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September, 29, 2016

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Southern Taiwan travel spots
  Kaohsiung    Pingtung    Tainan    
 
 
Travel > Taiwan South
Chai Mountain: Kaoshuing's urban oasis
"Woods Mountain" is more than just a spot of green amidst the vast urban sprawl that is Kaoshuing (高雄). Lurking in this small hilly jungle smack in the middle of Taiwan's second largest city are hundreds of macaques that come out to meet hikers every morning and afternoon.
 
Hutoushan: A modest foothill before the real mountains
Hutoushan (虎頭山), in the Tainan County township of Yujing (玉井), isn't a tall mountain, nor is it difficult to reach. It's a modest 239 meters in height (according to some sources, 257 meters), and one can drive a car or motorcycle to within a minute's walk of the ridge at the top.
 
From Guanshan to Guanshan, via the Fire Cave
I had the whole of the following day free, and the weather looked promising; I packed water and some snacks, and set my alarm for 5:30 a.m.
 
Southern comfort: Laiyi's cool waterfalls
I thought Taipei was a furnace in summer until I journeyed to the southern counties of Kaohsiung (高雄) and Pindong (屏東) last summer to spend the weekend with a local friend, Sam. As soon as I was off the train at Pingdong Station the heat (and the humidity) hit me.
 
Kenting: An enchanting town and perfect weekend getaway
On one lazy Saturday afternoon in May, my husband and I set off by car to the southernmost tip of Taiwan - Kenting. Kenting (墾丁) is a small beach town that is located in the Pingtung County which is the southern most county in Taiwan.
 
Historic graves in South Taiwan
In Western countries, famous graveyards often become tourist attractions in their own right. The Cimetiere du Pere-Lachaise -- where Doors' singer Jim Morrison and authors Marcel Proust and Oscar Wilde are among those buried -- is one of Paris' five most-visited spots. London's Highgate Cemetery (interments include Karl Marx) is also a popular destination.
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Yenshui Fong Pow
Every first full moon of the Chinese New Year, there is a celebration in the form of a festival that is unrivalled in intensity anywhere on this island, maybe even this planet. Yenshui Fong Pow (firecrackers festival)is a festival that falls on the same day as the more well-known Lantern Festival.
 
Fireworks Festival puts small town of Yenshui on the tourist map
Vendors and restaurant owners no doubt look forward to the money they can make, while some of the town's 28,000 people perhaps dread the noise, smoke, and traffic congestion. But without its annual fireworks festival, Yenshui (鹽水) in Tainan County would be an obscure place - somewhere that has a bit of history, but little in the way of a future.
 
Historic town of Madou invites closer look
At first glance, Madou (麻豆), a town of 48,000 people located in the center of Tainan County, seems very similar to several other places in South Taiwan. However, it has a history that predates the arrival of Han Chinese settlers in Taiwan, and an abundance of architectural curiosities.
 
In search of the pheasant-tailed jacana
Compared to a few decades ago, Taiwan's people now pay much more attention to the state of the environment. Even so, there aren't many conservation success stories. One well-known exception is the black-faced spoonbill (黑面琵鷺), which winters on Taiwan's Southwest Coast; another is the pheasant-tailed jacana (水雉) of Guantian (官田) in Tainan County.
 
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