Martin's personal blog – 5 latest posts

Blog content

Latest posts

Active categories:

More tags ...

By date:

    (No recent posts)

Blog calendar

December 2014
Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
 << Nov Jan >>
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31

Blog features

RSS feed icon RSS feed

RSS comment feed icon RSS comment feed

A frog goes hiking: 北大武 (Bei da wu)

posted by Martin Rubli at 16:21

It was a busy National Day weekend for my legs. After running the Hsinchu Post Office "23km run" (which was about four kilometers short thanks to the organizers' inability to count) on the morning of the tenth I took a quick rest before packing my bags and leaving again for a two-day/two-night hike in the South of Taiwan. The destination was 北大武 (Bei da wu), the highest mountain in Southern Taiwan.

This time we had hired two drivers with small all-wheel-drive buses because of the long trip to 屏東 (Ping dong) and the poor state of the mountain road. We stayed one night in a homestay about 45 minutes from the trail head, which allowed for a pleasantly reasonable wake-up time. It used to be possible to drive further up, but after a landslide a few years ago the trail head had to be moved down by about 2.7 kilometers.

Most of the hike is in the forest, which is not a big surprise given the relatively low altitude of the peak (3092 meters). That, and the rain the day before, made for a somewhat slippery walk, but at least it was another perfectly dry hike where my umbrella and rain jacket stayed where they should – at the bottom of the backpack.

Technical information and photos follow. If the photos seem a little substandard this time I apologize; the weather forecast was a bit uncertain and my backpack a bit full, so my trusted D-SLR had to stay home this time and make way for the waterproof pocket camera. Weather permitting I'll try to make up for it next time. :-)


Map


(Click the image for a larger version.)


(Click the image for a larger version.)

Elevation charts

北大武新登山口 (New Bei da wu trail head) to 檜容山莊 (Kuai gu mountain hut):


(Click the image for a larger version.)

檜容山莊 (Kuai gu mountain hut) to 北大武 (Bei da wu) and back:


(Click the image for a larger version.)

檜容山莊 (Kuai gu mountain hut) to 北大武新登山口 (New Bei da wu trail head):


(Click the image for a larger version.)

GPS track

Hiking log

(As always, the altitudes are approximate.)

Day 1:

0840: Departure from 北大武新登山口 (New Bei da wu trail head), 1200 m
1015: Arrival at 北大武舊登山口 (Old Bei da wu trail head), 1540 m
1045: Continue
1505: Arrival at 檜谷山莊 (Kuai gu mountain hut), 2110 m

Day 2:

0130: Wake up
0225: Departure from 檜谷山莊 (Kuai gu mountain hut), 2110 m
0355: 神木 (Divine tree), 2450 m
0550: 嶺縣 (Ridge), 2870 m
0635: 大武祠 (Da wu memorial), 3010 m
0705: Continue
0750: Arrival on 北大武 (Bei da wu), 3092 m
0855: Start descent
0930: 大武祠 (Da wu memorial)
0955: Continue
1130: 神木 (Divine tree)
1225: Arrival at 檜谷山莊 (Kuai gu mountain hut)
1400: Continue
1545: Arrival at 北大武舊登山口 (Old Bei da wu trail head)
1650: Continue
1810: Arrival at 北大武新登山口 (New Bei da wu trail head)


Photos

The end of the road and therefore the new trail head. Until a few years ago the road continued a few more kilometers, which poor hikers like us now have to walk.

The end of the road and therefore the new trail head. Until a few years ago the road continued a few more kilometers, which poor hikers like us now have to walk.

View from the point where the road was swept away by a landslide caused by torrential rainfalls.

View from the point where the road was swept away by a landslide caused by torrential rainfalls.

Group photo before the start. The guy who's not carrying a backpack is the one who took longest to get ready. ;-)

Group photo before the start. The guy who's not carrying a backpack is the one who took longest to get ready. ;-)

A parking lot in the middle of the forest. The sign looks quite new, which is rather surprising given that there's not much more left of the road than a narrow trail.

A parking lot in the middle of the forest. The sign looks quite new, which is rather surprising given that there's not much more left of the road than a narrow trail.

The first section until the old trail head is pretty flat, but if the fog allows it you can see the steepness lying ahead.

The first section until the old trail head is pretty flat, but if the fog allows it you can see the steepness lying ahead.

