Friday, February 15, 2008

2008-02-14 Neidong National Forest Recreation Area 內洞國家森林遊樂區(娃娃谷)

I got up this morning and found it wasn't raining, I had the idea of hiking in Muzha (木柵) to look for Apricot blossoms immediately. After breakfast, I asked my flatmate, Xiufen, whether she'd like to go to Xinghaulin (杏花林) in Muzha with me. She had interest in hiking with me, unfortunately; she had an appointment with her dentist. She wanted to look for Apricot blossoms with me, so I think I could change my plan. I can go to look for Badaoer Shan's (拔刀爾山)trailhead instead, and we can go to Xinghaulin together tomorrow.

I didn't plan to go to Badaoer Shan so I didn't study map in advance. There is only one road leading to Wulai, I thought it wouldn't be difficult to find Badaoer Shan's entry. Well....I rode to Wulai after packing a light backpack. While I was on Road No. 9 (甲) (新烏路), it started raining. Shoot! It was freezingly cold. I thought I must be crazy that I went out for hiking in this kind of lousy weather. Well....after today's trip, I realized, Yes, I am, kind of addicted to get into the woods.

After arriving at Wulai, I couldn't find Badaoer Shan's trailhead. According to some articles I read online, the trailhead is nearby Baoqing Temple (保慶宮). I needed direction of Baoqing Temple so I asked few locals of Wulai where Baoqing Temple was. Ah....History repeats itself. The situation turned out to be exactly as same as The Hiking Club encountered in Yilan, that locals don't know where those trailheads, or some famous landmarks, buildings are. No one could give me clear description of Baoqing Temple's location.

I couldn't find Baoquing Temple. I was lucky that I have high mobility. It's okay that I couldn't get go Badaoer Shan, I can go somewhere else instead. I was already in Wulai so I thought I could go to Xiaoyi (孝義) to find Tonghou Hiking Trail (桶后越嶺), or I could go to Fushan (福山) to hike Bafu Hiking Trail (巴福越嶺). However, it seems that The Hiking Club would revisit those trails soon or later. I thought I should visit somewhere that probably The Hiking Club wouldn't go in a short term.

When I am in Wulai, I always see Neidong's direction sign around. I thought Neidong would be a good place because it has clear direction sign. I made up my mind and turned to the road leading to Neidong National Forest Recreation Area. (I can't help wondering if it should be National Neidong Forest Recreation Area instead of Neidong National Forest Recreation Area which is listed on all direction signs.)

Neidong National Forest Recreation Area's old name is Wawagu (娃娃谷). I don't know when its name was changed into Neidong. I read articles online that say wawa is aboriginal's language to decribe the sound of frog's croaking. Wawagu is various tree frogs' habitat. So I was kind of in search of frogs.

I was on the Road No. 9(甲) and turned to the Road 北107, soon I saw direction sign of Neidong. I passed Wawa bridge and then the entry of Neidong National Forest Recreation Area emerged.

The entry of Neidong National Forest Recreation Area. (內洞國家森林遊樂區入口)

When I saw the entry, I was tremendously disappointed. It looked so shabby. I got to the ticket station and bought a ticket with discount because I am a citizen registered in Taipei County. WOW! That's great! It was the first I got benefit because of being a citizen of Taipei County. But the funny thing was I found Neidong is managed by Xinzhu forest department. It's strange. Why on earth the forest in Taipei County is managed by Xinzhu forest department! And I bet Xinzhu citizens don't get discount. A ticket for an adult is NT$80, I paid NT$65 for a discount titcket. Good deal!

After perchasing a ticket, I started my exploration in Neidong. The first 15 minutes was the most difficult time. I was cold because of riding a the way long to Wulai. I was kind of shivering and couldn't warm myself soon. I kept walking and found that Neidong was so gorgeous after the shabby gate. It was like passing through some sort of magic gate and entering different kingdom.

Wusha Creek Waterfall (烏紗溪瀑布)

Louhao Dam (羅好水壩)

The trail after the gate is built along Nashi Creek (南勢溪), it is a nice and wide gravel road. Along the trail, the scenery was great. I don't know why Taipower could build a dam along Nashi Creek. It's very ugly and I don't know what the influence on the environment brought by the dam would be. Sigh.......

