Last week did a bit of walking…..but didn’t use these boots, which my student assured me were really useful when she was bored in class.

Drove over to Hsin Tien (”new field”) between Tanzi and Fengyuan for some enjoyable hiking on the trails in that area with Jim of Sponge Bear fame.

The road to the hiking area is on Fenghsing Rd. across from this cute police station….

…and up this road.

A sign points the way.

There’s a large parking lot….

…with the inevitable KTV next door. Although it was only 8:30 am, singers were already going strong…or perhaps they were left over from the previous night.

Trails criss-cross the area, all accessible from the trailhead lined with vendors.

The walkways are in good condition and well developed.

Not very steep, in most cases, except for the intial ascent to the ridgeline.

If the day hadn’t been so hazy — a hazard of late fall and winter when the weather in Taichung is sunny and typhoon-free, the views would have been excellent.

As it was, there was plenty of wildlife…

…and small farms in the valleys. And finally, we reached that fabled spot, long rumored to exist somewhere in the mountains of Taiwan, where KTVs cannot be heard.

Taiwan’s trails are filled with senior citizens, all of whom are in better shape than I am, judging from the ease with which they blow by me on the stairs.

After we descended from the ridge, we ran across this fellow making off with a load of old tires he’d rescued from a pile near the side of the road.

The road wound through the usual collection of irrigation canals and betel nut groves.

One thing not so common anymore: furniture dumping. Years ago, when I lived in Taipei, people used to routinely dump old furniture on roadsides or off of bluffs and cliffs. That behavior seems to be on the wane.

We came to this lovely bridge which led….

…to nowhere.

Last week I also had a good time walking around Tainan in the evening.

At dinnertime the bus stations and trains are filled with high school and junior high students making their way home. Taiwan’s 14 hour working day begins in junior high school.

No! Don’t eat that!

A small shopping center in Tainan lit up at night.

A well presented selection of edibles.

Across from a small vocational high school, students gather at tea stands.

A large store and theater complex.

Tainan’s alleys are just as mysterious by night as by day.

Speaking of mysterious, why did someone leave (1) glasses, (2) a hat; and, (3) a die atop this transformer?

A temple by night.

Children at play.

The Indian restaurant in Tainan. Haven’t tried it yet.

Monks chanting in a local temple.

A market, silent at night.

Mother and child vanish into the darkness….

A small stir-fry place sets out its food for the evening rush.

Stopping for a bowl on a warm winter evening.

A temple at the end of an alley.

Laying down the concrete.

The Hangout, a local bar.

Get tanned in Kenting instead. It’s more fun.

Cosby’s in Tainan. Most of the food is forgettable, but the NY Strip Steak is not to be missed.