Thursday, March 24, 2011

Short update

A great, fun, and fortunately safe day here in the south of Taiwan, where we've been staying at a great little hostel called the Surf Shack. Since the weather wasn't cooperating for surfing today, we rented a scooter and tootled all over, from the great nearby aquarium to the coral reef park which marks what's basically the southern tip of Taiwan (but don't say that to them - they claim a little pod of offshore coral, which lets them extend territorial waters some fourteen kilometers). For someone who really just sat on the back of the scooter and hung on, I'm surprisingly exhausted tonight, so I apologize for the lack of photos and the little video I shot on the back road.

We may surf tomorrow morning if we can, then it's back up to Taipei and dinner with friends from Edinburgh University. We'll be back in Fukuoka on Saturday - which, don't forget, is the last day to vote in the "Spend Our Money" charity poll! You can vote by clicking on your choice from the list on the upper right of the blog, or by sending an email or leaving a comment. Winning charity gets Justin and my $180 ANA refund.

Interestingly, there's been a lot of charity fundraising here in Taiwan for Japan. I asked some people raising money at a temple about it, and they said (I think; my Chinese is a bit fuzzy) "In the 1970s, Japan was a very good friend to Taiwan," and has continued to be since. This may be a reference to Japanese investment in Taiwanese manufacturing during this time, or to Japan's support of Taiwan in the international arena during the years when Nixon normalized relations with the PRC, culminating in Taiwan losing the "China" seat in the United Nations. In any case, it's been quite touching to see little Japanese flags and fundraisers around the island, and I hope the Japanese know how many friends they have here in Taiwan.


  1. hey wife and i are thinking of taking a little vacation to southern taiwan from south korea in early may. would you recommend the surf shack? sounds like you had a great time. also, are you on FB and skype? thanks...jake

  2. Depends on what you're looking for. As a place to stay, it's cosy but bare-bones--one share shower per floor, for instance. But it has a lot of advantages. The location is good (easy to catch the bus to and from Kaohsiung), the food is really good if you choose to eat downstairs, and you're likely to meet some cool people. The biggest advantage, though, is the ownership: the couple who owns the place is friendly, and they can arrange just about anything you want--surf lessons, scuba diving, scooter rentals, etc.

    On the whole, I'd recommend it if you're simply looking for a place to crash after a day's worth of excursions. If you're looking for more of a romantic getaway, I'd suggest you check out one of the Kaohsiung resorts.

    Does that help?