A Ladybug
After the dam, every thing became lovely. Because of rain, every life form along the trail was sparking. I found a ladybug shing on a stone chair. I always read something about 5-star or 7-star ladybug which means they have 5 or 7 spots on their back. The one had more than 7 stars on its back. It seems what I read is wrong.

Shining Wild Gingers, Vegetation has been cleaned by rainfall. They were so lovely and had nice fragrance.

Water Duck Feet Begonia (水鴨腳秋海棠)
Water Duck Feet Begonias grow along the trail to Leshui Bridge. According to a sign aside the trail. There will be a lot of pink flowers when the season is right. I only saw a tiny liitle pink flower, but it is beatiful because of raindrops.

I love the different grades of green in the rail, so bright and pleasant!
When I was walking on the trail, It was amazing that I was surrounded by colorful birds many times. Various kind of birds with yellow, red, or blue feathers flew in flocks. It was really exhilarative, I could see many birds perching on branches right under my nose. I was teffibly happy to see them. That was incredible. (Sorry....I am not skillful to take photos of birds with speedy motion.)

The trail is built along Nashi Creek. The creek was so clean.

The trail to waterfall area is probably only 800 to 900 meters. But it is really an enjoyment.
Soon I arrived at waterfall region. There are three layers of waterfalls.

Lower-Level Waterfall

The spout's photo was taken on the Millde-Level Waterfall View Pavilion, which reminds me of spring is arriving. I went hiking several times in the past few weeks. Even though it's been raining and cold for weeks, I could see birds and nice flowers, and I got touch with caterpillars few times. Those things always reminds me of that IT IS SPRING. (It's been raining for weeks. Please no more cold and rainy days. I have had enough lousy weather.)

Middle-Level Waterfall

Upper-Level Waterfall

Upper-Level Waterfall

To be honest, I couldn't help wondering if I could trespass to the riverbank even though there was a sign of trespass forbiddance. It's really easy to get to the riverbank.

After enjoying those great elegant waterfalls, I set my feet on Green Shower Hiking Trail in Neidong. The trail's length is about 2.2 kms which was a pretty nice walk in rainy day. I knew it connects to Neidong Forest Trail; however I don't know where Neidong Forest Trail ends because I didn't prepare for this hike.

The trail's condition was good and I had a pretty nice walk in the afternoon. Actually it was really great to go to Neidong under this kind of circumstances. There were almost no visitors in the area. It's almost empty with people. There was no kids running or crying around and I didn't have to jostle with people. It's really nice to have this place on my own. How lovely!
I spent about 3 hours on strolling in the area. When I was leaving, a clerk I encountered in front of the ticket station stroke up a conversation with me. He was amazed that I stayed in the area for a long time. He knew I hiked on Green Shower Hiking Trail immediately. I was wondering where the trail goes to. The clerk told me that at the end of Green Shower Hiking Trail, I would go to Wulai if I had turned left and I would go to water source if I had turned right. Going to Wulai would be a 12-km hike and the distance between trail's end and water source is about 4 kms. I am full of curiosity and my face probably told him I was having great interest. The clerk told me right away not to explore the trails alone. (Well...actually he strongly warned me not to hike there at all.)

Too late, I have great interest to go hiking there, and the idea is lingering in mind. I will fulfil it soon or late. :D


David said...

I hiked up the "Green Shower Trail" a while ago. I was kind of disappointed that it didn't really go anywhere although the forest is very beautiful. I think the path along the dam to the waterfall is great for people that can't hike along more difficult paths.

reserping said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
reserping said...


Kate said...

According to the old man of ticket station, The Green Shower Trail leads to Wulai and source of Neidong creek. It must be a way to somewhere.

To David,I don't know why I couldn't post my comment on your blog. I am glad your family enjoy traveling in Taiwan.

To reserping, 只有在這種鳥天氣,才不用人擠人。一個人悠哉地在園區裡散步真的很舒服。你家Cancan再長大點時,我想,我們可以帶她在賞溪或觀瀑步道慢慢走唄。

Anonymous said...

Kate, would you recommend this hike for a novice? My boyfriend is a knowledgable hiker, but I am not. We love Wulai and would like to see the Neidong National Forest.

Kate said...


Sorry that I missed your comment for days. I will recommend the trail in Neidong to have a easy walk in the woods. But please not go there alone. It's goureous and easy as long as you keep yourself on the trail called Green Shower Hiking Trail in the park.