Category Archives: Taiwan

Elephant Mountain ~ and what a view!

Found a new mountain very early this morning.  Elephant Mountain.  Feel like David Livingstone, ha ha! Except that I waited for the Taipei MRT to open a new MRT station called 象山 Shiang Shan – Elephant Mountain – so now it’s so easy to get to….

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Elephant Mountain (象山) is part of a range of small but steep hills called the Four Beasts Mountains (四獸山) to the far east of Taipei City.

Never been there before today – in fact my neighbours here are surprised to hear me say there is actually a real Shiang Shan, Elephant Mountain, and it’s not just the name of the new MRT station terminus!

Found myself up on not just Elephant Mountain but also on the ridge behind which leads to 拇指山 Muzhishan (Mount Thumb) and 九五峰 Jiu-Wu (9-5) Peak.  

There’s 3 other animal mountains in the area – tiger, leopard and lion, but they’re reserved for next visit!

Stunning views of Taipei City and especially Taipei 101…

Cherry Blossom out, and many people also out, praying at the shrines and temples (of which there are many scattered along the trails), and resting at the many shelters and seats. My favourite is the shelter made from old umbrellas tied together!

And everyone everywhere is cleaning, cleaning and cleaning – there’s hoses in action all over – the annual washing of the windows is in full swing…

Tomorrow, Thursday is Chinese New Year’s Eve – and so the festivities start tomorrow evening…  Happy New Year everyone!

Chinese New Year Shopping at Taipei Dihua Street 迪化街!

Definitely the place to be in the few weeks leading up to Chinese New Year ~ the hustle and bustle and noise and rush is not for the faint-hearted, but hey it’s fun!

Dihua Street is in one of the oldest parts of Taipei City, near the river and full of old buildings, temples and traditional shops selling tea and Chinese medicine ingredients…

Normally quite a quiet area, but for these few weeks you can buy everything you need for the festivities at good prices ~ dried everything, nuts, fruit, meats, seafoods, seeds plus sugar cane juice, sweets, a few clothes…. you name it, it’s on sale here!

Only open for 2 more days – so get there quick!

Happy Keelung ~ Happy Yellow Duck!

How to make a city smile?  How to make a city famed for its miserable weather smile? Install some ART!  The famous Rubber Duck is here, and despite plenty of mishaps en route, hey here it is smiling away, and surrounded by plenty of happy people also smiling away, helped by a sunny day of course.  Unbelievable the affect that a very large (well, 18m) yellow duck can have on the mood of a city.  I love it!  And there’s even some real yellow ducks on hand nearby to say hello….

OK, so not everyone is smiling in Keelung City and every day we have an update on the News about the duck’s condition, the state of the water, the sales of yellow duck merchandise, the crowd numbers ~ and the fact is that the yellow duck is now competing with the baby panda (real, not rubber) who makes its first public appearance at Taipei Zoo next week…..

But when the yellow duck has gone and Keelung returns to its normal wet and windy self, then the happiest places in the city will continue to be the churches.  Hoping that all the churches in Keelung are as full of joy as our 2 churches – Trinity Church and St. Stephen’s – whatever the weather outside, the people there are always smiling!

Well we do have a great God after all – that fact alone’s just gotta make us smile!