Hiking Taiwan – Jialou Hu 加羅湖

JiaLou Hu 加羅湖 is a mountain lake tucked high in one of Taiwan’s beautiful clouded forests.  If you can get to the trail head, it’s a moderate three hour hike to the lake.  On the way, you pass through some spectacular forests scattered with luscious green ferns, mossy vines, and a few 1,000 year old trees.

Three friends and I went there during the four day “Dragon Boat” holiday in late May.  We did it in two days, but there is plenty more to explore in the area, and most of the people we met there were staying for the whole weekend.

I took this opportunity to give my first shot at a multi-media presentation.  I would really, really like to get some critiques and feedback on what you think of it, so please feel free to comment below.

The multi-media presentation is above, but there are some still photographs and more information after the jump…

As usual, we drove motorcycles from Taipei to the trail head, this time behind a small village on the #7 highway called Siji 四季.  (Here’s a link to a Google map so you can see the area.)

We almost stopped in the car parking area and started walking, but a nice local guy came by and told us that motorcycles were allowed to drive around the gate and up to the start of the trail head about 4 km up the hill.  (Than you, local guy!!!)

Even before getting to the top, we saw what a beautiful place this was.  Unspoiled forests and luscious ferns welcomed us and and constantly egged us on.

Before we even got to the trail head, we knew we were in for a nice hike.
Before we even got to the trail head, we knew we were in for a nice hike.
The hike up was sometimes a bit difficult due to these exposed roots and muddy conditions.
The hike up was sometimes a bit difficult due to these exposed roots and muddy conditions.
We walked through this stunnung forest for three hours.
We walked through this stunning forest for three hours.

After about three hard hours up slippery root climbing, we made it to the top.  Here we found an interesting grassland area, with hidden mountain lakes and head high grasses.

The beautiful grasslands on the top of mountain.
The beautiful grasslands on the top of mountain.
Stu as we entered the head-high grass.
Stu as we entered the head-high grass.

The main lake wasn’t really that big (in Philly we’d call it a pond)  but it was beautiful.  It was much more shallow than we thought it would be, probably only 3 feet deep at the deepest.  It was also packed with huge tadpoles which was quite a surprise.

A view of Jialu Hu 加羅湖 with our tents on the far shore.  (The main lake is actually the one in the background, but I liked this picture the most)
A view of Jialu Hu 加羅湖 with our tents on the far shore. (The main lake is actually the one in the background, but I liked this picture the most)

After setting up camp, we went for a bit of an explore to the tops of the ridges and found some nice spots to come back to for sunrise.  Unfortunately, we wandered off the path and ended up a little lost…  in six foot deep grass as the sun was about to set!  No worries though, we were all in good “spirits” (pun intended) and just crashed our way towards where we thought the campsite was.

Almost "Lost in the grass part 1."  Me, Ross, Stu and Phil.
Almost “Lost in the grass part 1.” Me, Ross, Stu and Phil.
Lost in the grass part 1.
“Lost in the grass part 1.”
Lost in the grass part 1.
“Lost in the grass part 1.”

The night was cold, it actually went a few degrees below freezing and after a sleepless night we awoke to frozen frost on all our tents.

Phils portrait before it started to get really cold.
Phil’s portrait before it started to get really cold.
Ice on my tent... in June.
Ice on my tent… in June.
Just walk that way through the grass, theres got to be a trail.
“Just walk that way through the grass, there’s got to be a trail.”
Yes this was the second time we got lost in tall grasslands... Funny how I cant remember whose fault it was...
Yes this was the second time we got lost in tall grasslands… Funny how I can’t remember whose fault it was…

A nice sunrise and another explore found us lost again for an hour or so but everybody was still in good moods and breakfast beckoned us, warming our bellies for a nice hike down and back to Taipei.

As we descended, we were once again amazed by the luscious forest.
As we descended, we were once again amazed by the luscious forest.