The old trail head.

The old trail head.

After a few hours of walking in the forest and the fog finally a little bit of view.

After a few hours of walking in the forest and the fog finally a little bit of view.

(untitled)
檜容山莊 (Kuai rong mountain hut). While it does look old and shabby from the outside it is one of the more convenient mountain huts in Taiwan. There's plenty of water (even for flushing the toilets!) and the cooking and sleeping areas are well designed.

檜容山莊 (Kuai rong mountain hut). While it does look old and shabby from the outside it is one of the more convenient mountain huts in Taiwan. There's plenty of water (even for flushing the toilets!) and the cooking and sleeping areas are well designed.

Early morning on the next day.

Early morning on the next day.

(untitled)
(untitled)
(untitled)
(untitled)
(untitled)
Even the moon stayed around to make for nicer photos.

Even the moon stayed around to make for nicer photos.

(untitled)
(untitled)
Finally at the top of 北大武 (Bei da wu).

Finally at the top of 北大武 (Bei da wu).

The view is not as breathtaking as other high mountains in Taiwan but I was told that you can see a great sea of clouds if you're lucky enough to get the timing right.

On the left in the far back you can see 關山 (Guan shan), the tallest one on the picture, and 玉山 (Yu shan), the tallest one in reality. The twin peak on the right is 美奈田主山 (Mei nai tian zhu shan).

The view is not as breathtaking as other high mountains in Taiwan but I was told that you can see a great sea of clouds if you're lucky enough to get the timing right.

On the left in the far back you can see 關山 (Guan shan), the tallest one on the picture, and 玉山 (Yu shan), the tallest one in reality. The twin peak on the right is 美奈田主山 (Mei nai tian zhu shan).

A curious bird also visited us while we were taking photos.

A curious bird also visited us while we were taking photos.

Apparently you're not even safe from photobombers on the highest peak in Southern Taiwan!

Apparently you're not even safe from photobombers on the highest peak in Southern Taiwan!

The forest on the ridge on the way down.

The forest on the ridge on the way down.

The view towards 屏東 (Ping dong) where we had started the day before.

The view towards 屏東 (Ping dong) where we had started the day before.


貓空 (Mao Kong) at last

posted by Martin Rubli at 15:52

It took a while for me to take the incident-plagued Mao Kong gondola, but after a few years without major malfunctions I finally felt brave enough to try it. So brave, in fact, that we decided to take the "crystal cabin", where the floor is made of nothing but a thick pane of glass.

We hiked up from 政治大學 (Chengchi University) to 指南宮 (Zhi Nan temple) and then took the gondola from there instead of the final station since the second half of the hiking trail we had planned to take was nowhere to be found.

Here are some photos from this high-temperature, high-humidity day trip:

指南宮 (Zhi Nan temple)

指南宮 (Zhi Nan temple)

The view from 指南宮 (Zhi Nan temple).

The view from 指南宮 (Zhi Nan temple).

(untitled)
(untitled)
指南宮大雄寶殿 (Zhi Nan temple Mahavira hall)

指南宮大雄寶殿 (Zhi Nan temple Mahavira hall)

(untitled)
(untitled)
(untitled)
(untitled)
(untitled)
(untitled)
A glass floor cabin of the Mao Kong gondola.

A glass floor cabin of the Mao Kong gondola.

(untitled)
(untitled)
The 指南宮 (Zhi Nan temple) station of the Mao Kong gondola.

The 指南宮 (Zhi Nan temple) station of the Mao Kong gondola.

(untitled)
View through the glass floor of the Mao Kong gondola.

View through the glass floor of the Mao Kong gondola.

(untitled)
(untitled)
(untitled)
(untitled)

A frog goes hiking: 武陵雙秀 (Wu ling shuang xiu) (Day 2)

posted by Martin Rubli at 16:07

A frog goes hiking: 武陵雙秀 (Wu ling shuang xiu) (Day 2)

The second day started with an interesting false alarm at exactly 11pm when somebody's cell phone alarm went off. I checked my watch and was relieved to see that there was still plenty of time to catch some much-needed sleep. But shortly after there was rustling left and right as if people were getting up. Before long I nodded off again until 3am. Later that morning I was told that some people indeed got up before noticing that they were four hours early ...

