John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

No Gravatar

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 Visits Taiwan, Part Four

John overlooks the East Coast of Taiwan for the first time.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

People were up early and out harvesting from the ocean.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

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.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

I was discussing the optical illusion with Hui-chen and I took this shot to demonstrate how the water is absolutely not running uphill.

Water 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.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

We were here in 2008 with our friend David, and we had to stop and show the famous 8-arch bridge to John.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

Last time though, we didn’t show you the trail from the parking area down to the waterline.  So here goes!

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

Lush with vegetation, this area is very obviously volcanic.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

Tidepools abound and if you look closely, you can find all kinds of interesting creatures.  Notice the driftwood.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

One rounds the corner and gets a glimpse of the bridge.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

Yes, John and I both stood in this place and had our photos taken, just like a local.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

John wanted to walk down to the rocks for some photos.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

Hui-chen pointed out this fruit (which I believe is from the saw palmetto).  I had never seen this before.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

Now for some closer shots of the bridge.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

This is the view from the top of the first arch.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

The “3 fairies” as they are called in Chinese, are those peaks we see in this photo.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

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.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

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.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

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).

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

The sky had decided to clear up a bit for us.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

That is Yuli in the distance.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

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.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

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.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

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!

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

Here is Ms. Princess with a shop employee, working some kind of black tea.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

Outside the shop we saw some coffee beans drying in the sun.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

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.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

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.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

Some scenic spots in the Rift Valley.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

All around the park were these signs, explaining various aspects of astronomy.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

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.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

On of the plaques that explain about the meridian, but only in Chinese.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

I like sundials.  I have one at home but I have yet to install it on the roof.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

I stepped back and took this overview shot from the center of the park, looking towards the road.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

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.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

Let’s take a look at where we stayed in Ruisui.  We stayed at a hot springs hotel (again).

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

I don’t know why, but they put the commode in this little room by itself!

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

The sink is over here.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

Behind the sink is the shower.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

Past the shower (on the left) the room opens into a small courtyard, with an open roof in the center.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

This is our private hot spring tub.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

Directly across from the tub is this little sitting area for tea.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

This is a better view of the tub, taken from the tea area.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

Later we went to a Japanese style place near the train station.  This is their menu on the wall.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

The food was better than I expected, given how the place looked and where it was.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

A staple: miso soup.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

Fried noodles.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

Fried rice.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

fried Spinach.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

Grilled Mackerel.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

Grilled chicken.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

After dinner, we retired to our room where we spent the rest of the evening in the hot spring tub.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

I can’t think of a better way to spend an evening with my wife.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

At night, this courtyard takes on a very nice perspective.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

The next day, we set out for Taroko Gorge.  We will show you this beautiful national park in Part Five of this series.

Thanks for reading!  Please leave us your comments below.  You may use the icons below for sharing.

(Visited 34 times, 1 visits today)

10 comments

  1. MJ, thanks for sharing. What a beautiful part of Taiwan, actually the world. I love being surprised by a restaurant, I have been to many that I thought this is going to be average and walked out going, wow!

    The hotspring hotel looked like a great way to end the day. I have been to them in NZ but never in Asia.

    Thanks for sharing again mate and look forward to the next part of the series.
    Brunty´s last post ..A New Door, A New Journey, Isaan Style.

    1. Brunty, we’ve said many times before that the scenic beauty of Taiwan is unparalleled in the world and we aren’t kidding! the Rift Valley is a wonderful place to visit. my brother is still talking about the fantastic places he visited on his trip. we’re blessed with many hot springs and there is nothing quite like a hot spring room where you may relax and soak in the healing waters. you really need to visit Taiwan and see for yourself! thanks and take care Brunty.

  2. That is a beautiful-looking part of Taiwan – I hope I have the chance to see it someday.

    It looks like you stayed in a nice hotel in Ruisui. The room appears to have been designed with a Japanese influence, which is why the toilet is in a separate room (Japanese homes often separate the toilet and bath into different rooms). That hot spring tub looks mighty inviting!
    Kaminoge´s last post ..Amber does Easter

    1. hi Jim. you really should take a drive up the Rift Valley and check it out. that was my first time and now i wonder why i waited so long! i didn’t realize that about Japanese homes. the place definitely was designed with a Japanese influence and it even has a Japanese name. thanks and take care.

  3. Hey MJ.

    Looks like your brother had a blast down there. I was riding my bike down in Taidon the other day and forgot to take a picture at the bridge – would have been cool – ah well – did get to take a picture at the tropic of cancer marker – but it was overrun (and I mean overrun) by Chinese Toursists. Still East Coast of Taiwan rocks – hope you took your brother up the Suhua highway from Hualien to Suao – just rode that today – awesome and spectacular views – in my opinion – best views along the coast in Taiwan.

    Cheers
    Paul

    1. hi Paul. yes, John loved East Taiwan. he was impressed by how the scenery just got better and better as we went along. too bad you didn’t get a photo of the famous bridge! but that just gives you a good reason to go back! speaking of Chinese tourists, they over-ran the 8-arch bridge area the last time we were there in 2008. those tourists were disgusting, how they constantly bicker with each other and walk right in front of others who are taking photos. this is the plan to save Taiwan? more of these rude tourists? we went up the coast all the way to the new Highway 5, and we cut out that Eastern-most tip of the island. the stretch of road between Hualien and Yilan was quite impressive. we’re almost done with this trip series, actually. thanks Paul and take care.

      1. Yeah – I know what you mean about the tourists – actually I don’t mind them so much – just the bloody crazy arsed buses that nearly took me out 10 times while riding on my bike and the 10 y/o kid who started banging on my Garmin with his dad not saying anything – ha ha – well its life and my stuff is still ok.

        That said – next time take John up past Fulong up to Keelung – North East Coastal Highway (Road 2) is stunning. You won’t regret it – when I am home I will load some pics onto Flickr (have you ever done that road by yourself?) Anyway – Taiwan is stunning – I have seen other specatacular coastal views in the Mediterranean and on the Agean sea – but Taiwan is different and special – without doubt – and awesome to be able to cycle those roads.

        How is the thumb doing?

        Keep well
        Paul
        Paul´s last post ..New Garmin Edge 800 – First Ride

        1. hi Paul. man, you said it about those buses! they drive so dangerously! John has several photos of buses that he took passing multiple cars at a time, endangering everyone in the process along the way.

          you are right about highway 2, and Keelung. when my sister was visiting in 2004, i did take her up to Keelung and she loved it – rain and all!

          thumb is very well, thank you. still a little numb in spots but i’m able to function without pain.

          take care, Paul and thanks.

Comments are closed.