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Top 100 Peaks in Taiwan | Floral Season on Mt. HeHuan


Topic of Mt. HeHuan

Sunny and I were classmates at junior high school. We caught up again on Facebook last August. After reunion, our first topic was to the East Peak of Mt. HeHuan. Richard and I did our first Taiwan hiking there.

The beauty of Taiwan's Top 100 mountains is becoming well known. Sunny and her husband have worked and lived in China for over 20 years. They love hiking. Since they returned to Taiwan, they have been many trails in recent years.

(Sunny - right one, and I, our school time and reunion photo. Also, we both hiked to the east peak of Mt. Hehuan)

Reunion style of Conversazione

I invited Sunny to my office on 28th August, and we had a delightful conversazione that lasted the whole afternoon.

Sunny loves nature, so she shares the floral season of Mt. Hehuan to me and iChic web. Mt. HeHuan @ https://www.ichicworld.net/hehuan This travelogue is to share our common hiking experience, together after decades.

Top 100 Peaks in Taiwan [1]

Since 1971, BaiYue (100 Peaks) became Taiwanese hikers' wish list. Many foreigners, and local people whom grow up in city, didn't know Taiwan as an island with over 268 mountains (peaks) over 3,000m.

I was one of those. I didn't know how to appreciate Taiwan's high mountains and landscapes until I watched Chi Po-Lin's film: Beyond Beauty - Taiwan from above(看見台灣)[2].

I was afraid of stepping out until I met Richard. It's a bit late but not too late to start hiking. I am glad we did hike the first (Taiwan) one and was amazed to see its beauty and spirit last August.

Richard was welcomed by "HELLO" all the way along the hiking trail. He'd surprisingly be touched by the warmth of the people. I was touched by the fresh air and clear sky (light pollution free) that meant we could see the Milky Way by sight at night.

Richard said it's very strange experience to hike in Taiwan. You could see some tropical leaves just now then pine trees in front of you after few moments. He is quite right. Geographically, Taiwan is located at sub-tropical region. But, the height of over 3,000m makes the peak of mountains very chilly which is a very good environment for pine trees to grow. I always wonder how to share our hiking experience to promote Top 100 Taiwan's Peaks to overseas visitors, therefore, a travelogue writing is onto my 'to-do-list'.

Upon Top 100, Mt. Hehuan is likely the most accessible mountain because Highway 14, the highest highway, passes by. East peak (#35) and Main peak (#37) entrance are relatively easy to arrive by driving a car or taking a bus. Those are so-called the 'entry level' peaks of Top 100.

The Easier Hiking Trail of Top 100

Sunny's hiking trip and mine both were our partner to drive a car and stayed over night in Mt. Hehuan region. Alternatively, there is an available bus route, Chinjin-Wuling-Hehuansan (No. 6658A), daily run, reserve preferred, operated by Nantou bus. Get off the stop of Wuling for Main peak entrance and the stop of Songshe Hostel for East peak entrance.

(Mapping source: Nantou Bus website)

East Peak of Mt. HeHuan

It is very delightful to reveal Sunny's hiking experience, especially during floral season. Her photographs are much more impressive than mine. Their hiking trip was made in May. The flower named Rhododendron pseudochrysanthum, a quite long English name (it's impossible to remember it! Haha..), is a species of flowering plant in the heath family, native to Taiwan. It is a low-growing evergreen shrub growing to 2.5 m (8.2 ft) tall and broad. During April - May, its blossom season always attracts hiking lovers to bring their camera to catch the beauty of nature and mountainscape.

(Photo Credit | Sunny Sun) (For more browsing, refer to the page link @ https://www.ichicworld.net/hehuan)

Main Peak of Mt. HeHuan

Sunny and her husband made the other trip to Main Peak of Mt. Hehuan in September. Compare with East Peak's entrance accessibility, the entrance of Main Peak is relatively far from the parking lot or bus stop. But, Sunny said, along the Highway 14, there were also covered by flowers named Reynoutria japonica. It helped to keep you walking while taking photographs, she laughed.

Also, as an entry level's hiking trail, Main Peak's one is indeed relatively flat although more winding. It was amazingly beautiful in autumn scenery under comfortable weather.

(Photo Credit | Sunny Sun) (For more browsing, refer to the page link @ https://www.ichicworld.net/hehuan)

Treat after Hiking

While Sunny and I almost ended our conversazione at my office, I asked her how do you keep up your partner's hiking's pace speed? I was curious because mine was always much behind Richard's one. Richard said he would carry a chair and a book in order to wait for me on the peak (I know he won't do that. Lol). But, he likes to joke about it because I am a very slow hiker.

Sunny is the same as a slow hiker. She said that she likes to observe all tiny plants and resting birds along the trail. She takes photographs of them and meanwhile gives herself some times to take a rest. (For more browsing, refer to the page link @ https://www.ichicworld.net/hehuan)

Her treat was to have a coffee at 3158 cafe and to review all of photographs. Some of those to be shared after hiking. The more sharing, the more hiking lovers visiting her favorite trails.

It is essential to have a treat incentive after hiking. To see a magnificent mountain range is the one incentive for lifetime experience. Yet, for the day, we need to have a good meal or hot bath after hiking straightaway.

Richard's treat was to have an urn-baked mountain chicken at that hiking trip. My treat was to let Richard served me the urn-baked mountain chicken with his bare hands traditional style. No knife and fork provided!

[1] Taiwan has one of the highest densities of high mountains in the world. There are actually over 260 mountains over 3,000m in Taiwan. In order to promote mountain hiking, the Taiwan Province Alpine Association began developing a list of top 100 peaks for Taiwan. Wen-An Lin, after a 1971 crossing of the Central Mountain Range, set about drawing up the list. After extensive consultation with Ching-Chang Tsai, Tian-Cheng Hsing, Tung-San Ting and other prominent hikers of the day, the list of Baiyue(百岳)was finalized.

[2] Beyond Beauty: Taiwan from Above (Chinese: 看見台灣) is a 2013 documentary film which documents Taiwan completely in aerial photography to underscore the need for environmental reforms. It is directed by aerial photographer Chi Po-lin

#Taiwan #ChiHsu #Natures

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