Posts Tagged With: Asia

Formosa Adventurers – 4 Day Trip!!!

Formosa Adventurers just got back from our 4 day trip to promote Taiwan.

We had an absolutely fantastic time and it will be one of those events in my life that I’ll always look back at and smile about.

In four days we went river tracing, white water rafting, 4-wheeling, paragliding, hot springing, local food eating, and we also learned a lot about the aboriginal culture here in Taiwan.

There’s nothing like a fun trip with your friends…  you should plan one now and make some videos like we did… seriously!

These are  the things we do on many weekends, but the fact that we were doing it to try to win a contest gave us a bit of extra “umpf” and made it really special.

You can learn a lot more by reading our official contest blog and watching the videos below.  (If you’re short on time, day 1 and 3 are my favorites!)

Day 1 – River Tracing and an Aboriginal Festival


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Categories: TAIWAN, Taiwan Adventurers, Video | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Formosa Adventurers

Formosa Adventurers” is the name of my and my friends’ group for Taiwan’s “Best Trip in the World – 世界最棒的旅遊” contest.  It’s a contest set up by Taiwan’s Tourism Bureau to promote tourism in Taiwan.

The way the contest works is that everyone who wants to give it a try uploads a travel plan, video and group introduction to the website.  From there, the contest organizers select 50 groups to complete their plans.  They give them 28,000 NTD (about $800USD) to do it.  After you finished with the 4 days, you upload a video and blog showing what you did.  Then, one group wins the grand prize of 1 million NTD (about $30,000USD) and gets to travel in Taiwan for a month, blogging on their experiences.

Not a bad deal.  And since this is what we do all the time anyway, it sounded perfect for us.

Our itinerary is (approximately) as follows:
(I’ll update this later, I don’t actually have the real one sitting in front of me now):

Day 1:
Train from Taipei to Hualien.  River tracing through one of the beautiful canyons down there.  Then that night, a visit to the night market.

Day 2:
White water rafting in The Rift Valley.  Followed by a train ride to Taidong and a visit to the night market and a few other sites in the city.

Day 3:
Paragliding just north of Taidong.  Then a visit to an aboriginal village for a cultural show and some Taiwanese Aboriginal Food.

Day 4:
Hiking through an ancient forest to a wild hot spring.  Then, the train ride back to Taipei.

So please watch the video below and go vote for us at Taiwan’s “Best Trip in the World” contest.

Thanks!!!!
-neil

Categories: TAIWAN, Taiwan Adventurers, TRAVEL, UNCATEGORIZED, Video | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Hiking Taiwan – Jialou Hu 加羅湖

JiaLou Hu 加羅湖 is a mountain lake tucked high in one of Taiwan’s beautiful clouded forests.  If you can get to the trail head, it’s a moderate three hour hike to the lake.  On the way, you pass through some spectacular forests scattered with luscious green ferns, mossy vines, and a few 1,000 year old trees.

Three friends and I went there during the four day “Dragon Boat” holiday in late May.  We did it in two days, but there is plenty more to explore in the area, and most of the people we met there were staying for the whole weekend.

I took this opportunity to give my first shot at a multi-media presentation.  I would really, really like to get some critiques and feedback on what you think of it, so please feel free to comment below.

The multi-media presentation is above, but there are some still photographs and more information after the jump…

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Categories: Hiking, Motorcycling, PHOTOGRAPHY, TAIWAN, Video | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Hiking the Four Beasts Mountains (四獸山) – Elephant Mountain (象山)

Elephant Mountain (象山) is the most famous of the “Four Beasts Mountains (四獸山)” of Taipei, Taiwan and the most easily accessible.  It’s the third and last article in my series about hiking the Four Beasts MountainsPart one is on 9-5 Peak (Jiuwufeng – 九五峯), and part two is on Tiger Mountain (虎山).

Elephant Mountain is the most popular of the mountains for a good reason.  Being the closest to the city not only means easy access, but it means stunning views of Taipei, especially Taipei 101.

Taipei City and Taipei 101 as seen from Elephant Mountain

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Categories: Hiking, Must See Taiwan, PHOTOGRAPHY, TAIWAN, The Four Beast Mountains, TRAVEL | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 57 Comments

Hiking the Four Beasts Mountains (四獸山) – Tiger Mountain (虎山)

Tiger Mountain(虎山) is the second subject of three in this series of articles on hiking Taipei, Taiwan’s Four Beasts Mountains (四獸山).

