Taiwan Day 48: Conference turned to Hiking - Oct. 18, 2013 | Travel in Asia

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Taiwan Day 48: Conference turned to Hiking - Oct. 18, 2013

I attended the first day of the 2013 BIT (Bioinformatics in Taiwan) conference in NYMU (National Yang Ming University). Although there is a free shuttle bus from Academia Sinica to NYMU, I decided to take the MRT to have some adventure. I wanted to see Shipai Station of the Tamsui Line. This station is in the same train track as the Jiantan Station (Taiwan Day 42). There is nothing special in Shipai Station. I almost got lost in finding NYMU but since I have a map that I have printed from the conference website I was able to find NYMU.

I have observed that the NYMU campus is located on a hill slope. This in contrast to most universities that I have visited wherein the campus is generally flat. There is no registration fee in joining this conference and there area lot of speakers from different institutions like Johns Hopkins, MIT and University of Pennsylvania. I also have my PhD classmates with me in that conference, Alcides from Peru and Divya from India. The food was also free so I really enjoyed listening to the talks. hehe!

During lunch time, I have learned from one NYMU student that there is a hiking trail in the campus. Out of curiosity and since I am not interested in the talks in the afternoon, I decided to go and hike the unknown trail. It's my first time to hike a mountain in Taiwan and it is not planned. It is an exciting experience! The name of the hiking trail is Junjian Yan Hiking Trail. The total distance that I climbed up is 500 meters, that is according to the marker in one of the steps at the top of the trail. At the top was some sort of white rock (In the NYMU conference map, they called it battleship rock), it maybe limestone but I am not sure. The wind was so strong and I am a little scared because I am alone in the peak. I might lose my balance while taking pictures and video and fall to the cliff! I don't want my hiking experience to become a scene in a Final Destination movie. I took a 360 degree video of the place. I can still go higher but it was too dangerous. The wind was blowing strong.

All of my effort in climbing the trail was rewarded by the fantastic view of Taipei City. I can still see Taipei 101 behind a mountain but in the video you will find it difficult to spot Taipei 101. Going down the hiking trail, you will still see great views of Taipei City. Taipei City is surrounded by mountains (Taipei Basin as they say) so I have a lot of mountains to climb and this hiking experience will not be the last but just the start!

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