Posts Tagged ‘Taichung County’


March 30, 2010

I had spent most of Sunday morning studying Chinese, so by the time 3pm rolled around I was ready to road trip it to the mountains for some fresh air and greenery.

I found this video on YouTube about a waterfall supposedly 30 minutes outside Taichung City, called Siannyu Waterfall. My boyfriend and I decided we must find it as summer is just around the corner and it would be great to have a place to swim and escape the crazy Taiwanese summer heat.

So… off we went.

The Bat Hole (Toubiankeng Bat Cave) – a series of very narrow caves that you can climb through. We didn’t go into the caves because we didn’t have a torch and my shoes were too precious to me to risk them being covered in bat s*&t, but we’ll go back another time better equipped.

Some locals were swimming in a large waterhole in the river below the caves. One kid was contemplating jumping from the cliff into the water  but he backed out in the end.

Carrying on down the road we saw this sign. We were on our way!

Plantations of fruit trees and betelnut palms covered the hills either side of the road. Each piece of fruit was individually wrapped in a white paper bag, giving the hillsides a polka dot pattern that you can’t really appreciate in this photo.

We made a quick detour from the task at hand to climb the hill and check out the view. Amazing!

Found it! After a dodgy drive down a crazily small and ill-kept road we finally found the start of the waterfall. Very remote and surrounded by amazingly steep mountain peaks.

There are tons of potential swimming spots downstream from the start of the waterfall.

A secretive cafe just up from the waterfall, filled with pottery casks of… something. We didn’t try it out this time but it looks like the perfect place to relax post-swim. Bring on summer!

How to get there: Take Highway 136 from Taichung City and follow the Siannyu Waterfall signs. They’ll take you past the Toubiankeng Bat Cave. The waterfall is in the Taiping Wine Cask Mountain area. The drive should take you between 30 – 50 minutes, depending on which part of Taichung you are coming from and how comfortable your scooter seat is.

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January 3, 2010

I have been holed up in my apartment for two days suffering from an awful cold. I had had enough of watching movies, putting on the washing, hanging out the washing, wearing my dressing gown, washing the dishes, eating soup… and today decided I needed to hit the bush (or jungle in Taiwan, I guess).

So, I worked out how to catch the bus to Dakeng Scenic Area. I caught the 15 on Beitun Road near where it crosses Wenxin Road and the 21 back to roughly the same spot. And it only takes about 15  minutes by bus to get into the mountains. I can’t believe how close lush rainforest is to the city.

We didn’t look at any travel brochures before we went and I really believed the trails would consist of leisurely strolls through manicured shrubbery. So I dressed accordingly – wearing a silk dress, white cardy and black leather boots.

Here’s a picture of the actual trail.

It was truly a hike and I was constantly in fear of slipping over. But, I hitched up my skirt and dug in and we got to the top of the trail and came across a Buddhist temple complex sprawling over the top of the mountain. The views were wonderful, even through the smog.

Thankfully, as the temple sat atop the mountain, the walk back was pretty much all downhill. We stomped down and strolled past a river, home to tons of tadpoles, a flock of geese and one of those white crane-like birds you see everywhere in Taiwan. It was just lovely.

We then wandered around the township at the base of the trail. There seemed to be one shop that was super popular with all the visitors but we couldn’t work out what was being sold. Possibly a soup of some kind.

We also stumbled across a tourist attraction which housed a DIY shop called Carton King with an attached museum exhibiting, yep, many different kinds of cardboard containers.

Most of the merchandise was pretty average, stuff I’ve seen before and don’t really like, but there was a whole lot of cardboard furniture that was pretty cool and I really liked these cardboard bags.

But the best thing about this tourist attraction was the Honey Museum which wasn’t actually a museum at all but a shop selling locally produced honey products. Among these products was this honey ice cream.

I can with all honesty say it was the yummiest ice cream I have tried in ages. Creamy with no icey bits and just a subtle honey flavour that mixed beautifully with the vanilla. And it only cost NT$90 for two tubs.

Dakeng Township seems to have a weird fascination with toy windmills, the ones that as a kid you would run around with on the end of a stick and blow it to make it twirl. They’re everywhere. I’m not sure if they’re up all over town for some kind of festival or if they’re always there. Anyway, they made for great photos.

After looking at windmills and eating our fill of sublime ice cream we jumped on the number 21 bus and rode it back to Wenxin Road.

When we got back to our apartment I looked up the area on Google maps and saw that there are a ton of trails to explore and a million other things to see. So I’m going back, more suitably attired, in the weekends to come.

All up, for two people, the trip cost us NT$170. NT$80 return for the bus and $90 for the two tubs of ice cream.

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Copyright © 2010. This website is for personal non-commercial use only. All written work and imagery copyright to jar of buttons unless otherwise stated.