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Posts Tagged ‘Hiking’

Bilu-Yangtou Ridge Hike

Walking through a frost covered forest in Taroko Gorge National Park

Mount Bilu and Yangtou are located near the top of Taroko Gorge National Park.  Both peaks are above 3000m and can be done as individual days hikes, a mad single day traverse or a 2-3 day traverse with camping.

Day 1

It’s a long drive from Taipei to Dayuling for the start of the hike.  With the restrictions on the Suhua Highway, we had to come via Lishan and it took almost 6 hours to get there.  The trailhead starts next to the Dayuling Tunnel which is the intersection for Lishan, Hehuanshan and Taroko Gorge.

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Teapot and Banping Sept 2012

Teapot Mountain as seen from Banping Mountain

Teapot Mountain on Taiwan’s north coast has to have some the most amazing views you can get for a day hike from Taipei City.  The hike begins in the rejuvenated Jinguashi Gold Ecological Park. I remember visiting this area years and just thinking how depressing it was, but it’s now fully open and makes for a nice place to visit especially in the morning when the crowds aren’t too bad. (more…)

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Yue Mei Keng Waterfall, Yilan

The Yue Mei Keng Waterfall in full flow

Richard Saunders let me know about the Yuemeikeng Waterfall sometime ago and he mentioned that it was a relatively unknown and hidden place and so when I visited last year, I decided not to write about it to try and keep it that way.  But now it has been discovered by the masses and the trail is well tagged and well beaten, I think it’s OK to write a quick post. (more…)

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Beidawushan 北大武山

Sunset near the Kuaigu Cabin

Having failed to get a permit in the Yushan National Park because of the snow season, we headed a little further south to Pingdong County to hike Beidawushan which is Taiwan’s southern most Baiyue (top one hundred mountain). In the past this was a reasonable 2 day hike, but a large landslide caused my Typhon Morakot means the trailhead is much lower and further back making it a much tougher walk. We did it in 2 days, but if you’ve got the time, I think 3 days would be more enjoyable.

Although it’s one of the smaller Baiyue (3092m), Beidawu is a mammoth rock that rises sharply from the ground. The strip of land that it lies on is only 80km from the west coast to the east coast and on fine days you can see both (or so I hear!) (more…)

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The weather in northern Taiwan is notoriously bad in the winter and this year has been no exception.  So f you’re going to hike in the rain, there won’t be much scenery to look, unless of course you visit a waterfall and the Sandiaoling Trail 三貂嶺 has waterfalls in abundance.

Sandiaoling Waterfalls

Hegu Waterfall, the first waterfall on the trail

When I woke up on Sunday the weather in Taipei wasn’t too bad, just a slight drizzle and so I had high hopes for our hike.  However, the further east we got, the heavier the rain became and when we finally arrived at the tiny station of Sandiaoling, it was pretty much a persistent downpour.  Still, everyone was in high spirits as we headed along the tracks and got onto the very muddy trail.

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We’ve got two open hikes planned for February.  The first is to Snow Mountain on the 10th-12th and the second is to Dabajianshan on the 25th-27th.  February 27/28th are both holidays and so we’ve got a 4 day weekend then.

Snow Mountain is Taiwan’s second highest peak and a great climb.  Some amazing scenery!

Snow Mountain Facebook Event

Dabajianshan is probably Taiwan’s most distinctive mountain.  Look on the back of a $500NT note, that’s the one!  It’s a great 3 day hike to this huge mountain and back.

Dabajianshan Facebook Event

If you’re interested in joining us on either hike or on some gentler day trips around Taipei, then join the facebook group, Taiwan Adventures – Group Hikes.

Dabajianshan

Dabajianshan

Dabajianshan

Snow Mountain, Taiwan

Snow mountain - 雪山

Snow Mountain - 雪山

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A couple of bits of news from the Yushan National Park came out in the last week.   The Paiyun Cabin, which has been closed for sometime now, is set to open in the spring of next year.  It seems that the cabin will be divided into roughly 10 rooms of 8-12 people rather than the old barrack-style that it used to be.  That should mean getting some sleep will be easier when you don’t have to listen to 60+ people snoring!  The Cabin will also have a restaurant too and hopefully there will still be kitchen facilities for those who want to do their own cooking.

The only bad news is that the cleaning fee for staying at the cabin will rise to $700 for foreigners and will remain at $220 for Taiwanese.  Given how much bad English and infrequent updates there are on the website, it seems a little rich for the foreigners to be charged more than 3 times as much.   We’ll have to see what eventually happens.  Fingers crossed the park authority see sense before the cabin opens.

Also earlier this week the dates for the resting period for Yushan were announced.  Climbers will not be allowed to hike Yushan between Feb 1st and Feb 29th.

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Taiwan Adventures The Oneline Guide

It’s been a hectic and crazy year for us, but finally our comprehensive online guides to Taiwan are finally ready.  Myself, Neil Wade, Ross Tweedie and my brother, Phil Dawson have spent the last 8 months or so building the two guides.  There is one in English and one that we have had translated into Chinese.

It’s been hard work to say the least.  Working full time jobs and then spending the evenings writing and the weekends travelling and visiting places, but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed.  It gave me a real kick up the arse to get out there and visit some of the places that I had been meaning to go to for a long time but had never gotten round to.

Some of my personal highlights include Guguan which I knew nothing about but absolutely loved, especially the hiking, getting the car stuck in snow at the top of Hehuanshan,  and motorcycling up and down the east coast between Hualien and Taidong with Neil this summer.

Each guide is divided up into 5 main areas, Taipei, north, east, south and central and then each area is divided up into specific places, such as Kending, the North East Coast or Danshui/Bali.  You can use the site to search for what’s near you or to plan a trip to another part of Taiwan or simply browse through the categories for things that interest you.

We have some 900 places listed including hotels, hikes, hot springs, transport etc.  Each place is listed on a google map and the address is in Chinese and English to make it easier to find.

Hopefully next week the mobile app version will be released in the itunes store and each area will be available for download to your iphone, ipad, or ipod. The app version will have online and offline maps so getting directions will be even easier and there are some 2000 photographs included.  We will continuously update the app and so, unlike a guide book, you won’t have to wait 3 years to pay for a new version., the update be available for free!

We hope that people find these guides useful and we’d love to hear some feedback about how we can improve them – info at taiwan-adventures dot com

 Iphone app guide to Taiwan

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Nenggao Historic Trail

A view of Nenggao Mountain on the Central Mountain Range of Taiwan

Neil and I revisited the Nenggao Historic Trail this weekend taking a group of 7 people with us.  This was a first go at guiding people on an over-nighter and we were lucky enough to have great company, weather and some fabulous views near the top of the Cilai South Peak.  It was a great weekend out away from the cities and into nature.

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Baiyang Waterfall -  白楊瀑布

The Baiyang Waterfall and suspension bridge

The fantastic Baiyang Waterfall trail in Taroko Gorge was once an easy walk along a flat wide road, but since the mountain above the first tunnel collapsed, it’s now a much harder and longer climb to get there.  The trail began it’s life back in 1984 when the Taipower Company built the road to explore the valley’s potential for hydroelectric power.  Outrage at the planned damming and diversion of water led to the project being shelved and finally abandoned in 1986 when Taroko Gorge regained its national park status.  The road was then opened up to the public as a hiking trail.

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