Tuesday’s Hike – Part II [Fog and Birds]

Things are clear down here...

Once I arrived at the Yangmingshan Bus Terminal after a walk along a portion of the Jinbaoli Trail [金包里大道], I immediately scoured the food vendors for a lunch more suitable than the apples and 7-11 sandwiches I inhaled on the previous trail. After fried fish balls and some soup, I stood back in line to get back on the park bus. Yangmingshan’s park buses are tiny, there are always a lot of people much more deserving of a seat than I am, so each time I usually unnaturally contort my neck because of the low ceiling. It also doesn’t help that many of the bus drivers drive like maniacs.
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Tuesday’s Hike – Part I [Falls and Cows]

Ready, set, go!

Early in the morning I checked the weather report: an 80% chance of light rain on Yangmingshan. I began plowing through online maps and information to find a suitable trail for the day. I ultimately settled on Jinbaoli Trail [金包里大道] using Jyuansih Waterfall [絹絲瀑布] as a starting point. The trail once served as an important link between Shilin [士林] and Jinshan [金山].
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Zhuzi Lake

Sweet Potato Soup

Ginger and Sweet Potato Soup [薑汁番薯湯]

We left the flower show in the early afternoon and took a bus to Zhuzi Lake [竹子湖]. By the time we arrived it was raining fairly hard so we took shelter at one of the nearby restaurants for a late lunch and to wait for the rain to lighten up a bit.
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Yangmingshan Flower Festival and Datun Falls

Us

I spent most of Chinese New Year in Nantou eating and playing Mahjong. On Saturday, Cathy and I came back to Taipei to be greeted by the same weather that has plagued Taipei for 5 weeks: rainy and cold.
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Liuhuangku Geothermal Scenic Area

Liuhuangku 6

I had some time to kill before going to work, a rarity awarded to me during Shida’s semester breaks, so I decided to walk from Xinbeitou Station [新北投站] to Zhongzheng Mountain [中正山]. I didn’t know anything about the mountain, I just saw a picture of its location on the area map located inside the MRT station. Along the way I got lost changed my mind and decided to stop at the Liuhuangku Geothermal Scenic Area [硫磺谷地熱景觀區].
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Qixing Mountain Trail

Qixing Mountain path

I was off to an early start today on account of a work crew doing repairs outside my apartment at 7:30 in the morning. Qixing Mountain [七星山] is Yangmingshan National Park’s [陽明山國家公園] highest peak at 1,120 meters.
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Eating @ Shi Yang Cultural Restaurant, Lengshuikeng

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The Shi Yang Cultural Restaurant is located on Lane 101 Jingshan Road, south of the Lengshuikeng Visitor Center in Yangmingshan National Park. The area is named Lengshuikeng (cool water pit) because the temperature of the hot springs in this area is about 90 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than usual hot springs. I must warn you, there are lots of pictures of food in this post, so please proceed with caution.
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Two days in Hualian

It was great to get out of Taipei for a couple days during the break from class and work. On Friday, Cathy and I took an early train from Taipei to Hualian. Although we had to stand on the train, it was not as busy as I had expected. I have been on busier trains on trips from Taichung and back. The views from the train were great when I made the effort to contort my body to unnatural positions to look out the window.

When we got off the train, we had met the owner of the hotel we were staying at, he drove us up a mountain trail to a small stream where we met another group staying at the hotel for barbeque.

The water was cool and the first clean river I have seen in Taiwan:

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Kenting National Park

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After we visited the Aquarium, long prior to the arrival of Typhoon Kaemi, we went to Kenting National Park which is the oldest and southernmost park in Taiwan. The northern section of the park has large mountains:
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Yangmingshan National Park

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On Saturday, Catherine, Hailey, and Jennifer treated me to a trip to Yangmingshan (陽明山) located just outside Taipei City. Yangmingshan used to be known as Caoshan (Grassy Mountain), however the name was changed in the 1950s to honor the Ming dynasty philosopher Wang Yang-ming (1472-1529). Because it was a Saturday and so many people do not work on Saturdays, the place had a lot of people there. The park was very easy and inexpensive to get to through Taipei’s bus network. It is flower season on Yangmingshan from late February to early April, so the place was filled with color (although we missed the Japanese Cherry Blossoms at their full bloom by about a week). Looking at a map of the park, there is still much to be explored, as we only went for a few hours to the flower show and the nearby flower farm.
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