Great places in Taiwan


#1

No one will believe I’m not been sarcastic, but really I have been to a nice place. Juming sculpture museum.

He was/is(?) prolific if nothing else. Many of his works appear in the Palace Museum representative of various dynasties in China.

It’s a lovely spot on a nice day and just a short distance from Taipei.

URL below:
http://www.cisnet.com/~ralcorn/JUMING.HTM


#2

For hiking: There used to be a bloke named Lyndon Punt (there might still be a bloke named Lyndon Punt ) wrote a short weekly column in one of the toilet papers here about walks and hikes all over the island. These were eventually compiled into a slim volume that was available in Eslite, among other places. Don’t know if its still in print or available, but it has concise directions, including bus routes, road numbers, etc., simple (and sometimes misleading hand-drawn maps of the trails, descriptions of any outstanding features, etc. – even some color photos for all you skeptics who don’t believe Taiwan has any beauty . Covers everything from easy 2-hour Sunday strolls in the mountains around Taipei up to multi-day backpacking trips in the central mountain range. Worth buying if you can find it. I think its called “Hiking in Taiwan.”
I can attest to many of the hikes.

Ever been to “Monkey Trail?” This is our own name, I don’t know the official one.
Go up past Wulai for about 20 km to the village of Fushan, take the first left through the village, which takes you down across the river and up the other side. Park when you can’t drive any further and look for the trail head, which is easy to spot. This trail winds deep into the river valley through bamboo groves and broadleaf forest, through stands of red cypress, across numerous mountain streams and never more than a few hundred yards above the main river. Eventually it comes right down to the river, where there are fanstastic swimming holes with fresh, clean water (no human habitation up there). The trail leads eventually to the Fushan Forestry Research Area near Ilan, where you can have fun evading the rangers, who really hate hikers coming through. This is a good overnighter, but you have to really wrap up your food carefully or the monkeys’ll come in the night and steal anything you leave lying around.
Another good one also starts at Fushan village. Go a few yards past the left turn I already mentioned and look down to your left towards the river. You’re looking for an old suspension footbridge. Cross it and just follow your nose. This trail takes you (uphill all the way, no water available so bring your own) 17k to Lalashan, home to 2,000-year-old trees and a lovely mountain village hard on the shoulder at the top of a really big mountain. A little bit touristy on the weekend (NOTHING like Wulai, though) but good little noodle shops right across the (only) street from a stunning viewpoint where you can sit looking down at the clouds as they creep across the valley below. You can see for miles and miles. Several cheap hotels, also. From there, you can take a bus back to Sanhsia next day.

There are many, many more hikes like this all over this dirty, shitty island


#3

are these trails ridable on mountian bikes? I mean are they ‘trails’ of dirt or extended paved areas with numerous steps?


#4

We tried the Lalashan one from the Lalashan end. We got a few clicks in on good single track (a bit gnarly) but then it got very, very downhill with washouts, etc. and we ended up carrying for too long to make it worthwhile. These particular trails are not really bike-friendly, but I’ll post about some good ones later.
The 4x4 trail from the road-end to the bottom of Tapachienshan is wonderful. 25k of mud, blood and major adrenalin. Can’t remember how to get there offhand, tho.


#5

great! any biking trails you have that have nice single track sounds wonderful. i have heard many foreign riders complain about the lack of trails, but this place is full of them!


#6

Or for those steckys that don’t want to get down & dirty, how about taking the train to Keelung and changing onto the little slooooow train to Ilan.
We usually take this one to Fulung, Tashi or somewhere like that. THe train itself is so cool. Sometimes it moves so slowly you can jump off and walk alongside, or sit at the open rear door with a cool beer, a joint the size of the Holland Tunnel and your feet dangling over the side as it rolls through paddys and lush forest.
If you get off at Fulung, you can backtrack along the main road to the gas station, take the small road on your left for about 1 km to the start of the ??? Historic Trail. This takes you up a hill, through a pass and back down to a big temple further along the coast. There’s a station here where you can catch a train back to Taipei. Or go about two stations further to Tashi for a swim in the surf that gets pretty big sometimes.
I guarantee you’ll sleep like a log that night!


#7

or just take the train to keelung and stay forever cos its like heaven without all the christians though there are a fair amount of christians somehow


#8

This topic has been transferred to this forum: Living in Taiwan.


#9

Anyone been to Penghu Island?
http://www.penghu-nsa.gov.tw/

I had a great time there during the summer break. Quiet beaches, quite clean, and some nice walks. Bloody hot though, and easy to get a sunburn. Not Bali, but only 4 hours from Kaohsiung (by boat) or 45 minutes (from Kaohsiung) by plane.


#10

I wrote an article for one of the papers a while back about Penghu. They abbreviated it quite a bit, but the full version is still on my website at http://www.poagao.org/penghu.htm

Hope this helps.


#11

there are 5 foreigners living on penghu apparently doing various things like teaching and organising tours i believe


#12

For in-town hiking, there’s a great trail on Elephant Mountain near the World Trade Center. Just follow Chuang Ching Road all the way to the very end and head up the hill past the military base. The steps leading to the trail are at the very top of the mountain community up there, next to the high-rise apartment building. I’m sure there are other ways of getting there. The trail runs for miles, and if the weather’s good you can see the whole city, to at least the Grand Hotel.

I’ve heard that the tea gardens in Mucha are worth a visit, but I’ve never made it out there.

One of the best motorcycle trips I took was along the coastal highway, from Ilan to Hua Lien and then into the Toroko Gorge. Great views much of the way, but watch out for trucks.