// MY NAME IS DANIELAnd after years of dreaming I've sold everything I own and set off on the open road. I've made this site as a sort of photo journal of my travels. The map shows where I've been (red), where I've stayed a month or more (yellow), and where I plan to go (white). And so, armed with little more than a backpack, a camera, and a dream, I now take the road less traveled by. So it goes.
TAIPEI Though I prefer to travel by land, I had little choice but to fly between the island nations of east Asia: Hong Kong to the Philippines to Taiwan (and later to Japan to Korea). Taipei turned out to be a very nice and energetic city, with dozens of truly stunning Buddhist and Taoist temples. The city also had charming neighborhoods of narrow lands and interesting cafes and shops and some night markets filled with people and energy. It also has an amazing metro system, similar to the one in Hong Kong. For a bit of history, Taiwan was a remote province of China, home to some indigenous tribes. During the Civil War between the Nationalists and the Communists, the Nationalist government fled to Taiwan with plans to take back the rest of China. Now both countries claim the other as their own. In fact, Taiwan's official name is 'The Republic of China'.
PENGHU ISLANDS The Penghu Islands are a group of tiny islands between Taiwan and China. I spent most of my time on the little paradise island of Jibei, which is a sand bar beach with a small historic village and some beautiful temples.
WULAI Wulai is a mountainous district south of Taipei. I went camping here with a local family who also brought me to a museum of the local indigenous people of the area known as the Atayal, which is the third largest indigenous group in Taiwan. The Atayal had a warrior culture, where men earned their facial tattoo only after bringing back a head from battle. Women earned theirs from displaying the ability to weave. Only those with facial tattoos were allowed to marry. You can see some artifacts and photos of the facial tattoos on some of the older people below. This was my last stop in Taiwan before heading to Japan.