Friday, October 22, 2010

I’m in China: some new links

Here are the public links to my Facebook photo albums for mainland China Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6.  You don’t need to log into Facebook or have an account to view these albums.  The same photos can be found on my China photo set on Flickr.

Here is a map with my mainland China photos sorted geographically.

Also, here are my Hong Kong Facebook and Macau Facebook photo albums. Here are my Hong Kong Flickr and Macau Flickr photo albums.

Map with my Hong Kong photos sorted geographically. Map with my Macau photos sorted geographically.

GPS paths on Google Maps covering every spot I’ve been to in China (including Taiwan).  Walking routes within cities, train rides between cities, etc.  Google Earth file

My planned route in Mainland China on Google Maps. Actual route.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Second Taiwan Facebook photo album and some other links

My first Facebook album for Taiwan has hit its maximum number of photos, so I have made a second Taiwan Facebook album.  All of these photos can also be found on my Taiwan photo set on Flickr.

Map with all of my photos sorted geographically.

This is a Google Maps link with paths covering every spot I’ve been to in Taiwan.  Walking routes within cities, train rides between cities, etc.

This page animates my route for every GPS log I’ve made in Taiwan.  I will not update it often, but I will complete the Taiwan logs once I arrive in mainland China.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Kaohsiung, the east coast and beyond

10/3/2010:  This blog tends to be redundant with the comments I make on my Facebook photo album, so I will stop the daily updates.  Here is the link to my Taiwan photos along with commentary on Facebook.  This is a public link, so you don’t need to have a Facebook account or be logged in to see it.  When I leave Taiwan and start my trip in mainland China, I will start a new album and add a link to it on this blog.  My flight from Taipei to Shenzhen (near Hong Kong) is on October 20th.  Before then, I will travel down the coast to Kaohsiung and Kenting, then up the east coast of Taiwan to Taitung and Hualien.

More Tainan

10/1/2010: 

IMG_8512IMG_8513IMG_8514Statue of Koxinga at Fort Anping.

IMG_8519Crossing a bridge in the coastal area.

IMG_8520IMG_8521IMG_8523IMG_8524IMG_8527A ship in the Taiwan Strait.IMG_8529IMG_8530IMG_8531Eternal Golden FortressIMG_8536IMG_8538A candidate from the Democratic Progressive Party

IMG_8543Chikan Towers.  A statue of the Dutch surrendering Taiwan to Koxinga’s forces.

10/2/2010:  After an exhausting day yesterday, I took it very easy today, not leaving the hostel until 4 PM.  I went to a large night market about 20 minutes from the hostel, where I ate a large serving of chicken for only 50 Taiwan dollars.

Alishan and Tainan

9/30/2010:  I woke up at 4 AM sharp and was ready to go well before the 5 AM train to the sunrise viewing point.

 IMG_8467Before sunriseIMG_8472A guide giving a passionate talk

There was a small crowd at the lookout point, so just a few minutes before sunrise, I walked a bit further up the mountain road and found a secluded spot for myself.

IMG_8475IMG_8477Sunrise at 6:08 AMIMG_8482Misty mountains

The train left at 6:50 AM to go back to the hotel area, and from there I walked around the giant cedar pathway.

IMG_8487

IMG_8489The end of a rail line.IMG_8493IMG_8497IMG_8499IMG_8500The locomotive without cars.IMG_8501At around 10:30 AM, clouds began to come in.  By 11 AM, there was no mountain in sight.  I heard this happens almost every day.

I caught a 11 AM bus back to Chiayi, where we had a stop in Fanlu.  This place reminded me of southeastern Kentucky.

IMG_8503

I arrived in Tainan at about 1 PM, and bought a ticket for a 3:25 train to Tainan.  After a 40 minute train ride, I arrived at Tainan Station.

IMG_8505Tainan StationIMG_8509Zhongshan Park, Tainan

Taichung to Alishan, via Chiayi

9/29/2010: I checked out of the hostel in Taichung and caught a 9:15 bus to Chiayi.  The ride was pretty slow and took about two hours.  In Chiayi, I found that the next bus to Alishan was not for over an hour.  So I bought a ticket for Taiwan dollars and walked around the city until 11:45. 

 IMG_8454Chiayi

On the bus to Alishan, I met a woman with her husband who work in Dallas, and she translated for me a couple of times, like when it was time to buy tickets when we drove through the gate to Alishan.  Once there, a woman brought me to a hotel that had a reasonable price for the area, so I stayed there.  At 700 Taiwan dollars (a little over 22 USD), it may be the most expensive lodging for this entre trip, but it had a private shower and a large LCD TV, so I can’t complain!

IMG_8455Alishan

Not long after arriving at Alishan, it started to rain.  This area of Taiwan gets rain almost evening.  Mornings are usually clear and sunny, clouds start to come in midday, and the rain comes in the afternoon.  The hotel provided me with an umbrella, but after walking around for a while, my shoes and socks were soaked (due to having old shoes that are falling apart), so I called it a day and prepared to go to bed early.

IMG_8456AlishanIMG_8458Alishan

I fell asleep at 10 PM, later than I had hoped, since I was to wake up at 4 AM the next morning to take a train to the spot where we watch the sun rise.

More Taichung

9/27/2010:  I walked to the northwest corner of Taichung, then at night found the FengJia night market.

 IMG_8438TaichungIMG_8440Hostel is on the left

9/28/2010:   I walked around the train station area and found some great food stands.  One snack was a bread surrounding something that tasted like peanut butter and jelly, the other was a hotdog bun holding some pork or lamb.  Today was also my first laundry day.

IMG_8448Taken just outside of the hostel door

IMG_8452Around the block from the hostel