Perhaps you remember our previous blog post about Nanliao; or perhaps you don’t, because we actually posted it over two months ago. Two months ago?! Where does the time go? Seriously, it seems like just yesterday we were wandering around with two teenage girls who giggled at everything we said when in fact it’s now November and our last visit to Nanliao was in August. Just a quick reminder to ourselves how time flies and the need to take advantage of every opportunity we get! Anyway, quick recap on our previous post that’s practically ancient now: Went to Nanliao and tried to bike the 17km Scenic Coastline Bike Trail, but a typhoon that didn’t actually exist made us quit; opted to hang out with some young girls who took a liking to us and ate close to our body weight in seafood. (For a much more eloquent explanation of the day, click here.)
As promised, we recently went back to Nanliao, this time choosing a beautiful, sunny day without a cloud in the sky. We decided to spend the night in a Taipei hotel then got up and headed to Nanliao. Our first stop was the same bike shop we were originally led to, impossible to miss due to the motivational quotes interspersed with creative bike artwork on the outside façade. The owner immediately-and amazingly-recognized us, and quickly hooked us up with gorgeous bikes and water to begin our afternoon of trekking.
The bike paths were initially constructed as part of Hsinchu’s attempt to increase the city’s tourist industry, transforming the polluted harbor into a natural leisure area. From the looks of it, they were very successful. The bike paths were packed with people while still providing plenty of room to avoid collisions. Additionally, the Scenic Coastline lived up to its name, offering gorgeous ocean views while winding past bird watching areas and through a mangrove park. The only drawback we encountered was that after you bike the 17km down, you must also bike the 17km back. Before you go telling us that’s common sense, of course you have to bike back, just remember that Hsinchu is known as the Windy City. The day of our bike ride was no exception, and while the wind was to our backs on the way down, coming back we weren’t so lucky. In fact, I’m pretty sure we had wind gusts at 70mph (category 1 hurricane is 83mph) blasting us in the face the entire way home. Ugh.
After working so hard all afternoon, we decided we had earned the right to indulge in some wood fired pizza at Ah-Hus’. It’s known to have some of the best pizza in Hsinchu, but for us it was the atmosphere that really set the restaurant apart from other eateries. Ah-Hus’ is really small, but every single wall is covered in magazine clippings and indie music posters, topped off with a couple of casual didgeridoos lying here and there. It’s a pretty unique and popular place; all you have to do is ask any local Taiwanese where the ‘pizza place’ is and they’ll direct you here.
Our overall conclusion: Nanliao is just another reason why Hsinchu has so much more to offer than most people give it credit for. Come visit us and let us know what you think!