Monday, March 3, 2014

hidden treasures: part two


I often talk about scoot adventures and I know some of you are probably like: what's that? What you need to know is that we don't own a car. We own two scooters. In Taiwan, it is common for families of four to get around on one scooter. Scooters are so much cheaper than cars concerning initial cost, maintenance and gas so it makes a lot of sense to choose a scooter over a car. Further, they offer other benefits too: free parking anywhere and anytime [sidewalk, anyone?], scooter lanes on the side of the road so you don't have to wait in long traffic lines but just breeze right through and beyond that they.are.fun!

I have to admit that we don't have Taiwanese or international driver's licences but it just feels like less of a big deal because we are driving scooters and not a car. I'm not sure a police officer would accept that but evidence suggests that they avoid westerners at all costs and the one time I was pulled over for driving the wrong way down a one way I was made to stand in shame on the side of the road for five minutes before being let go with a smile and a wave. So.

When we first moved to Taiwan, the thought of owning a scooter and having to get around on one everyday kinda freaked me out. After all, you feel so exposed. Due to our conflicting schedules, I knew we would have to get two scooters and I would have to learn to navigate Taiwan's crazy busy traffic. At first, I.was.petrified. But after a while I grew to love scooting so much so that scooting to the store felt like an amazing adventure. There is just something about whizzing down the road with your hair flying every which way that is exceptionally liberating! Our first few months here, we learned all about our city by taking our scooter out and exploring places we had never been to before, hence our love for scoot adventures was born. Now one of my favorite weekend activities is grabbing my husband, scooter and camera and venturing out into the unknown. We almost always get lost and have the absolute best time together. It doesn't hurt that my husband is a manly man and excellent navigator.

In my previous post, hidden treasures: part one, I introduced you to Nanyuan, which was our latest scoot adventure destination and one of our best finds in Hsinchu! To jog your memory, Sean and I set out with a hand drawn map and scooted off into the rugged mountains to find a beautiful garden. We had to push our scooter up some of the tougher hills but we made it in the end! There was no.way I could do this garden justice in one post so here is part two.

There were many reasons why we loved Nanyuan. The architecture is stunningly beautiful. The natural scenery is very peaceful. The odd collection of random artwork is fun. And more than anything, all of these things combined to make the garden interesting and captivating to look at + experience + capture on camera. Every where you turned there were intriguing designs + textures + patterns!

I guess I don't have to tell you when you can see for yourself:

















12 comments

  1. So very beautiful. I hope to be able to visit one day. Have a lovely week.

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  2. I used to ride a scooter when I lived in Vietnam and loved it too. These are beautiful photos, looks like you had a great day out. {#TravelTuesday #12}

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    1. You are very brave then! We spent some time in Vietnam over summer and even though we both ride scooters in Taiwan there was no.way we were going to do that in Vietnam! I think the traffic there is 100 times crazier!

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  3. Wow! These photos are incredible! I love that you have these adventures on your scooters. The garden looks mesmerising and definitely warrants two posts!!

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    1. Thanks! I'm worried what will happen if we move to a country where scooters aren't the most common mode of transportation! I would be so sad!

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  4. Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my The Most Bavarian of Towns post. O no, it sounds like you had a rough time on your trip to London. The weather there can be very temperamental. When I went in December it rained like everyday and was windy but nothing like a snow storm! You definitely must go back and explore Bavaria!

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    1. We will... I just wish Europe wasn't so very out of the way from Taiwan. One day though.

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  5. you're kidding me with these photos! i looooove not having a car (although, we're kinda cheating compared to you two since my husband has one) and i want to always live in a city where i don't need one!

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    1. I never want to have a car again. There are obvious benefits of having a car like not having to wear an ugly poncho and still get soaked anyway when it rains and being able to buy more than one bag of groceries at the store but still. $12 a month in gas?? You can't beat that!

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  6. I love this! Each photo is better than the last!

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    1. Thanks! All the credit goes to my new little camera: the Canon EOS M. I have no idea what I am doing but the camera is smarter than me and takes beautiful photos! :)

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