Going south for the winter

It has been what i like to call  November weather, that is, around ten degrees and rain, for the last week or so here in north Taiwan, so this weekend, Yini and I did like the migrating birds and moved south for the winter. On Friday evening, we said screw you to the cold weather and took the high speed rail to kaohsiung. As we left rather late, we stayed the night in Kaohsiung  then left for Taiwan’s premier beach town Kenting, in the morning.

I’ve been to Kenting several times before, and I’ve spent most of those times either on the beach or in the bars along main street, this time we decided to do things a bit differently. So, we got off the bus a stop before Kenting, in Hengchun (The setting of Taiwanese film Cape Number 7), rented a scooter and spent the day exploring the southern tip of Taiwan including kenting national park.

First up was Hengchuns old city wall and an old brick kiln nearby. P1090367 P1090369

On top of the wall

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The old brick kiln

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Inside the kiln

Having seen these kind of minor sights, we headed out of Hengchun, passed through the main street of kenting and found a hotel with a view of the sea. Having offloaded some luggage at the hotel we ventured out to see more of the area, first stop, the coral beach, just outside the hotel.

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Beach view from an old bunker

We then headed into the mountains and the national park and went for a walk along one of many trails in the forest recreation area. This trail is pretty special thanks to several coral rock gorges or crevices along the way; very fun to clamber through.

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Crevice at the trail entrance

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The minor gorge

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Entrance of the major gorge

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Exiting to the sunlight again

By the time we had finished our walk, it had gotten late, so we headed to Guanshan in the west for what is supposedly the best place to view the sunset. Many people had heard the same thing, as it was a bit of a crowd on the viewing platform. Sadly for us, the clouds had moved in so there was not much of a sunset to see.

Once the sun was dow we headed back to Hengchun and an area where natural gs escapes from the ground, and there is a constant fire. Sadly, the always food loving Taiwanese had taken the opportunity to turn this natural gs cooker into a barbecue, which spiled the feeling somewhat but still pretty cool to see.

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The ground is on fire

Sunday was spent in more or less the same way, exploring the area by scooter. We started with a quick visit to a nearby coral beach, then a  very windy vantage point looking out over the pacific coast line.

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Fluffy fox that I won at the night market goes to the beach

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Fluffy fox at the lookout point

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It was seriously windy

We then made our way to some dramatic sand dunes. Most people would be content to just look at them from the top, but i just had to go down for a closer look.

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The way down

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Yini has come down from the cliffs

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Looking out over the sea

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The climb back up

We then headed to Jialeshui a place of strange cliff formations, kind of similar to famous tourist spot Yeliu, a few kilometers north of the sand dunes.

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Cool cliffs

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Strangely shaped rock

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Fluffy fox and hole in the cliffs

From there we headed back towards Hengchun and the bus back home, but made a short detour on the way to a waterfall. it was a slightly less famous place, and we knew there might be a bit of walking but we id not expect what we encountered there. The waterfall is in seven levels, like a sort of stair, but it is very steep. We had to pull ourselves up by the use of ropes to get to the top. A bit of work, but well worth it, proper adventure feeling which is just what I like.

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Fluffy fox, at one of the lower levels

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Pretty steep huh?

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Anders at one of the higher levels

Having climbed down from this awesome waterfall we headed back into Hengchun and had an uneventful bus and train ride home.

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