Sean Anthony Cooper
FYI SOUTH Managing Editor
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
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
lot of electricity. Even the purchase of a ceiling fan
with instalation will save you money in the
When possible, open windows and use
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
White Water Rafting
By Steven Crook
105, JhongJheng Rd., Baolai Village, LiouGuei Township,
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.
Words and photos by Michael
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
Words and photos by John
51, LienHai Rd, GuShan District, Kaohsiung City
Hours: 10 am-7 pm
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.
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
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
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!