In central Taiwan, there are several popular places to see the sunrise. Besides Hehuanshan, Cingjing, and Sun Moon Lake, Jinlongshan (金龍山) is one of the good spots to see sea of clouds and sunrise, but not as famous as others. If you want to find a good location to capture the moment by your DSLR, be early. Many amateur photographers love to come to here, and there is not much space for tripod.
Opening Hours: 24hr
Entrance Fee: Free
Address: Shanzhajiao Ln., Yuchi Township, Nantou County 555, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
In the King Garden (元首館), visitors can buy several desserts and snacks here. On the second floor, there is a restaurant famous of mushroom hot pot. In front of the castle, the big chess is a good place to take photo.
The Wushe Incident of 1930 was the last major uprising against colonial Japanese forces in Taiwan. In response to long-term oppression by Japanese authorities, the Seediq attacked the village, killing over 130 Japanese. In response, the Japanese led a relentless counter-attack, killing over 1,000 Seediq in retaliation by bombers, cannon, and toxic gas. The leader, Mona Rudao (莫那魯道), ended up committing suicide by shooting himself with a pistol to prevent the Japanese from capturing him alive. The tribes attending the rebellion couldn’t avoid the consequence. Hundreds of aboriginals hung themselves after the incident. Thousands of people died. The handling of the incident by the Japanese authorities was strongly criticized, leading to many changes in aboriginal policy.
In memory of Seediq’s braveness and their great leader, Taiwan government built a monument in Wushe Incident Memorial Park (霧社事件紀念公園). In 2011, the incident is also depicted in Taiwanese film Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale (賽德克巴萊).
The first building that tourists may notice on the road up to Cingjing Farm is a traditional English mansion. White marble structure, big clock on the main tower, and detailed sculptures on the wall make tourists stopping over and taking photos. This is one of the most luxurious and expensive B&B in Taiwan. It’s called Old England (老英格蘭).
The host Luo spent 9 years and invested hundreds of millions Taiwan Dollar on this Tudor-style mansion. The sculptures, the lanterns, and the furniture are imported from England. Some people say he can’t recover his investment in the future 20 years. However, it was open to public in 2010. Not just tourists love here, but also couples come to the mansion for pre-wedding photo shooting.
Daan Sea of Bamboo (大鞍竹海) is located in Zhushan Township, Nantou. In Chinese, Zhushan means bamboo mountain. Bamboos cover the whole mountain area. Once you stand on the top point, tens of thousands of bamboos under your feet swing along with the breeze.
Before Ang Lee (李安), an Academy Award for Best Director winner, chose Sichuan (四川) to shoot a fighting scene in a bamboo forest for “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”, Daan Sea of Bamboo was his first choice.
Opening Hours: 24hr
Entrance Fee: Free
Address: Dalin Ln., Zhushan Township, Nantou County 557, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
In order to make tourists easier to reach Taiji Canyon (太極峽谷), the government built a sky ladder suspension bridge on 2 precipices crossing a river. Zhushan Sky Ladder (竹山天梯) used to be one of the only 2 suspension bridges with ladder in the world. The length is 136 meters with 208 steps and the difference of height is around 20 meters.
From the entrance to Taiji Canyon, you walk through bamboo forest, climb thousands stairs, crouch through hole in the rock, cross Earth God Temple, and you will reach Green Dragon Waterfall (青龍瀑布).
The water which comes from the waterfall flows across Taiji Canyon. There are many waterfalls on the giant rock along the canyon. One of these looks really like a human face, with eyebrows, nose, cheek, and even with tears.
Xitou means the origin of stream in Chinese. In Qing Dynasty, Xitou was a small village in mountains. During Japanese Colonial Era, the forest in Xitou area was chosen as practical training place for Tokyo University students, and they did research in summer vocation. In 1970, the forest was established as nature education area by Taiwan government.
The Xitou Nature Education Area (溪頭森林遊樂區) is located in a valley surrounded by mountains on three sides. The highest mountain is on the south side over 2000 meters high. Besides astronomical observatory, Bamboo Cottage, and University Pond, Giant Tree, Ginkgo Forest, and Sky Walk are must-see spots in this recreation area.
The Giant Tree is more than 2000 years old. There is a huge rock inside the stem of Giant Tree and the center is mostly rotted and hollow, but the giant tree is still alive.
The Ginkgo is a living fossil, with fossils recognisably related to modern Ginkgo from 270 million years ago. Because the Ginkgo tree grows slowly, the people plant the seed and only the grandchildren are able to witness the seed becomes a mature tree. Therefore, Ginkgo is also called the grandfather tree.
The Sky Walk is 22.6 m above the ground and 180 m long surrounding by trees. The forest provides habitat and shelter for epiphytes, tree-dwelling animals, insects and fungi. From the walkway, you can experience life in the treetops and observe how it changes with the four seasons.
Hehuanshan North Peak (合歡北峰) is 3422 meters high and is the highest peak among Hehuanshan. It makes itself a perfect spot for sunrise- and sunset-seeing. Actually, it’s an individual peak and it doesn’t joint with other Hehuanshan series. The trail to Hehuanshan North Peak is famous for its large arrow bamboo plain and there is a microflector on it. In autumn, you will have higher possibility to see the awesome “sea of clouds” here. However, this trail is not that easy and quite challenging. You must be well-prepared before you start and it will take you about 3 to 4 hours for a round trip. If you are keen on hiking and enjoying fantastic panoramic view, you cannot miss Hehuanshan North Peak.
There are more than 30 peacocks and over 150 other rare and valuable birds in Peacock Garden (孔雀園). Over 100 other species live in this park, including the mountain chicken, the Formosan blue magpie, the long-tailed pheasant, the golden pheasant, the ampherst pheasant, and the black coot.
The Shuili Snake Kiln (水里蛇窯) has nothing to do with snake but a traditional pottery kiln. The reason that it is called snake kiln is the 30-meter kiln “wiggles as a snake does”. Using firewood as fuel, the ashes falling on adobe results in pottery formed with rich color and simple texture. This is a modern kiln cannot achieve. Potters still work here and most of their work is bought up by top hotels in Taiwan. In this pottery arts park, one can see the history of Taiwan’s pottery industry and experience how a pottery is made by traditional way.
During the 921 earthquake in 1999, the Snake Kiln was completely destroyed. In 2000, after the park area underwent repairs, in order to celebrate its opening, an especially large pottery bottle of 6.6 meters tall was built, and given the name, “Millennium Double Opening Bottle”. This conveyed the meaning of “double wealth for an eternity”. This bottle, which broke a Guinness World Record, symbolizes peace.
The park area includes a pottery art classroom, a Snake Kiln art gallery, a coffee house, the 921 Disaster Memorial Hall, and… etc.