My waterfall guide has reached a point where some of the information is dated enough that it isn’t completely accurate any longer. You will still get to the waterfall but the trail or facilities might be completely changed. This is especially true in southern Taiwan where many new trails have been rebuilt since Typhoon Morakot in 2009. In addition to that I have become a much better note taker and have started including a lot more information (including some basic maps) in my guide. Even if I had the time to update all of the pages I would be guessing on many of the updates. I am hoping to revisit several waterfalls this summer. The focus will be on collecting better information and getting better pictures of some of them.
Directions to Liangshan Waterfall
Aboriginal art is becoming increasingly popular throughout Taiwan. I frequently see so many interesting reliefs, sculptures and paintings in the villages that I regret not spending an extra 10-15 minutes taking photos and exploring. This is the visitor center at Liangshan Waterfall.
About a year ago they closed the trail for a long time and made extensive improvements. Prior to this it was a nice singletrack dirt trail but now it is almost entirely wood platforms or concrete blocks with earth in between. Yes, this is a nice trail but I like a natural dirt trail even if it gets muddy. This is probably a better trail considering how many people hike it on a weekend.
One area where improvements weren’t made was the final 50 meters to the 3rd tier waterfall. This is a bottleneck where there is no obvious solution. Any new construction would be wiped out by the next big typhoon due to the geography. When I arrived there were about 20 people in each direction trying to pass each other on the slippery rocks. A minute prior to the umbrella group pushing their way through the crowd a boy slipped and fell into the creek taking his father with him. Luckily they only suffered scrapes and bruises but it could have been much worse.
My main goal for the day was to get a better photo of 3rd tier waterfall. It has been three years since I have been here and I never really liked the photo that I took. It was a little strange and looked unnatural. Liangshan blog from 3 years ago Unfortunately by the time that I made it through the bottleneck it was raining and I couldn’t setup properly. This is a nice photo considering that I was holding a hat over my camera.
The second tier is located just downstream of the larger 3rd tier and it is a popular swimming hole. This is another bottleneck area since people need to lower themselves 3-4 meters down a rocky face using a rope. It is kind of strange that the government spent all of the money building a really nice trail (perhaps overbuilt) but two areas where everyone goes are quite hazardous. Overall though the main trail is extremely well built and safe. Even if you don’t access the 2nd and 3rd tier waterfalls it is a really nice hike up a lush valley.
In April this year I rode my motorcycle down Shihcyuan Road for an oil change and tune-up at Truman’s shop. There are a million signs all over the place and it is a busy road so I missed it. I rode by a second time and still didn’t see it. I rode by a few more times and stopped at where I thought the shop was. Everything was gone. The only person that had touched my motorcycle since I bought it 5 years ago was gone. All of a sudden I was in unfamiliar territory. I was going on a weekend waterfall trip and I needed to find a new mechanic and somehow bridge the language gap to communicate what I needed done and any questions that I had. It is almost scripted but my motorcycle started leaking oil after one visit to this mystery mechanic. I took it back and he tightened the drain plug but this was not good. I had enjoyed chatting with Truman during oil changes and any repairs that I have had done but most all I had confidence in the quality of work.
Luckily other foreigners were asking about Truman and word spread that he moved to a new shop one block away on Haerbin Street. Shortly after that I stopped by for a quick chat to see the new shop. I didn’t need any work done but I had to know that my motorcycle mechanic problems were over.
A couple of weeks ago I spotted a nail in my tire. The tire didn’t go flat but that is something that needed to be fixed before any waterfall adventures. I showed it Truman and he repaired it and I was good to go for the weekend. One of my favorite things about Truman is that he didn’t even charge for it. Of course it is a cheap fix but he rationalized it as he sold me the tire (3 years ago) and he would take care of it.
Truman is fluent in English and works on both motorcycles (not heavy >550cc) motorcycles) and scooters. He buys and sells a few scooters so he might have something for sale if you are new to Kaohsiung. He also works on the new electric scooters.
His shop is located at 176 Haerbin St, Sanmin District, Kaohsiung
Go 3-4 blocks west on Shihcyuan Rd from BoAi Rd. His shop is a couple of stores north on Haerbin St.
