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.
Posts Tagged With: adventure
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.
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:
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.
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…
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)).
Formosa Adventurers just got back from our 4 day trip to promote Taiwan.
We had an absolutely fantastic time and it will be one of those events in my life that I’ll always look back at and smile about.
In four days we went river tracing, white water rafting, 4-wheeling, paragliding, hot springing, local food eating, and we also learned a lot about the aboriginal culture here in Taiwan.
There’s nothing like a fun trip with your friends… you should plan one now and make some videos like we did… seriously!
These are the things we do on many weekends, but the fact that we were doing it to try to win a contest gave us a bit of extra “umpf” and made it really special.
You can learn a lot more by reading our official contest blog and watching the videos below. (If you’re short on time, day 1 and 3 are my favorites!)
If you haven’t seen our video, have a look below, then go vote for us and leave some comments!
Thank you all so much!
The Formosa Adventurers got a write-up in today’s China Times! We haven’t been able to find an online version, but if you can read Chinese, pick one up and check out page A10! Woo Hoo!
Also, if you want to follow the Formosa Adventurers on Twitter, click the link below:
UK and USA United Forces
Taiwan’s tourism bureau believe so far that the team with the most special qualities and a lot of interest online is the Formosa Adventurers. Comprising of four guys from the UK and the USA, the Formosa Adventurers have had a lot of people watch their introductory video. They are planning a adventure sports and aboriginal culture-themed trip including river tracing and white-water rafting in Hualian, paragliding and visiting an aboriginal tribe in Taidong as well as experience Zhiben and Jinlun’s hot springs.
A combination of Taiwanese adventure and aboriginal culture that is very authentic Taiwanese. The team also write about Taiwan’s natural beauty and their own interesting travel experiences in their blogs which are written in English and Chinese.
The way the contest works is that everyone who wants to give it a try uploads a travel plan, video and group introduction to the website. From there, the contest organizers select 50 groups to complete their plans. They give them 28,000 NTD (about $800USD) to do it. After you finished with the 4 days, you upload a video and blog showing what you did. Then, one group wins the grand prize of 1 million NTD (about $30,000USD) and gets to travel in Taiwan for a month, blogging on their experiences.
Not a bad deal. And since this is what we do all the time anyway, it sounded perfect for us.
Our itinerary is (approximately) as follows:
(I’ll update this later, I don’t actually have the real one sitting in front of me now):
Train from Taipei to Hualien. River tracing through one of the beautiful canyons down there. Then that night, a visit to the night market.
White water rafting in The Rift Valley. Followed by a train ride to Taidong and a visit to the night market and a few other sites in the city.
Paragliding just north of Taidong. Then a visit to an aboriginal village for a cultural show and some Taiwanese Aboriginal Food.
Hiking through an ancient forest to a wild hot spring. Then, the train ride back to Taipei.
So please watch the video below and go vote for us at Taiwan’s “Best Trip in the World” contest.
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…
Tiger Mountain(虎山) is the second subject of three in this series of articles on hiking Taipei, Taiwan’s Four Beasts Mountains (四獸山).
Tiger Mountain is the most northern of the Four Beasts Mountains and the easiest to get to. It’s not the easiest to find (that would be Elephant Mountain) but if you have transportation, it’s an easy walk along a well kept, level trail.
All along the trail are stunning views of Taipei 101, Taipei City, and Nangang.
Taiwan is covered in hot springs. There are famous ones like Beitou, Jinshan and Wulai, but there are also many “wild” ones. Generally the wild ones are a bit more off the beaten track, and are almost always quite difficult to get to. The biggest problem getting to them isn’t the drive or the hike, it’s finding good directions (in English or Chinese). But then again, I guess if they were easy to get to or had good directions, there would be more people there and they wouldn’t be as interesting.
I recently went on a ride down the Northern Cross Island Highway 北橫 with some friends. The main goal of this particular trip was to find a remote, wild hot spring called the Siling Hot Springs 四稜温泉.
Hiking Huang Di Dian 皇帝殿 this past weekend was one of the best day trips I’ve been on in Taiwan. Just about 20 minutes from Taipei, this hike is one that shouldn’t be missed.
Hiking in Taiwan just might be the best thing that you can do here. Fresh air, beautiful views, and a bit of exercise can really help you to forget the traffic, noise and pollution of the cities. I find it really sad that a lot of the people who live here never leave the cities. I’ve met foreigners who have lived here for years and have literally never left the city once. Personally, I go crazy if I can’t get out of Taipei at least every other weekend. Sometimes, I head to the mountains, sometimes the beach, sometimes the hot springs.
Last weekend, my friends and I decided that a little hiking was in order. Stu Dawson is completely insane about hiking and has started a website called Hiking Taiwan. He knows his stuff, so if he has a hike planned, I’ll usually try to tag along.
Last weekend we headed out to a small town called Pingxi 坪溪, just 30 minutes from Taipei. Surrounding Pingxi 坪溪 are some beautiful, jagged mountains that are perfect for a days get away.
We chose one called Feng Tou Jian 峰頭尖 that sits on a complex system of trails that crisscross Taiwan.
I’ll keep the story short because Stu did a great job of writing about it on his website. So if you want the details and practicalities of going to this particular trail, go to his site. I just thought I’d share my pictures from the hike to hopefully motivate some of you to get out there and start enjoying yourself!
More hiking in Taiwan after the jump…