The highlight of our visit to Taroko National Park is our trek over the Baiyang Trail. We walked around 2.1 kilometers one-way and the more than 4-kilometer experience back and forth is definitely well worth it and here's why..
This is the tunnel entrance to trail along the Central Cross-Island Highway and is the jumping point to the trail. Mr. Lu dropped us off here and instructed us to proceed as he parked his car nearby and promised to catch up as soon as he can.
Mr. Lu lent us his rechargeable flashlight as we enter the the tunnel entrance. There are 6 more tunnels ahead of us until we reach our goal, and our cabbie promised us a surprise at the end when we reach the Cave of Water Curtain.
Without the flashlight, the tunnel is pitch black but straight. My mom and I decided to walk without the flashlights as we can clearly see the end of the tunnel. From where we started the tunnel seemed short but it's actually not. It's cold inside but there's a hand rail and the floor is paved although it's wet so we didn't have a hard time walking towards the end.
On the other side of the tunnel is yet another marvelous view of a gorge, rocks and marbles over the riverbed. Pretty amazing as we gasped over the view that we pass by as we go along.
There were also some plants and flowers, that made the whole journey cool and refreshing as we enjoy the walk.
butterflies over flowers
Minutes later and we reached another tunnel. Again, it is pitch black inside but this one is curved, although shorter, so we can barely see anything inside without the flashlight.
As you go along the path, make sure you watch out for signs that warns visitors of dangers like falling rocks from the mountain.
Somewhere along the way, Mr. Lu was able to catch up with us. For his age, he seems very healthy! On one of the tunnels, it was quiet but he pointed out to us that there are actually bats inside.
still a long way to get there!
come let's go!
Other than the plants, flowers, riverbeds and marbles that we pass along the way, there were also some sights like this small waterfall.
On one of the tunnels, there were also limestone formations that Mr. Lu pointed to us.
At last, after a series of tunnels, we're almost there! I was beginning to feel wary that it has been a long walk that my mom may feel tired sooner.
One more tunnel and we saw this marker that welcomed us to the Cave of Water Curtain.
We had to fold our pants before we enter to prevent it from soaking. Mr. Lu also suggested that I remove my shoes because we will be dipping in the water so I walked barefoot on this rocky path. My mom was wearing rubber sandals so she's safe. And oh, Mr. Lu is so ready that he even have ponchos to lend us for wearing so we won't get wet!
And here we are inside the cave! At first you may think this is just another cave but you can see here our feet are dipped in the water. The place is cold but the water is colder. Stepping on the cold stones barefooted was cool at first but it started to tire me later on.
We passed by some frogs and limestones and they are simply marvelous.
And then we reached the water curtain. Falling water from overhead and it sure was a fun experience feeling the pressure hit our bodies. Mr. Lu told us the water is safe to drink but I don't drink water so I didn't bother and just let my mom taste it. She said the water is good and it's cold!
A group of youngsters are inside playing with the water curtain. Looks like a fun activity to do but I didn't have extra clothes with me at that time so I just walked over it a few times.
We didn't proceed further at the other end of the cave because it was prohibited at that time and was deemend unsafe. We went out feeling refreshed and relaxed and began to make our way back to the trail entrance.
On the way, we passed by a short hanging bridge. At the backdroup is a waterfalls going down to a river below.
a closer view of the waterfalls
and yet another waterfalls!
Another rock formation to tickle your imagination - do you see an elephant?
Wow! It's all I can think of at the back of my mind as we go along the familiar path again we passed coming in. The 2-hour walk over what's worth 4.2 kilometers of trail way was definitely worth it. Taiwan kept on giving me surprises and now I understand why Janet Hsieh is so proud of her country.