After the actual wake-up time we had a quick breakfast before heading up towards 品田山 (Pin tian shan). Sunrise was earlier than expected, but it was just as well because hiking is simply more enjoyable when you can see more than just what's in the light cone of your headlamp. Even though we were far from the top the view was stunning and almost made me forget how early it was.

The truly interesting part was still to come, though. The last few hundred meters before the peak involve some real climbing, which makes you feel like you've earned the view at the top. And what a view it is! But see for yourself ...

This post covers day 2. Day 1 is here.


Overview

The green track is the first half of day two, the blue track is the second half.


(Click the image for a larger version.)


Elevation charts

新達山屋 (Xin da mountain hut) to 品田山 (Pin tian shan) and back:


新達山屋 (Xin da mountain hut) to 武陵山莊 (Wu ling mountain hut):


GPS track

Hiking log

(As always, the altitudes are approximate.)

0300: Wake up
0400: Departure from 新達山屋 (Xin da mountain hut), 3180 m
0445: Break for watching sunrise
0515: Continue
0625: Arrival at 品田山 (Pin tian shan), 3524 m
0645: Departure from 品田山 (Pin tian shan)
0705: Forced break waiting to cross bad-mannered hiking group
0725: Continue
0810: Arrival at 新達山屋 (Xin da mountain hut), 3180 m, break
0955: Departure from 新達山屋 (Xin da mountain hut)
1035: 池有山第二登山口 (Second Chi you shan trail head), 3230 m
1045: Arrival at 池有山 (Chi you shan), 3303 m
1105: Departure from 池有山 (Chi you shan)
1114: 池有山第一登山口 (First Chi you shan trail head)
1117: Arrival at 三叉營地 (San cha campground), 3200 m, break
1155: Departure from 三叉營地 (San cha campground)
1345: Arrival at trail head
1350: Departure from trail head
1440: 武陵吊橋 (Wu ling suspension bridge), 1860 m
1445: Arrival at 武陵山莊停車場 (Wu ling mountain hut parking lot)


Photos

Sunrise halfway up to 品田山 (Pin tian shan). As you can see from the chain of lights walking up hikers in Taiwan really get up early.

Sunrise halfway up to 品田山 (Pin tian shan). As you can see from the chain of lights walking up hikers in Taiwan really get up early.

These photos were taken in the direction of 宜蘭 (Yilan).

These photos were taken in the direction of 宜蘭 (Yilan).

If you look closely you can see a river ...

If you look closely you can see a river ...

... and even 龜山島 (Turtle island) in the distance.

... and even 龜山島 (Turtle island) in the distance.

(untitled)
Our hiking group admiring the sunrise.

Our hiking group admiring the sunrise.

(untitled)
(untitled)
(untitled)
The first sight of 品田山 (Pin tian shan) on the way up.

The first sight of 品田山 (Pin tian shan) on the way up.

A close-up view of 雪山 (Xue shan) on the left and 北稜角 (Bei leng jiao) in the middle.

A close-up view of 雪山 (Xue shan) on the left and 北稜角 (Bei leng jiao) in the middle.

On the way to the main peak there's another small peak whose back slope actually poses the main difficulty of reaching 品田山 (Pin tian shan). If you're unlucky you can get stuck in traffic jam here.

On the way to the main peak there's another small peak whose back slope actually poses the main difficulty of reaching 品田山 (Pin tian shan). If you're unlucky you can get stuck in traffic jam here.

Climbing down the back slope of the "pre-peak" ...

Climbing down the back slope of the "pre-peak" ...

... and up again towards the main peak. But it's totally worth it because ...

... and up again towards the main peak. But it's totally worth it because ...

... halfway up you already get this magnificent view!

... halfway up you already get this magnificent view!

小霸尖山 (Xiao ba jian shan) and 大霸尖山 (Da ba jian shan).

小霸尖山 (Xiao ba jian shan) and 大霸尖山 (Da ba jian shan).

The last few meters of the trail.

The last few meters of the trail.

These flowers reminded me of the Swiss "trademark" flower, the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edelweiss Edelweiss].

These flowers reminded me of the Swiss "trademark" flower, the Edelweiss.

Me at the top of 品田山 (Pin tian shan) with 大霸尖山 (Da ba jian shan) in the background.

Me at the top of 品田山 (Pin tian shan) with 大霸尖山 (Da ba jian shan) in the background.

