Chris, Robert, and I met at Xindian MRT station on the day of hiking, and Chris drove us to Manyueyuan. It was my first time to go to Manyueyuan. Chris and Robert had been there few times. They told me their experiences about hiking there. It seemed that I was blissed because the day of our hike was a sunny and balmy day, but their previous hikes were in myserably bad weather. I was happy and lucky to visit the beautiful forest park in a nice day. I love to see shafts of sunlights peeked into the woods.
Near the entry of Manyueyuan, there was a tranditional Taiwanese market. Many visitors were there, and old people enjoyed the warm day under sunlight. When I was taking picture of this market, those old people stared at me with confusing expression. It seemed they were saying "What this girl was doing!" in mind.
We started our hike kind of late. It was about 11 a.m. when wer got into the park. We hadn't seen such a beautiful sunny day for weeks. It was great.
Manyueyuan Shan is named because of its spherical shape. The sunlight came from the same direction of Manyueyuan Shan so the photo is kind of dark.
In the park, there are few spots in the woods where visitors can have a picnic and enjoy fresh air and sunlight in natural environment. I love to stay in this place when I have more free time.
Three of us had our cameras with us in this hiking event. It was interesting that all of us were pretty into photography on that day. We spent our first one and a half hours lingering in the park, taking photos, and studying operations of cameras.
Chris and Robert concentrated on studying their cameras' function.
When we were resting on a bridge, I saw a bird nest fern on a tree, and there were few wood planks nailed on the tree's trunk. I was baffled with those planks' function. When I showed Eric this photo in our gathering, he asked me what the function of those planks was. I couldn't give him an anwser. Well, I don't know. That's why I took this photo. Anway, the bird nest fern was gorgeous.
We planed to go hiking on Dongman Hiking Trail (東滿步道) which connects Dongyan Shan Forest Park (東眼山森林遊樂區) in Taoyuan and Manyueyuan Forest Park (滿月園森林遊樂區) in Shaxia. On the way to the trailhead of Dongman Hiking Trail, there was a branch road that leads to a waterfall called Virgin Waterfall (處女瀑布). We decided to see the waterfall. The trail to the waterfall is Z-shape trail up to a small hill. When we arrived at the waterfall, it was close to noon of the day. Sunlight shined into the valley and a rainbow was formed in front of the waterfall. It was really splendid.
We took a lunch break near the Virgin Waterfall. Robert was very into his newly-bought camera and eagerly tried every function of it. Chris and I became his best model on that day. He took many photos of us during our lunch break.
When we arrived at the trailhead of Dongman Hiking Trail, it was about 1:30, so it's impossible for us to complete whole trail.
We studies a message board near the trailhead. It shows many wild lifeforms you could see along Dongman Hiking Trail. Robert saw barking deer and monkey once in his previous hike in Manyueyuan so I was looking forward to observe those wild animals on trail.
Along Dongman Hiking Trail, there were few spots set with wood barriers which prevent hikers from going to wrong direction. I think it's great that using natural material building things in natural environment. That doesn't spoil the beauty of nature. I really don't like to see plastic material ruining natural environment.
On the trail, we saw a branch trail with a direction sign. It showed its a branch trail that goes to Laka shan (拉卡山). I did online search to find some information about Laka shan. It seems that trail on Laka shan is parallel with Dongman Hiking Trail and hikers can see views of Beichatian shan (北插天山).
On Dongman Hiking Trail, there are many big and old camphor trees. Chris and Robert love camphor and its fragrance. Those two tree huggers enjoyed their close contact with camphor tree.
This is a distant view of the camphor tree. This tree is really big and old. We all loved it. And I specailly love that we were surrounded by lush forest and vegetation.
Robert once said something like that it is easily to get hurt near the end of a journey because people are in their worst and fragile psychological and physical condition. I think it is true. I got my ankle twisted when we were on the way back to the trailhead. I can't recall how it happened. I think I might miss one step. It happened so quikcly when Robert was talking about once a deer jumping into a trail and surprising him. I suddenly fell forward. I could roll down to the bottom of the slope which would cause severe harm to me. I was lucky that Robert stopped me from rolling down.
I twisted my ankle and limped all the way back to our car. I was lucky that we were not terribly far way from the entry. Chris and Robert slowed down their pace and waited for me. It was almost dark when we finally got to our car.
On our way back to Taipei, we stop at a restaurant called 自然步調 (Natural Pace) to have our dinner. It was a nice and cozy place with good service. Lovely place.
We had our nice hiking day and a nice dinner at the end of the day. It was great! I would like to revisit Dongman Hiking Trail and complete it when we have more free time. I do love the lush forest there.