Photos by MJ Klein
Continuing with our series about my brother’s visit to Taiwan, follow along with us as we visit the Rift Valley, a first time experience for me.
John overlooks the East Coast of Taiwan for the first time.
People were up early and out harvesting from the ocean.
This is John, towering over the Chinese tourists visiting the “Water Running Uphill” attraction that we’ve blogged about before. The next photo is a spoiler.
I was discussing the optical illusion with Hui-chen and I took this shot to demonstrate how the water is absolutely not running uphill.
Compare this virtually identical photo taken in 2008. Too many people, and a bit boring after a few minutes, we headed out to our next destination, the Sansiantai.
We were here in 2008 with our friend David, and we had to stop and show the famous 8-arch bridge to John.
Last time though, we didn’t show you the trail from the parking area down to the waterline. So here goes!
Lush with vegetation, this area is very obviously volcanic.
Tidepools abound and if you look closely, you can find all kinds of interesting creatures. Notice the driftwood.
One rounds the corner and gets a glimpse of the bridge.
Yes, John and I both stood in this place and had our photos taken, just like a local.
John wanted to walk down to the rocks for some photos.
Hui-chen pointed out this fruit (which I believe is from the saw palmetto). I had never seen this before.
Now for some closer shots of the bridge.
This is the view from the top of the first arch.
The “3 fairies” as they are called in Chinese, are those peaks we see in this photo.
Believe it or not, there are people down by that tide pool. Btw, I was using a polarizing filter on these shots, and occasionally I got my big fat finger in the frame too. Just so you know.
Offshore we could see rain falling.
We got back in the car and drove north, taking the Rift Valley route instead of sticking to the coast line. It started to rain, and as we gained elevation, the visibility decreased significantly with the rain and fog in the mountains. So there aren’t any photos from this part of the trip.
After negotiating several tunnels and climbing up, we came to a senic overlook and stopped for a few minutes. This is Yuli, down in the valley where we are headed (telephoto shot).
The sky had decided to clear up a bit for us.
That is Yuli in the distance.
If you’ve never been to the Rift Valley of Taiwan, I highly recommend it! We were very happy we took this route because the scenery was unbelievable.
These food shots were taken at the Princess Coffee, a shop we saw signs for on the highway. Waffles, believe or not, are a staple Taiwanese food.
Similar to the billboards, this is the sign inside the Princess Coffee shop. Notice that “Princess” is wearing aboriginal clothing. Hui-chen talked with her, and it turns out that she is not aboriginal. Her husband is, however. Go figure!
Here is Ms. Princess with a shop employee, working some kind of black tea.
Outside the shop we saw some coffee beans drying in the sun.
Taiwan sits on the Tropic of Cancer, and there at least 3 different markers that commemorate it’s location. This is the second marker that I’ve personally seen.
You can click on this photo and visit the Flickr page where you have to option to view the larger sizes (under “Actions”). This park has some very well done documentation.
Some scenic spots in the Rift Valley.
All around the park were these signs, explaining various aspects of astronomy.
The weather was kind of strange. As you can see, the dark clouds were threatening rain, but the high mountains kept the clouds from freely moving. So, in places it was clear, and other places dark.
On of the plaques that explain about the meridian, but only in Chinese.
I like sundials. I have one at home but I have yet to install it on the roof.
I stepped back and took this overview shot from the center of the park, looking towards the road.
This is the very small train station for the town of Ruisui. Later on we would return to this little square and have dinner at a place on the left side.
Let’s take a look at where we stayed in Ruisui. We stayed at a hot springs hotel (again).
I don’t know why, but they put the commode in this little room by itself!
The sink is over here.
Behind the sink is the shower.
Past the shower (on the left) the room opens into a small courtyard, with an open roof in the center.
This is our private hot spring tub.
Directly across from the tub is this little sitting area for tea.
This is a better view of the tub, taken from the tea area.
Later we went to a Japanese style place near the train station. This is their menu on the wall.
The food was better than I expected, given how the place looked and where it was.
A staple: miso soup.
After dinner, we retired to our room where we spent the rest of the evening in the hot spring tub.
I can’t think of a better way to spend an evening with my wife.
At night, this courtyard takes on a very nice perspective.
The next day, we set out for Taroko Gorge. We will show you this beautiful national park in Part Five of this series.
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