Posts Tagged With: Hiking

Teapot Mountain 茶壺山

Teapot Mountain 茶壺山 is definitely one of my favorite hikes in all of Taiwan.  On a clear day, Teapot can easily be conquered on a day trip from Taipei that even includes a visit to the nearby towns of Jinguashi 金瓜石 and Jiufen 九份.  A full weekend away could include any of the beautiful scenic areas of the Northeast Coast, including the Bitou Cape, Fulong Beach, Pingxi, the nearby Keelung City, and many other nice spots.

Teapot Mountain 茶壺山

Banpingshan has amazing views of the whole Northeast Coast.

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Categories: Hiking, Must See Taiwan, PHOTOGRAPHY, TAIWAN | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

River Tracing

River tracing in Taiwan is an excellent way to explore some of the more remote areas of Taiwan, and a great way to beat the summer heat.  Being such a steep, mountainous country, Taiwan has hundreds of small rivers loaded with clean water, waterfalls, and cool, refreshing pools to swim in.  Taking a river tracing tour has become more and more popular in the last few years amongst locals and expats alike.

River tracers relax at a remote waterfall in Northern Taiwan

Remote waterfalls like this one are rarely seen by most people. The only way to get there is by spending a few adventurous hours in a river with your friends.

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Categories: Hiking, TAIWAN, Taiwan Adventurers | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Snow Mountain 雪山 – Dec, 2011

Snow Mountain (aka Xueshan, and a few other spellings) is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful hikes in Taiwan.  I’ve been lucky enough to have done it several times now, and each time seems to get better and better.

Just this past weekend, Taiwan Adventures took took a group of hikers for a two day, two night adventure on this high mountain.  We had great people, great weather and a great time.

Hiking to Snow Mountain, Taiwan

The afternoon sun highlights some cliff ridges on the hike to Snow Mountain, Taiwan.

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Categories: Hiking, PHOTOGRAPHY, TAIWAN, Taiwan Adventurers | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Hiking Songluohu 松蘿湖

Songluohu (or Songluo Lake) is another small lake in the mountains near Yilan, Taiwan.   It’s a medium difficulty hike, mostly because the trail spends a lot of time crossing slippery tree roots, rocks and muddy slopes.  The 4 to 5 hour hike is well worth the effort though, as the lake itself is surrounded by small mountain peaks and is quite a unique sight.

We lead the second of our overnight hiking trips there about a week ago, so I thought I’d share the photos.

Hiking Sonluohu Lake Taiwan

The sunrise was beautiful.

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Categories: Hiking, PHOTOGRAPHY, TAIWAN | Tags: , , , , , , | 10 Comments

The Four Beast Mountains – Yongchun

My series of blog posts on hiking The Four Beast Mountains has become one of my most popular series since I’ve started blogging.  Now that spring is back upon us, I’ve noticed that those posts are getting more and more hits.  I can only guess that everyone is looking to get get some exercise!

So here’s a new post.  It’s going to be mostly just pictures, but they are all from an area that I glossed over in the last three posts.

The general Yongchun area consists of two high schools, a small military base, several temples, and a few apartment building neighborhoods.  The entire basin of this area (roughly 600m x 100m) was a shallow lake just a hundred years ago or so.

Promise King

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Categories: Hiking, Must See Taiwan, TAIWAN, The Four Beast Mountains | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Holy Ridge 雪山聖稜線

The Holy Ridge 雪山聖稜線 is one of Taiwan’s most famous big hiking trails.  It’s a stunning hike along a long ridge line that usually takes about 5 days.  It crosses several high peaks, including Taiwan’s second highest, Snow Mountain 雪山 (Xueshan) at 3886 m (12749 ft).  The ridge is so long that three full days can easily be spent at over 3,400 m.

My friends and I hiked The Holy Ridge recently in a four day blitz.  We achieved this by starting at midnight and hiking in the dark for an hour, then skipping the Snow Mountain Peak.

A Hiker Above the Clouds

A hiker looks out on a sea of clouds on Taiwan's Holy Ridge, a hiking trail on and around Snow Mountain (Xueshan).

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Categories: Hiking, PHOTOGRAPHY, TAIWAN, Video | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

Snow Mountain - 雪山

Snow Mountain (雪山) is Taiwan’s second highest mountain at 3,886m (12,749ft).  Located in Shei-Pa National Park, the most popular trail to the peak is called the East Xue Trail and is quite a beautiful one.  The trail passes through a variety of scenery including open grass fields, several different pine forests and a stunning ex-glacial cirque.  Despite the fact that I say the following after nearly every hike in Taiwan: This might be one of the best hikes I’ve ever been on!

