Monday, April 27, 2015

Sandiaoling (三貂嶺) Waterfall Trail Hiking [Taiwan Day 603: True or Falls - April 26, 2015]



Of all of my travel adventures, hiking is the most physically exhausting. Not only you get a workout, your mind and soul gets clear of all the hassles in life. Taiwan being a mountainous island offers a variety of hiking trails for the young and old. The Sandiaoling Waterfall Trail is a unique one because walking along its path is like tracing a river. Slippery when wet and pretty dangerous because of the cliffs, this hiking was even more memorable because I bought a GoPro HERO3. True or False?
 















Kiran (Indian) joined the trip as my Travel Buddy and he is also a PhD student like me. Our journey at the Sandiaoling Waterfall Trail started near Sandiaoling Station which is accessible by taking a train. The slow local train ride was one hour from Nangang Station and the ticket was only NTD 46. We saw the branching point of the rail tracks of the Yilan Line and Pingxi Line while walking towards the start of the trail. Speeding express trains suddenly came out of a tunnel and then crossed the bridge. I took a video of the express trains to document the scene. True or False?
 










Having a GoPro camera on my forehead was a new experience for me. Recording high quality videos with this gadget makes it easy to document the exciting adventures I will have in my future Taiwan Day Adventures. It's really great! My Travel Buddy and I even have a 6 minute video while walking in the Sandiaoling Waterfall Trail capturing every moment while hiking. Yi, er, san. True or False?









































An observation platform allowed all the hikers to appreciate the beautiful Hegu Waterfall. My 8x40 binoculars provided a great view of the natural wonder. It was like I was already facing the falls! We continued the hike for more than one kilometer until we found the second waterfall, Motian Waterfall. Large boulders sat on the ground receiving all the water flowing down from waterfall. After taking pictures we decided to see the third waterfall. It was a dangerous hike upwards with a very narrow, slippery and muddy trail and I even have to climb with the help of ropes. True or False?






























We successfully reached the third waterfall, Pipadong Waterfall. It's actually connected to the Motian Waterfall. Water flowing down from Pipadong Waterfall goes down to the edge or top of Motian Waterfall. I have some pictures at the edge but I was actually scared. I could die easily with one wrong move. We continued the hike upwards and the Loquat Cave welcomed us. The three waterfalls were our target and we already found them. What's next? Kiran asked some Taiwanese and we were told that we should climb the mountain to go to Shifen town. Hmmm... I've never been to Shifen town before. True or False?


















We climbed using ropes to get to the flat mountain top were a nice trail surprised us. Kiran was even surprised when we saw a grandma. She was able to climbed using the ropes! Oh well, I even saw a blog about a family who went hiking in the Sandiaoling Waterfall Trail. Hiking is for all ages in Taiwan. We walked for about 4 kilometers to reach Shifen and as usual it was still very busy. Sky lanterns were flying up in the air as the Pingxi Train arrived in the old town. Chu...chu... It was an epic ending for this travel adventure. For thrill seekers, I highly recommend hiking the Sandiaoling Waterfall Trail. A dangerous trail with three stunning waterfalls. It was wet and wild! True or Falls
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