The obligatory group photo on the peak. :-)

The obligatory group photo on the peak. :-)

The 雪山 (Xue shan) family always makes for a nice setting. From the left:

* 甘木林山 (Gan mu lin shan). Originally and erroneously measured at 3690 meters (instead of the correct 3666) it gave 三六九山莊 (369 mountain hut) its name.
* 雪山主峰 (Xue shan main peak). The second highest mountain in Taiwan.
* 北稜角 (Bei leng jiao).
* 雪山北峰 (Xue shan north peak).

The 雪山 (Xue shan) family always makes for a nice setting. From the left:

  • 甘木林山 (Gan mu lin shan). Originally and erroneously measured at 3690 meters (instead of the correct 3666) it gave 三六九山莊 (369 mountain hut) its name.
  • 雪山主峰 (Xue shan main peak). The second highest mountain in Taiwan.
  • 北稜角 (Bei leng jiao).
  • 雪山北峰 (Xue shan north peak).
樂山 (Le shan) with its radar station in the distance. I believe on the right parts of 大鹿林道 (Da lu forest trail) are visible.

樂山 (Le shan) with its radar station in the distance. I believe on the right parts of 大鹿林道 (Da lu forest trail) are visible.

Looking back to 品田山 (Pin tian shan) on the way down.

Looking back to 品田山 (Pin tian shan) on the way down.

The view from the spot we watched the sunrise a few hours earlier. You can see the trail down as well as 桃山 (Tao shan) in the far back.

The view from the spot we watched the sunrise a few hours earlier. You can see the trail down as well as 桃山 (Tao shan) in the far back.

Approaching 新達山屋 (Xin da mountain hut) again where we had stayed the night.

Approaching 新達山屋 (Xin da mountain hut) again where we had stayed the night.

Cut, two-and-a-half hours later. After being disappointed by the afternoon weather the day before we decided to give 池有山 (Chi you shan) another try. The view was great! On this photo you can see 新達山屋 (Xin da mountain hut), 品田山 (Pin tian shan), and part of the trail between the two.

Cut, two-and-a-half hours later. After being disappointed by the afternoon weather the day before we decided to give 池有山 (Chi you shan) another try. The view was great! On this photo you can see 新達山屋 (Xin da mountain hut), 品田山 (Pin tian shan), and part of the trail between the two.

Turning around 180° you can see 桃山 (Tao shan) and 桃山山屋 (Tao shan mountain hut).

Turning around 180° you can see 桃山 (Tao shan) and 桃山山屋 (Tao shan mountain hut).

Such nice weather deserves another flag raise! On the right you can see 小霸尖山 (Xiao ba jian shan) and 大霸尖山 (Da ba jian shan).

Such nice weather deserves another flag raise! On the right you can see 小霸尖山 (Xiao ba jian shan) and 大霸尖山 (Da ba jian shan).

And once again the whole scenery, from 雪山 (Xue shan) to 品田山 (Pin tian shan).

And once again the whole scenery, from 雪山 (Xue shan) to 品田山 (Pin tian shan).


A frog goes hiking: 武陵雙秀 (Wu ling shuang xiu) (Day 1)

posted by Martin Rubli at 15:16

武陵四秀 (Wu ling si xiu, or "Wuling's beautiful four") is a group of four mountains in the area around 武陵農場 (Wuling Farm): 桃山 (Tao shan), 喀拉業山 (Ke la ye shan), 池有山 (Chi you shan), and 品田山 (Pin tian shan). Our trip was the light version, only going to two of the four, therefore making it 武陵雙秀 ("Wuling's beautiful two").

Our car left early on Friday and arrived at 武陵農場 (Wuling Farm) late in the afternoon, which gave us enough time to put up everyone's tents on the camping site and then go enjoy the buffet at the hotel nearby. By the time the last of our group arrived I was fast asleep in my snuggly sleeping bag. Since last time my hiking equipment had gained a super light inflatable pillow, making my sleep even more comfortable. I might even enjoy camping one day. ;-)

The next morning we set off with a bit of delay but our schedule had enough buffer, so that we made it to 新達山屋 (Xin da mountain hut) well in time before dusk. There was even enough time to bag the first peak of the trip, 池有山 (Chi you shan). By the time we were there the weather wasn't quite what you would hope anymore, but luckily two of us decided to go there again the next day on the way back, and we were not disappointed.

