Sunday Cycling – Pingding/Zhongliao [M] Loop

biking (2 of 20)
This morning I embarked on the same route I cycled last week.  This path brought me up to the Pingding Sacred Tree and down through Zhongliao [中寮鄉] on a slightly extended edition of a path I usually take.
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Saturday Cycling – Touring Zhongliao

Biking Around Zhongliao
I woke up early on Saturday with the intent of cycling out to Zhongliao’s [中寮] Dragon and Phoenix Waterfalls [龍鳳瀑布]. The weather was cool, but quite tolerable once I hit the road. Regular readers will recognize the temple pictured above from the conclusion of my previous biking trip.
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The Dragon & Phoenix Waterfall Skybridge

Trips to the Waterfalls
I’ve visited the Dragon and Phoenix Waterfalls [龍鳳瀑布] of Zhongliao Township in Nantou County several times in the past few years. I’ve made frequent stops there on cycling trips through Zhongliao and taken my family there a few times for recreational hiking and firefly viewing. In recent years Nantou County Government has taken steps to turn the county into a tourist wonderland by initiating the construction of several projects like the one I’m featuring here. Continue reading

The 2014 Taiwan Lantern Festival

2014 National Lantern Festival

The once sleepy Jhongsing Village [中興新村] is now bustling with activity as it’s the location of the 2014 Taiwan Lantern Festival. The event started February 13th and runs through February 23rd. This annual event has been recently named one of the best festivals in the world by the Discovery Channel so I conjured up the energy to walk five minutes from my front door to check things out myself.
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Events Around Town – Sand & Lanterns

Nantou Sand Sculpture Festival (2009)
Nantou Sand Sculpture Festival [circa 2009]

Happy Lunar New Year readers! The 2014 Nantou Sand Sculpture Art Festival [南投市貓羅溪畔沙雕藝術節] started a few days ago and runs through March 9th. I haven’t had an opportunity to take the family there this year so the best I could do for a header picture is one I took five years ago. From the handful of photographs I’ve seen floating on the net there’s a fine assortment of sculptures so this could be a good trip for anyone seeking to get out of the house during the holiday. Here’s the official website which is highly useful if you can read Chinese. Admission is $50NT except for us awesome residents of Nantou City and Zhongliao Township who can get in for free. Motorists can take the No. 3 Freeway to the Nantou City exit. Follow Nangang Industrial #2 Road [南崗工業區南崗二路] toward the Nangang Industrial Area and turn left of Zhonghua Road [中華路]. Turn right on the Nangang Daqiaotou Flood Dike Road [南崗大橋頭右轉堤防防汛道路] and continue till you reach the venue.

A much larger event is the upcoming Taiwan Lantern Festival [台灣燈會] right here in Jhongsing Village. Organizers were kind enough to include English on their website but several sections were incomplete as of writing this. The event runs from February 13th through 23rd. Visitors have several options on transportation: Motorists can get off Freeway No. 3 at Caotun or Mingjian and follow the instructions of the several hundred officers who will be on hand to direct traffic to one of the many parking areas, High Speed Railers can zip to Taichung HSR Station and ride a shuttle bus waiting for you at exit #6, Railfans can take the regular train to Yuanlin or Wuri Station and take shuttle buses from those stations, while Shoppers can take the shuttle buses running from Taichung’s Tiger City Department Store to the Lantern Festival.

The Dragon and Phoenix Waterfalls

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of cycling with the Nantou City Power Cycling Club to a destination I haven’t visited since last year:  The Dragon and Phoenix Waterfalls [龍鳳瀑布].  The waterfalls are located in Zhongliao’s [中寮] Cingshui Village [清水村].  I’m happy to report that since my last visit, the walkway heading towards the waterfall has been repaired and other parts have been improved which should make this destination much more accessible if visiting with children.  A second walkway, on the other side of the Longan Forest River [龍眼林溪] has not been completed yet.
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