When you visit the seaside village of Budai (布袋) along the coast of western Chiayi (嘉義) County, don't expect to see the 24 Heavenly Kings when they come ashore to visit the local gods.
The little Neihu Stream doesn't flow for very far, measuring less than five kilometers from its source on the border between Nantou and Yunlin counties to its mouth, where it flows into the much larger Clearwater River
The Taiwanese seem to be just as interested in ghost stories as people in other countries, yet few places in Taiwan are associated with specific ghosts or ghostly incidents. An exception, however, is the Minsyong Haunted House (民雄鬼屋), half-an-hour's drive north of downtown Chiayi.
Although it's only a little after nine in the morning, the sun is beating down fiercely on us as we're riding rented scooters along a mountain road, winding down into the deep gorge of the Neihu Stream in Yunlin's mountainous eastern extreme.
Sometimes I forget that I live in Taipei. If I squint my eyes a little as I'm walking down the street, blur out the mountains and Taipei 101 in the background, it's easy to think that I'm back in the States
The mountains of Chiayi (嘉義) County offer an almost endless supply of beautiful spots waiting to be explored by weekend city-dwellers and keen hikers alike, and plenty of mountain resort areas offer cool air, enchanting scenery and the chance to either relax and unwind, or stretch the legs and work up a sweat.
Back in the days when the only way to reach Alishan (阿里山) was by rail, Fenchihu (奮起湖) was the biggest and most important stop-off station. It was here that the train changed engines, and here where people rested, bought lunch, and relaxed.
Chiayi County, home of the Alishan Scenic area, has more than its share of hiking resorts and trails. One of the best of these -- and at less than 35 minutes drive from Chiayi (嘉義) City, one of the most convenient -- is Doulishan (獨立山).
In the crisp morning air during the Chinese New Year holidays, we left for our three-day trip to Taiwan's third largest city -- Taichung (台中). One of our most remembered visits during the trip was to the Botanical Garden.
With attractions to suit both young and old alike, Rhinoceros Beetle Farm (獨角仙農場) is the perfect family day out. Located in Jhongpu (中埔), Chiayi County (嘉義縣), it is a must for those living nearby; and with kindergartens visiting from across the country, its appeal to the younger generation cannot be underestimated.