Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Day 5 to day 6 at Taroko National Park

The Leader Hotel is off of the main Taroko Gorge road. You leave the winding miracle of tunnels, overhangs and waterfalls to steeply drive up to an oasis run by the Aboriginal tribe "Bruwan", that are the true Natives of Taiwan.

The stunning view is breathtaking. Steep walls of greenery and waterfalls surround you.

The next day we were shuttled up to the "top" - or 22km from the Giant Bicycle Rental facility outside the bottom of the canyon near the entry gate. The fitter and hardcore of the group rode up, and Niamh and myself were shuttled to the "top" - and waiting near the Yellow bridge. I decided to ride down a few tunnels and switchbacks to meet the group for a short ascent before the full descent. Wow! Puddles splashing or the waterfalls were the only rain this time. I held my camera at all times, and rode with the extra large smile that I can't wipe off my face.


  1. Seems stunning!

    Interesting right-handed swastikas in the background of the first photo. A quick Google search turns this up: "The right-hand swastika is one of the 108 symbols of the god Vishnu as well as a symbol of the sun and of the sun god Surya. The symbol imitates in the rotation of its arms the course taken daily by the sun, which appears in the Northern Hemisphere to pass from east, then south, to west. (It is also a symbol of the sun among Native Americans.)"

  2. Terry - I didn't know the Hindus used them too. They're somewhat commonplace in Buddhist areas like Taiwan, Tibet and Japan.

    Taroko Gorge is stunning, isn't it?

  3. Back in July I did the central cross - From Sincheng to Taizhong, it is perhaps the best and most challenging ride in Taiwan. In the heat of the summer those tunnels were cool, however some of them were completely dark. I am looking forward to doing that ride again.

    Thanks for taking the time to blog about your Taiwan trip :)

  4. Riding through the pitch black tunnels was a sensation you can't really put in words. Luckily most the tunnels had some lighting, one became a total black-out and I Just held my breath- knowing somehow some light would appear, and hopefully before I ran into something!

    I feel like saying you have lived until you have ridden thru this gorge and under the overhangs and through the tunnels, but that would be unfair. But really this is a "must do" if you can get there.

    Interesting knowledge on the "swastika" shape. It was alarming to see it - as my Western naivety instantly associates it with something negative. But when you see a Buddhist temple lined with it, you start to feel it's good side.