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Sunset from below

Depending on where you live, this kind of sunset may look fairly common. Now I’ll tell you why it’s an extremely rare event for people who live in the East coast of Taiwan.

Sunset from below

Sunset from below

The central mountains of Taiwan are extremely high. They form a very long chain of peaks above 4000m. While the Monte Bianco in Europe is a bit taller than Jade Mountain, the amount of mountains above 4000m in Taiwan is higher than in the European Alps.

This creates a massive rocky wall that blocks the rays of light long before sunset.

Sunset from below

It’s a tradeoff: we get sunrises, while the West gets sunsets. Fair enough.

On very rare occasions though, we can get a look a glimpse of the twilight. It happens very rarely and only under the following conditions:

a) Between the montains and the West coast, the sky has to be completely clear in order to let the sun shine through

b) The sky above the mountains must be clear

c) The sky the East side of the mountains must be clear enough to let some light pass through, but at the same time have some clouds to reflect the last light

Sunset from below

It may sound trivial, but the combination of those three factors is extremely rare, especially because in the late afternoon the mountains tend to be covered by clouds and haze 99% of the time.

In the foreground of some pics it’s possible to see the countryside and part of Yilan city. These pics were taken from my balcony, it was nice to enjoy this view while being comfortably at home, surrounded by gazzillions of mosquitoes. Kinda nice.