Neiwan Grill Party

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Photos by MJ Klein & Hui-chen

Last Monday was a holiday in Taiwan, and our friend Xiao-hui (also spelled “Shao hui” in some blog articles) invited us to join her party at Neiwan, a touristy town in the mountain region.

Neiwan Grill Party

We made our way down under this bridge to a flat area beside the river.

Neiwan Grill Party

I could hear karaoke music coming from the place beside the far end of the bridge.  Sometimes, there is just no escaping it….

Neiwan Grill Party

Making my way down to the riverside, this is where all the people are gathered, doing their thing….

Neiwan Grill Party

Neiwan Grill Party

These days, Xiao-hui’s staff is Vietnamese, since nearly all the Thai people have gone back home.  These guys (who are with us) were scouting out a good place to camp out.

Neiwan Grill Party

You can see how crowded it is in this place.  So naturally we were looking for a clearing.

Neiwan Grill Party

The black hose in this photo comes from the far end of the bridge and brings water to this side.

Neiwan Grill Party

Beside the automobile bridge is a pedestrian suspension bridge.

Neiwan Grill Party

We decided to go down a trail to find a place with less people.

Neiwan Grill Party

Neiwan Grill Party

Part of the trail involved walking under this trellis.  At my height it wasn’t pleasant.

Neiwan Grill Party

Then, the trail required us to walk over these boulders.  Not pleasant either.

Neiwan Grill Party

Finally we reached the river, a few hundred meters upstream from where we began.

Neiwan Grill Party

That’s Hui-chen with the hat, scoping out the river.

Neiwan Grill Party

The young Vietnamese guys suggested that we cross the river at this point and end up on the other, less populated, side of the river.  I took a few steps on the very slippery rocks and decided that with a Samsung Galaxy S mobile phone in my pocket, a camera bag on my shoulder, and a wife on my arm, it couldn’t safely be done.  The Vietnam contingent and Xiao-hui pressed on, while Hui-chen and I turned around and went back on the trail.

Neiwan Grill Party

The plan was for us to cross the pedestrian bridge and somehow catch up with everyone on the other side of the river.

Neiwan Grill Party

I want you to notice one thing….

Neiwan Grill Party

The amount of trash that people just left at the bridge (like it’s going to clean itself up) was appalling.  Note to local people:  Do NOT do this unless your Mother is around to clean up after you!

Neiwan Grill Party

Anyway, here we are on the other side of the river, on the suspension bridge, looking for a way to get down to the water.  There wasn’t one.  So, eventually everyone decided to go back to the place we originally went to.  We wasted about 45 minutes on that exercise.

Neiwan Grill Party

Here we see some of our group trying to cross the river again, to get back to the original place we started.

Neiwan Grill Party

Everyone was soaked (except Hui-chen and I) as they made their way back.  The blue cooler is ours.

Neiwan Grill Party

Finally, the young guys got down to the business of making a fire, which they were very good at.

Neiwan Grill Party

After the fire got going, they placed a couple of those famous Taiwanese scrap metal grills on top of the rocks.

Neiwan Grill Party

And, before burning off the plating (which I believe is cad-chromate and therefore, poisonous) they started grilling.

Neiwan Grill Party

In this shot you can see how shiny the plating is on the grill.  These are made from welded scrap pieces left over from stamping processes.  It’s an ingenious use of scrap material but i wish it wasn’t plated with that stuff.

Neiwan Grill Party

This is the meat that Xiao-hui brought.  She seasoned it with Thai spices and it’s been marinating for quite some time.  We’ve featured this marinade before.

Neiwan Grill Party

Neiwan Grill Party

Xiao-hui had a few pieces of pork, a mountain of beef, followed by goat. I ate mostly beef and it was out-of-this-world!

Neiwan Grill Party

Neiwan Grill Party

Neiwan Grill Party

The sun was out and it was hot!  Being under the bridge only helped until the sun moved enough that the shadow was no longer covering us.  My arms got a bit red.

