Alongshore of Orchid Island

Made a sudden trip to Taidong to see Sophia’s family, and joined the throngs of scooters and sputtering blue mini-trucks that fill the streets. We also had a chance to visit the Taidong Harbor for a seafood feast last night. Quite a colorful slab of fish on the ice.

We visited the central market in Taidong as the jet fighters roared over the rooftops. Then today we drove out to the mountains nearby for a magnificent wild vegetable buffet (at Chulu Ranch). Tables lined with bushels of greens, you take whichever leaves you fancy and toss them in your own personal hotpot. From sweet to bitter to sticky, the wild vegetables all have their own flavours. After filling up on a huge feast of greens, we then wandered around the gardens in the cool mountain air. In floating ponds full of goldfish, were a bunch of exotic trees, vines and flowers, including Butterfly Orchids, which I’m told originate from the nearby Orchid Island.

As we wandered around the gardens we encountered ostriches - yes, ostriches! - and some sort of incredible black and white beetle. You know you are on a tropical island when you see one of these guys lazily strolling down a branch.