Taiwan Blog: June 2019 Update
I’m going to start writing monthly life in Taiwan blog updates to share what I’ve done each month. I did quite a bit this month, did a lot of driving, exploring, and trying new ways of sharing my life in Taiwan.
June 1 – 7
So I did something new this month. I started visiting waterfalls in Tainan. The first one I went to was the Thousand Stones Waterfall in Tainan. This wasn’t the easiest waterfall to visit. To get to it you have to drive up a incredibly steep mountain road. If it’s wet its even harder to get up because the road is slick (more on this later).
My plan was to visit the Wushantou Reservoir (烏山頭水庫) first and then drive to the waterfall later. The view of the reservoir was incredible and it made me wish I had brought my camera to take a proper picture. But I only had my cellphone and it doesn’t take the best pictures.
I wrote a review of the Wushantou Reservoir (烏山頭水庫) which you can read here. Since I’ve already written about it in depth, I’ll keep my thoughts short. I think if you live in Tainan and have an afternoon to kill, it’s worth visiting. But the ticket price is a little too expensive for what you get in return. I might go back to take a proper picture of the reservoir in the future though.
After visiting the reservoir, I continued on my way to the waterfall. I’ve never gone this deep into the mountains before, so I didn’t know what to expect. The route to the Thousand Stones Waterfall takes you around the Nanhua Reservoir (南化水庫) which was even more beautiful than the view of the Wushantou Reservoir.
Again, I didn’t have my camera so I was stuck with these bad pictures of amazing views. On my way to the waterfall I saw one of Taiwan’s wild monkeys on the side of the road. Unfortunately it went back into the forest before I could take a picture.
Eventually I make it to the steep climb up to the waterfall. The road was still wet from the rain so I had to throttle up the hill and keep myself from falling over at the same time. Once I was up the hill, there’s a small road/path that you drive on. Part of it had become a mud pit but I saw scooter tracks through it so I figured I could go through as well. I got stuck a few times but I got through and parked under the little shed by the waterfall.
I quickly realized I wasn’t wearing the proper shoes to really explore this waterfall. But I tried to see what I could. I recorded this video of the waterfall. There are spots deep enough that you can swim in. I am not sure how deep, but I couldn’t touch the bottom.
After exploring and swimming a bit, I decided to go back home. I get back to the steep hill, but this time I’m going down it. I’m rolling down the hill, not even touching the throttle and that was still too fast. My scooter slides out and I jump off. It’s laying on its side and I’m hoping that it still works. Definitely don’t want to be stranded way out here.
I squat down and lift it back up while holding the breaks so it doesn’t roll down the hill. I get back on it and use my breaks to basically walk down the rest of the way. When I get to the bottom of the hill I press the ignition button and it starts. Nothing broken, just some damage to the body.
I didn’t notice on the way up, but there’s a house right next to the hill. The family was sitting outside and I’m sure if I had any problems they would have helped me. With my scooter working, I head back home.
What do you do after you almost got stranded in the mountains? Well, you drive back out and visit another waterfall. This time my plan was to visit the Bat Cave Waterfall (蝙蝠洞瀑布). I’ve written a review of it here if you are interested in reading more.
This time I made sure I brought my camera. My plan was to go swimming this time, so I brought my trunks and a towel. At the Thousand Stones Waterfall, I didn’t bring my trunks, so I wore my shorts in the water.
The trip to this waterfall was a lot easier than the Thousand Stones Waterfall. You take roads all the way there and then walk 50 meters to the waterfall. Since it’s easier to get to though, there were a lot more people there.
When I was there, I saw a couple leaving and then another group arrived when I was still taking pictures. So I didn’t feel comfortable swimming with so much foot traffic. I also needed to get back to Tainan because I had a date later than evening.
On Wednesday’s I don’t have to arrive at work until 5:00 PM. So if the weather is nice, I’ll go drive around before work. I won’t go travel to the mountains, but I’ll stay in the plains and visit some temples or sight-seeing spots. This Wednesday I went to the Luerhmen Mazu Temple (正統鹿耳門聖母廟).
