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An Unexpected Trip along Taiwan's Northeastern Coast

We had just sold the Beemobile for dirt cheap as it was giving us hell on the road. I kept worrying that every trip to the store or the park would cause an accident and put our lives in danger. Then, the 5-day weekend came along and somehow, I missed the memo. We had zero plans.

Being bored out of our minds after two days indoors, I proposed we take Zee to the beach. But which beach would we go to? I remembered that my friend Elaine and I had camped at Fulong Beach back in 2017. This idea would kill two birds with one stone: 1. Zee would get a beach to play sand at, and 2. Bernie would get to camp again and make use of all the gear he had bought last year.

But still we had no transportation. Taking the train would become a daylight nightmare for two reasons:

Firstly, we have never taken a train for longer than 1 and a half hour with Zee so we do not know how much screaming and wiggling would be involved. I just paid NT$2,500 in fines last week and I was not about to get more for not being able to keep quiet in the train.

Did you know: you can get fines in Taiwan's public transportation?

also, Zhubei is a Fine City~

The second reason would be that the logistics from moving all the camping gear and personal items from home using different public transportation would be way too much for our stress level management, so we decided to rent an iRent. Funny.

Proudly using his Mandarin, Bee made the reservation at LongMen Campsite. We packed and cleaned the house in less than one hour - oh, the motivation - and went to pick up the iRent.

After a two-hour drive, we arrived at our destination and set up camp.

Since we didn't bring items to cook, we took a 15-minute walk from the Camping Grounds to the main street. The narrow streets were greatly guarded by transportation officers for smooth and safe access for pedestrians. We bought dinner, snacks and beer from the local FamilyMart and made our way back. The almost full moon was our guide through the nearly dark street-side path leading to the camp site. Once there, we used the amenities and explored a bit while quickly peeping at our neighbors' gear. Boy, are we novices to the game. There's so much more gear to buy! We will definitely need an SUV in the future. My excuse.

Zee loves the idea of camping. She likes to play outside and being inside the tent. She tinkers with daddy's tools, loves to manage the light modes of her lamp and especially adores rolling on the air mattress.

Bee and I had planned on hanging out with each other outside the tent to drink beer after the little one fell asleep but Zee's excitement and energy would not let this be. We gave up around 10:30 pm, turned on the lamp, snapped open our beers and cheered. To Camping!

The next morning, most campers were already packing up their belongings around 7:30 a.m. Bee went to buy some coffee latte for us both; some warm milk for the toddler. We enjoyed our Maple pancakes at the common area. Next on the agenda, the BEACH!

Fulong Beach's free area seemed to have changed over the course of the years, the beach had more rocks and sadly, more scattered garbage. The windy day did not stop us from relaxing under the sun for at least one hour. Bee built castles while Zee destroyed them.

When Zee started to complain of sunburn we called it quits and packed up. The looming, gray clouds also aided in our speedy escape. It was time to head home...

I didn't want to return home at 11 am, I thought, there must be something else we can see and do around here. I found a lighthouse on Maps and suggested we make a stop. The Mandarin name is San Diao Jiao and I laughed when the voice said you have arrived at San Diego Lighthouse. I thought, oh, now I get it. Bernie said something about there being another San Diego Lighthouse in the USA and this being some sort of replica. I guess he was right, I didn't check.

Although the strong winds were very discouraging to even leave the car, we wrapped up Zee into the yellow and gray burrito of a jacket and made the quick stop.

Thereafter, Bee decided we would just drive along the Coast on our way back home. This became our favorite part of the entire trip. Just WOW!

Along the Coast, we noticed that there are many car parking spaces.

At first, I just considered them as rest areas for the weary. But there was one spell that we made an abrupt stop along the way. I even forgot the reason I asked Bee to stop the moment I lay eyes on the splashing sea water against some high rocky cliffs. Heaven on Earth. There was even a gazebo for people to take a better view of the surrounding breathtaking scenery.

The more we drove, the more beautiful sceneries we encountered.

We drove by some very old and degrading architecture, the thought of taking photographs did not occur. We were bedazzled with the fusion of high mountain peaks on the left and the dark, emerald ocean on the right.

Driving through short, fully-enclosed tunnels and an arch-like tunnel which allowed the free view of the ocean, made us feel like we were part of a movie being filmed. It was relaxing and it was gratifying.

Finally, we stopped to add gas and buy some light snacks and entered the freeway on a perpetual downhill drive to Hsinchu - home. We were glad to have taken that unexpected family trip to the Northeast Coast of Taiwan. It was so worth it!

I have an inkling feeling Bee can't wait to have another chance to drive through that Coastal road once again. Should we head to Yilan next?

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Apr 08, 2023

Oh my goodness, May! This was so well written and made me feel that I was there with you and your family! Did I mention that you have a way with words?


Apr 07, 2023

I was wrong about the light house. Haha 😂. I can’t wait to do drive the costal road. Next stop Yilan.

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