Day 2 – A WATERFALL AND A FILM SET
The first day of significant hills will prove well worth it. At the top of each climbs lies one of the must see sights of Taipei. The first will reveal the spectacular Shifen waterfall, the second the mystical mountain village of Juifen.
Day 1, tracking the coast from Taipei around Yangminshan National park, provided a peaceful intro. But fear not, day 2 provides you with a little more to get your teeth stuck in to.
Leaving the port town of Keelung, we head south towards the Shifen. A short, sharp climb is rewarded by one of the most beautiful waterfalls on the whole island. Evoking memories of ancient Chinese watercolours, Shifen is one of the prettiest and best loved tourist attractions in Taiwan.
From here, we cycle over the spectacular Ruiping valley and begin our ascent towards possibly the most picturesque town in all of south east Asia – Juifen.
Best known as the mystical setting for the film ‘Spirited Away’ its easy to see why Juifen was used as a template. The mountain villiage, often enshrouded in mist, has something spiritual flowing through its quiet winding streets.
Built by the Japanese just before the turn of the 20th century as a part of the Taiwanese gold rush, it then doubled as a POW camp holding British soldiers captured during the fall of Singapore. Now a popular tourist sight, Juifen still retains a sense of past thanks to strict building regulations, ensuring that this quaint mountain village remains just that.
Finally, we roll out of Juifen and descend towards our resting place for the night in Fulong. Known for it’s wide, sand beach, it also provides an excellent opportunity to sample some of its famously exquisite seafood!
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