About Me

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Yilan, Taiwan
I'm a Social Studies teacher and single mom from Colorado and have lived here for 9 years. Taiwan is an excellent base for us explore Asia, while living in relative (gun free) safety, while benefiting from a cheap and efficient national health care system. The people are amazing too. I have friendships that are 14 years old and I'm always making new ones.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Yilan's Best Kept Secret is My Backyard

It just so happens that right across the street from my apartment building is Yilan's best kept secret. I'm not too worried about announcing it. In fact I'd like to promote the space. Its big enough to share at 230 hectares. It's the ideal venue for a concert, wedding or festival. It certainly is my favorite spot to do some yoga, read a book, hang up a hammock, do a quick workout, or watch the sunset. I spend some portion of my Saturday or Sunday morning there and when the days were longer, after work too. I even dedicated a photo album to just this space.

So where is it? Its Yilan's County Government Building, located outside Yilan City off of Zhongshan Road. Its a great place to have a picnic, bring the dog for a run, admire the botany and architecture.

The nooks and crannies this space provides are endless, with different views of the mountains, the green fields and trees and art.  They kept and incorporated some ancient cypress trees that have long died or become petrified, they resemble ancient pillars coming out of the grove.

The second floor terraces of office are full of rock gardens, trees, plush grasses, rows of empty picnic tables with views, terraces, stone tables and chairs. Whenever I am here it is empty, which is another bonus- although having some kind of festival with music, food and theater would be awesome.

looking down onto the 2nd floor terrace

This facility has several canteenas, a beauty parlor and two coffee shops. All that's missing is a yoga studio, sauna, and gym. (I wonder if they have a breastfeeding room?) Of course on Saturday when I'm there its all closed. I wish I could visit during working hours just once and see how its like, go have a coffee and people watch.

In the inner field there is a shallow moat, devoid of life except for for green algae, water spiders and a  breeding ground for mosquitoes (bring repellent). From here admire the brick pillars and open skylights that let blocks of light in for dramatic photos. Sunsets here are nice with the sky's colors reflecting in the water, with the ancients trees like a temple in the background.

Walk back behind the trees for some metal sculptures that act as mirrors, and walk up the steps to the second floor terraces or even higher for open views. I marvel that this is someone's daily work space. I might just inquire if any of the offices are available to rent, it would be a rad apartment studio.

Despite everyone's foreboding warnings, this winter has been pretty mild.I half joke that my daughter and I brought the Tainan sunshine to Yilan. I think winter might have started last week, but the weekends have still been blessed with sunshine and clear skies, despite even last Friday's typhoon warnings. So I've been grateful to come here and veg, bring a yoga mat and my daughter and enjoy how lucky we are to have this magnificent playing ground literally as our backyard.

Why I don't see wedding photographers taking their happy couples here is beyond me. Its a photographer's and bird lover's paradise. (At least in my opinion).

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