, and then a bigger one just before 2pm (count the dots to the right of 12). Thats where I was on the summit and I stopped to take my angry selfie.
Then I raced all the way back down, and theres another big dip just before 5pm, thats when I bought a drink at a petrol station once I was back in civilization, I was there no more than 5 minutes cause I stood around and drank the whole thing so I could put the empty bottle in the bin.
Then theres the big dip down to nothing at around 6:30pm, which is when I returned to the hotel and did the earlier update to this website, followed by immediately going out again and walking to dinner, sitting and eating it (the last blip/dip) and walking back to my hotel.
Thats a pretty detailed explanation of how to get over 60k steps in a day, just dont stop walking.


There are currently 4 comments - click to add

bobule on 2017-03-28 said:

food looks excellent. i am hungry now


adriana on 2017-03-25 said:

Congrats on all the steps - how are your shoes holding up? Need to find out about the strange ritual outside your hotel - very weird.


David on 2017-03-25 said:

There are snakes yes, but I am yet to see one, I see lots of little lizards. I hear the dangerous snakes are generally only found near the banks of rivers.

There are also bears, the formosan black bear is the national animal of Taiwan. They are endangered and apparently never attack humans despite being quite large and capable of running fast.


Mother on 2017-03-25 said:

Yes about time! Mountains with no people may not be such a good idea. Do they have bears and snakes in Taiwan at all? Some of the tree shots are quiltable.



Now there is a page 8, it wont even be the last page.

Contents

Day 1 - Sunday, 5 March 2017
  Early morning late night flight
  Totally full and uncomfortable
  The boring photos continue
  The unprecedented 4th update
Day 2 - Monday, 6 March 2017
  Raining cats
  There are lots of Koreans in Japanese Taiwan
Day 3 - Tuesday, 7 March 2017
  One down
  Major rain no dampener
Day 4 - Wednesday, 8 March 2017
  Coat day
  Tomorrow is all new
Day 5 - Thursday, 9 March 2017
  Crap photos featuring trains
  Third world footpaths
Day 6 - Friday, 10 March 2017
  Engorged
  Surprise carnival
Day 7 - Saturday, 11 March 2017
  Cement factory rubbish dump beach
  Department store rain shelter
Day 8 - Sunday, 12 March 2017
  Cloudview
  Dry trip to station
Day 9 - Monday, 13 March 2017
  Far from station
  Footpath observance
Day 10 - Tuesday, 14 March 2017
  Rocky start
  Full of cake
Day 11 - Wednesday, 15 March 2017
  Museum run
  Lost in the swamp at night
Day 12 - Thursday, 16 March 2017
  Animal kingdom
  Bigger and brighter
Day 13 - Friday, 17 March 2017
  Razor wire defeat
  Accidental dream mall
Day 14 - Saturday, 18 March 2017
  So many gift shops
  Steak night
Day 15 - Sunday, 19 March 2017
  Sweating profusely
  Needed more time
Day 16 - Monday, 20 March 2017
  4 down 3 to go
  The old and the new
Day 17 - Tuesday, 21 March 2017
  Fort washing machine
  Chicken tower
Day 18 - Wednesday, 22 March 2017
  The museum cheap electric fans paid for
  Surprise parade
Day 19 - Thursday, 23 March 2017
  Next town over
  The modern north side
Day 20 - Friday, 24 March 2017
  Mountain village metropolis
  A quick run up a small mountain
Day 21 - Saturday, 25 March 2017
  Huge number of steps
  Ritual sacrafice
Day 22 - Sunday, 26 March 2017
  Lake saturation
  Global mormon offensive
Day 23 - Monday, 27 March 2017
  Final destination
  The best beef noodles in Taipei?
Day 24 - Tuesday, 28 March 2017
  Windy teapot
  Best ramen ever
Day 25 - Wednesday, 29 March 2017
  Three moutain rest day
  The first repeat
Day 26 - Thursday, 30 March 2017
  Ropes and ladders
  Still time for more beef noodle
Day 27 - Friday, 31 March 2017
  Indeed more beef noodle
  The end