Taiwan Day 190: W for Wulai - March 9, 2014 | Travel in Asia

Monday, March 10, 2014

Taiwan Day 190: W for Wulai - March 9, 2014

I went to Wulai on a rainy Sunday. Wulai is a district in New Taipei City and can be reached using the MRT. It was my first time to ride the Taipei Metro until the MRT Xindian Station which is the last station of the Tamsui Line on the south of Taipei. I was with a Filipino friend on this trip. He bought a new Pentax camera worth around NTD 10,000 and he wants to test his new camera so he joined my adventure. I told him that instead of buying gadgets he can just give the money to those in need like me. lol

From Taipei Main Station, we transferred trains to board the Tamsui Line going to Xindian. I looked carefully on LED screen of the train because the destination might be the Elephant Mountain Station of the Xiangshan Line which I visited in Taiwan Day 100. It took around 30 minutes to reached the Xindian Station and then we waited for another 20 to 30 minutes for Bus 849 which will take us to Wulai District.

It was not an easy ride as the bus was full people. I highly recommend for female tourist to just take a taxi when going to Wulai from MRT Xindian. Although it will cost them a lot, it will be more convenient as they don't need to stand for 30 to 45 minutes in the entire bus ride. While we are waiting for the bus a taxi driver was shouting that the fare for Wulai is NTD 150 per person. Three Taiwanese women got the services of that taxi driver. When they were inside the taxi the bus that everybody was waiting came. The one way bus fare was NTD 15 and I just used my EasyCard. You don't have to be in Wulai to start you adventure. The bus ride will give you a fantastic views of a raging river while the bus was moving on the side of a cliff.

Upon reaching Wulai, we took some pictures in a hanging bridge. It was 15 degrees Celsius and the clouds were covering the mountains. The raindrops were as thin as needles so it was still fine not to use my umbrella. After taking pictures, we went to the Atayal Tribal Museum. The Atayals are one of the aboriginal people in Taiwan. It is very important to me that I should know something about the place that I am visiting especially the people living in that area. Usually tourist go to places without actually trying to learn the history of the place. I believed that learning the history, culture and art of a place is a sign of respect to the people living in that area.

Like any other museums in Taiwan I noticed that the New Taipei City government invested a lot of money in the displays inside the museum. In my opinion the Atayals are very similar to the Ifugaos in Northern Philippines. They have the craft of weaving and they also lived in mountainous areas. They also have a shaman woman which is very similar to the 'babaylan' priestess of the early Filipinos. The Atayals are the second largest aboriginal group in Taiwan and they can be found in many places in Taiwan. The most distinguishing feature of the Atayals are there facial tattoos. A female Atayal gets her tattoo if she have already mastered the art of weaving while a male Atayal gets his tattoo if he has proven that he is a true hunter.

There are many things to do and see in Wulai. There are hot springs, cherry blossoms and cable cars and I will definitely comeback someday. My objective for my first trip in Wulai is to introduced to my 'audience' what Wulai is in my 'travel show'.

I was thinking of an acronym for Taiwan wherein each of the letters of the word Taiwan would represent a place. T A I W A N. T is for Taipei and I give W for Wulai!

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