This post covers day 1. Day 2 is here.


Overview

The red track is the first day, the green track is the first half of day two before returning along the red track.


(Click the image for a larger version.)


Altitude graph


(Click the image for a larger version.)

GPS track

Hiking log

(As always, the altitudes are approximate.)

0430: Wake up
0610: Departure by car from 武陵農場營地 (Wu ling farm camping site)
0620: Arrival at 武陵山莊 (Wu ling mountain hut)
0630: Start hiking at 武陵吊橋 (Wu ling suspension bridge), 1860 m
0735: Arrival at trail head, short visit to 桃山瀑布 (Tao shan water fall) to fill up water, break
0840: Departure from trail head, 2230 m
1030: Arrival at lunch site, break, 2960 m
1310: Departure from lunch site
1410: Arrival at 三叉營地 (San cha campground), 3200 m
1420: Arrival at 池有山登山口 (Chi you shan trail head), break, 3200 m
1505: Departure from 池有山登山口 (Chi you shan trail head) towards the peak
1520: Arrival at 池有山 (Chi you shan), 3303 m
1540: Departure from 池有山 (Chi you shan)
1555: Back at 池有山登山口 (Chi you shan trail head)
1600: Departure from 池有山登山口 (Chi you shan trail head) towards 新達山屋 (Xin da mountain hut)
1725: Arrival at 新達山屋 (Xin da mountain hut), 3180 m


Photos

Getting ready on the parking lot at 武陵山莊 (Wu ling mountain hut).

Getting ready on the parking lot at 武陵山莊 (Wu ling mountain hut).

武陵吊橋 (Wu ling suspension bridge), behind which lie the trail heads to 品田山 (Pin tian shan), 池有山 (Chi you shan), and 桃山 (Tao shan).

武陵吊橋 (Wu ling suspension bridge), behind which lie the trail heads to 品田山 (Pin tian shan), 池有山 (Chi you shan), and 桃山 (Tao shan).

In our case, we had to walk for about 3.5 km first before getting to the trail head.

In our case, we had to walk for about 3.5 km first before getting to the trail head.

One of the informational signs. ([http://rubli.info/gallery/data/a-frog-goes-hiking-wu-ling-shuang-xiu-day-1/images/original/20140705-065103_MR7318_D90.jpg Click here for a larger version].)

One of the informational signs. (Click here for a larger version.)

The start of the trail to 品田山 (Pin tian shan) and 池有山 (Chi you shan). The concrete road continues on to 桃山瀑布 (Tao shan waterfall) for about ten minutes.

The start of the trail to 品田山 (Pin tian shan) and 池有山 (Chi you shan). The concrete road continues on to 桃山瀑布 (Tao shan waterfall) for about ten minutes.

桃山瀑布 (Tao shan waterfall), the last water source before the mountain.

桃山瀑布 (Tao shan waterfall), the last water source before the mountain.

桃山瀑布 (Tao shan waterfall).

桃山瀑布 (Tao shan waterfall).

This rather misleading elevation chart makes the hike look easier than it really is. Especially after 三叉營地 (San cha campground) there's a fair amount of tiring ups and downs.

This rather misleading elevation chart makes the hike look easier than it really is. Especially after 三叉營地 (San cha campground) there's a fair amount of tiring ups and downs.

A 山羌 ([http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reeves's_muntjac Reeves's muntjac], a kind of small deer) that I was lucky enough to get in front of my lens before it disappeared in the undergrowth.

A 山羌 (Reeves's muntjac, a kind of small deer) that I was lucky enough to get in front of my lens before it disappeared in the undergrowth.

The lower part of the hiking trail is mostly in the forest, so there isn't much to see.

The lower part of the hiking trail is mostly in the forest, so there isn't much to see.

Once you get out of the forest, though ...

Once you get out of the forest, though ...

... the view gets more and more spectacular. The pointy mountain here is 中央尖山 (Zhong yang jian shan).

... the view gets more and more spectacular. The pointy mountain here is 中央尖山 (Zhong yang jian shan).

The forest also gets lighter in this area and grass is more common.

The forest also gets lighter in this area and grass is more common.

