I had a splendid hike and swim on the other side of Wulai this morning. The sun was rather hot, but the crystal-clear tree-shaded water was fabulously cool. What a pity that it’s already too late to invite you to join me.
Omni, I know you’ve mentioned this before but do you live near Wulai? How long does it take for you to get to the trailhead/waterhole? Sounds like you do a lot of swimming out there and I’m jealous as I live in the heart of congested, polluted, noisy Taipei. I’ve only been to Wulai once and hiked upstream past the wenshen businesses to a paved road with a sign-map (near a bridge I believe). Was I heading in a good direction? Where’s the best swimming hole from there? Is there enough water for swimming now?
I know an excellent Wulai waterhole MT. Come to the Games Club tomorroe and I’ll tell you how to get there. Or maybe we should organise an Wulai mission. Only prob is this hole would be a long walk without a scooter.
M.T., There are scores of good places for swimming. The further you go from Wulai township, the better they are. There are two rivers that meet in Wulai – the Nanshi River
Interesting Wulai info Omni. 20K for you. I also think Wulai is a fantastic destination and so close top the city. I have heard people say it’s nothing special - just some dull hot springs and a little village. That’s because they just saw the hot springs and the vilalge. Scooter is the way to go, but you can still have a good look around by foot. Surprisingly the gondola at the waterfall is wel worth it too. Have you ever tried following the road (not the one you mentioned, but the one that follows the A Yu Stream and keeps going) all the way to Yilan. Some maps show it can be done, others show it can’t. I’m just gonna try one day. Anyway, bugger the indoor hot springs, I like sitting out in the river (which has hot springs bubbling up) after dark with a beer. Magic.
I know it’s been said before but for those who haven’t been and have missed earlier threads, here’s how to get to Wulai.
Scooter/Car: From Taipei head South down Roosevelt road. Keep going. When you cross the bridge into XinDian, the road changes its name, but keep going. Just follow the road along straight, and once you’re through Xindian, you go up your first hill. As you come down, there’s a turnoff ont he right (with a 7-11). Go that way and follow the road to the end.
Bus: The bus also runs south down Roosevelt. Two places I know you can get on. Most people MRT it to XinDian station and the busstop is a very short work from there. I think it’s better to get on the bus in froont of the fire station that is just to the Nth of Kuting MRT station exit 7. You’ll get a seat. I think it was 59NT from there. Last stop. Last bus back is 11, but if you bring a taxi number, it’ll be about 600NT for a taxi back which is pretty reasonable if there’s a few of you, so don’t sweat it if you want to enjoy another spl, um, splash in the river before you go back.
I’ve walked along there for a couple of hours, but then turned back. The going gets rather tough in some places, with landslides and the vegetation overgrowing the path, and one gets rather put off at the thought of going on and on and then coming to a dead end with the prospect of having to retrace one’s steps all the way back. Another thing is that it’s high above the river, and getting from it down to the water is pretty difficult, which means one can’t easily enjoy the regular swims that I like to indulge in when taking a long hike. I have heard that it leads all the way to Ilan, but have not had definite confirmation that it’s so. If I knew for certain that I could get through, I’d give it a try – but the uncertainty puts me off. I wouldn’t much like to get caught somewhere along there when darkness fell – there don’t seem to be many, if any, places where one could pitch a tent there. For a hardy fellow like Almas John, it would be nothing at all, but I’m not made of quite such stern stuff as he is.
On the getting to Wulai bit, it might help to mention that, about 1 km past the Hsintien MRT station, you turn right off Bei-I Road (
Actually, I was talking about following the road, on a scooter. From some maps it looks like it is possible. But they have these dotted bits. I was thinking maybe they’re military or government installations that have roads that are closed to the public or something. Like I said, I’ll just try anyway. Ive ridden to the end of every single road on the Fushan side of Wulai.
Are you guys using trail maps? If so, where do you get them? Is there a book for all of Taiwan, or at least Taipei? This possibility of walking to Yilan has got me excited!
I’m planning to go to a Tibetan Buddhist event Saturday night (as wellas Thurs, Fri, and Sunday nights–there’s the answer to “what I’m doing this weekend”), so it wouldn’t really make sense to go to Wulai so late in the day. I’d only have a couple hours before having to come back.
