Hey, Let's Travel Around Taiwan: Day 1, Manzhou
January 6, 2020
ManZhou, Taiwan Travel: Our First Stop on Our Round Island Trippin’
Driving alongside the ocean in the dark is a specific kind of feeling. We have never seen the Southern coast like this before. To the right of us, rolling black waves of the open ocean. To the left, broad mountain silhouettes blending into night sky. In front of us, all we can see is as far as our headlights will show. This stretch of drive has become infamous among those who travel this South in Taiwan. The tourist and wonderers, the locals and the foreigners, when you reach this stretch where land and water meet, there is no other choice but to turn your head and look.
The Fun House
We were about an hour out from our first destination, what we like to call ‘Fun House’. A beautiful home in Manzhou, Taiwan close to Kenting National Park, that we are renting from a friend for the next few months. The dogs greet us as we drive in (Thulas street dog friends). We get out and are reminded of the full 360 view of nothing but mountains, rivers and jungle. Tired from the previous day, but excited to get out and into our travels we settled in for the night.
300+Km (not including getting lost or sidetracked along the way)
And, no real plans to be anywhere.
Traveling ManZhou, Taiwan
Manzhou is a beautiful countryside township in the north-eastern part of Kenting National Park. Get out of the cities, get away from the tourist traps and come here. There is a new High Speed Rail stop that will soon open between Kenting and Kaohsiung, but if you want to truly enjoy Manzhou, you need to ride a bike, rent a scooter, or have a van (love sent to our Delica). Fresh air, green jungle, sounds of nature and did I mention fresh air?
Still, not many people visit Manzhou, and we (secretly) hope that it will stay that way. Manzhou is one of the most beautiful places in Taiwan. With Kenting National Park near, endless trails for biking, and no keychains in sight, it has become a very special place to us. Manzhou is not for the weary travler, but that may mean it may be for you.
Things to do in Manzhou
Okay, we’re here…Now what can we do?
- Visit Zhongshan Harbor with awe-inspiring sea & mountain views
- Ride your bicycle or scooter along beautiful Country Road 200
- Sight see old Taiwanese architecture in Manzhou Village
- Visit aboriginal Paiwan villages
- Eat at this awesome Vietnamese restaurant
- Go to 7 Tier Waterfall
- Go to the beach at Jialeshui
- Hike the Jiupeng sand dunes
Where will No Map Nomads go Next?
This is trial round trip number two. Last time we tried to take our round island trip we prepped the food, we checked the checklists, we had everything we needed packed and ready to go in the van. Then, a little bit of life happened and our our round trip Taiwan was postponed for a few months. But, nevertheless, here we are again. And so far, we have gotten a little further.
It is quite different from the hustle of people and tourists and vendors selling those black root nuts that kind of taste like chestnuts but kind of don’t. We usually drive down here on the weekends when the sun is bright and hot and we only have a short time to enjoy the specific freedoms that traveling in a van like this could bring. But this time, we have a little longer. Some more KM to cover, and unknown places to explore.
At the end of the day, all we can ever really know, is what we can see through our headlights.
“Where are we going next, Joahn?”
“To the Mushroom!”