Toren’s Taiwan Trip 16: Taiwan Sugar Factory


Drove the car to Taiwan Sugar Factory Museum in Qiaotou district (North Kaohsiung). Took many photos of rusty textures and post-apocalyptic structures. Enjoyed a Taiwanese sausage and Pocari Sweat.

The site was quite interesting also because it was build under the Japanese occupation. The main office building had gun holes to defend people resisting Japanese authority. Also according to this site US bombers targeted Taiwan sugar factories because they also produced ethanol.

For less crappy photos check out

In the evening we went to a Japanese BBQ place where the service was slow, unfriendly, and a homeless guy selling stuff kept coming and the staff yelled at him. A barking dog sat nearby. We were there OVER 2 HOURS and I was very bored so I walked around outside to stertch my legs and take photos of things!

Next – bike ride to Lotus Pond!

Toren’s Taiwan Trip 15: Cijin Island


It’s time for my #1 recommendation for visitors to Kaohsiung.

We took a train to Sizihwan Station 西子灣站 and had breakfast at Sanwa Bank, which has been turned into a cafe

The very short ferry to Cijin Island was fun! KUMAMON!

As soon as we got off the ferry we grabbed a little electric bike for two!

They gave us a little map of the island and the best way to get around. First stop: Cihou Fort!

We missed the lighthouse, unfortunately. Next time!

Then we biked along the beach path. It was longer than we thought!

We hit the Sunset Bar appropriately at Sunset. The servers spoke perfect English!

The Cihou Market had some fun stuff… like Avengers!

What a great day! Here’s some other misc photos from that day

As always, minimum amount of room is provided for pedestrians

Because people in Taiwan tend to park anywhere they want

Toren’s Taiwan Trip 21: Taipei Zoo Raohe Night Market

Took the train to Taipei Zoo! I was very excited to see some pangolins!

good luck everybody!

I guess I just follow these pangolins!

It must be near now! Should I call to see if he’s there? Is this the direct line to the pangolin exhibit?

So many Taiwan Treasures at the Taipei Zoo!

Finally got to the pangolin exhibit…it was closed. Sad face. But got to see these 2D representations.

Some marmosets attacked us! Well…not really

Had a close encounter with a coati!

I touched the dung beetle

We wandered around a bit and found a place to have lunch

Oh that’s fine, just park anywhere….

Found some game stores but was too shy (and time-pressed) to join. Also, can’t speak or read Mandarin!

Finally to Raohe Night Market!

Get the scholar’s cake if you can! My video was crap so here’s someone else’s:

tomorrow: Hiking Elephant Mountain!

Toren’s Taiwan Trip 20: Taipei at Last!


Took the high speed rail from Kaohsiung to Taipei (a 2 hour 20 minute trip) where I saw the mountains and farmland of Taiwan

We arrived and walked around the neighborhood of our hostel, and visited the National Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall


I wanted to try Britshake, the British-themed restaurant, to see how it was in Taiwan. Unfortunately, not super memorable. So I won’t bother with pics. Anyway – here’s an interesting chart showing the ethnographics of Taiwan

A little park/mosquito breeding ground

Check out the space age 7-11. What happens in there? I don’t know

It’s a gas station just for scooters. They’re ubiquitous!

Your average Taipei commuter train station

We met up with two of Erica’s old friends, Frankie and Andy, at Kokoro izakaya (Japanese bar with food) where I had a cute little cumquat, deep fried bitter melon (yummy) and some nuts of some kind!

After that we went to a lesbian karaoke bar that I believe was called 7 Plus, but I couldn’t find it on google. It was…interesting, because the lesbians will try to chat you up for tips, which I found to be awkward, because although they were very nice and tried hard to make me feel welcome – I don’t really drink, and we don’t speak the same language. But there was some karaoke so not too bad!

I wanted to go to the poo-themed restaurant I had heard about years prior, but sadly they had permanently closed 🙁


Toren’s Taiwan Trip 14: Liouhe Night Market


There was a big power outage through many cities of Taiwan today, and here’s an article to prove it. This was apparently caused by an accident but parts of Taiwan are vulnerable to brownouts during the summer when demand for A/C is too much for the system.

We walked to the Jilin Street Night Market for food but it was crazy crowded so we took a 5 minute cab ride to Liouhe Night Market instead.

Look at how crazy crowded it is!