He works M-Sat 9am-9pm and can be reached at (07)323-1923 / 0921238599
One of the many rice fields that you pass in Bali. Bali is at a crossroads in a way as the massive tourist service industry competes with the more traditional Balinese life. So far things remain in balance with an endless number of small villages living a traditional lifestyle but how long will that last? Will the younger generation(s) continue to pursue work in the more profitable tourist industry?
I have now completed 6 of the 14 waterfall guide entries. You can view them at Taiwan’s Waterfalls – Bali. I will be taking advantage of Taiwan’s rainy weather this week to finish up several more and hopefully start working on an article about all of Bali’s waterfalls since I visited all of the major ones.
It is taking a long time to post photos and blog about an awesome 10 days of travel in Bali. I took the red eye flight and hit the ground running right away in the morning. My sister was working in Jakarta at the same time so she met me for the weekend. Bali has an extraordinary travel option for mid budget travelers. Car rentals come with a personal driver and it includes gas for 50 USD/day. That is an awesome amount of convenience for a very reasonable price. Later in the week I had plans to explore the less seen parts of Bali so I visited some of the popular tourist spots with my sister.
In two days we visited 5 of the best temples in Bali. This is Uluwatu at the very southern tip of Bali. The temple itself isn’t very interesting but the location on top of a 50+ meter cliff is amazing.
We also visited one of the best waterfalls in southern Bali and this was the beginning of a 14 waterfall trip for me. This was an excruciating photo to take. For 30 minutes 2 girls stood directly in front of my tripod taking dozens of photos and then videos of each other taking photos before moving to a different spot to take more photos. I have no idea what they do with several hundred photos with themselves in front of the same waterfalls. My sister had to leave after the weekend but she will be working in Indonesia for several years so there will be other opportunities for weekend meetups.
Currently northern Sumatra has taken a commanding lead in possible Chinese New Year destinations. The best part is that Air Asia flies direct from Kaohsiung to Kuala Lumpur (no trip to Taoyuan) and then it is a short flight to Medan. Here is one blog that has fueled my Sumatran desire Scarlet Scribbles – 8 great places in northern Sumatra.
My first waterfall guide entry has been posted on my waterfall site. I started with the best Bali waterfall.
My first year in Taiwan (2010) was pretty rough because I unknowingly suffered from celiacs disease. After getting no help from the local doctors I self diagnosed the gluten intolerance and verified the self diagnosis through an elimination diet. I have always been able to cook for myself and I easily altered my diet around this new revelation. 5 years before I discovered that I was lactose intolerant (both are common together). In the US it is easy to find alternative cheese made from soy, almonds or other types of ingredients but Taiwan doesn’t eat a lot of cheese. Finding premium priced cheese that doesn’t actually taste better (they don’t) has been very difficult. But I was aimlessly wandering Costco yesterday and scanned the cheese aisle.
Certain hard cheeses like swiss are better for lactose intolerance but my stomach was always a little upset so I stayed away from all cheese. The packaging sold me on trying lactose free cheese again. I have learned how to substitute rice flour (50%), corn starch (25%) and tapioca starch (25%) to make gluten free flour so all I needed was pizza meat, tomato paste and yeast. I chose a salami pepperoni from Costco (imported because almost all Taiwan meat sucks) and it was surprisingly good. After 30 seconds of research I picked a gluten free crust recipe from minimalistbaker.com and got started. It was a little disappointing that I didn’t get to use my new rolling pin (a bottle of wine) but it was really nice to just spread the dough out in the pan.
The end result was only the 2nd pizza that I have eaten (my mother/grandmother took care of me with special ingredients during a trip home) in the last 5 years. It doesn’t matter that the pizza is rectangular or that it is swiss cheese or that the crust stuck to the pan. It was awesome.
Taking away pizza from an American would be like taking away vegemite from an Aussie or beer from a German. The world might not immediately end but at some point there is a breaking point. Perhaps tomorrow brings agony (bloating, gas or worse) but today was awesome.
And there are leftovers. Tomorrow can also be awesome.