any plans for the chinese new year?
I’m not sure if your post was a simple inquiry of others’ plans or a desire to be involved in “anything”. If the later be true, I and a mate are going camping. I have done this over the last several years and have had a great time everytime. We initially had a full compliment of folks going but one woman got sick and went home to Canada. Her daughter followed to take care of her. Another guy got “cold feet”. So right now, it’s just me and another guy. We are both older farts. (Claim to be 40ish but . . . . ) We like to have a drink and just have fun. If the weather is nice, we will use a tent and campgrounds. If it’s cold and wet, we will try to find inexpensive motel rooms. Nothing serious. Just ride our scooters and have a good time. Itinerary includes leaving Tuchen (south of Banciao) from Yongnin Station at about 10 am on Saturday. We will go to ShimenShueiKu and then on hiway 7 over to Fushon and down to N/S highway 7 where we will camp. Good location there. I know of a natural hotspring in the mountain stream that is not often frequented. Then over to the East Coast and down to Hualien to camp at Ocean Park and watch the fire works. Then the next day, up through the gorge to Lishan and another night. Next day, through the “High Mountain Farm” down to Puli. Weather will dictate to stay or push on to Taichung. From Taichung, up the mountain divide back into Banciao. If this sounds intersesting, give it a thought and let me know.
We dont know each other but hell, go have some fun. My mate and I are fun guys and pretty laid back. We like to have a drink and bullshit runs deep. Let me know.
me too but am going to have some free day at least… am planning going to HuaLien of Taichung for two days
[quote=“Enigma”]I’m not sure if your post was a simple inquiry of others’ plans or a desire to be involved in “anything”. If the later be true, I and a mate are going camping. I have done this over the last several years and have had a great time everytime. We initially had a full compliment of folks going but one woman got sick and went home to Canada. Her daughter followed to take care of her. Another guy got “cold feet”. So right now, it’s just me and another guy. We are both older farts. (Claim to be 40ish but . . . . ) We like to have a drink and just have fun. If the weather is nice, we will use a tent and campgrounds. If it’s cold and wet, we will try to find inexpensive motel rooms. Nothing serious. Just ride our scooters and have a good time. Itinerary includes leaving Tuchen (south of Banqiao) from Yongnin Station at about 10 am on Saturday. We will go to ShimenShueiKu and then on hiway 7 over to Fushon and down to N/S highway 7 where we will camp. Good location there. I know of a natural hotspring in the mountain stream that is not often frequented. Then over to the East Coast and down to Hualian to camp at Ocean Park and watch the fire works. Then the next day, up through the gorge to Lishan and another night. Next day, through the “High Mountain Farm” down to Puli. Weather will dictate to stay or push on to Taichung. From Taichung, up the mountain divide back into Banqiao. If this sounds intersesting, give it a thought and let me know.
We dont know each other but hell, go have some fun. My mate and I are fun guys and pretty laid back. We like to have a drink and bullshit runs deep. Let me know.[/quote]
looks like a lot of adventure, you guys do that every new year?
Bangkok, again this weekend! Last minute flight, gotta go.
Gongxi fa cai . . . hong bao na lai . . . and all that!
Sod four days of rain. Toodlepip!
Well, we got back from the “adventure” about 2 hours ago. Some of the trip was truly adventure, some just a nightmare from hell. We did leave Tuchen as planned. We got to 7/7/N/S and took a dip in my favorite hotspring. Someone has upgraded last year so now there is an inlet pipe complete with 2 1/2 inch plastic valve. I’m not complaining about this but - - - having a drink while struggling with the ubiquitous broken shovel, waiting to take a dip, may not be a definate improvement. Anyway, the family of 30 that were occupying my “private” hotspring were dressing and reading to leave when we got there. We kindly waited until the last toddler rounded the corner and enjoyed an hour of “near” bliss. Then, dressed, almost, and North on 7 into Tatung township. Camped at the hotel on the south side of the bridge. They fed us well and we met up with a tour bus operator that had just brought in a family of 29. The family were pretty cool. The bus driver, even better. We had a bottle of scoth which the bus driver doubled. By the light of the silvery Coleman, we did them right and hit the sack at about 2:00 AM. Heard the bus firing up in the “too damn early” dawn, and got set to head East to Suauo. The American’s have recently sold some ships to Taiwan and I wanted to see them first hand. We managed to take a wrong turn and ended up missing the harbor. Anyway, then on southward along the coast to Hualien. Ocean Park is not easy to find the first time throught this place. I never noted directions before and have found it by luck. THis time, I thought I would let everyone know. I went into central Hualien and found Heping Rd. Take a left toward the ocean and it runs straight into the park. Now there are several nice places to put up a tent. You can go on Heping into the park and straight up to what I would call a SEAWALL with a T. Take a left during busy times and you will find a ramp up and over the seawall and down to a boardwak, lined with benches. Take a right on the booardwalk on your Motorscooter and watch for a flat grassy area to park your tent. We did this time and it was absolutely great. You can also put your tent on the grassy area down in the playground area but the kiddys running around all night were a bit much for us old timers. Our spot on the boardwalk afforded a view from our campsite of all the fireworks, the harbor and was secluded enough to be really comfortable. However, keep in mind, that there are no showers here and the restrooms are down in the nightmarket area and were a virtual swamp when we needed them. Also, the female johns were too overcrowded and they were pretty much helping themselves to the male restroom. We hit the sack and the noise and merriment ended at about 4:00 am (about an hour ahead of me) then they started again at about 5:30 am, about 8 hours in front of me.
