Another hilarious thing about Taiwan, there are quite a few, is the beach culture. Actually, just the culture surrounding any body of water in Taiwan. I’ll never forget the time me and a couple buddies went for a river hike to try and find some swimming holes and waterfalls. We had heard that there were some great spots and had also seen advertisements for “river trekking”, so we assumed there to be some experts in the field. I was picturing super ripped Taiwanese dudes scaling rocks and gliding over slippery slopes like they were gifted with webbed feet. So, we packed the necessities. Beer. And headed out in flip flops and board shorts to explore. Upon reaching about the midway point we heard shouting and squeeling. Maybe it’s a little kids birthday party I thought.
Then my eyes took hold of a group of 20 or so full grown adults in head to toe wetsuits, arm floaties, goggles, aqua socks and mountaineering ropes, flailing about the gentle river current like it were a death trap vortex. Not that I don’t appreciate safety or have a healthy fear of the power of rivers. But, there comes a point in which your gear is actually more hazardous than the current. My first thought is that this was a live shooting of that show MXC. The Japanese show where contestants fail to complete obstacle courses while the judges ridicule them. Then, we realized that these were the badass river Trekkers we had heard about. We didn’t even need the beer to get a few laughs in, but it certainly added to the fun as we sat back and enjoyed the show. Needless to say, Taiwan does have phenomenal swimming holes and water falls, with or without the Trekkers.