It all began with a book that Matt sent to Qx in 2007, a guidebook of Long Dong that he had written. It took us three years when we finally decided to make our way there in December 2010.
With the help of Huzi (鬍子) who we had met at a climbing event in Singapore, we hopped onto his van in Taipei and made our way to Long Dong. As we got onto the Coastal Highway, the view of the winding coastline and crashing waves in the vast and open Pacific Ocean welcomed us. The drive along the Coastal Highway remains as one of our favorite parts of the entire experience going to, and now, living around Long Dong. It gives us an ironic sense of peace and thrill.
Since then, we found ourselves returning to this place year after year, staying in different villages and small towns around LD. Enchanted by the simple and local lifestyle of living in a fishing village, supported by some basic amenities, and a close enough proximity to LD, we finally decided to set up our second home, The Bivy in Bitoujiao in May 2015.
Where is Bitoujiao (鼻頭角)?
Bitoujiao (or Bitou Cape, Bitou referring to the tip of the nose literally) is a quiet and quaint little fishing village, inhabited by less than 80 people, about 2km away from LD. Bitou Cape, alongside Fugui Cape and Sandiago Cape, the northernmost and easternmost points of the island respectively, are the three main capes that provide a beautiful spectacle of the coastline in Northern Taiwan. In Bitoujiao, residents are generally either 50 years and above or young children, and the village thrives on fishing, recreation and tourism for a living. Our neighbours are really warm and kind people, making us feel welcome and well-integrated in the community. It certainly helps that we speak Mandarin, understand a wee bit of Taiwanese and perhaps don’t stand out too much on the outlook. Living here all this while makes us realize we are so fortunate to get to enjoy nature, quietness, clean air, good spring water, small catches of fresh seafood and seaweed and other local produce.
As for every climbing destination we head to, we believe in staying put at a place long enough to truly enjoy its climbing and the lifestyle of just being there. Living in Bitoujiao for almost three years now, we have picked up some tips and tricks about living and getting around, and many other things LD and its proximities offer. With this, we are happy to announce that every Wednesday for the following weeks, we will publish what we have learnt through a series of #LDlifehacks on our FB page and website. We hope this will serve as useful information for all climbers and visitors to know and enjoy Long Dong better.
Look out for updates and safe climbs peeps!