Sometimes there are only a few kilometers between the idyll and the signs of an impending inferno. Dusk descends like a red carpet over Highway 26 in southern Taiwan. White wafts of mist hang over the rugged hinterland. Mango and banana plantations pass by the window. The area between mountains and sea produces the best fruits in the country, a tropical garden of Eden. Then the road suddenly widens. Bright yellow markings suddenly cover the asphalt. The central barrier has disappeared. From one moment to the next, the picturesque road through the orchard has become a defensive zone.
Access to all STERN PLUS content and articles from the print magazine