British vlogger shares stories of getting outdoors in Taiwan

Richard Hazeldine plans to climb Taiwan's '100 peaks'

Richard Hazeldine (right)

Richard Hazeldine (right) (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — British vlogger Richard Hazeldine is not only a big fan of Taiwanese cuisine, he is also enamored of the nation’s mountains and has committed to climbing its "100 peaks."

Hazeldine lived in Taiwan for 17 years, marrying into the nation, before reluctantly moving to Singapore, where he has been for five years, according to CNA.

In Britain, the vlogger laments that he was rarely able to see the mountains or the ocean due to his inland upbringing. When he first came to Taiwan to learn Mandarin in 1998, he grew enchanted with the green and mountainous nation.

Over the years, he would get involved in many activities he had been unable to partake in back home, such as mountaineering and riding motorcycles. Upon arrival, he quickly fell in love with the local cuisine.

The vlogger has been sharing his stories through his YouTube channel “Richard's Asia Hikelopedia.” The mountains and trails he has set foot on include Snow Mountain, Hehuan Mountain, Chilai Mountain, Caoling Historic Trail, Stegosaurus Ridge, and the three peaks of Xiaozi, Cimu, and Putuo in New Taipei Cityá Pingxi District.

According to Hazeldine, the most intimidating trail in Taiwan is Taroko National Park's Zhuilu Old Road. The trail has a section where a mere 1.5-meter-wide pass is all that is between the cliff face and a 500-meter drop into the river valley below.

The vlogger also described his two-day trip up the north peak of Chilai Mountain as a very special experience, praising the magnificent landscapes of vast clouds and alpine mists.

Hazeldine pointed out that climbing Chilai Mountain, and especially its north peak, is quite a challenge for most people, and mountaineering disasters have occurred along the trail. This has spawned ghost stories that circulate among hikers, though the Briton notes he has never encountered any supernatural phenomena.

After living in Taiwan for so many years, Hazeldine regrets that he has been unable to leave Singapore during the COVID-19 pandemic. Taiwanese delicacies are constantly on his mind. While the only Taiwanese snacks in Singapore available to him are braised pork rice and grass jelly, his father-in-law in Taiwan has sent him high mountain tea.

(Asia Hikelopedia channel video)