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Saturday, May 7, 2016

a nighttime scoot adventure to Neiwan to see fireflies

Last night, I embarked on my first ever nighttime scoot adventure. A friend and I scooted about 45 minutes outside of Hsinchu to a little mountain town called Neiwan. I had never been to Neiwan before, and we definitely got a little lost on the dark roads. However, we made it just in time for dusk. We parked our scooters outside 7-11 and joined the hoard of people heading high up into the mountains on foot to see the fireflies. 

At a stop light on the way to Neiwan, I told my friend that I had never seen a firefly before. She was flabbergasted! I told her that Washington State does not have fireflies, and she could hardly believe me. When I got home, I researched it and found that Washington & Oregon do have fireflies, however, not the kind that glows, so. 

I was so excited to see fireflies! 
I imagined it would be a little like seeing glow worms in New Zealand. 

We spoke with our friend who went to Neiwan to see the fireflies last year. He mentioned walking by an elementary school (which we did) and walking up some stairs (which we did) but then he mentioned a field, which we never found. Instead, we ended up walking for 1.5 hours straight up a mountain! He definitely forgot to mention that part. Luckily, I wore tennis shoes and a long sleeve shirt to keep the mosquitoes away, but my poor friend wore adorable but not so awesome for hiking shoes.

Once we started to climb the mountain with hundreds of other people, we were instantly rewarded. We spotted fireflies here and there in the brush. I knew it would be difficult to get any good pictures since I did not bring my tripod on the account of the long scoot through the mountains, but I still tried. I just had to. We paused on occasion to snap a shot, but ultimately we both decided that this was the kind of thing that a camera just cannot do justice. 

In the end, we walked on and on up the mountain (taking 15,000 steps in the process according to my Fitbit), and ended up on a pretty deserted stretch of trail high up in the mountains. There, hundreds (if not thousands) of fireflies lit up the trail and mountainside. It was so beautiful! Two even landed on us and many flew along side us as we walked! 

It certainly was not a disappointing experience!

Unsure of where the trail ended or how much further it continued, we ended up turning around and heading back to Neiwan's Old Street. There, we ate delicious food at the night market. We had fried potatoes and sticky rice with mushrooms and pork. 

I cannot think of a better way to spend a Saturday night: 
with my scooter, with a friend and with the fireflies of Neiwan! 

If you are interested in seeing fireflies in Taiwan from April-June, 
check out this link & map:

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