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FYI SOUTH Magazine, June 2007

Sean Anthony Cooper
FYI SOUTH Managing Editor

How to Beat the Summer HEAT

Translated by Ann Lee

This summer is going to BURN.
It will fry your skin. It will make you sweat so much you'll have to shower four times a day and drink that much water back into your body. It will quickly suck your being of all those little electrolytes scientists say are so important. The greenhouse effect is heating up our planet. The ice is melting. The sky is falling.
Now there are several great options at your disposal and this publication is here to bring you relief. We have scoured the South for great ideas and have collected them here for you to try.
One of them is not to turn on your AC full blast all day. That's just cheating and doesn't get you out of the house trying new things which is our job.
But, before you read our guide on great ways to stay cool outside the house, here are some things you can do at home to save your body from heat exhaustion and your wallet from hemorrhaging money to your electric bill...

Plant shade trees on the south side of the house to help shield the house against the sun.

Don't use your air conditioner all the time, instead buy fans. They're cheap and don't use up a
lot of electricity. Even the purchase of a ceiling fan with instalation will save you money in the
long run.

When possible, open windows and use fans.

In the mornings the outside temperature is often cooler than your indoor temperature displayed on your AC. Open windows in the early, early morning and turn on some standing and ceiling fans you have. It will draw cool air throughout the house. Then after the sun has been up for a couple hours, turn off the fans and shut the windows. The house should remain cool until about noon.

Run the air conditioner from around 1 pm to around one hour after sunset.

When preparing for bed, open the windows again and run the fans (but keep those mosquito screens up!)

White Water Rafting

By Steven Crook

105, JhongJheng Rd., Baolai Village, LiouGuei Township, Kaohsiung County
Tel: (07) 688-2996 FAX: (07) 688-2997; www.launong.com.tw

Taiwan is ideal for whitewater rafting: The wet season brings huge amounts of rain, and the island's steep mountains mean fast rivers cut through some great scenery. A few hours' drive from either Tainan City or Kaohsiung City is a stretch of the Laonung River near the hot springs resort of Baolai.

Organized river trips have been setting off from Baolai for more than a decade. Laonong Whitewater Rafting Co. is one that's been going quite awhile.
Everyone got kitted out while listening to a comprehensive safety lecture (if you don't speak Chinese, don't worry; the guides will check you've got your lifejacket and helmet on properly, and will ask your companions to translate key points). Then it was into the inflatables, eight to ten people per boat.

Whitewater rafting is safe, but not for the faint-hearted. Don't be embarrassed if you scream out loud when the prow of your boat suddenly plunges into a whirlpool of froth--you won't be the only one!

The Laonung rafting course is 20 kilometers long, and takes around two hours. Rafting trips are organized between April and November each year. At the beginning and end of each season, floats are often canceled if the water level is too low. The price per person is NT$700 (NT$800 on weekends); this includes shower facilities at the end of the course, and transport back to Baolai. Calling ahead is advisable, especially if you want to raft on a weekend.

River Tracing

Words and photos by Michael Lavoy

Easily the most adventurous way to beat the Kaohsiung summer heat, river tracing has grown in popularity in Taiwan over the last five years. What is river tracing you may ask? Do I need a pencil? No! River tracing is an adventure sport that involves jumping into the cool running water of some of Taiwan's most beautiful, remote and challenging mountain rivers and tracing your way to its source. Sometimes it involves swimming, climbing, scrambling, rappelling or jumping, basically whatever it takes to get to your goal and helping each other along the way. This may sound daunting to some but it's easier than it sounds. There are trips for beginners and the experienced; you just have to be moderately fit. For the past three years day trips have been organized to MaoLin and SanDiMen by Linda Wu and Michael Lavoy. All you need to bring is yourself and an extra pair of dry clothes. For NT$2600, you are provided with equipment, insurance, guides from the Taiwan rock climbing association, transport, and a CD of pictures of your adventure. For details on upcoming trips contact Linda Wu (0917-252713) or Michael Lavoy (0912-199687).