Neiwan Grill Party

The Vietnamese contingient was drinking Heineken, absolutely the Worst Beer Ever!  They were also smoking a lot.

Neiwan Grill Party

Xiao-hui’s son played in the river, under the watchful eye of one of the young men.

Neiwan Grill Party

In the late afternoon people were sitting with their feet in the water, trying to cool off.

Neiwan Grill Party

When it was time to go, we packed our gear and headed up the stairs to the street level.

Neiwan Grill Party

But not before picking up all the trash.

Neiwan Grill Party

I acquainted everyone with the American practice of “leaving the place better than we found it” by picking up other people’s trash too. Sometimes I wonder how Taiwanese can be so sophisticated and yet leave their trash all over the place like animals.  It’s baffling.

Neiwan Grill Party

We hauled our trash out of the area.

Neiwan Grill Party

Neiwan Grill Party

We left our cooler and other stuff outside this 7-11.

Neiwan Grill Party

It sat there for over an hour while we walked down the main street, checking out the shops.  No one even paid attention to it.

Neiwan Grill Party

We’ve been to Neiwan before and we like this street a lot (but we never blogged on it before).

Neiwan Grill Party

Neiwan Grill Party

Neiwan Grill Party

The late afternoon sun made for a nice time to take photographs.

We hope you get a chance to visit Neiwan yourself sometime.  We’re sure you’ll like it too!

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10 comments

  1. Pingback: MJ Klein
  2. Hey MJ,

    Looks like a great time, especially next to the river although it did seem that one spot had a lot of people. I do need to disagree with you on the heineken though – not the best beer ever, but certainly not the worst – lol. Anyway, I have never been to Neiwan so maybe will try to visit one day when we are in the area. Thanks for the post and the meat certainly looked delicious.

    Paul

  3. In the first picture… I see a small chain link fence on the right of that path. In the third picture there is a sign (with a closer look of it in the 4th picture). Is this something that is done a lot… or with that chain link fence and that sign… is this considered as trespassing in this area???

    As for you leaving a cooler outside of a 7-11 for an hour… if you did that here… either… 1) it would’ve been stolen within 5 minutes or 2) someone would’ve called the police… reported a “suspicious package”… and the bomb squad would’ve been called in to investigate it.

    And… I’m not sure if I would’ve wanted to eat anything that was cooked on something with all of that plating on it… at least not until it all got burned off. Even then… I’m not sure.

    1. hi Mike. the chain link fence is around a garden that someone is tending. usually those gardens are technically illegal, being made on government owned land. in this case, we’ll never know who put up the fence. the sign is a warning sign to beware of the dangerous water in the river, and the sign says no swimming. it’s not trespassing to be down there, but it goes against the warning to be playing or swimming in the river. that’s pretty typical for Taiwan though.

      as for leaving the cooler outside 7-11, Taiwan’s government isn’t trying to fool people into believing that terrorism is rampant everywhere, and we need to give up our freedoms to be “safe” like they are in the US. everyone knows that a cooler is just a cooler. it wouldn’t occur to anyone that it might be a bomb.

      i’m with you on the plating. i usually like to burn that off first.

      thanks Mike.

  4. MJ, great blog mate. A lot of people where there a popular day spot it looked like.

    Why are Asians (not all) just pigs with rubbish. Thailand is terrible for it and as you said, back home it doesn’t happen any where near like it does in Thailand.

    When I am in the village and I see kids unwrap snacks and throw the wrapping on the ground, my blood boils.

    When I tell them to pick it up and put it into the bin it is met with looks of stupidity.

    Looks like a lovely spot and thanks for sharing mate.

    1. Brunty, i’m the same way. if you say anything to those people dropping trash, you get the stupidest looks back. we left is better than we found it, and passed that concept on to the young people. hopefully they will continue it. thanks Brunty.

  5. Neiwan is a beautiful spot, in the firefly season it’s one of the best spots to catch them and it also has first rate hakka food and an old-time Japanese logging town feel in parts.

    As for trash, it is all too common after a BBQ on the river.

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