Archive for March, 2010

JoB likes: HUNTING FOR WATERFALLS

March 30, 2010

I had spent most of Sunday morning studying Chinese, so by the time 3pm rolled around I was ready to road trip it to the mountains for some fresh air and greenery.

I found this video on YouTube about a waterfall supposedly 30 minutes outside Taichung City, called Siannyu Waterfall. My boyfriend and I decided we must find it as summer is just around the corner and it would be great to have a place to swim and escape the crazy Taiwanese summer heat.

So… off we went.

The Bat Hole (Toubiankeng Bat Cave) – a series of very narrow caves that you can climb through. We didn’t go into the caves because we didn’t have a torch and my shoes were too precious to me to risk them being covered in bat s*&t, but we’ll go back another time better equipped.

Some locals were swimming in a large waterhole in the river below the caves. One kid was contemplating jumping from the cliff into the water  but he backed out in the end.

Carrying on down the road we saw this sign. We were on our way!

Plantations of fruit trees and betelnut palms covered the hills either side of the road. Each piece of fruit was individually wrapped in a white paper bag, giving the hillsides a polka dot pattern that you can’t really appreciate in this photo.

We made a quick detour from the task at hand to climb the hill and check out the view. Amazing!

Found it! After a dodgy drive down a crazily small and ill-kept road we finally found the start of the waterfall. Very remote and surrounded by amazingly steep mountain peaks.

There are tons of potential swimming spots downstream from the start of the waterfall.

A secretive cafe just up from the waterfall, filled with pottery casks of… something. We didn’t try it out this time but it looks like the perfect place to relax post-swim. Bring on summer!

How to get there: Take Highway 136 from Taichung City and follow the Siannyu Waterfall signs. They’ll take you past the Toubiankeng Bat Cave. The waterfall is in the Taiping Wine Cask Mountain area. The drive should take you between 30 – 50 minutes, depending on which part of Taichung you are coming from and how comfortable your scooter seat is.

You might also like:

Follow JoB on Bloglovin or join the JoB Facebook group.

Thank you for supporting jar of buttonsCopyright © 2010. This website is for personal non-commercial use only. All written work and imagery copyright to jar of buttons unless otherwise stated.
Advertisements

finds: adelaidian freestyle sewing

March 28, 2010

I’ve stolen a couple of pics from Australian writer and festival director Lisa Dempster’s blog to publish here, but only because I love them so. Lisa recently attended the Format zine fair in Adelaide, Australia, where she stumbled across Laura Haigh’s freestyle sewn portraits. They’re just beautiful, don’t you think?

You might also like:

Follow JoB on Bloglovin or join the JoB Facebook group.

Thank you for supporting jar of buttonsCopyright © 2010. This website is for personal non-commercial use only. All written work and imagery copyright to jar of buttons unless otherwise stated.

write up: match cafe

March 26, 2010

Today, my lovely friend and work colleague introduced me to Match Cafe, a comfortable and  eatery near the corner of TaiZhongGang Road and Wenxin Road here in Taichung.

The cafe is full of designerly ambience: the book shelves are filled with literature on design (and other topics) which you can browse while you sip. You can also browse a number of different hand-designed/made items for sale, from stationery and clothing to biscotti and computer accessories.

There is an English menu with a small but satisfactory selection of bagels, sandwiches and sweet things, and an extensive selection of coffees, chocolate drinks, juices and teas. I had a smoked salmon sandwich with lettuce, tomato and mustard on brown walnut bread. Yum. The hot chocolate was more than decent, too.

My friend likes to visit the store because of the free wireless internet access. The shop apparently has a meeting for Mac users once a week, I can’t remember which day though and I think you’d need to speak Chinese or go along with someone who can.

I recommend you try it out. It’s one of the best cafes I’ve had the privilege to relax in here in Taichung. So thank you lovely friend and work colleague – you know who you are!

Match Cafe, 60-3, TaiZhongGang Road, Sec. 2, Taichung City

http://www.match-cafe.com/

You might also like:

Thank you for supporting jar of buttons.
Copyright © 2010. This website is for personal non-commercial use only. All written work and imagery copyright to jar of buttons unless otherwise stated.

critique: is taichung soulless?

March 22, 2010

Can we really say that Taichung is a soulless city? Well, I kinda think yes.

A recent article is doing the rounds of all the English language newspapers in Taiwan. It discusses the possibility that Taichung is a soulless city, a city searching for it’s identity. After having lived here for a year, I must say that I think it is. It seems that there was once potential for it to become a culturally active city, but I feel that it has let those opportunities pass, or hasn’t promoted what it already has.

Stock 20

Being an inland, centrally positioned city often has its disadvantages and Taichung is not quite near the coast and not quite near the mountains. While the Dakeng Scenic Area is only a short scooter drive from Taichung’s Beitun District and is a really nice hiking trail area, the coastal areas near Taichung Port are underdeveloped and lacking promotion. In the same regard, central Taichung (the area around Taichung Train Station) has fallen into disrepair: “it would take at least five to six years to complete urban regeneration of the downtown area, the city’s earliest developed region which has lost its luster after business activities had moved elsewhere as Taichung developed into a multi-core city.”

Art Street

The article in the China Post goes into more detail regarding the past, present and future-planned developments of Taichung so I’ll let you read it for yourself here.

There are really only a handful of great places to eat, drink, view art and listen to music but overall, I feel there is a slim picking of cultural events, particularly public cultural events, to choose from each year. Perhaps I feel this way because I can’t access information in Chinese but I feel that after living here for a year and a bit I would know about at least the big events.

Sunday movies at Cat Lair

Of course, I don’t think the city is completely without soul. Here’s a quick list of my cultural, soul-growing spots and events:

Cat Lair (I just discovered that on Sundays they play movies outdoors just after the sun sets)
Stock 20
National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts
Art Street – particularly the shop Hukurou
Taiyuan Flea Market
Taichung Jazz Festival
Taichung International Food and Music Festival

Let me know if you know of any other eateries, bars, galleries or events by leaving a comment. I’d LOVE to learn more about the city. Prove Taichung’s soul to me!

You might also like:

Thank you for supporting jar of buttons.
Copyright © 2010. This website is for personal non-commercial use only. All written work and imagery copyright to jar of buttons unless otherwise stated.

news: the dearth will not continue

March 19, 2010

Sorry for the complete dearth of posts over the last month or so. I left my previous branch and started at a new one, have been writing a lot for Art Radar, and have begun taking Chinese classes five days per week at Feng Chia University here in Taichung. I’m also totally broke and am moving house in a few weeks. So, I’ve been stupidly busy with all this stuff to think about and am waiting for it all to settle down.

Once again, apologies all round. I will be sure to get some tantalizing reads up here again in two or three weeks time. Don’t abandon me just yet!

In the meantime you can read the latest issue of Waterfall Magazine, available for purchase here.

source