Every year between February and May, Laomei (老梅) in Taiwan’s north coast attracts lots of cameras and tripods to capture this truly unique coastal feature.
Laomei was one of the places I loved the most as a kid. My dad took us there a often. I still remember that one day of geography and nature tour of Taiwan’s north coast when I was about 10 years old. My dad signed me up and went there with me. It was one of the best day ever, fully packed with knowledge and excitement. And that’s how I learned about the history and geology of my lovely island.
After the two eruptions of the Datun Mountain 2.5 million years and 700,000 years ago, volcanic rocks formed along the north coast of Taiwan. Softer parts had been washed away in waves throughout the years and these wave-cut gullies were formed. The winter monsoon brings the right conditions for the sea lettuce and other species of seaweed to grow. The reefs are covered with different kinds of seaweed from February to May. Then the seaweed gradually dies under summer sunshine starting in May.
To give you an idea, Laomei is about one hour in driving distance from Taipei Main Station. About 39 km or 24 miles. Public transportation is available. Take the metro to Dansui Station on the red line, and then transfer to bus 862 or 863 to Laomei station.
Be sure to check the tide table on Central Weather Bureau’s website for the area of 石門. The reefs are typically covered under water during high tides.
We dropped by Laomei on the way to a family gathering. It was only February 1. Very early on in the green algae reef season. Probably less than one fifth of the reef was covered in green. Still, about six or seven people were there with cameras. On the way here, I was thinking that it was too bad that I did not bring my tripod back home with me. To my surprise, my dad brought his tripod for me! I did not have a ND filter so I was only able to capture the splash. A filter is going to be my next photography investment so that I can come back to shoot the dreamy, fog-like coast next time! Another great topic to shoot here is the scene of locals picking seaweed on the reef.
This was day 2 after I downloaded ProHDR, so of course I took out my phone to try it out here.