Well, things clicked along today. Change from yesterday when I could not get an ATM to spit money, and when I spent a trip to nowhere trying to rent a car and got a short scooter ride instead.

Today, the ATM worked. The car was ready. I drove out of the place with less than a quarter tank of gas while thinking about the gas station just to the right. Didn’t see it immediately, but did see that I was in the scooter-only lane. Switched to the left to get out of the lane. Looked to the right. Saw the station going by.

So, between gas-getting and the wonders of freeway entrances it took almost a couple hours to get out of Taipai. Fun time, though, including mis-following directions from the world’s most perky service station person. “Perky” is the only word for the girl who pumped the gas there.

The road down the northeast coast was not fast, and not as harrowing as many have made it out to be. Sure, there were the occasional gravel/dirt/cement trucks. But, they were really the exact analog to logging trucks on the Oregon coast in behavior and situation. Passing is done on the right in what looks like a wide bike lane, but which is really a lane more or less devoted to scooters.

Lots of waves splashing against the rocky shore.

Grey day. Tinted glass in the car so it was dark the whole afternoon. Word is the weather might warm up in a couple days. That’ll be nice. Misty night tonight in Suao, when we walked around to grab some “hot pot” for dinner. (“We”, by the way, is Ciaran and Liz and myself. They are the planetranger URL referenced in an earlier post/comment.)

We drove around Suao a bit (it’s not a large town) before going by the train station. Train stations tend to have the kind of low-budget hotels we were looking for. After some study of the Chinese characters for “cheap” “hotel” (well, “travel” “small/Japanese-character/store/something”) we were given we spotted a sign with the magic characters. Score! Gotta be a car park at the station. Found a spot. Magic characters 30 feet away. Looked at rooms. Found 4 other hotels and looked ’em all over. Ended up at the first after barginning ’em down some (mid-week, non-tourist season, empty hotels).

Went to dinner. Hot pot. Lots of things, as usual, of unknown origin and makeup.

Drove some more around town, viewing the harbor’s fishing boats and the bridge that seems to be the premier attraction of the town. It’s new and rather nice looking. Saw the first Christian church I’ve seen. Or, at least, a lighted cross. This area is dotted with very impressive Bhuddist shrines. We walked through a big, new one on the road down. It had a very impressive LED sign on the top front. Big building of extavagent ornateness.

Perhaps a URL to overlook the shrine we stopped to see – watch the line breaks. And, the bright dotted areas are likely to be graveyards. Not sure, but that’s the feel I get:,121.816363&spn=0.002814,0.008949&t=h&hl=en

URL to see the Suao harbor – watch the line breaks:,121.871681&spn=0.022542,0.071591&t=h&hl=en

Internet cafe two doors down from the hotel. This is written with pint of the usual Papaya Milk I get a lot of here finished by the side of the monitor. It’s a loud, loud place. And the computer is fast. And the wallpaper is “Linage II”. And, every computer in the place, but one, is busy with first person shooters. I see 5 machines’ screens and 4 different games.

Time for bed. The sun goes down so early here that it would be good to hit the road real early. Tomorrow is the infamous 1000 foot high above the ocean road to Taroka Gorge and Huelieng.

3 Responses to “Suao”

  1. Imani says:

    Sounds like the internet cafe on Artesia (Gardena). How many machines in total? Mostly boys?

  2. Imani says:

    What shrine? A second look at google maps did not help. I could not make out a shrine – to little detail. Does the shrine have a name?

    The region looks quite lush and the water looks perfect for a swim. Are there any sand beaches (California style) for swimming or is the entire coast rocky?

    Your friends at planetranger have not posted any pictures recently. I really like their photographs – hope to see more posts.

  3. Probably 20 to 30 machines. All boys.

    Shrine is a square blob. You gotta know what it looks like from the air. And, really, I just guessed about it. Looked ok, but not sure.

    Taiwan is a palm tree place, so it’s lush, for sure.

    Agreed ’bout their pics. I’ll tell ’em you said so, too.