Hot Springs, Baseball, and Cats (in Taiwan)

by Michael

Taiwan spent about 50 years as a Japanese colony. This allegedly is the origin of developed hot springs and professional baseball in Taiwan. Taiwan also loves its cats. While Japan often gets credit for its cat culture, the original “cat cafe” (a cafe with beverages and cats) is in Taipei. And Taiwan even has a “cat village” — rather than euthanizing strays, they neutered them and release them in a carless hillside town that is now a tourist attraction. Of course, we had to see hot springs, baseball, and cats!

Hot Springs

Our first (and successful) trip to hot springs was at Guanzihling, a motorbike ride from Chiayi City. The area is known for its mud hot springs and is a popular tourist destination (luckily we visited on a weekday morning). There are no photos allowed inside so we just have a photo of the front of the King’s Garden Villa. You’ll have to trust us that it was awesome. You do not need to be a hotel guest to go to the resort’s hot springs, you can just pay a reasonable day-use fee — which worked well with our plans.



They didn’t say that we couldn’t take a picture of the brochure though. And yes, we tried out “exercise” machines similar to those pictured (but without the straps).

Continue reading

Hiking in Taiwan

by Michael

In case you haven’t caught on yet, we like to hike. And with only about a month to go before starting on the PCT we were on the hunt for good training hikes. In many countries, we found that hikes were often too short and required a guide. Taiwan is more known for hikes, and we had some good outings, but it was still difficult to find good long hikes. Ultimately the best hikes we found were around Taipei.


We were unable to hike in the high mountains during our visit. The notable hikes require permits obtained weeks in advance, and the weather/snowpack was not conducive to our visiting anyway. So we did shorter hikes around Taipei, Taroko Gorge, and Alishan. We also did long walks on bike paths in Hualien on the East Coast and Tainan in the West.

Continue reading