Spring Scream aka Three-Day-Zombie


This past weekend was the Tomb Sweeping holiday long weekend. On Thursday talking with my boss she admitted most Taiwanese get together on an earlier weekend with the family to clear away debris from the ancestral tomb. So instead many of the young adults from Taiwan head to the sleepy swimming destination Kenting for a music festival known as Spring Scream.

Friday started with some mood-dampening rain and the commute by van down to the town. With no check-in at the hostel until 3 p.m. we bummed around the town and people watched one of the thousand 7 Elevens of Pingtung county.

Around eight p.m. the Kenting Night Market starts to break out its trinkets and fried goods, also little bars pop up next to “The Strip” so you can get a shot of absinthe on the walk to your party. The little line of shops that usually sells the same swimsuits and 100 NT flipflops are obstructed this weekend by commercial stands selling alcohol.

In the evening the various nearby resorts throw parties that involve dancing on the beach, and for some vomiting in the sand.


But the other side of it, quite separate from the crazy Asian public drunkenness and binge eating, is the music festival happening south of town. After getting a shuttle or taxi music enthusiasts can walk up the hill into a national park and watch bands from all over Taiwan play from afternoon to evening.  The music ranged from hard hair-band Taiwanese rock, to softer electronic and vocal heavy rock. The stages were all pretty close together and one of the stages had hammocks set up near the stage for sleepy people.

The music was alright, but mostly it highlighted my inability to understand most the language and so after rocking for a few hours I was ready to return and take a nap. Perhaps it is better to give up on music festivals and just go to shorter concerts, then the escape is easier and the music sound systems better coordinated. Although the natural layout of the park was beautiful I don’t think the music was weighed enough into the equation. It didn’t help the mood that a friend of mine was smoking at a non-designated patio area in the park and received a 2000 NT fine from a grumpy crew of National Park Smoker Haters.



Fires of Dulan


I am no surfer. The closest I came to that growing up in Montana was my sister’s two month fascination with skateboarding and bruising my tailbone in a skate park near our house.

Despite my lack of experience I jumped at the opportunity to take the train to visit the South African surfing hostel in Dulan, Taiwan. Friday evening we jumped the Kaohsiung express to Taitung arriving at one in the morning. The two hours on the train only allowed more time to enjoy libations and catching up with friends because Taiwan has no open container laws.

The local beverages of Taiwan include primarily beer, Kaoliang 高粱 a sorghum liquor and balida medicinal alcohol.  PAOLYTA is the balida brand necessary for these weekend excursions.

The trips to Dulan require surfing, beach bonfires and excessive drinking. The best places were food are the reasonable priced Vietnamese restaurant and newer Italian restaurant both on the main street. The local drinking stations include the 7Eleven and the Sugar Factory although the music happens early around 9 or 10 so get there before 11 or you will miss out.

If you find yourself in this part of the world don’t be surprised by the kindness of strangers. Don’t be surprised by the quantity of beer consumed. Don’t be surprised to be walking home from an all night beach party at five in the morning.everyonenight