October in Taiwan: A Review in 31 Pictures

Call me unoriginal, but I love the month of October. Dan asked me to be his girlfriend six Octobers ago; he proposed a lifetime together only two back. Octobers bring things like the state fair and deep-fried snicker bars, pumpkin spiced everything, and the perfect weather for scarves and boots and blazers. And although I wouldn’t have thought it possible, October in Taiwan has amplified my love for this fall month.

I think that if it could be October year-round, I would never ever want to leave. I do realize that it is actually November now, but luckily the clear blue skies, decrease in humidity, and cooler weather have stuck around–without adding all the rain just yet. We’ve been quite busy over here, so here is a quick review of the past month (including a bit of November). If you live in or around Hsinchu, there are lots of great day trips here! We apologize in advance for cramming all this Taiwan-goodness into one post when, quite honestly, each subheading could be an article in itself!

Motorcycling in Miaoli County

We started the month off by packing our bags and heading into the mountains. While I’m pretty sure we exceeded the 5kg weight limit on the cargo rack, we successfully made it out of the city and into we’re-not-exactly-sure-where. We had intended on actually trekking with our bags up a mountain, but ended up finding an idyllic and secluded location to set up our tent just outside the trailhead for the Smangus Trees (really big, old trees). Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to see the trees before the sunset, but we did manage to do a bit of hiking through the mountains first.

Packing for Motorcycle Road Trip

Motorcyle Road Trip Taiwan

Off Road Motorcycle Driving

Mountains in Taiwan

Sunset

Emei Reservoir

This quaint spot outside Hsinchu offers lots of places to cycle, stroll, or drink tea while enjoying the views of the lake and massive Buddha. You might remember our previous picture of the statue taken from afar, so here’s a closer look.

Big Buddha Statue Emei Township

Emei Township School

Emei Township Buddha Statue

Halloween

This Halloween, Dan and I were a little bit lame and decided to skip all the parties and festivities. However, we did get our fair dose of celebration. Dan’s Pre-ESL class did Halloween crafts while at Kindy I took my students trick-or-treating at a nearby department store. Are they not adorable?!

Teaching English in Taiwan Kindy-Halloween

Teaching English in Taiwan Halloween

Bike Riding Houli

Bike riding is hugely popular in Taiwan right now. We’re hoping to take advantage of all the cross-island paths sometime before we leave (update: read about our east coast cycling experience here!), but until we get the time we are forced to stay a little closer to home. Houli is about 45 minutes south of Hsinchu via train. It offers a nice–but very crowded–bike path that is about 18km long and passes a winery, farmland, and lots of cafes and restaurants. We were impressed by the winery for its quaint grounds and interesting selection of mostly sweet fruit wines. Be prepared for selections like mulberry, plum and onion. Yes, onion wine, apparently their best-seller.

Bike Path Taiwan

A Cruising Couple Kiss

Railway Valley Winery Taiwan

A Cruising Couple Wine Barrel Swings

Biking in a Tunnel

Taiwan Road Sign

Italian Opera and American Fireworks

October 10th is Taiwan’s Double Ten Day, or National Day, celebrating the birth of the Republic of China. As part of the festivities, Miaoli was hosting a month of free concerts and fireworks. We stopped by for the Alessandro Safina concert, and were blown away by the talent of the opera singer we had never heard before. We suggest checking out his song Luna. Following the concert was a fireworks display from an American team. It was an enjoyable evening and 100% free.

Italian-Opera

fireworks in Taiwan

Long Dong

Long Dong is hands down our favorite place in Taiwan. It draws climbers from around Taiwan and even throughout Asia for its isolated climbing on sandstone crags up to 70m in height.  There are over 500 routes, with options for sport climbs, trad, deep water solo and bouldering. Even though my climbing skills aren’t quite up to par with Dan’s awesomeness, I absolutely love Long Dong for it’s breathtaking views. Seriously, does it get much more beautiful than this? Okay, well, maybe this.

Long Dong Taiwan Music Hall Arial

Long-Dong Taiwan

Long Dong East Coast Taiwan

Rock Climbing 511a Long Dong Taiwan

East Coast Taiwan Long Dong

Long Dong Taiwan Hiking

Exploring Beipu

Last time we were in Beipu it was to try our hand at pounding out traditional Leicha. This time was just an excuse to walk around and take some pictures on a beautiful day. The highlight was successfully finding BK, a remote bakery in the mountains that makes ah-mazing bread, with options like apricot apple and whole grain blueberry. The best part? They deliver to Hsinchu, free of charge!

Beipu Taiwan Dancing in the Streets

Farming in Beipu Taiwan

A Cruising Couple Casey

A Cruising Couple Fascinating

BK Bread Shop Taiwan

Bread

Chat

 

So there you have it. The past month and a half-ish in 31 pictures. And since you made it all the way to the bottom, here’s a bit of extra news for ya! A Cruising Couple was recently chosen as one of Taiwan’s best travel blogs by Easyvoyage UK :-) Check out their site for a lot of great information from local bloggers around the world, and don’t miss what they have to say about us!

CategoryTaiwan Holidays

 

3 Comments

  1. Fun, fun, fun. Congratulations on the recognition of your blog!!!!!! Can’t wait to see you in NN in December. We had a fun time celebrating birthdays in Asheville last weekend. Love you both, Gma L

    Reply
  2. Loooove your blog & love your adventures! You guys are awesome :)

    Reply
  3. Woohoo! You two are …. well…. words can hardly describe….wonderful, amazing, awesome. Shine on!

    Reply

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