After the wake up call, we mounted up and headed up through the gorge. This year the police were controlling traffic of about 10 cars going in both direction at a time. I know, I know. Cars cant’ go but in one direction, but you hopefully get the picture. Controlled traffic flow this year. We got into Lishan late in the day and decided that it was too damn cold to camp so we found a nice hotel on the main drag. Now, it’s easy to go up the hill on the cobblestones to 3 hotels that seemed to me to be a bit elitist. We had checked in to our modest accomodation and decided that it was time for a drink. We checked the fancy hotels on the hill and found one that served alcohol. We asked for a drink and were shown to the balcony area after ordering some drinks. While enjoying the view from the balcony, we were joined by the “manager” who informed us that "this hotel is a family business and “we don’t sell alcohol”. Of course, we saw bottles above the bar that were half empty so maybe they sell alcohol to some but obviously not us. NO PROBLEM. We went back down the yellow brick (cobblestone) road to the main drag. We had decided that we would buy a bottle and take it back to our room. Now, for the fun part. We found the only local grocery store along the main drag. We bought a bottle of scotch, a bag of ice and some water. We took it out front where there were a couple of tables and enjoyed ourselves. We were joined in a matter of minutes by the owner, his wife and his two lovely daughters. We all enjoyed a great time with this family sitting alongside the hiway in Lishan, while the bitch on the hill in the fancy hotel (it wasn’t the Four Seasons) wondered where all the tourists went this year. Anyway, we have each other’s email addresses and will stay in touch. (Grocery store guy - not the bitch) They sent us off later with an extra bottle of J/W Green and a couple bags of Lishan tea. I can’t tell you how nice these folks are. I encourage everyone who goes to this area to stop, buy a snack or 8 and enjoy it. They really made our day after the bitch on the hill.
The next day, we were up at 8:00 am and headed up the hill through high mountan farms. You can’t travel along the main highway shown on the map. The earthquake a few years ago took it out but it is due to open next year. A WORD OF CAUTION!!! Don’t do this trip unless your scoot is in excellent condtion as well as you. It will hurt you if you are not damned carefull. We left Lishan and at the top of the mountain I managed to get a blowout on my back tire. I later found out it was due to the damn sparkler wires in Hualien. Anyway, a slow crawl back down the mountain complete with leg cramps from trying to handle the bike. Now, keep in mind that nobody is open over the holiday. We managed to find a hardware store that fixed the flat. Cheap too. I wanted to replace both tires but they just weren’t available over the holiday. Ok. No problem. I have air and ready to go. We get a few kilometer past the blowout area and stop to take a picture. My buddy, says “Where the hell is my camera”. (expletive deleted) So now back down the mountain to retrieve the camera at the hotel. Now back up the mountain. I really am not complaining. This could happen to anyone and you never know when it coud be you.
So back up the mountain and on toward home. This isn’t a really bad part of the trip but it is damn cold. I have been across here in past years when it was snowing. A light jacket and socks on your hand will not do the job. Go prepared. Read on because this road is now for shit.
After you head down off the mountain you will find that the road has now deteriorated to the point that any civilized nation would close it. It just got worse and worse. Of course it’s not just one range but three. Each one will show you passages that you can plainly see are washed out beneath the concrete slab that supports the road. The pavement is simply gone in most places. It is a now a mud and water bath all the way down and up. Now recall, I wanted new treds in Lishan but couldn’t get any. So now, after a long hall down the first mountain, my buddy managed to flood his scooter with fuel. We couldn’t get it started even after 20 minutes of waiting. So, I found a length of plastic roap at an abondoned house and stated to pull him through the uphill areas wich are few and far between. Of course, the first one we came to was - how can I explain how slick this mud is without comparing it to some form of Astolube. Needless to say we were both on our butts and my tailbone will never be the same.