Tiger Mountain is the most northern of the Four Beasts Mountains and the easiest to get to.  It’s not the easiest to find (that would be Elephant Mountain) but if you have transportation, it’s an easy walk along a well kept, level trail.

All along the trail are stunning views of Taipei 101, Taipei City, and Nangang.

Taiwans Tower of Babel   Viewed from Tiger Mountain.

"Taiwan's Tower of Babel" Viewed from Tiger Mountain.

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Categories: Hiking, Must See Taiwan, PHOTOGRAPHY, TAIWAN, The Four Beast Mountains, TRAVEL | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Hiking the Four Beasts Mountains (四獸山) – 9-5 Peak (九五峯)

One of my all time favorite hikes/photography locations in Taiwan is The Four Beast Mountains (四獸山) area.  Located within Taipei City limits, these trails are an easy escape from busy city life and have amazing panoramic views of Taipei City and Taipei 101.

The trail system includes Tiger (虎山), Elephant (象山), Leopard (豹山) and Lion (獅山) Mountains and is very easily reached from the Taipei MRT system.  In fact, the base of Taipei 101 is only a 15 minute walk from the Elephant Mountain trail head.

If that’s not enough, many of the trails are lighted, 24 hours a day!

The view of Taipei from 9-5 Peak is unrivaled.

The view of Taipei from 9-5 Peak is unrivaled.

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Categories: Hiking, Must See Taiwan, PHOTOGRAPHY, TAIWAN, The Four Beast Mountains, TRAVEL | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Techniques – DIY Soft Box

DIY photography gear being all the rage, and me being a bit of a Mr Fix-it, I decided to see if I could build my own soft box.

I feel that I should start this blog by telling you that you can buy a mini-soft box for fairly cheap, but if you’re like me and like building stuff (or are incredibly skint), read on…

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Categories: PHOTOGRAPHY, Techniques | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Keelung, Taiwan 台灣基隆市

Keelung, Taiwan 台灣基隆 is an interesting port city about 30 km east of Taipei.  I had the chance to visit it while on assignment for a magazine and though I’d share some of the highlights.

Even though it’s nicknamed the rainy port (雨港) and I’ve heard that it’s the second rainiest city in the world, I had an absolutely beautiful day there.

The very crowded Miaokou Night Market (廟口夜市) is full of local favorites.

The very crowded Miaokou Night Market (廟口夜市) is full of local favorites.

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Categories: Must See Taiwan, PHOTOGRAPHY, TAIWAN, TRAVEL | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Siling Hot Springs 四稜温泉

Taiwan is covered in hot springs.  There are famous ones like Beitou, Jinshan and Wulai, but there are also many “wild” ones.  Generally the wild ones are a bit more off the beaten track, and are almost always quite difficult to get to.  The biggest problem getting to them isn’t the drive or the hike, it’s finding good directions (in English or Chinese).  But then again, I guess if they were easy to get to or had good directions, there would be more people there and they wouldn’t be as interesting.

I recently went on a ride down the Northern Cross Island Highway 北橫  with some friends.  The main goal of this particular trip was to find a remote, wild hot spring called the Siling Hot Springs 四稜温泉.

Crystal clear water under a hot spring waterfall...  What could be better?

Crystal clear water under a hot spring waterfall... What could be better?

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Categories: Hiking, Motorcycling, TAIWAN | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Huangdidian 皇帝殿

Hiking Huang Di Dian 皇帝殿 this past weekend was one of the best day trips I’ve been on in Taiwan.  Just about 20 minutes from Taipei, this hike is one that shouldn’t be missed.

A perfect 360 view awaited us at the end.

A perfect 360 view awaited us at the end.

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Categories: Hiking, TAIWAN, Taiwan Adventurers, TRAVEL | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Tibet Rally and March

There was a rally and march for Tibet this past Saturday on Zhongxiao Road in Taipei, Taiwan.

Thousands of people marched to show their support for Tibet and to show their fears that Taiwan might be next.

It was the 50th anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan Uprising, a rebellion to Chinese rule that led to the death of thousands of Tibetans and exile of the Dalai Lama.

Edit: For some much better writing on the march, have a look at David on Formosa.  Also have a look at Craig Ferguson’s photographs.

An exiled Tibetan monk joins in the protest in Taipei, Taiwan.

An exiled Tibetan monk joins in the protest in Taipei, Taiwan.

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Categories: PHOTOGRAPHY | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Kaohsiung, Taiwan 台灣高雄

My last travel photography post on Lotus Lake in Kaohsiung, Taiwan 台灣高雄 got a lot of hits, so I thought I’d share some more.  These are from a weekend I spent in the southern Taiwanese city shooting for Cathay Pacific/Dragon Air’s in-flight magazine “Silkroad” last Spring.

