3PlayGrounds - Let's explore the beauties of Taiwan

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" The second-hand torn Atlas that I picked up when I was 7 years old. I flipped it every day and wonder what is happening in the world and to the people. I wonder why straight lines can be drawn on the map and then called country. "
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In 1590, Portuguese sailors passed by the eastern coast of Taiwan and were so moved by the grandeur of what they saw that they named this land "Illa Formosa" the beautiful island. Since then the majestic views of Hualien have come to represent Taiwan.  That is the first stop for us.
Let's explore the beauties of Taiwan starting at TaiwanEast Rift Valley, sea of rape seeds flowers, photo credits to Hualien Tourism Board

We will visit East Rift Valley, called the land of milk and honey.  It is also well-known for its rice but after harvesting season, starting Nov the rape seeds planted will transform the fields to seas of yellow flowers. 

Let's explore the beauties of Taiwan starting at TaiwanLiyu Lake, photo credits to Hualien Tourism Board

There are so many places we can visit and with the limited time, we will decide as a group the places we want to stay longer or skip.  I suggest we visit Liyu Lake. Ruisui Hot Springs 48°C, its water very good for skin diseases and arthritis.  Antong Hot Springs 66°C its waters good for skin ailments, stomach and intestine ailments, gynecological diseases, and wounds. 

 Let's explore the beauties of Taiwan starting at TaiwanSatokoay Historical Site, photo credits to Hualien Tourism Board

The Ruisui Pasture, since Hualien is famous for its milk, lets’ try the milk and milk steamed buns.  Satokoay Historical Site, where relics of the prehistoric Quilin Culture of the East Coast dating back to 3,000 years are found. Tropic of Cancer Marker and many other places.

We will head to the Taroko National Park to trek Zhuilu Old Trail.  The scenery below is the magnificent marble-walled canyon of Taroko and the Liwu River that carved it.

Let's explore the beauties of Taiwan starting at TaiwanZhuilu Old Trail

This trail was part of a longer cross-island mountain pass built by indigenous groups in the area.  We can still find remnants of their settlements and market outposts along the path. Subsequently, the Japanese recruited tribe members to further develop the trail during colonial time.

 Let's explore the beauties of Taiwan starting at TaiwanOnly very limited number of people is allowed each day on the trail.

The next day we will visit the less demanding trails of Taroko National Park.

Let's explore the beauties of Taiwan starting at TaiwanBaiyang Trail waterfall, photo credits to Taitung Tourism Board

Baiyang Trail, we will be passing through six tunnels to reach the Baiyang Waterfall.  The Baiyang Suspension Bridge offers spectacular views of the waterfall and the river valley.

Let's explore the beauties of Taiwan starting at TaiwanQingshui Cliff, photo credits to Taitung Tourism Board

Qingshui Cliff, located on the section of the Suao-Hualien Highway that stretches between Heping and Chongde stations, is one of the most spectacular sights on Taiwan's Pacific coast. The cliff is more than 1,000 meters high and drops almost vertically into the sea.

Let's explore the beauties of Taiwan starting at TaiwanSwallow Grotto, photo credits to Taitung Tourism Board

The Pacific swallows often forage and nest here, therefore giving the place its name.

Let's explore the beauties of Taiwan starting at TaiwanQixingtan Beach

The Qixingtan Beach, located in a half-moon-like shape gulf, the beach is famous for its beautiful natural landscape.

We will then head to Shei-Pa Mountain to hike for 3 days.  Standing at 3886 metres it is Taiwan 2nd highest mountain.  This park is also well-known for its sea of clouds and 51 other mountainous peaks over 3000 metres.

Let's explore the beauties of Taiwan starting at TaiwanDabajian mountain, photo credits to Wikimedia@Peellden

 

Let's explore the beauties of Taiwan starting at TaiwanShei-Pa Mountain, trail entrance, photo credits to National Park of Taiwan

Leaving Shei-Pa Mountain, we will head to Sun and Moon Lake is the only natural big lake in Taiwan. The southern part of Lalu Island is shaped like a new moon, and the northern part is shaped like a sun, therefore the name.

Let's explore the beauties of Taiwan starting at TaiwanSun Moon Lake

Arriving in Alishan, famous for its sunrise view and the cloud ocean. The clouds are so dense and thick that the mountain tops appear like islands in the cloud ocean. Besides, the sea of clouds, Alishan is also famous for sunrise, afterglow, forest, railways, and culture.

Let's explore the beauties of Taiwan starting at TaiwanAlishan sunrise

Let's explore the beauties of Taiwan starting at TaiwanAlishan sea of clouds

There is so much for us to see in Alishan that we will be spoiled for choices.  The giant sacred tree, over 3000 years old, was originally 52 meters tall, had a girth of 23, but has fallen over.   However, there are still many ancient and sacred trees still standing.  The famous Taiping’s 36 bend cloud road, climbing from an elevation of 100 meters to 1000 meters.  The Makino bamboo forest trail.  Plum blossom road, named because of the plum blossom trees that line it; every winter the flowers in bloom create a beautiful sight.  The Absent Minded trail, Lijia village, Shanmei trail, Yuantan Natural Eco Park, Swallow Cliff, 1000 Year Bat Cave and many others.  I don't think we have time for all, we have to decide as a group where we want to go.