We got the bikes uprighted and tried again but - hell, another 5 minutes, the same result. Now keep in mind we are walking the bikes across these areas. There is simply no way to stand up or for tire with good tread to stay upright. Damned slow going. Anyway down the mountain in the mud, the blood and the tears.
Finally the temperature gets above freezing and my toes can wiggle in the cakes of mud within my shoes.
WE ARE FINALLY NORTHBOUND. Of course, we are so tired that there is nothing to do but find a hotel, a hot shower and please oh please, a massage. Ok, we found a hotel but, I still wonder about the look the check-in guy had when we paid for the room. It was brought more clearly home when we saw the so called “sex chair” in the room. Only in Taiwan. WTF. Ok do what you gotta do but come on - this is just really strange. Next day, up early and tailbone so damed sore I can’t sleep or sit, we head out knowing there is a hot shower at home.BEHAVE - It’s not from the “sex chair”! We go from Puli to Tuchen in one hual. Not a bad ride but with my ass having hit “the ice” it was a bit slow going.
Now, after my wife bathed me, pampered me, brought me numerous scotches while in my tub, gave me a new razor and toothbrush and literally made the experience “feel good all over”, I thought I would tell all of you, Go do it, but the road has changed. It is DAMNED DANGEROUS now. If you go, go prepared and BE CAREFUL! For me, I have decided that I will stay to the highway and, hell, maybe even a big tour bus with leather lounge chairs, a TV and my bottle of scotch. Then again, I ain’t dead yet. BUT DAMN NEAR IT THIS TRIP.
PLEASE BE CAREFUL. IT’S NOT LIKE IT WAS.
What an experience! Thanks for posting that. Glad you’re alright. Just to be clear – it’s the No.7 provincial highway that’s the messed-up one you’re talking about, isn’t it?
I’m not sure if there is a hiway posting on this abortion of a hiway. It was good in past years but, you just go down and up, down and up over an endless series if trails. If I hadn’t broken my ass on the first day, I think it would have been better. Keep in mind, this road is really dangerous. It was an adventure this year but, I wont be doing it again.
I just drove from Puli to Hehuanshan to Lishan to Wuling Farm not two weeks ago and the road was fine, a little rough in places but certainly drivable. Which areas did you have problems with? Or are you talking about the country road that bipasses Hehuanshan and Chingjing Famr and goes from Lishan to Wushe?
The hot spring, is it Fan Fan?
Glad you had a good time in Lishan but I found the place an absolute dump this time. The high mountain faming is slated to be closed in the coming years so I can’t see that community lasting.
[quote=“Muzha Man”]Or are you talking about the country road that bipasses Hehuanshan and Chingjing Famr and goes from Lishan to Wushe?[/quote]Reading back through Enigma’s post in this thread, I reckon that must be the one.[quote=“Enigma”]Then the next day, up through the gorge to Lishan and another night. Next day, through the “High Mountain Farm” down to Puli.[/quote]I’m not surprised that it was so terrible. I asked the mighty Plasmatron a while back about this route and he told me it wasn’t really a road as such; just a network of tracks on which even he got lost.
Looking at these last posts, it may be that I took a different road down the mountain, I don’t think so but, damn this was different.
I gave my travelling companion my passowrd so he can add his comments. However, don’t belive a word he says about the sex chair in the hotel in Puli!!!
Now, how does one get from Suao to Hualien without passing through the polluted tunnels on the #9 … other question: can one even go through the tunnels on a scooter?
Just a thought; I saw several other western faces on the road. I would sure like your opinion. I must note however, that I did not recognize the road, (mountain trial from hell) that I was on. Mybe I took a wrong turn but hell, down, is down, and I don’t think so. Anybody that drives this trail is bloody nuts. It wasn’t bad in the past, but I will not do it again on this road. Call it a road, I don’t think so. It was flat straight up and down covered with Astrolube mud. Thanks. I’ll stay at home and drink my Scotch. You go and enjoy but I have been there and I would be very careful about going.
How can I say this? It is really an exciting and wonderful trip. However, just be cautios. It really can hurt you. Go pterpared and expect the worst. Now, yes, I maybe took a wrong turn down the mountain from hell to Puli but, you could too. Please, oh please, don’t get screwed up on this road.
BTW, to those westerners, we saw trvelling on he high and low points, I sure would appreciate your opinions.
The road mentioned in my earlier post is not a numbered road on any map I have seen. Look at the small trail road in very light colored ink on your map. It goes pretty much straight south from Lishan and through a large farm called “High Mountain”. A friend recently referred to this mountain as Snow Mountain" but I’m not sure that’s accurate.