I had a long list of places to visit including Liuhu Night Market (六合夜市), Central Park and the new KMRT subway system, Urban Spotlight (城市光廊), Love River (愛河), The Matsu (媽祖) Temple and some other attractions on Cijin Island (旗津區).

I have a great time every time I go down there and often try to convince myself to move there for good.  It’s definitely an up-and-coming city whose image and economy should be boosted by this summer’s World Games.

Cijin Island (旗津區) is a very nice beach area that is actually a barrier island to the very busy Port of Kaohsiung.  You can take the ferry (旗津渡輪) for about 33 US cents or drive through a tunnel at the south end.  On the Island, you’ll find a nice beach, a night market renowned for its fresh seafood, and an interesting Matsu Temple.

Matsu Temple is located in the middle of the night market on Cijin Island.

Matsu Temple is located in the middle of the night market on Cijin Island.

Matsu Temple is located in the middle of the night market on Cijin Island.

Matsu Temple is located in the middle of the night market on Cijin Island.

More on travel photography from Kaohsiung, Taiwan after the jump…

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Categories: Must See Taiwan, PHOTOGRAPHY, TAIWAN, TRAVEL | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Fengtoujian 峰頭尖

Hiking in Taiwan just might be the best thing that you can do here.  Fresh air, beautiful views, and a bit of exercise can really help you to forget the traffic, noise and pollution of the cities. I find it really sad that a lot of the people who live here never leave the cities.  I’ve met foreigners who have lived here for years and have literally never left the city once.  Personally, I go crazy if I can’t get out of Taipei at least every other weekend.  Sometimes, I head to the mountains, sometimes the beach, sometimes the hot springs.

Last weekend, my friends and I decided that a little hiking was in order.  Stu Dawson is completely insane about hiking and has started a website called Hiking Taiwan.  He knows his stuff, so if he has a hike planned, I’ll usually try to tag along.

Last weekend we headed out to a small town called Pingxi 坪溪, just 30 minutes from Taipei.  Surrounding Pingxi 坪溪 are some beautiful, jagged mountains that are perfect for a days get away.

We chose one called Feng Tou Jian 峰頭尖 that sits on a complex system of trails that crisscross Taiwan.

I’ll keep the story short because Stu did a great job of writing about it on his website.  So if you want the details and practicalities of going to this particular trail, go to his site.  I just thought I’d share my pictures from the hike to hopefully motivate some of you to get out there and start enjoying yourself!

In the beginning, we could see two of the peaks we would cross.

In the beginning, we could see two of the peaks we would cross.

More hiking in Taiwan after the jump…

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Categories: Hiking, TAIWAN, Taiwan Adventurers, TRAVEL | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Random Pictures from Taiwan #1

Taiwan really has some great photography possibilities just sitting around, waiting to be shot.

I recently bought a new, smaller DSLR and have been happily carrying it around with me a lot more often then my old, heavy one.

Because of that, I have quite a few new blog ideas lined up in my head, but I’m currently working on a couple of actual paying projects and just don’t have the time to write them.

So I’ll submit a few random pictures that I’ve shot since buying that new camera.  Some of these will be in blogs in the future, and some are truly just random, walk around pictures.  I’ll let you guess which are which.

A girl walks up steps at the subway exit for Lungshan Temple, Taipei, Taiwan.

A girl walks up steps at the subway exit for Lungshan Temple, Taipei, Taiwan.

More photography from Taiwan after the jump…

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Categories: PHOTOGRAPHY, Portraiture, TAIWAN | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Lotus Lake, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Lotus Lake is a beautiful area to explore in Kaohsiung City, southern Taiwan (台灣高雄蓮池潭).  I had an opportunity to spend the afternoon there just before Chinese New Year, 2009.

The lake is man made and a popular tourist destination.  It has many temples and pagodas, including the Spring and Autumn Pavilions (春秋閣), the Dragon and Tiger Pagodas (龍虎塔), and the Confucian Temple (孔廟).  It can be walked around in half a day while still seeing all the sights.

I was unable to find much information on most attractions around the lake, but I’ve provided what I know.

The zigzaging entrance way to the Dragon Tiger Towers in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

The zigzaging entrance way to the Dragon Tiger Towers in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

More from Lotus Lake, Kaohsiung after the jump…

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Categories: Must See Taiwan, PHOTOGRAPHY, TAIWAN | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

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