Not forgetting the train journey for its famous sunrise, however, we can only confirm the tickets the day before.  Otherwise, we will trek up 50 mins.
Let's explore the beauties of Taiwan starting at TaiwanChushan train

We will leave Alishan and head to Guanziling hot spring, famous for its muddy hot springs. One of the 3 in the world, one in Japan and another in Sicily. Alternatively, if you don't fancy soaking yourself in mud, you can visit Water Fire Cave.

Let's explore the beauties of Taiwan starting at TaiwanGuanziling hot spring, photo credits to The King’s Garden Villa

We finally end the trip in Taipei, relying on public transport to explore Taipei City.  Let’s reward us with endless choices of Taiwan good food.


Itinerary
:

Day 0
2200 hrs: Meet at Changi Airport and leave for Taipei

Day 1

0600 hrs: Arrive Taipei
0700 hrs: Leave for Hualien
1100 hrs: Reach Hualien
1200 hrs: Lunch
1300 hrs: Visit East Rift Valley, Liyu lake, Ruisui Hot Springs, Antong Hot Springs, Ruisui Pasture, Tropic of Cancer Marker, Satokoay Historical Site
1900 hrs: Hualien city, overnight Hualien city

Day 2
0600 hrs: Breakfast
0630 hrs: Leave for Taroko National Park
0700 hrs: Start Zhuilu Old Trail
1200 hrs: Lunch
1700 hrs: Overnight Taroko National Park hotel
Highlight Taroko National Park

Day 3
0730 hrs: Breakfast, leave for Taroko National Park
0800 hrs: Baiyang Trail, Qingshui Cliff, Swallow Grotto, Qixingtan Beach
1200 hrs: Lunch
1700 hrs: Overnight Taroko National Park hotel
Highlight Taroko National Park

Day 4
0700 hrs: Breakfast

0730 hrs: Leave for Shei-Pa National Park
1100 hrs: Arrive Shei-Pa National Park
1300 hrs: Lunch and start Shei-Pa climb
1800 hrs: Overnight Qika hut
Highlight Shei-Pa National Park 

Day 5
0330 hrs: Breakfast
0400 hrs: Leave for Shei-Pa National Park
0700 hrs: Arrive Shei-Pa Peak
1000 hrs: Lunch, back to 369 hut, overnight 369 hut
Highlight Shei-Pa Peak

Day 6
0600 hrs: Breakfast
0630 hrs: Leave for Shei-Pa East Mountain
1130 hrs: Arrive Shei-Pa Entrance
1200 hrs: Lunch, leave for Sun Moon Lake
1600 hrs: Reach Sun Moon Lake
1700 hrs: Leave Sun Moon Lake
1930 hrs: Arrive Alishan
2000 hrs: Overnight Alishan
Highlight Sun Moon Lake

Day 7
0730 hrs: Breakfast
0800 hrs: Explore Alishan trails, ancient trees forest, eco parks, aborigine tribes
1200 hrs: Lunch
1900 hrs: Overnight Alishan
Highlight Alishan

Day 8
0530 hrs: Train to watch sunrise
0600 hrs: Alishan sunrise platform
0700 hrs: Hike down
0800 hrs: Breakfast, explore Alishan area
1200 hrs: Lunch, leave for Guanziling hot springs
1330 hrs: Reach Guanziling hot spring for Taipei city
1630 hrs: Leave for Taipei
2100 hrs: Arrive Taipei city, overnight Taipei
Highlight Alishan, Guanziling

Day 9
0800 hrs: Explore Taipei
1200 hrs: Lunch
1700 hrs: Leave for Taipei airport
2020 hrs: Flight leave for Singapore

Day 10
0100 hrs: Reach Singapore


Things to bring:

1) Head Lamp
2) Cold weather outdoor attire as potentially reaching 0 degrees
3) Shoes recommended for walking trekking Shoe. NO Slipper 
4) Clothes for changing
5) Insect Repellent
6) Room slippers
7) Backpack for 3 days hike
8) Battery pack enough to last 3 days hike

Includes:

  • All land transfer except last day transfer to Taipei airport
  • Entrance fees to Taroko Zhuilu Old Trail, Alishan National Parks, Shei-Pa National Park national parks.
  • Hiking guides in Taroko National Parks, Shei-Pa National Park
  • 8 nights’ accommodation, with 2 nights in mountain huts
  • 2 breakfast, 1 lunch, 2 dinners
     

Excludes:

  • Airfare
  • Meals not mentioned above
  • Taroko National Park entrance fees, to be announced in April 2017
  • Hot springs entrance fees
  • Transport for day 9 optional activities, including transfer to Taipei International Airport
  • Visas

Important Note:

There are 2 hiking trails that authorities give very limited passes every day. As such it is of our interest to confirm as quickly as possible.

I have used TWD21 to 1SGD to estimate the trip cost, I will refund the difference if Singapore dollars appreciates against Taiwan dollars during the time of exchange and you will have to top up the equivalent Singapore dollars if Singapore dollars depreciates.

Please read through the following terms of participation before RSVP: http://threeplaygrounds.com/pages/champion-terms-of-participation

DISCLAIMER: Your safety and well-being during the trip are your sole responsibility. By RSVP for this event, you have confirmed that you have read, acknowledged, agreed and accepted the terms and conditions of participating this trip.

By WEIRDOFREAKO OUTDOOR PTE. LTD. - TA License No: 02937

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by
31/08/2017

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By WEIRDOFREAKO OUTDOOR PTE. LTD - TA License No: 02937