Aiyu jelly, known in Amoy Hokkien as ogio, and as ice jelly in Singapore, is a jelly made from the gel from the seeds of the awkeotsang creeping fig found in Taiwan and East Asian countries
Aiyu jelly, known in Amoy Hokkien as ogio, and as ice jelly in Singapore, is a jelly made from the gel from the seeds of the awkeotsang creeping fig found in Taiwan and East Asian countries

I got sour green mango!

Toren’s Taiwan Trip 13: Taitung Forest Park, Railway Art Village, Tiehua Music Village

March 2, 2022. Time for a nice leisurely bike ride in Taitung Forest Park!

Egret Lake is quite nice! There’s a pheasant around but I couldn’t get a decent photo.

I got scared of a wasp!

Flowing Lake, accessed by a tunnel underneath the highway, is a man-made, very long rectangular lake for swimming and boating, We just biked around it and I looked at plants. At the far end you can take a short walk to the beach on the mighty Pacific Ocean.

We had lunch at a place called John John Morning, which I thought was pretty decent!

At dusk we went to the Railway Art Village which was pretty funky, but with the COVID happening, many of the art studios were not open.

Tiehua Music Village was a place to sit down and relax and listen to some live music, while jet fighters constantly did exercises over our heads! Kinda scary

Toren’s Taiwan Trip 12: Sanxiantai

MAR 1 2022

Important note: Sanxiantai bridge was affected by earthquakes in 2022 and is closed for maintenance until 2024

Time for another drive! And a stop at a roadside snack – drinking coconut water straight out of a fresh coconut.

Soon we arrived at Sanxiantai Island!

And the magical bridge of magic!

The view from the bridge is fab, and a little path leads further into the island, we could see the bridge behind us

Lizards! Lizards just off the path! Scampering and chasing eachother around!

After we left, we drove on for a bit and then took a short break at Jialulanxiuxi Station 加路蘭休息站(停車場) park for another look around

Weird plant!

Tomorrow: A bike ride and pheasants in Taitung Forest Park and a walk around Taitung including Railway Art Village!

Toren’s Taiwan Trip 11: Farm Dream Estates – Just South of Hualien

MONDAY FEB 28 2022

Breakfast and then time to leave the B&B!

Today I drove wife, mom, sister and niece to Farm Dream Estates which is about 30 minutes South of Hualien by car.

The entry and main concourse

There were many exhibits in the main building including the indigenous peoples of the island and also bugs!

Outside, many caged animals, including birds of all kinds, tortoises, red panda, raccoon, coati, and meerkats.

Way in the back, you get to the ‘farm’ part of the estate, which glamorizes the American West

On the way back to Taitung, we stopped at the Tropic of Cancer landmark, which you can go inside of! There was also an indigenous shop


In Taiwan, you will see dogs on scooters

Next stop: Bridge at Sanxiantai

Toren’s Taiwan Trip 10: Taroko Gorge (Hualien)

FEB 27 2022

Things you find at a B&B! Meaty breakfasts and ‘disposable’ bath towels that don’t do the job

I drove the car up the crazy, narrow, winding, treacherous often single lane roads to Taroko Gorge and got pinned down by buses for a bit. One thing about Taiwan is most often the sinks are actually OUTSIDE the washrooms.

I parked the car in a small lot and then we took the bus further to the Tunnel of nine Turns.

During the bus ride back the bus had to stop and the driver had to get out and direct traffic to get unstuck on a dangerous corner. To get a sense of the treacherousness, watch this vid:

Afterwards we went to Qixingtan Beach and rented bikes to cycle along the path. There’s a military base nearby, and we saw some defenses.

A fine day indeed!

Toren’s Taiwan Trip 9: Taitung to Hualien


The car was making weird noises so we took it to a mechanic! I enjoyed the giant seed pod trees nearby

Many wondrous sights were beheld along the oceanside #11 Highway

We stopped for a Taiwanese sausage made at the side of the road near Changbin township

Not long after we were up the mountain highway and I ate an ice cream bar at the Baqi Rest Stop. I saw a macaque in a tree on the way up!

We soon arrived in Hualien and checked into the Edinburgh B&B. Wandered around the city and found a store that sells Magic cards

As the evening came we walked out to the Dongdamen Night Market

being the pandemic, they were looking for really hot people

We didn’t stay long, as it was raining and started to get a bit crowded as the evening wore on

Next time: Taroko Gorge!