John Visits Taiwan, Part Five

No Gravatar

Photos by MJ Klein

Continuing with this series about my brother’s visit to Taiwan….

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

Our next stop was Taroko Gorge, one of the great wonders of Taiwan.  The first time that Hui-chen and I visited Taroko was in 2006 and you may look at some of those photos here.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

When the weather is misty like this, it adds another dimension to the view.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

We approached a narrow waterfall and got out of the car to view it.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

This was our closing shot of the last installment in this series and now you know where it was taken.

I didn’t take so many photos because I was driving.  The truth is, much of what you see simply cannot be adequately captured by a camera.  The sheer majesty is mind-boggling.  But we do have a few photos to show you.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

We went to eat at one of the restaurants in the park.  Even though the boss lady showered us with many “welcome” greetings in English (well, sort of), there wasn’t one word of English in the entire place.  The food was good and after translating virtually everything on the menu, my brother was able to find something enjoyable as well.  Taroko needs to step up their game if they want more tourist dollars.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

Misty mountain scenes like this are common in Taiwan.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

There are some cool bridges in the park and John and I checked this one out.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

In general, the roadbuilding work is impressive.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

These roads and tunnels cut into the sides of the gorge must have taken years to complete.  We suggest that you view this photo in the large size to appreciate the road and tunnel work.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

This cool footbridge wasn’t open, but we photographed it anyway.  The stay cabling is impressive.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

Far up above is a bridge made by local mountain people, apparently.

 

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

Can you spot that bridge in this shot?  Viewing this photo in the large size will certainly help you find it!

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

Soon we were on our way back up the coast.  We stopped at a few scenic spots for photographs.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

Virtually everyone who has ever been to Taiwan has a photo that looks exactly like this.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

It bears mentioning that I was using my polarizing filter during this trip to enhance the contrast, and my finger got in the way of some of these shots.  One of the issues with being a photographer and having to wear glasses is not being able to get my eye close enough to the viewfinder to see the extreme edges.  Yeah, I’ll blame it on that!

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

By viewing the large size you can see the automobile road tunnel above and the twin railway tunnels below (plus the finger in the lower right corner).

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

I love Taiwan’s East Coast!

I drove for hours on the dangerous windy, twisty roads between Hualien and Ilan.  It was rainy and foggy, so we took it nice and slow (but people honked and passed very dangerously just the same).  Finally we reached our destination, a very nice homestay in Ilan.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

The only shot of our evening is these dumplings from a restaurant in the famous night market area, 羅東夜市.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

The next morning I took a few shots of where we stayed.  Notice the chimney on the left side of the house.  The previous evening, our hosts lit a fire and we had a very relaxing conversation in the living room by the fireplace.  Hui-chen, John and I really enjoyed this homestay.  The house is gorgeous and beautifully appointed.  It was better than any hotel I’ve ever stayed at, and they can handle groups like hikers, or cyclists.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

The view across the street from the homestay.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

We can provide more information on this homestay.  Just leave us a comment below and we’ll reply to you.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

This is Hui-chen and the Lady of the House.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

We headed out on the road.  This would be our last day on our trip around the island.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

After leaving the homestay, we visited National Center for Traditional Arts 國立傳統藝術中心 but can’t show you anything from inside (no photography allowed).  But we can tell you it was very informative with lots of interesting artifacts on display.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

Naturally, while we were in Ilan, we had to visit the Kavalan Distillery!  This is our friend, Andre’s story about his family’s visit.  Andre shows a cool sampler that he bought.  Later he gave it to me, which I really appreciate!  We’ve geotagged this article at this location.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

Andre’s photos are better than mine, so you really should read about his visit for more information.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

My brother was a little lost because besides a few signs, no English.  The tour was given in Chinese.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

But that’s OK because he and I were talking about what we saw along the tour.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

Before whisky is aged in oak casks, it is clear.  This is raw whisky being processed.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

Like Andre, I could use something like this in my house too!

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

After walking around for some time and looking at the factory we arrived at the sampling area!  These samples were on each table.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

Of course, this being Taiwan, the girl’s microphone level was ear-piercing as she explained the differences among the samples.  Honestly, I only found one that I thought was OK.  Not really good, but just OK.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

We were hungry and decided to check out the food at the distillery.  We were pleasantly surprised (mobile phone photos to follow):

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

My spaghetti, corn soup and black tea.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

Hui-chen’s beef stew with corn soup and a drink.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Four

John’s wings and cappuccino.

One of the things that is often hard to determine, is the stopping point of an article!  This trip around the island is not like a party, where when the guests leave, the party ends.  It’s on-going until we arrive at home.  After these photographs were taken, we headed up the new highway #5 and through the new tunnel system and arrived back in Hukou considerably sooner than we expected.  The new highway and tunnel cut hours off of our trip.  It was dark and rainy, and there are no photographs at all, naturally.

Going through the archive of photos, apparently we were so tired that there was only a single photograph taken on the following day, and here it is:

Our Friday Night Gig

Our readers will no doubt recognize this photo from our previous article about the Wild West Chophouse.  So, now you can put this photograph into perspective.

After we returned from our circumnavigation of Taiwan, John only had a few days left before he returned to the USA.  There aren’t many photos during that time, which was mostly spend hanging out in the neighborhood, but there are enough to put together a final installment, which we will publish soon.

Thank you for reading, and thank you in advance for your comments!  Feel free to use the icons to share any way you like.

(Visited 31 times, 1 visits today)

4 comments

  1. Taroko is a great place – I have fond memories of visiting there, shortly after my wife and me got married. I have a funny photograph taken near that red bridge of her yawning – which I love and she hates. 🙂

    I didn’t realize we were not supposed to take pictures near the National Center for Traditional Arts – we must have a ton of them.

    1. hi Stephan. yeah it’s funny but my wife usually dislikes the photos of her that i like, too. seems universal.

      you can take all the photos outside the museum you want, but nothing inside.

      thanks Stefan, and take care.

Comments are closed.