Take a quick jaunt along the coast of southern Chiayi (嘉義) and northern Tainan (台南) counties and it soon becomes apparent what the major industry is (or rather was) in this part of Taiwan: salt.
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Sitou is a forest recreation area, with ancient trees reaching for the sky, a good climate, and a number of other attractions including Shenmu (giant trees), dense forests, University Pond, gingko groves, and stands of bamboo.
Siangyang National Forest Recreation Area (SNFRA向陽國家森林遊樂區) is a mountain-style recreation area developed by the Taiwan Forest Bureau (林務局).
Zhulin ('bamboo forest') Trail (竹林步道), Jingxue Brook Path (青礐溪步道), and Gouyingchin Old Trail (狗殷勤古道). These three names all refer to a favorite short walk of mine in the southern foothills of Yangmingshan, connecting the valley of the Waishuangsi (外雙溪) and the farming community of Pingdeng Li (平等里) high above.
In 1994, a lady in Florida made herself a grilled cheese sandwich. She took a few bites, but before finishing it she noticed what appeared to be the face of the Virgin Mary imbedded in the toast.
It's been over six hours of rough walking since we left the trailhead, and we finally meet the first road since the start of the hike.
It's hard at first glance to see anything remotely outstanding about the Taipei suburb of Zhonghe (中和), across the Xindian River to the southwest of Taipei city center.
Jhongjhihguan Historic Trail (中之關步道) is a must-see trail for visitors to the South Cross Island Highway. It is only three and half kilometers long and is a small part of the Guanshan Historic Trail (關山越嶺道).
A short trip to Penghu (澎湖) last year was somewhat dampened by the remnants of a typhoon that drenched us with rain throughout the stay.
On a visit to Sun Moon Lake last year, I got my first look (from the outside) at the fabled Lalu Hotel, considered one of the best in Taiwan.