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Maokong Mountain, the Taiwan I’ve been waiting for.

I envisioned many weekends in Taiwan to be spent in the mountains and by the countryside. I imagined fully understanding why the Dutch colonizers called the country “Formosa” or beautiful island. I had been pretty disappointed, as all I was seeing was a busy urban sprawl.

Except that was my own fault. My introversion is a huge limiting factor. The second I reached out to an online expat group, I was invited to join the Maokong Mountain Hike. A truly wondrous day.

We first took a Gondola up to the second to last stop.

We then started our hike, the ten of us. P.S. Taiwan you’re not Berkeley enough (sorry).

We did about 8km of mountaineering in just under six hours.

Many sections was actually really steep.

Like reaching the top of the Great Wall, we also were amongst the highest mountain peaks in sight. Unlike Beijing, this is fog, not smog.

I want to talk a bit more about the group. They were very diverse: only one other “ABC” as they like to call me. Two of them are Taiwanese who studied at Cal State Fullerton, small damn world! Two studied at UC Irvine. Many have worldwide experience, including living in Thailand and the UK. Great group of folks with great attitudes. They were all troopers.

We eventually walked along a road, and I saw a tea plantation.

A photo will never capture how amazing this view is. This mountain range is huge.

And, of course, the noms at the top of the mountain. I once was starvin’ Marvin, then I was happy again.

A fantastic day. I’ll be hanging out with them more often.

To leave on a philosophical note, “You will fail 100% of the time when you don’t try.” Get out of your bubble and do stuff. Me included.

P.S. I’m going to take Trox, Jessica, and all of my physically fit friends on this hike when they come visit.

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