Nantou’s Wangyou Forest [忘憂森林] lies a stone’s throw from the popular Sitou Forest Recreational Area [溪頭自然教育園區]. To get there, simply follow Route 151 to Lugu→Sitou, keep a look out for the 12 animal zodiac signs, once you’ve past the pig zodiac it’s not too far till you get to a steep and narrow road leading up to a parking lot and the restaurant Wangyou Forest Cafe. You can park on the main road and walk up, which probably takes about 40 minutes, or you can call the restaurant and the owner will pick you up [tel:0916990520].
Most of the dishes at the restaurant cost between $300-$350NT, which is expected given its location. No one in our group seemed really wowed by the food, but the air and the view [first picture in the post] are great.
I left my wife and her friends behind for a moment to take a walk around one of the area’s tea farms, the picture above are baskets used to collect tea leaves. At times mists would come and go hindering visibility:
The Wangyou Forest is only about a 5-10 minute walk from the restaurant. Despite the short walk it’s still really important to dress appropriately because most of the way is a dirt trail covered with roots, mosses, and the occasional fallen tree or large rock that needs to be manuevered over.
The area is a large pine forest, but one section has gone through a transformation.
The 921 Earthquake caused a small section of the forest to become a marshland. The pine trees that were living in this section died because they could not survive with their roots soaked so long underwater. The result, is breathtaking:
I found a stunning aerial photo by Chi Po-lin [齊柏林] available on his blog.
After sometime in the forest we made our way back to the car along the narrow road:
We saw plenty of these on our trip, they are for moving goods and people to and from the farms. I was tempted to ask for a ride on one but chickened out at the last minute: