Taiwan’s Beautiful and Bizarre Coastline: Jialeshuei

On Taiwan’s southern tip is a beautiful and bizarre stretch of coast where a unique geological cocktail of rock, including deep ocean stratum, sandstone, and coastal stone, has been moulded into alien-looking shapes by the violent wind and waves that whip and batter the coast.

This is the what it looks like.

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Riding the Crocodile V2.0

Note: This is a heavily reworked version of an article that originally appeared in Highway 11 Magazine. Don’t miss the photo gallery from the farm at the bottom of this page!

I tipped back my cowboy hat, which I had brought to wave in the air while riding the crocodile, and sized up the dinosaur-like behemoth. His head looked like that of a crocodile, but his body looked more like it belonged to giant mutant toad.  His belly spread out on the pavement beneath him like a green leather sack of water.

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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).

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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.