Luodong continues to surprise me. Charlie and I moved to Taiwan in November 2012 partly due to our shared enjoyment of Taiwanese cinema. In the early stages of our relationship, back in the UK, we bonded over Wong Kar-Wai’s My Blueberry Nights and Tsai Ming-Liang’s Rebels of the Neon God. Months later, we were seemingly randomly allocated to a school in the quiet township of Luodong by main office. We arrived in Taiwan on the 22nd of November 2012. Only a few days later, November 24th in fact, the Golden Horse awards, widely considered the Chinese language equivalent of the Oscars, were held just minutes from our new apartment. Prestigious directors and actors flew from many miles to be a part of the festival. And we missed it.
Don’t make the same mistake we did; if you are in Yilan be sure to visit Luodong’s airy Cultural Working House and it’s vertiginous Sky Gallery.
See: What is in my opinion an elegant example of modern Taiwanese architecture, as well as a worthwhile exhibition. Charlie thinks that the building looks like a steel girder scrap heap from a British industrial closure. Each to their own. Events are also held frequently.
Eat and drink: at one of the many arty cafes next to the museum. Strangely I’m drawn to Amy’s Cafe all the more because it is run by an organisation that is disliked by the mainland Chinese government.
Run: at hands down the most beautiful running track I have ever seen. You can find it on the far side of the Working House’s ground.
Read: at the impressive library next to the running track. You’ll have to be able to read Mandarin of course, unless you just want to use the free wi-fi. Impressively the well air-conditioned library is largely solar-powered. Even more impressively I have rarely seen so many children enjoying reading in one place.