Why is it that however you try to get on or off the Ilan plain, you have to go through a military checkpoint?
I imagine it has something to do with the PRC doing an infiltration via the Ilan county. In case the reds dress up as tourists and attempt to do some recon on the roads leading north and west, these boys at the check points will be able raise the alarm in time to sink the disguised troop transports headed to Suao and other ports along Ilan … Or something like that.
I’ve gone to Ilan once by car, once by scooter and once by train. There wasn’t a military checkpoint any of those times. Are you exaggerating, or just unlucky?
As you come down the hill on the Ilan highway, just after you hit the flat land and just after the highway joins the coast road, there’s a permanent checkpoint manned by two soldiers and sometimes additional cops. I’ve used that road far more times over the years that I can remember and only on very odd occasions have I avoided being flagged down there, either in the car or on the bike.
There’s another as you leave the plain, either before or after Suao, I can’t remember for sure.
Its not a random thing, either – I’ve seen lines of cars waiting to be checked sometimes.
The strange thing is, I can’t recall seeing this kind of thing anywhere else in Taiwan.
They didn’t stop me. I don’t even remember seeing them. Drove south past Su-Ao too (but not far south), with noone stopping me
I also have never been stopped or even noticed a military checkpoint on the way into Ilan. And I’ve driven there many times over the years. I go to Hualien almost every summer and again, I don’t stop unless it’s to go to the bathroom. Your experience is very odd. I’ll have to ask my wife if she’s noticed the checkpoint.
ITs OK, I’ve figured it out – its simple, really – I’m living in a parallel universe.
Are you sure its military… I used to live in Ilan and every so often i would run into police checkpoints with the cops wielding their M16s. The whole purpose of which was to try and nab gangsters and drugs that used Ilan as a back way to Taipei.
Never saw them past Jau Hsi though where the road forks to become the Sea road and the mountain road back to Taipei
I know there was a military base on Turtle Island years ago that was one of the most guarded in Ilan and Taiwan, as it was understood that Ilan would be the only good place along the north and east coast for the Chinese to launch an amphibious invasion. So maybe it comes from that
Been up and back on the Beiyi highway several times and have seen the guys packing M16 heat each and every time. Never been flagged over so I don’t know what they’re up to but I’ve never had the guts to go sniffing around either. I have an obsessive aversion to strangers holding M16s.
There is another checkpoint - respectively guards - standing on the side of the road - apparently for nothing:
On the main road from Tamshui to Taipei - where it is a 8-lane highway. Before they used to have this huge signboard saying “Taipei Metropolis”, so you felt like entering something weird and amazing…
Anyway I guess the guys standing there belong to the Military Police and maybe there job is just to give the new guys a hard time, since you always see one soldier standing guard and the other one is observing him…
They probably belong to the same unit that is always driving around in black VW-Passats . The funny thing about that is - you have four soldiers with white helmets and assault rifles sitting in a VW-Passat…
The coolest thing in this respect is this big red convertible Cadillac they use if foreign presidents are diving through town: A bunch of Marx-Brother-like-uniform wearing guys sitting in this vehicle watching out that the nobody dares to get in the way of the Palau Agricultural Minister !
Oh, I saw those guys. We’d missed the turn to go over the bridge and I was trying to figure out how to backtrack, so I pulled over a little. The guy pointed his gun right at us and told us we couldn’t stop there!!!
There’s still a sign saying ‘Taipei Metropolis’ as you cross Zhong Zheng bridge from Yong He to Taipei. i like it.
I am with Sandman on this one, i drive over quite regularly using the mountain road and almost everytime see the checkpoint just a you begin to hit the flat area, but they are only stopping and checking cars leaving the Ilan area. Never really been held though as generally they just see my big ugly mug mention something about “waiguoren” and wave me through.
I have heard that the military will be out in force for the March 20th election. Does anyone have any further data on this?
Story from a certain unnamed source:
MILITARY ON FULL ALERT AHEAD OF PRESIDENTIAL POLL: MND
Taipei, March 16 (***) The military has heightened alert
in the run-up to the March 20 presidential election and Taiwan’s
first nationwide referendum to be held simultaneously, the
Ministry of National Defense (MND) said Tuesday.
Speaking at a regular MND news conference, Maj. Gen. Huang
Suey-sheng said the ministry is also closely watching mainland
China’s military movements, particularly the activities of its
submarine fleet and missile units.
Up until now, Huang said, the MND has not detected any abnormal
mainland Chinese military deployments.
Huang said the armed forces will be on a 39-hour heightened alert
to help ensure that the presidential election and
the referendum on missile defense and relations with the mainland
Huang said, the military will be at “heightened levels of alert”
in the 39 hours beginning 5 p.m. March 19 and ending at 8 a.m. March
I have no reason to suspect otherwise. We all know how huge this referendum vote is going to be, and as we all know the Chinese have been barking threats for some time now about it. Better to be safe than sorry.
[quote=“sandman”]As you come down the hill on the Ilan (Yilan) highway, just after you hit the flat land and just after the highway joins the coast road, there’s a permanent checkpoint manned by two soldiers and sometimes additional cops. I’ve used that road far more times over the years that I can remember and only on very odd occasions have I avoided being flagged down there, either in the car or on the bike.
Drove past there on the way to Fulong years back, got stopped.
Sandman is right…
There’s always a checkpoint there…Anybody that didn’t get stopped just didn’t notice it. It’s right at the tail end of the Bei-ee gong-lou right after you do that endless but fun series of switchbacks heading into Chaoshi.
Back in the old days they were everywhere and they didn’t mess around…I ran through one once and was chased down by a military vehicle on the way to Hualien back in 88…The soldier, out of breath and angry said he was going to pop off a couple of rounds to get me to stop. His partner, realizing I was not a local, waved him off at the last minute…
These “coast guards” are looking for illegal immigrants (usually women who want to be prostitute in Taiwan) from mainland China.
If there are young “girls” in your car,you will be stopped and asked for ID’s.
If some of the girls don’t have id with them, they will be asked some questions about Taiwan like who’s the hottest TV star…