Yenshuei Fireworks Festival 2010 Photo Gallery

The Yenshuei Fireworks Festival (Yenshuei Fong Pao) is a festival held in the Yenshuei township in Southern Taiwan every year.  During the festival millions of fireworks are shot out of large hives into crowds of revelers dressed in heavy clothing and full-face motorcycle helmets.  Each hive may contain as many as sixty thousand fireworks.  If proper safety precautions are taken, the activity is not very dangerous.  However, each year some people are injured.  To learn more about this festival, read my post Standing in the Fireworks.

Read more

Watch it Now! The Vice Guide to Liberia

A few years ago Vice Magazine, a punk counterculture magazine that started out as a welfare work scam and grew into an international trend setting voice for youth culture, started an online television station called  Like the magazine, The television station produces borderline gonzo new journalism style documentaries about the edgiest and wildest topics that you could imagine.  The work that the station has done is of such a high caliber, and so interesting, that CNN has partnered with them.

Read more

Wang Yeh Burning Boat Festival Taiwan

The Wang Yeh boat burning festival occurs once every three years.  Disease spreading ghosts, or Wang Yeh, are lead onto the boats by priests and mediums.  The boat, sitting atop a mountain of ghost money (money burned by locals for the benefit of their dead ancestors) is then burned, sending the spirits back to their world, hopefully taking their plagues with them.  This year, I believe, there was a special focus on H1N1 (the Swine Flu).

Read more

Riding the Crocodile | Highway 11 Magazine

The Crocodile King Farm in Taiwan’s Madou Township is the most bizarre zoo I’ve ever seen. Exhibits include a random cross section of exotic animals from Taiwan and around the world, an extensive collection of reptiles, and a large number of mutant animals including two mutant goats, several mutant ducks and chickens, and a two-headed turtle. The main attraction, though, is an enormous crocodile, which may well be the fattest crocodile in the world, on which visitors are invited to sit. You can view a gallery of my pictures from the zoo here.

Crocodile King Exotic Mutant Animal Farm

A photo essay I shot on a trip to the Madou Crocodile King farm, a small private zoo in Tainan County, Taiwan, that features various exotic and mutated animals and one gigantic crocodile.  The crocodile, stuck in a tiny pen for several years, has become extremely fat.  Seriously.  The largest crocodile ever recorded was 8.6 m long and weighed 1,350 kg.  This croc, according to the sign, was 5.2 m long and 1250 kg, which puts it in the running for the fattest croc in the world.  It’s so fat and slow that you can walk up behind it and sit on it.  We did.  Check it out.

Read more

Ultramarathon Man: An Interview with Kevin Lin

Photography courtesy of Kevin Lin
Xpat Magazine December, 2006

ultramarathon_manWhen Kevin Lin, a postgraduate student and Taiwan’s most famous endurance athlete, agreed to an interview with Xpat I was stoked. Kevin is an internationally renowned ultramarathon champion. He races distances measuring in the hundreds of kilometers through extreme climates such as deserts and arctic snowfields. He was recently commissioned by Matt Damon’s movie company, LivePlanet, to join a team of three endurance athletes that will run over 4000 miles across the Sahara desert in less than 80 days (more than two marathons per day). If you mention his (Chinese) name to your Taiwanese friends they will undoubtedly nod in recognition. This was going to be a groundbreaking interview for Xpat – our first real celebrity.

Read more