I’ve never seen any kind of useful trail map for Wulai. I’ve always wished I could get my hands on something like the British Ordnance Survey maps – I’m sure they must exist, for military and other such uses, but probably they’re still not available to the general public for fear of the Chicoms getting their hands on them (as if they don’t have every last detail of Taiwan’s topography in their hands already!).
Wuli sounds like a fun trip, I wish I can go. Hey, can anyone organize something during week night so I can go??? Or because ppl on this message board r too busy during the week??
I’ve never seen any kind of useful trail map for Wulai. I’ve always wished I could get my hands on something like the British Ordnance Survey maps – I’m sure they must exist, for military and other such uses, but probably they’re still not available to the general public for fear of the Chicoms getting their hands on them (as if they don’t have every last detail of Taiwan’s topography in their hands already!).[/quote]
The best maps of Taiwan I ever saw were the US Army maps from WWII. My university’s map depository had an original set…of course all the locations had Japanese names.
there are some very detailed topographical maps produced by the government that i’ve never seen in shops. These can be bought. I came across them a few years back in the government office responsible (i think it was on Jianguo N. Rd but i’m really not sure).
1: they are on very flimsy paper, obviously for indoor use.
2: they don’t sell them to white people. I asked man behind desk if they’d be any objection to me bringing in a Taiwanese person off the street to handover my money for me. No reason why you couldn’t, he said.
I’ll try and find out where that was if anyone’s interested. Or perhaps someone knows.
I’ll try and find out where that was if anyone’s interested. [/quote]
I would certainly be very interested.
The Department of Land Administration produces topographic 1:25000 maps. (their homepage).
They can be downloaded, but I tried it and rather than one map got several files which look like they should overlap each other. Why would that be? Anyway, the instructions for downloading are here.
You’ll see at the bottom it tells you to first download the LSP and OBK files, unpack them, then copy to your font catalog. These are fonts. Not sure how crucial they are to the final map appearance.
Once you’ve got them go to the full map here). Click on a map square to download the map in SHX format. To read that you need CAD software, such as AutoCad. Or you can convert the SHX files into something more easily viewable such as TIFF, JPEG using a file converter. This one (graphicregion.com/download.htm) offer a free trial version and can do batches of files at one time (though not in the trial version) but it writes TRIAL over your maps.
Even if it worked though, you’d want professionally printed maps. These are produced by the Department of Land Administration. 300NT each, the topographic maps at 1:25000 were based on surveys done in 1999-2001.
More details here
And this is what they look like:
this is a 1:50,000
and this a satellite image with topographic data overlaid:
Where to buy them? These people (Courant)are the only sales outlet say the Dept of Land Admin. You can buy them online (and view but not buy them at their offices in Banqiao, Taizhong and Tainan).
A dummies guide for online map-buying.
You will need:
Internet connected computer
Stage one: Choose the maps you want online
Go to mapmang.courant.com.tw/msp/
The page is split three ways. The section across the top is for you to select the place you want a map for. Choose the name of the appropriate county or type in the place name. A list of the maps for that county will then appear in the main window. Select each map that you want and enter how many copies you want (to get a preview of the area of coverage, click
Apparently not. My wife phoned them this afternoon, was told you can view the maps but not buy them at their Banqiao office. Presumably it’s the same for the other 2 offices.
And the Department of Land Administration confirmed that the maps are only available through Courant.
I’ve ordered a couple (Puli & Sun Moon Lake). Will let you know.
I plan to take a walk from 公館 to 擎天崗 on this weekend. It is pretty a long way and may take many hours to complete it.
I’m no kidding. If anyone is interested, just drop me a msg.
Even I am looking for a hiking partner.
And I might be able to join you this weekend (Sunday is preferable).
Let me know.
I am looking for a hiking club/group in Taipei that organises weekend hikes (leisure) around Taipei as well as longer duration hikes (tough ones) in Taiwan.
I am also looking to acquire a hiking certificate which I have been told is required to be able to climb ‘A’ grade mountains in Taiwan. It seems that the certificate can be acquired only through a hiking club.
Any contact details welcome.
[quote]I am also looking to acquire a hiking certificate which I have been told is required to be able to climb ‘A’ grade mountains in Taiwan. It seems that the certificate can be acquired only through a hiking club.
And the certificate is good only for the specific climb – you have to apply each time – its not like a driver’s license. I’ve never bothered to get one, though, but then I’ve never climbed with a local hiking group.
I’m not involved with hiking clubs but a group of us go hiking once in a while if you are interested feel free to contact me.