Sunset (Shitzuwan) Beach

Words and photos by John Matthews

(07) 525-0005
51, LienHai Rd, GuShan District, Kaohsiung City
Hours: 10 am-7 pm
e-mail: hsitzuwan@yahoo.com.tw

Don't miss the beach at Sun Yat-sen University for a place close to the city to cool off this summer. You can't miss this marine water front University if you head down to the harbor and round the point where the old British consulate stands at Takao.

Listed as part of Gushan District, the campus and the beach lie just on the west side of what most foreigners call Monkey Mountain.
One interesting fact is that last summer a published report in the newspapers said that this beach had less coli form bacterial counts then some of the beaches in Kenting proper.

Unless you are a student or faculty at the University, there's a small entrance fee of NT$70 for regular adult, NT$30 for a child under 120cm and NT$120 with a meal coupon. The meal coupon gets you a basic choice of entrees from the menu and a drink. There is an on-site air-conditioned restaurant with indoor/outdoor seating and a variety of fare and drinks on the menu. You can rent boats, boards and other beach toys but weekends are the best time to inquire about these. Also beachside are comfortable and appropriate places to sit and rest under the protection from the sun, on-site washrooms and showers. There is a list of rules posted, some of which to take note include, no outside food allowed, hours are subject to change according to weather and leaving the premises requires you to obtain a stamp to return.

Organic Remedies

By Pei Ling Wu and Michael Brown Photos by Pei Ling Wu

With the overbearing summer heat on the horizon, is there an alternative to keeping cool other than turning up the AC? An internal cool-down is just as, if not more, essential, as feeling perspiration-free. Chinese concepts on dietary practices/habits emphasize 'energetic harmony' (the balance of yin and yang) of the body, which can be achieved through consuming foods with different 'energetic properties'.

Ms Tong, the owner of the organic shop Yuan Jhe, on DingSian street next to DaDi Swimming Pool, offers some insight on some Taiwanese favorites, snacked on to reduce 'internal heat' and to maintain hydration.

In addition to the obvious avoidance of spicy food, the consumption of light-colored vegetables, leafy greens, and fresh thirst-quenching fruits is indispensable. Ms Tong also recommends traditional sweet soups with ingredients such as green beans with pearl barley, tremella (Bai Mu Erh), and lotus seeds. Also, stay hydrated by drinking organic juices and teas. Typically, mulberry juice, pineapple and carrot juice, sugar cane juice, and chrysanthemum tea, all stifle your internal furnace. These beverages are available at Ms Tong's shop, which also sells freshly-made, organic detox energy drinks that are chock-full of your daily nutritional needs.

So, to combat the summer heat this year, why not start from the inside out?

63, DingSiang St, SanMin District, Kaohsiung City

Are you for scuba?

Words and photos by Alon Klekner

Feeling hot? Want to keep cool this summer?
Try scuba diving. It's incredibly fun, challenging, and one of the best ways to stay cool. There are quite a few dive shops scattered in and around the Kenting area as well as Kaohsiung. When seeking a dive shop, look for the symbols of the internationally certified companies PADI and SSI. Though diving is a great thrill, it can be dangerous for the untrained. Make sure you're going with a PADI or SSI certified instructor-they should have a certification number which you can check online. The beginning level of scuba certification is called Open Water Diver. Don't be scared though, your first couple of dives will be in a pool. Costs for a beginners course ranges from NT$10,000 to NT$14,000, including some pool dives and three to four ocean dives, instruction books, and use of all diving related equipment.
If you're not sure scuba is for you, try a Discover Scuba Dive. It involves a briefing about diving, and then you get suited up with all the scuba equipment and dive with an instructor. You don't have to worry about anything; the instructor takes care of everything for you. This is a great way to ease you into diving.

There are many great shore and boat dive sites around the Kenting area, just ask your instructor. Other first-rate places to dive outside Kenting include SiaoLiuCyou , Green Island and Orchid Island.

On a typical dive you will see, simply put, life EVERYWHERE. Beautiful alien plant-like corals of every imaginable color, hundreds of multi-hued fish of all sizes and shapes, and amazing rock formations.

For more information, check out FYI's September 2006 cover story 'The Big Blue', online at http://www.taiwanfun.com/south/kaoping/articles/0609/0609Diving.htm. There are many dive shops and instructors listed there.
Have fun, go get wet this summer!

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