While there are many large tourist destinations that everyone wants to go to, some smaller ones are well worth seeing if one has access to a car and some time for a daytrip.
> Hsinchu, 1 Comment
Considering their location right beside a drivable road and that the many cool, shady spots in the glen below the falls are just made for relaxing on a hot summer day, it's a big surprise to find that the beautiful Chiedong Waterfalls (茄苳瀑布), in the hills above the Taipei County town of Xichi (汐止) haven't become a popular summer destination, as I've never seen more than a couple of other persons each of the many times I've paused at this lovely spot through the years.
One of Taiwan's largest lagoons, Dapeng Bay (大鵬灣) has been earmarked for development into a major tourist resort since the late 1990s.
The Yakou Tunnel (啞口隧道) is the middle point of the Southern Cross-Island Highway and it is also the highest point of the highway at 2,722 meters above sea level.
Of all the satellite towns surrounding Taipei City, Xichi (汐止), which is to the east of the metropolis and located on the road towards Keelung (基隆), has undoubtedly received the worst press.
There's a spot about twenty minutes' walk from the entrance of Manyueyuan National Forest Recreation Area (滿月園國家森林遊樂區) where (unless the weather is misty) almost all visitors to the park seem to stop walking for a moment, admire the sudden and impressive vista that opens up for a few brief moments, and take a photo of the arresting scene laid out in front.
Lugang (鹿港) in Central Taiwan is rightly known for its traditional architecture and stunning temples. Most of its inhabitants, of course, live thoroughly modern lifestyles, and the township has its share of factories.
Edging our way around the deep overhang behind the waterfall, we reach the far end, directly behind the slim column of falling water, only to be greeted with an astonishing sight: the other people sitting gazing out into the gorge are packing up their sleeping bags – they've just spent the night camping behind the waterfall!
There is a small road just past the large resorts at the mouth of the Chihpen (知本) Valley, located where the road begins to climb towards the deeper hot springs and the national forest park.
With such evocative place names as Full Moon Mountain, Cloud Heart Falls and North Piercing Heaven Mountain, the area south of Sansia (三峽) near Taipei County's western border promises lots for the hiker, and it doesn't disappoint, with some excellent walking opportunities to waterfalls, 2,000-year-old trees, and several challenging mountain summits.