Yuli (玉里), Hualien County

I spent two days in Yuli, Hualien County, where I discovered an amazing hostel-cafe-bar called “Our Cafe.” There, under the watchful eye of a colossal portrait of Sun Yat-sen, I drank enough beer to make the next day of bike-riding a laborious and sweaty affair.  Just another bit of penance for not having the organizational foresight to get my international license before leaving Canada.  Continue reading


Kaohsiung: Pier 2 Art Center

Kaohsiung is Taiwan’s Pittsburgh, the island’s former industrial heartland and likely birthplace to many of our products in the West that bore  the ‘made in Taiwan’ stamp through the 1970s and 1980s. And just like Pittsburgh it’s a city that fell on hard times when global capital realignment saw heavy industry seeking cheaper pastures in countries like China. After the boom times ended, Kaohsiung was left with poisoned rivers, rusting factories, and a tepid job market such that to this day many graduates are forced to leave home and seek employment in northern Taiwan. Continue reading


Taiwan Protests: A Citizen’s Forum in Kaohsiung

Though I had to leave Taipei and continue my trip around the island, it didn’t take long before I encountered another manifestation of the Sunflower Movement. The students of Kaohsiung, Taiwan’s second-largest city in the south of the island, have organized a nightly ‘citizen’s forum’ in Kaohsiung Central Park from 7-10pm. I asked one of the organizers how long these forums will go on, to which he responded: “until it’s over.” Continue reading