Day 1: Taipei – Taroko Gorge

I always had a soft spot for Taiwan. Warm people, a fighting spirit and delicious street food. Little did I know till now that it also has really amazing nature landscapes.

While checking up on Taiwan’s scenic areas and hikes, I came across Taroko Gorge. I haven’t heard of this before as most of my friends usually visit Taipei or Kenting. They are totally missing out on what Taiwan has to offer!!

We stayed at Taroko Lodge, where Rihang, the host is quite a destination by himself. He is an experienced guide and the best part is he knows many secret spots and can offer bike rentals with van pick-ups for a reasonable price.

We visited what he calls Rihang’s Pacific Ocean:

IMG_6733

We could not resist doing some epic shots:

IMG_6772

Rihang drove us and our bikes all the way up the winding roads into the deep recesses of the gorge so that we could cycle downhill (mostly) and enjoy the views and stop to visit the little trails if we so wish. It is absolutely the most enjoyable and scenic 25km cycling path I have ever been on.

We stopped by for a natural hot spring experience (see the little humans below):

IMG_6796

The rocks were so beautiful:

IMG_6840

We visited a temple on the way where there is a cool pagoda and the perfect place for a picnic:

IMG_6860

IMG_6875

This is nearing the swallow grotto which is the place where most tour buses stop at. For the usual tourists, this would be the only part of the Taroko Gorge where they would have a short and very crowded glimpse of its beauty. Honestly, the tour bus tourists do kill the experience! This bridge is also the ending point of the Zhuilu Old Trail, which is a day hike. Highly highly recommended! More details under Day 2.

IMG_6889

We continued our cycling as the day grew darker. The weather changes quite rapidly in this season and we found ourselves in a stretch that was mysterious looking. We couldn’t resist again.

IMG_6911

Victorious at our meeting point: Trusty old 7-11.

IMG_6915

Then we went driven to the nearby Hua Lian night market where we ate a lot. A lot. Yay!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s