[quote=“Jinete Mortal”]Well, at least that’s what we call ourselves here at good old 573 JJ Lu.
In any case, we are heading to Fulong this weekend. I was curious…are there any things I have missed that I might want to check out? Things like hiking trails, hidden swimming areas, or things of that nature? Or maybe a better question is…what activities do you suggest besides the usual swim/sunbathe routine?[/quote]
The Caoling Historic trail starts right in Fulong. If you can’t find the sign ask at the Tourist Office in town. From Fulong to Daxi the trail runs for 16kilometres, but you can do shorter stretches, such as to Dali. From either Dali or Daxi you can return to Fulong by train.
The trail begins as a small road but no cars are allowed on it. After a few kilometres it heads up and over the Fulong peninsula. There are two 19th century relics to observe: both are giant inscriptions on flat stones. In addition there are frequent signs in English and Chinese explaining the local flora (who knew there were so many fig trees in Taiwan?)
The top of the trail runs along grass headlands giving you a superb view of the pacific and Turtle Island. From here you can either head down to Dali or keep going along the opens headlands to Daxi. It’s a great hike.
If you want to save time, take a taxi to the trailhead a few kilometres outside Fulong. Then up and down to Dali is only 6km or so. A good few hours hiking.
To get to the trailhead head north from Fulong. About a km or so later you’ll see a gas station on the left. Turn left and head up the road. A few kilometres later you’ll see the English sign for the Caoling (or Tsaoling Trail). Turn left again and in a kilometre or so you’ll find an obvious trailhead with signs, washrooms, decks and so on.
If you can bring or rent bikes (I think the campground just north of Fulong rents bikes) follow the route I just mentioned but don’t turn left at the Tsaoling trail. Instead continue another 2km (I think) until you see the sign for the Taoyuan Valley Trail. Go left and follow a smooth, flat road for 8 km as it hugs the banks of a clean wide creek. At places you’ll be able to leave the road and drive right up to the creek. It’s clean and people swim in it when the weather is warm.
There are a number of turns to make which I can’t possibly remember how to describe but the way to the Taoyuan valley Trail is marked (but only in Chinese so remember the characters). Most wrong turns quickly lead to small private roads. Just try to keep on what looks like the main road.
At the end of the road (the last few kilometres wind up and around) you’ll see the English signs and maps for the Taoyuan Valley trail. This trail connects up with the aforementioned Caoling.
The road is very quiet and the scenery very fresh and beautiful. You’ll only see a handful of houses and structures the whole way. You’ll also get a chance to see water buffalo in emerald green terraced rice fields, a rarity in northern taiwan now.
These are a few extra things to do in Fulong besides hang out at the beach.