July 31 - Aug. 5, 2004
We went back to Taiwan this summer because I was on a business trip and my kids were off from school. This time we joined our family's summer trip to my native home town, Nan-tou (南投), where my father and mother grew up, for 6 days. My uncle, who works at Forestry Bureau and knows this area very well, volunteered to be our guide for this wonderful journey.
We hired a bus (and a driver) to be our vehicle for the entire trip. We got on the bus at 9AM and began the journey from Taipei to Taichung. It was a smooth ride on highway. However, Linus was not used to the bus ride and started to have car-sickness although he already took the medicine. We got to my uncle's home in Taichung at about 11:30AM and had a nice home-made welcome lunch at his home (unfortunately, I was having a stomach flu ... ).
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|It was a winding and narrow road to the mountains where we were going to spend for the next few days. Just a few weeks before our trip, central Taiwan had one of its worst floods in the history. On the way up, we saw the evidence of floods and mud slides all over the places, which were the results of bad usage of natural resouces for years. We got to the destination of the 1st day: Tswai-Fong (elevation 2307 meters), an observation station of Forestry Bureau for wildlife, just in time for the dramatic sunset.|
|I woke up early (around 5:30AM) and sneaked out of our room since my parents also slept in the same room. I met my uncle who was also an early bird. He drove me to a nearby vista point and we got a nice sunrise for the day.|
Ho-Huan Mountain is famous for snow viewing in winter (it's not easy to see snow in Taiwan), it is also a nice place to get away from the heat in summer. Ho-Huan Mountains consist of 7 peaks: Main peak (3,416 meters), East peak (3,421), North peak (3,422), West peak (3,144), Shih-Men peak (3,236), Ho-Huan Chien peak (3,217), and Shih-Men north peak (3,278).
We stopped at the tarilhead to Shih-Men peak (石門山) and started to walked up. At about half way, all the kids were leading the way and left the grown-ups behind (except me). One of the reason that the kids were walking so fast was that someone coming down said there was a McDonalds's somewhere ahead ... Since it's at such a high altitude and some of people in the groups began to feel tired and uncomfortable, we had to call back the kids and started to walk back down before reaching the summit.
We headed to the mountains again to our second night's destination: Hui-Sun (惠蓀林場). When we got there for dinner, it was raining so hard that we were all soaked for walking just for a few minutes. We had the dinner at their own restaurant (so no other visitors) and stayed in the Li-Yuan Village (梨園山莊) , which is also not open to the public. The cabin (2 floors with 4 bedrooms) is so big that we can all stay together for the night.
[Day 1/2] [Day 3/4/] [Day 5/6]
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