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Things to do in Taidong?

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Re: Things to do in Taidong?

Postby Mother Theresa » 18 Dec 2008, 10:49

Thanks for all the great comments everyone. My daughter keeps asking if we'll see snow at christmas. I doubt it, but sounds like we'll have a good time anyway. :)
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Re: Things to do in Taidong?

Postby banana smoothie » 19 Dec 2008, 18:06

Here are some photos of the Chihben river valley upstream from the National Forest Park. This is shot is about one 1/1.5 hour's trek upriver. The white thing in the river is my friend floating with his backpack downstream:
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=3 ... =646250747

Here's a place where we usually camp. Can't see too clearly, but there's a waterfall coming down at 12 o'clock:
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=3 ... =646250747

This waterfall is not so far upstream:
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=3 ... =646250747

from a mountain ridge that needs to be crossed:
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=3 ... =646250747

another valley shot:
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=3 ... =646250747

I have more that show the marble walls, but I'll need scan them. Took them about 8 years ago. There are 2 points at which the gorge narrows into a solid marble chasm and the only way forward, for the first juncture, is to swim or hike the up to the ridge and come down the other side. For the second one, swimming is the only option as it's sheer cliffs for about 100 feet on each side. I put this place up there with anywhere I have been in Southeast Asia.
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Re: Things to do in Taidong?

Postby Mucha Man » 19 Dec 2008, 22:12

What a great looking spot. So there are no roads I take it where you go? Just straight river tracing up.

The marble walls rising up from the blue river look like those off Hwy 14 heading east of Hualian. That's another mini-Taroko but not as remote.

Image

Your spot looks just about perfect for wilderness camping. Thanks a million for sharing. Robert Storey was right to write about it.
“Everywhere else in the world is also really old” said Prof. Liu, a renowned historian at Beijing University. “We always learn that China has 5000 years of cultural heritage, and that therefore we are very special. It appears that other places also have some of this heritage stuff. And are also old. Like, really old.”

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Re: Things to do in Taidong?

Postby banana smoothie » 19 Dec 2008, 22:45

Straight up river tracing and wilderness trekking, no roads. You'll have to ford the river about 15 times to get to that camping spot, chest-high in some areas with a fairly strong current and slippery rocks underfoot. But it's all worth it. Is highway 14 in the coastal mountains? I'll check that spot out sometime.
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Re: Things to do in Taidong?

Postby tommy525 » 19 Dec 2008, 23:21

banana smoothie wrote:Here are some photos of the Chihben river valley upstream from the National Forest Park. This is shot is about one 1/1.5 hour's trek upriver. The white thing in the river is my friend floating with his backpack downstream:
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=3 ... =646250747

Here's a place where we usually camp. Can't see too clearly, but there's a waterfall coming down at 12 o'clock:
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=3 ... =646250747

This waterfall is not so far upstream:
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=3 ... =646250747

from a mountain ridge that needs to be crossed:
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=3 ... =646250747

another valley shot:
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=3 ... =646250747

I have more that show the marble walls, but I'll need scan them. Took them about 8 years ago. There are 2 points at which the gorge narrows into a solid marble chasm and the only way forward, for the first juncture, is to swim or hike the up to the ridge and come down the other side. For the second one, swimming is the only option as it's sheer cliffs for about 100 feet on each side. I put this place up there with anywhere I have been in Southeast Asia.



Beautiful pictures !!
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Re: Things to do in Taidong?

Postby Mucha Man » 19 Dec 2008, 23:28

banana smoothie wrote:Straight up river tracing and wilderness trekking, no roads. You'll have to ford the river about 15 times to get to that camping spot, chest-high in some areas with a fairly strong current and slippery rocks underfoot. But it's all worth it. Is highway 14 in the coastal mountains? I'll check that spot out sometime.


It's actually the eastern extension of the route that starts outside Taichung but is broken by the Nenggao Trail. Do you know where Liyu Lake, just outside Hualian is? Hwy 14 starts here. The pic I took is from a side stream in an area called the Muga-something corridor. As you head up Hwy 14 you'll see a red bridge a few km up from the police checkpoint. Turn left here.

I checked my sunriver maps and it seems there is a small road for a short distance following the Chihben River upstream from the forest recreation area. But after that the river runs through completely untouched wilderness. Do you follow the road at all or get into the river right away? Which season is best?
“Everywhere else in the world is also really old” said Prof. Liu, a renowned historian at Beijing University. “We always learn that China has 5000 years of cultural heritage, and that therefore we are very special. It appears that other places also have some of this heritage stuff. And are also old. Like, really old.”

https://www.facebook.com/taiwantemples
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Re: Things to do in Taidong?

Postby Mucha Man » 19 Dec 2008, 23:32

Have to say that shower waterfall is super.
“Everywhere else in the world is also really old” said Prof. Liu, a renowned historian at Beijing University. “We always learn that China has 5000 years of cultural heritage, and that therefore we are very special. It appears that other places also have some of this heritage stuff. And are also old. Like, really old.”

https://www.facebook.com/taiwantemples
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Re: Things to do in Taidong?

Postby banana smoothie » 20 Dec 2008, 00:14

Mucha Man

Yeah, there is a small paved road that goes up past the nat'l forest park, on the opposite side of the river. The road goes for about 1/2 or 3/4 a kilometer until you see some gates for a driveway leading to private property. The road also continues to the left of the gates, but it looks pretty small and grown-over with foliage. You can park your car or scooter at the gates -just don't block the entrance- and then walk around the gates downhill, over a bridge, and on towards a plateau that overlooks a lovely bend in the river. A couple of dogs will start barking like mad and they'll approach you, but they won't attack (at least they haven't in the 6 or 7 times I've been there). There's some sort of gazebo with out-houses there that are owned by a man who is very friendly to people looking to cross his property and explore the river valley. If he's there, he'll probably invite you over to sit with him for tea. One time he said that he actually prefers foreigners going down there because we generally do not leave trash behind.

There's been a big landslide across the river, which you will notice as soon as you hit the bottom of the trail that leads down to the river, but other than that, there's nothing but what I imagine is what much of Taiwan looked like 150-200 years ago, when nature ran riot over Formosa!
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Re: Things to do in Taidong?

Postby banana smoothie » 20 Dec 2008, 00:20

Another note about trekking it: it's basically all river-fording, and stone-hopping, with a little bit of climbing up and around huge boulders and cliffs -but nothing extraordinarily challenging, though I did catch my friend by the arm just before he plummeting off a wall that would have caused serious injury. Be careful. There's an amazing swimming hole at that first 'marble chasm' I mentioned previously. To get past this, you have to scramble up the side of the mountain and make your way down the other side, and there's no real trail to see; add to this a full canopy overhead and it's easy to get disoriented. I'll scan more pix over the weekend and post them.
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Re: Things to do in Taidong?

Postby tommy525 » 20 Dec 2008, 02:35

Mucha Man wrote:What a great looking spot. So there are no roads I take it where you go? Just straight river tracing up.

The marble walls rising up from the blue river look like those off Hwy 14 heading east of Hualian. That's another mini-Taroko but not as remote.

Image

Your spot looks just about perfect for wilderness camping. Thanks a million for sharing. Robert Storey was right to write about it.


wow that looks like a fantastic place for a swim. Love the color of the water too
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