I spent my last weekend here in Taiwan with the family on the coast east of Taipei. We had a busy day starting with driving to a hiking trail near Pumpkin Falls (金瓜瀑布), a really pretty yellow waterfall surrounded by green mountains and the ocean right behind you. The strange yellow water is very distinct where the creek runs into the ocean, it makes for a pretty sceene. I thought it was really special, but then got to reading about the area and found out that the water comes from an abandoned mine and is incredibly dirty (pH 2.5)! It’s surreal to think such a pretty place is actually an environmental disaster. Afterwards we went to an old mine which has been renovated as a tourist attraction showing the old time mine and some history of the area, it was fun and interesting to see so many Korean, Japanese, and Hong Kong tourists in Taiwan.
Afterwards we drove to a nearby town called Jiufen (九份) which is also a popular tourist attraction. It’s on the side of a mountain overlooking a spectacular valley and the town makes great use of it. They have tea shops and restaurants with open air views of the valley and lots of night market type stalls. It was packed with people, cars, food, and shopping. I tried the dreaded Stink Toufu for the first (and probably last!) time, putting a memorable capstone on a great day.