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.
We made our way down under this bridge to a flat area beside the river.
I could hear karaoke music coming from the place beside the far end of the bridge. Sometimes, there is just no escaping it….
Making my way down to the riverside, this is where all the people are gathered, doing their thing….
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.
You can see how crowded it is in this place. So naturally we were looking for a clearing.
The black hose in this photo comes from the far end of the bridge and brings water to this side.
Beside the automobile bridge is a pedestrian suspension bridge.
We decided to go down a trail to find a place with less people.
Part of the trail involved walking under this trellis. At my height it wasn’t pleasant.
Then, the trail required us to walk over these boulders. Not pleasant either.
Finally we reached the river, a few hundred meters upstream from where we began.
That’s Hui-chen with the hat, scoping out the river.
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.
The plan was for us to cross the pedestrian bridge and somehow catch up with everyone on the other side of the river.
I want you to notice one thing….
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!
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.
Here we see some of our group trying to cross the river again, to get back to the original place we started.
Everyone was soaked (except Hui-chen and I) as they made their way back. The blue cooler is ours.
Finally, the young guys got down to the business of making a fire, which they were very good at.
After the fire got going, they placed a couple of those famous Taiwanese scrap metal grills on top of the rocks.
And, before burning off the plating (which I believe is cad-chromate and therefore, poisonous) they started grilling.
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.
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.
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!
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.
The Vietnamese contingient was drinking Heineken, absolutely the Worst Beer Ever! They were also smoking a lot.
Xiao-hui’s son played in the river, under the watchful eye of one of the young men.
In the late afternoon people were sitting with their feet in the water, trying to cool off.
When it was time to go, we packed our gear and headed up the stairs to the street level.
But not before picking up all the trash.
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.
We hauled our trash out of the area.
We left our cooler and other stuff outside this 7-11.
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.
We’ve been to Neiwan before and we like this street a lot (but we never blogged on it before).
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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