It’s possible to hike Snow Mountain (aka XueShan or Syue Mountain) on a two day weekend from Taipei, but it’s difficult.  We spent an excruciating Saturday hiking for about 13 straight hours.  Our day started at 3 am and finished at dusk.  In between, we were lucky enough to have some beautiful weather and see some beautiful sites…

Snow Mountain East Peak

The East Peak of Snow Mountain pokes out of the mist during an early morning sunrise.

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Categories: Hiking, PHOTOGRAPHY, TAIWAN | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Random Taiwan Images

Here are my most recent “random” images from Taiwan.  It’s quite a mish-mash this time with images from the beach, the mountains, the city, a drainage ditch in Banqiao, and even one from a night club.

I’d like to take a moment to thank everyone over at Taiwanderful.net for holding the yearly “Best Taiwan Blog Award”.  I’m very honored to report that I’m a co-winner this year for the Best Overall Taiwan Blog and the Best Taiwan Photography Blog!  I’ll be sure to keep up the posting and I have a few new blog posts simmering that I should be able to put up in the near future.  Thanks everyone!

This first image was featured in a album on my facebook page called “Critique Me.”  If you’re trying to progress as a photographer, I would highly recommend asking for critiques from your peers.  It’s an invaluable way to get a different perspective of your images.  (Just don’t forget to wear your thick skin!)

Taiwan Economic Contrast

Old world meets new in a Taipei, Taiwan alley.

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Categories: PHOTOGRAPHY, TAIWAN | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Jialuo Hu 加羅湖 Revisited

Jialuo Hu 加羅湖 is a mountain lake found high in the mountains of northern Taiwan. Only 70km southwest of Yilan, the trail head is a three hour drive from Taipei. The hike to the lake takes about another three hours, making this an awesome weekend away from Taipei’s bright lights.

This was the second time we hiked up to the beautiful lake, so I’ll keep this post short, and get right to the newest pictures:

Dream Catcher at Lake

A dream catcher-like spider web reflects the morning sun on Jialuo Hu Lake, near Yilan, Taiwan.

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Categories: Hiking, PHOTOGRAPHY, TAIWAN | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Hiking Jade Mountain 玉山

Jade Mountain (玉山) is Taiwan’s tallest mountain at 3,952 m (12,966 ft).  It’s located within the Yushan National Park (玉山國家公園) just next to the famous Alishan National Scenic Area (阿里山國家風景區) in the central mountains of Taiwan.  If measured from the nearby ocean floor, the Jade Mountain Main Peak rises an impressive 8,000 m in only 100 km.

Getting a permit to hike Jade Mountain is no easy task.  My friends an I applied 14 times before finally receiving a permit to hike it on a weekend (A big thanks to Stu Dawson for his tenacity).  We received a second round of good luck by getting perfect hiking weather on the 4th of July weekend.  The trail to the peak is beautiful, and this hike is an absolute must-do for anyone with an adventurous soul living in Taiwan.

The Jade Mountain Main Peak as seen from the West Peak hiking trail.

The Jade Mountain Main Peak as seen from the West Peak hiking trail.

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Categories: Hiking, PHOTOGRAPHY, TAIWAN, Taiwan Adventurers, TRAVEL | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

Hiking Xiaozi Shan in Pingxi (孝子山平溪)

I went on another weekend hike with Stu recently, this one to Xiaozi Shan (孝子山) and its nearby mountains located just to the south of Pingxi (平溪), Taiwan.  We had a good time as usual, enjoying the first rain-free Sunday that Taipei has seen in months.

XiaoZi Shan and it neighboring mountains, Cimushan (慈母山) and Cimufeng (慈母) are all just a few minute’s hike from the 106 highway and downtown Pingxi.  They all feature sheer-rock faced peaks with awesome views of the surrounding mountains and the Pingxi valley. What’s unbelievable about this area, is that all of the peaks are accessed by a trail “intersection” that has 4 different trail heads withing 40 meters of each other, and the peaks are all within a 30 minute hike from there!

Stu and I spent a few hours hiking up and down all the different peaks, then wandered home on a back trail and still got home for a late lunch, which has to make this area THE most accessible and best bang-for-you-buck hikes in all of Taiwan…

Hiking near Pingxi, Taiwan

A couple of men descend from the peak of Xiaozi Shan (孝子山) on a aluminum ladder in Pingxi (平溪), Taiwan.