I was planning on writing an in-depth review of the temple. I took pictures of all the gods worshiped there and was going to use some of the written literature provided to make a comprehensive article. Unfortunately, I lost most of my photos from the temple. I still plan on writing that article, but I need to go back and take pictures again.
The temple is really famous in Taiwan. It has two huge statues of Shun Feng Er (With-the-Wind Ear) and Qian Li Yan (Thousand Miles Eye) (順風耳與千里眼). The temple was under renovation when I went. They are building a new gate which should like amazing when it’s completed.
This is one of the biggest temples in east-Asia and its design is based on the Forbidden City in Beijing. I’ve been to the Forbidden City and I think this temple is much more beautiful.
After spending some time at the temple, I drove to Beimen (北門) to take some pictures of the Beimen Crystal Church (北門水晶教堂) and the Nankunshen Temple (南鯤鯓代天府). I don’t have any of the pictures from Nankunshen, but I do have this one of the Beimen Crystal Church.
I was contacted by the founder of Feedspot about my blog being listed in the Top 5 Taiwan Travel Blogs. It’s pretty cool to have my Taiwan blog recognized like that. There is still a lot of content I need to write for this Taiwan blog. Here’s the list.
Friday was Dragon Boat Festival. Every year, there are dragon boat races throughout the country. Tainan’s dragon boat races are held in the canal in Anping. I had been to the dragon boat races before in Anping. It was a week or two after I had arrived in Taiwan.
As you can see, it wasn’t the best experience. This year, the weather was a lot better. I don’t have any pictures or videos from this years festival, but I went to an outdoor concert on Haian Road (海安路), visited the beach, ate hot pot, and checked out the vendors along the canal.
June 8 – 15
I finally bought a GoPro this week. After visiting the waterfalls, I thought it would be cool to record myself driving there and recording some videos of the waterfall. I had to wait for a helmet chin mount before I could start recording though. Since I started recording videos, I stopped taking so many pictures. The weather this week wasn’t great and I couldn’t go out to the mountains like I planned.
I went out and recorded a trip around Tainan. This is one of my favorite driving routes, but unfortunately it was rainy. I did capture a huge storm off the coast, I’ve never seen anything like it.
I was asked by my usual haircut salon, MVSA Hair Salon, to model for them. I said yes because it’s a unique and interesting experience. I’ve never modeled before so I thought might as well give it a shot. They cut and dyed my hair on Sunday and then I had to go back in on Monday to take pictures.
Went to MVSA Hair Salon early that morning to take pictures. I still don’t have any of them but I’ll make sure to share them later.
Recorded myself driving at night on my way home from work. I liked the way this video turned out.
June 16 – 23
Didn’t do much this week. I was sick for most of it. The children at my school carry the plague and everyone few months they pass it on to me. It wasn’t bad enough that I had to miss work but I did have to visit the doctor.
One of my friends suggested I use DJ Smokey for one of my videos, so I went out and recorded some footage and used one of his songs. The weather was still bad this week. Couldn’t go out much during the weekend.
June 24 – 30
The weather was better this week. So I was hoping that it would be decent during the weekend. The weather wasn’t great on Saturday but it was fine in Tainan city so instead of going to the mountains I decided to stay in Tainan and visit the beach.
I was contacted by the editorial manager at Expat.com and they asked me if I was interested in doing an interview and being the featured blog of the month. They gave me the badge that I have on the sidebar so I can show off a little (haha). If you’re interested you can read it my interview here.
I’m slowly improving the quality of my vlogs. This one is closer to what I want compared to the others. I still have a ways to go, but I’m learning. I’m planning on getting a microphone for my GoPro so I can record myself talking while I’m driving. In the future I would like to have a Taiwan Blog and Taiwan Motovlog as well as my Instagram.