Looking to the left you get a great view of 三六九山莊 (369 mountain hut), 雪山主峰 (Xue shan main peak), and 北稜角 (Bei leng jiao).

Looking to the left you get a great view of 三六九山莊 (369 mountain hut), 雪山主峰 (Xue shan main peak), and 北稜角 (Bei leng jiao).

Cooking 羊肉爐 (Lamb hot pot), a typical winter dish, half-way up the mountain. Personally, I was already warm enough, so I stuck with my sandwich.

Cooking 羊肉爐 (Lamb hot pot), a typical winter dish, half-way up the mountain. Personally, I was already warm enough, so I stuck with my sandwich.

Clouds forming in the direction of our target.

Clouds forming in the direction of our target.

The view back.

The view back.

A sea of clouds over 宜蘭 (Yilan), apparently a common occurrence because it already looked like that [local://blog/2013/09/13/a-frog-goes-hiking-xue-shan-day-1/ last time I was hiking in that area].

A sea of clouds over 宜蘭 (Yilan), apparently a common occurrence because it already looked like that last time I was hiking in that area.

There's quite a number of interestingly shaped trees in that area.

There's quite a number of interestingly shaped trees in that area.

桃山 (Tao shan) and 桃山山屋 (Tai shan mountain hut) on its left. Three people of our group added another day to the trip to visit these.

桃山 (Tao shan) and 桃山山屋 (Tai shan mountain hut) on its left. Three people of our group added another day to the trip to visit these.

The start of the trail to 池有山 (Chi you shan) leads up this rock slope. According to the sign next to it, the rocks are broken into pieces by temperature fluctuations.

The start of the trail to 池有山 (Chi you shan) leads up this rock slope. According to the sign next to it, the rocks are broken into pieces by temperature fluctuations.

Nice flowers are also plentiful up here.

Nice flowers are also plentiful up here.

Walking up to 池有山 (Chi you shan).

Walking up to 池有山 (Chi you shan).

Close to the top the fog started to rise, rather abruptly ending the nice weather we had had during the first half of the day.

Close to the top the fog started to rise, rather abruptly ending the nice weather we had had during the first half of the day.

Still, there was just enough blue sky left to take a nice photo at the top!

Still, there was just enough blue sky left to take a nice photo at the top!

The last part of the trail isn't quite as easy to tackle because it involves climbing up and down over rocks. Nevertheless, some people did so very swiftly, even with the weight of an extra backpack.

The last part of the trail isn't quite as easy to tackle because it involves climbing up and down over rocks. Nevertheless, some people did so very swiftly, even with the weight of an extra backpack.

Finally, 新達山屋 (Xin da mountain hut) came into sight where we would spend the night. Our arrival there also coincided with a bit of rainfall as it often happens in the afternoon.

Finally, 新達山屋 (Xin da mountain hut) came into sight where we would spend the night. Our arrival there also coincided with a bit of rainfall as it often happens in the afternoon.


太魯閣: 錐麓古道 (Taroko valley: Zhui lu ancient trail)

posted by Martin Rubli at 13:59

Hiking in Taiwan always comes with a bit of suspense. There's the island climate, the unstable mountain weather, and then there are typhoons. Typhoons usually bring vast amounts of rain and because of the island's relatively loose mountains it often happens that hiking trails are damaged or roads get covered in landslides.

Three weeks ago we already had to change our travel route because the central cross-island highway was closed after a typhoon-induced landslide in Taroko valley. And while that road was reopened in time for this weekend's hiking trip, the ancient trail itself was damaged by another typhoon just a few days earlier.

So, instead of the full ten-point-something kilometers that the trail normally spans only the first 3.1 km were accessible. Luckily the first third includes one of the most impressive sections where the trail passes along a steep cliff and permits an amazing view of the valley and the highway down below. The trail is generally easy to walk, but nothing for those with fear of heights ...


Our bed & breakfast (or homestay, as they are called in Taiwan), the [http://www.wretch.cc/blog/maggiegarden 花漾花園民宿].

Our bed & breakfast (or homestay, as they are called in Taiwan), the 花漾花園民宿.

The view from near the homestay, towards the central mountain range.

The view from near the homestay, towards the central mountain range.

The Taroko Gorge seen from the lower 錐麓古道 (Zhui lu ancient trail) trail head.