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Categories: Hiking, PHOTOGRAPHY, TAIWAN | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Yangming Shan and Taiwanese Volcanoes

I’m pretty sure that most people in Taipei don’t realize that they live at the base of a volcano.  What might be even more unsettling is that all indications show that there are still active magma cambers under northern Taiwan.

The Tatun Volcanic Group 大屯火山群 is a group of volcanoes that make up most of Yangming Shan National Park 陽明山國家公園, the large mountainous park that is just to the north, but technically within Taipei City limits.  The largest is Qixing Mountain 七星山 (Seven Star Mountain) at 1,120 meters (3,675 ft); the next is Datun Mountain 大屯山 and there are many smaller parasitic volcanoes whose peaks can be seen around the park.

One of the most obvious to the naked eye is a mountain called Huangzui Shan 磺嘴山, to the northeast of Qixing Shan and Taipei City.  It’s also one of the only ones with an obvious cauldron that you can hike into…

Unfortunately, we chose to visit on a day that you could barely see you hand in front of your face…

Hiker in Bad Conditions

A hiker in a rain storm walks through tall grass in Yangming Shan National Park in Taipei, Taiwan.

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Categories: Hiking, PHOTOGRAPHY, TAIWAN | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Hiking the Central Taiwan Mountains – NengGao 能高

The mountains of central Taiwan are remote and beautiful.  Some friends and I recently made a two day hiking trip to the old NengGao Historic Trail 能高越嶺古道. Starting near Puli 埔里, Taiwan, the Nenggao hiking trail is a long but relatively easy ascent to the “Spine of Taiwan”… the high mountain “Backbone” that runs north to south through its center.

Most of our trek was cool (perfect for hiking) and foggy (not so perfect for seeing the nice views), but we had a good time and saw some interesting things, so I thought I’d share.

Giant Earth Worm on the Neng Gao Historic Hiking Trail

A hiker in the Central Taiwan mountains finds a giant earthworm.

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Categories: Hiking, PHOTOGRAPHY, TAIWAN, Taiwan Adventurers | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

The Golden Grotto (黃金峽谷)

The Golden Grotto (黃金峽谷) is a beautiful slot canyon up a remote river valley near Hualian, Taiwan.  Located a few kilometers south of the entrance to Taroko Gorge National Park (太魯閣國家公園) or a few Kilometers north of Hualian (花蓮), the entrance to the Pratan South River is in Pratan Village (aka SanJhan South River (三棧南溪) and SanJhan Village (三棧)).

Jumping off one of the waterfalls behind the Golden Grotto near Hualian, Taiwan.

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Categories: Hiking, PHOTOGRAPHY, TAIWAN, Taiwan Adventurers | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Interesting Links

I haven’t posted a “Links” post in a long time, so I have quite a few… Let’s get to it:

My good friend Bryan Lathrop finally got a website up.  He’s a freelance photographer in Philadelphia shooting all kinds of different stuff.  Check the “Things” gallery for some real cool “Painting with Light”-type still lives.  This is a technique I’ve been meaning to write a post about but I’ve been having trouble fining the equipment I need in Taiwan…  Soon though… soon.

Cool Iris is a great add on to Firefox.  (I’m not sure if it works with other browsers)  It a much faster and cleaner way to view multiple photos on flickr or facebook or most sites that have a lot of photos.  I found that I needed to change the settings a little to keep myself from getting sick as I scrolled through (you’ll see), but it’s definitely cool.

Anther great add-on I found for Firefox is Autopager.  It automatically loads the next page when surfing many sites with all those numbered pages at the bottom.  It also works great with flickr and similar websites and saves a lot of time.

Here’s just an awesome photo of a volcano erupting.

From the “Fake Human Being Files” comes a fake woman.  It’s just an example that portraits are so easy to take now that you don’t even need a subject… or flashes… or a camera.

Want to go to college for photography?  PhotographyColleges.org has all the info you’ll need on choosing the right one.

And lastly is the most comprehensively written article on choosing photo equipment that I’ve ever read.  Alexandre Buisse wrote an article for The Luminous Landscape about the photography equipment he chooses to take mountain climbing and why.  I know most of you aren’t going to go on a big mountain expedition anytime soon, but reading this article is a reminder of the thought that sometimes needs to go into choosing photography gear.  Whether it’s for a big mountain adventure or a walk down the street… And it’s also a reminder that you don’t need all that flashy-super-expensive equipment!!!

Cheers,
-neil

Categories: Inspirational Links, PHOTOGRAPHY | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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