Check out Stu’s blog over at Hiking Taiwan.

and Phil’s blog (in Chinese) at 老外的臺灣旅遊日記.

Thanks for reading!
-neil

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Categories: Hiking, Motorcycling, PHOTOGRAPHY, TAIWAN, Video | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

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31 thoughts on “Hiking Taiwan – Jialou Hu 加羅湖

  1. Hey mate, I love the video. Must have taken you sometime to make. More motorcycle madness next time though!

    • Yeah, I was thinking that too. But motorcycling is the hardest stuff to get. That would mean we would have to stop more often to shoot photos… And I know I don’t want to stop that often so I’m sure you guys don’t want to either.

      I also definitely need more video… Might have to actually buy a video camera soon!

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  3. Well done on the video – the mix of photo and video is definitely the way of the future.

  4. karen

    very cool – looks like u r having a great time…

  5. Thanks Craig.

    I guess I should give a few more details. It’s the first video that I’ve edited since about 1994 when I was using two VCRs and was hitting pause and record.

    I did the video using imovie 08. There are quite a few problems, I think mostly with the way I shot it. The first sequence of the motorcycles coming over the bridge isn’t so good. I shot it at 3 fps and that’s too slow. The later two, that I shot at 5 fps, work much better.

    It also needs more video. The video on it is shot with a Canon point and shoot camera. I’m actually impressed with how good it looks (relatively speaking, of course). It makes me think that maybe I can go buy a really cheap, really small video camera and get good enough quality… I doubt I’m going HD anytime soon. (and if I do, I can rent one)

    I also want to do some sound collecting. That’s something that I don’t want to skimp on quality, but I don’t think I’m really motivated to do this enough to warrant buying an expensive set up. I might just get the microphone for my ipod for the time being.

    Other than that, I think I need to vary the length of some of the photos more… Linger on the more interesting ones and make some of the others go more quickly.

    Any other ideas?

  6. I like the video, but you’re right it needs more video. I actually like the photo video sequences the best, though.

    I linked you on my blog today. I had 350 hits yesterday, so you might get a lot of visitors today.

    That picture of the four of us would work well for the trip, too.

    • Thanks for the link. I like the still sequences too. I need to figure out a few ways to make them better, but I have some good ideas now.

  7. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Taiwan: Hiking to Jialuo Lake

  8. Ariel

    wow…i love the video:)

  9. I’m probably not the best person to give you ideas, as I haven’t really embraced the whole video thing yet. It’s something I need to get into, but there are only so many hours in the day and chasing after new clients is taking priority at the moment.

  10. Pingback: Weekly Links – June 4, 2009 « The Daily Bubble Tea

  11. One other thing I forgot:

    The song is “End of the Line” by the Traveling Wilburys

  12. To be honest with you mate, i’m happy to stop for a good shot and to give my arse a break from the bike!

  13. Mia

    I like your vedio, good job. I know this site is because of 老外的台灣旅遊日記.
    Wish you 4 can win 世界最棒的旅遊 !

  14. Pingback: [Stu Dawson] Jia Luo lake in Yilan 加羅湖 - Taiwan Trek

  15. Great video and hiking images. Nice one.

  16. Such nice video and I actually like the photo video sequences the best, though..

  17. Pingback: Jialuo Lake – 加羅湖 « Hiking Taiwan

  18. David

    Hi,

    great video. Can I ask what program you used to put this together with? I like how the photos panned and zoomed and the transitions really made everything blend together great.

  19. wow… i like your video, good job.

  20. Pingback: Jialuo Hu 加羅湖 Revisited « Neil Wade's Photography Blog

  21. Pingback: 端午節在加羅湖 « 老外的台灣遊記

  22. Littleq

    I link here form Dawson’s Chinese blog, I see lots of great pictures~
    Neil you are awesome!

    I am Taiwaness and live in taipei. My girlfriend is a student of 師大.

  23. Ming

    Am checking out the info of Jialo Hu, your blog is linked to Neil’s, which is the first website link on google search. It’s great!

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