The Taroko Gorge seen from the lower 錐麓古道 (Zhui lu ancient trail) trail head.

This bridge, the 錐麓吊橋 (Zhui lu suspension bridge), is the trail head.

This bridge, the 錐麓吊橋 (Zhui lu suspension bridge), is the trail head.

The view upstream from the 錐麓吊橋 (Zhui lu suspension bridge).

The view upstream from the 錐麓吊橋 (Zhui lu suspension bridge).

Even though the trail kept going up, for once the goal was not the top of the mountain. Only the first two kilometers are uphill, afterwards the trail levels out.

Even though the trail kept going up, for once the goal was not the top of the mountain. Only the first two kilometers are uphill, afterwards the trail levels out.

One of the many flowers along the way of which, as usual, I don't know the name.

One of the many flowers along the way of which, as usual, I don't know the name.

A butterfly couple chasing each other.

A butterfly couple chasing each other.

This trail in the cliff is the mountain road built in 1914 by the Japanese.

This trail in the cliff is the mountain road built in 1914 by the Japanese.

At the bottom of the valley you can see the [http://zh.wikipedia.org/zh-tw/中橫公路 中橫公路 (Central cross-island highway) that goes from 花蓮 (Hualian) on the east side via 合歡山 (He huan shan) to 台中 (Taizhong) on the west side.

At the bottom of the valley you can see the [http://zh.wikipedia.org/zh-tw/中橫公路 中橫公路 (Central cross-island highway) that goes from 花蓮 (Hualian) on the east side via 合歡山 (He huan shan) to 台中 (Taizhong) on the west side.

The entrance to one of several small tunnels along the trail.

The entrance to one of several small tunnels along the trail.

A tiny shrine inside the tunnel.

A tiny shrine inside the tunnel.

(untitled)
The warning signs are plenty along the way. Narrow trails, falling rocks, steep cliffs, poisonous snakes, killer bees ... It's almost as if they didn't want you to hike here. :-)

The warning signs are plenty along the way. Narrow trails, falling rocks, steep cliffs, poisonous snakes, killer bees ... It's almost as if they didn't want you to hike here. :-)

(untitled)
The rocks here are pretty lose, so people are encouraged to wear a helmet. I only saw two people with helmets, however, and they stopped wearing them too after the first few uphill meters.

The rocks here are pretty lose, so people are encouraged to wear a helmet. I only saw two people with helmets, however, and they stopped wearing them too after the first few uphill meters.

The highway down in the valley.

The highway down in the valley.

(untitled)
(untitled)
(untitled)
(untitled)
(untitled)
A group shot in one of the few places that actually allow enough space for one.

A group shot in one of the few places that actually allow enough space for one.

Because only the first 3.1 km of the trail were open we even had some time left to see the other attractions, such as 燕子口 (Swallow Grotto), not far from the trail head.

Because only the first 3.1 km of the trail were open we even had some time left to see the other attractions, such as 燕子口 (Swallow Grotto), not far from the trail head.

Waterfalls are plenty in this part of Taiwan.

Waterfalls are plenty in this part of Taiwan.

The 長春祠 (Chang chun temple), closer to the entrance of the national park.

The 長春祠 (Chang chun temple), closer to the entrance of the national park.

A memorial shrine near 長春祠 (Chang chun temple).

A memorial shrine near 長春祠 (Chang chun temple).

The entrance of the path leading up to 長春祠 (Chang chun temple).

The entrance of the path leading up to 長春祠 (Chang chun temple).

Another view of the Taroko valley.

Another view of the Taroko valley.

The ocean view from 清水 (Qing shui), a beautiful spot with water access along the [http://zh.wikipedia.org/zh-tw/蘇花公路 蘇花公路 (Su hua highway)], a beautiful stretch of the East coast highway.

The ocean view from 清水 (Qing shui), a beautiful spot with water access along the 蘇花公路 (Su hua highway), a beautiful stretch of the East coast highway.

Those who still had energy to walk stairs ...

Those who still had energy to walk stairs ...

... went to the beach to enjoy the sand and the waves ...

... went to the beach to enjoy the sand and the waves ...

... whereas water-shy people like me prefer to point their camera at flowers conveniently growing nearby. :-)

... whereas water-shy people like me prefer to point their camera at flowers conveniently growing nearby. :-)


1 2 ... 64 65 | Next »