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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

"biking" in Nanlaio

There are many endearing things about Taiwan, and one of them is how plain old silly some names are for businesses or places or people. Just to give you an idea-- I work with people named Spock, Tree, and Ice. 

Just a few blocks away from our apartment, there is a hotel called The Fancy Hotel for Fancy People. We have never stayed there because we are just not sure that we are fancy enough despite the fact that the hotel itself looks run down from the outside. Across the street from the hotel stands a signs that reads "The Fantasy World of Successful People Park-->". We have also never visited this park although I am very intrigued by the name. 

The first really silly name we came across in Taiwan happened long before we actually moved; in the brochure about Hsinchu that our international school gave us, we came across a place called The 17 Kilometers of Splendid Coastline. We giggled instantly. In Washington State, we have plenty of "splendid coastlines", but they are just called names like North Beach or Rockaway Beach. 

After we arrived in Hsinchu, we scooted out to the coastal town of Nanliao with some of our friends so we could see the beginning of this 17 kilometers of apparently beautiful coastline. However, we were not very impressed by the cement beach walls or rocky beach. For years, we just laughed whenever anyone would talk about going to Nanliao. 

However, as it turns out, we were kinda wrong. Although the name does create lofty expectations, the coastline is actually pretty awesome. We only found this out a few weeks ago after we rented electric bikes and "rode" down the bike trail along the coast. The bike path is beautiful and lines the Strait of Taiwan. Sometimes it passes through groves of trees, other times it passes by temples, sometimes it goes over funky rainbow bridges, and sometimes it just hugs the water. 

In the end, the entire coastline was so much better than its beginning suggested. We had so much fun enjoying the breeze and riding these silly bikes, especially Ruby. She sat on Sean the whole time snuggly secure in her front pack. She loved the bell on the bike and watching people come and go!

This is one experience we are going to try to recreate before we head back to Washington State in 10 short weeks!

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