Thursday, July 06, 2006

Taichung Science Park - again

Here's another photo using the 'Taiwan- ancient and modern' theme. In the foreground you see a large pagoda styled building and in the background is a huge high tech factory which I'm presuming is a chip fabrication plant.

Jade Mountain 9

The summit of Taiwan's tallest mountain at 5:44am. The most amazing site I've ever seen - pity these photos don't capture the beauty of the place at all...

Jade Mountain 8

At the second lodge known as Paiyun lodge, I again got to witness one of the most fantastic night skies of my life. This is my first attempt at doing 'star trails' - long exposure photographs of the night sky. This was a 30 minute exposure which got a bit too bright due to what I can only guess was the light from the milky way.

Jade Mountain 7

All the trees in this one forest were growing one way only I guess to face the sun. Here's one of my new friends from the small tour group we were with.

Jade Mountain 6

The cold weather and high altitude means that things decompose really slowly. Thus, when a tree had died, its bark falls off, leaving the wood to be bleached by the sun.

Jade Mountain 5

Some fantastic scenery - just one of hundreds of pictures I took of the area.

Jade Mountain 4

And when the sun finally set and the clouds moved away, I got to see the brightest night sky of my life.

Jade Mountain 3

Our group was blessed with beautiful scenery right from the start of the tour. Here's a spectacular sunset at 'Tataka', the first lodge one stays in when attempting to summit Jade Mountain.

Jade Mountain 2

The roads around Taiwan aren't that stable due to the torrential rains, precipitous geography and seismic activity. Nevertheless Taiwan is covered with thousands of amazing engineering models in the form of roads in places that other countries wouldn't even consider. Things do go wrong sometimes and as you can see in this photo, we had to hang around waiting for a road barrier to be erected after heavy rains had washed away a portion of the road.

Jade Mountain 1

I went to Jade mountain 2 weeks ago. Jade mountain is Taiwan's tallest and is so called because of it's summertime green hue. The summit is 3952m high, and the area around it is very beautiful indeed and definitely not to be missed if you are in Taiwan for even a short time. I had such a good time that the Jade Mountain area is my new favourite place on earth. While travelling to the first lodge (known as 'Tataka') our tour group stopped at a restaurant. This old man decided that my foreign face was quite a novelty and warranted a 'Hellooo' from the table opposite. He was too cute not to have a photo taken with. Funnily, 2 or his relatives were about to kill each other over a financial argument regarding their inheritance at the same time, but he didn't seem too concerned...

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Thanks for visiting!

Wow! I've had over 10000 unique hits on this website since it started nearly 2 years ago. Thanks a lot to everyone who has visited and has put up with my inconsistant posting style. It's been great so far and I hope to continue posting as long as possible!

Not exactly beautiful...

Taiwan's urban landscape consists of a lot of THIS.


Taichung, once it wakes up, is really noisy. It's so noisy that you can't even hear the huge amount of air traffic that passes overhead everyday. At 5am though, it seems that every jet on the island takes off at the same time, leaving a fantastic pattern of jet streams across the sky. I didn't manage to get a good picture of this pattern, but I did capture a plane making it's own streamer in the sky.

Good morning.

If you look at the time stamp of many of my posts, you'll see I'm quite a night-owl. I saw the entire night through the other day and watched the sun rise over the apartment block buildings surrounding my own. It was actually quite scenic...

Taichung Science Park

To attract money to the city of Taichung, the government has set aside a huge block of land for hi-tech factories. I found the soon-to-be-completed Taichung Technology Park the other day by mistake and was amazed by the incredible looking architecture and size of the various semiconductor foundries I saw there. The security guards were quite picky about photos and cameras, so I wasn't able to get too many decent pics, but hopefully this will give you an idea of the feeling of the place.

Strange fruit

As I've noted before, Taiwan has some strange fruit. Here's a disturbingly-purple photo of a type of fairly tastless but shockingly bright fruit, and what it does to your tongue!

Taiwan Tea

Taiwanese people love their tea and almost every road has at least one tea shop. The variety is quite amazing and you can get anything from straight green or red tea, to pudding milk tea with passion fruit mixture (actually I just made that up, but I'm sure some shop could make it for you). Here are some varieties ordered by ladies at my school.

Once-Was-Sticky Ball

Some are better quality than others...


Here's another old photo which I don't think I ever posted. It's the inside of a temple at Sun Moon lake and it's one of the most ornate I've seen.


I have no idea what this means... A lot of English in Taiwan is purely decorative, the way Chinese characters are trendy in the West.


Here's an old photo of some horrible homework. I never knew anyone could get it SO wrong in just 2 simple sentences.