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Taiwan Shiding Hiking Huangdidian

7 March 2017

One down

First of all, in exciting news, my hotel has a self serve kitchen area with snacks, drinks and a coffee machine that also makes an awesome hot chocolate. I have had 3 already. Anytime you want you can go help yourself to hot chocolate and fermented fried tofu snacks.

In even more exciting news, I got to climb a mountain, despite the threat of rain. It rained once I got down, so it all worked out well.
Getting to the mountain, as ever, quite the challenge. Take the train to the end, and then wait for bus #666. Really that is its real number. The problem is the map at the bus stop waiting area suggested that bus 666 goes 3 different ways depending on how its feeling and what the season is. I had no idea, and neither did the confused Taiwanese grandmas also waiting.
We agreed to just get on it when it came and see where it went, they seemed to like me a lot, as if I was their pet Australian.
Anyway, the bus went along a river with a big drop and cities cut into cliffs. Quite big cities. I am guessing at least one of them was a hot spring resort as it had a giant Holiday Inn and a Lamborghini dealership. Actually there were lot of great cars parked all around the area, but this was not my stop.

As it turned out, my bus went to where I wanted to be, a small town called Shihding.
From here I found the path easily and hiked along the ridge of Huangdidian, which consisted of lots of ladders and rope climbs and perilous slippery rock ridges with guide ropes.
It was a most excellent hike, quite easy as the ascent was stairs and then it was just a long ridge. However I think I came down in the wrong spot, as it was quite a long walk back to the road and then even further to the bus.
Anyway, I had a great time, and since I was down from the hike early, I had time to stop off at a town I had seen from the bus on my way to the hike.

Taiwan-Shiding-Hiking-Huangdidian - The train to the hike transferred at this station, I think I took a photo under it last night in this exact spot, but I cant be sure. It was a very ve

The train to the hike transferred at this station, I think I took a photo under it last night in this exact spot, but I cant be sure.
It was a very very grey day all day, my camera made the photos brighter than it really is, so dont complain its dark, cause it was actually darker!


Taiwan-Shiding-Hiking-Huangdidian - The cable car goes to the zoo, I went there the first time I came to Taipei, it is an excellent zoo. There is also mountains behind it, and I think yo

The cable car goes to the zoo, I went there the first time I came to Taipei, it is an excellent zoo. There is also mountains behind it, and I think you can climb along them to where I went today if you have plenty of time and dont get lost. I get lost often.


Taiwan-Shiding-Hiking-Huangdidian - This is the township of Shiding, or maybe Shihding, Taiwan argues about how to spell stuff. The real spelling is definitely Shiding but signs use the

This is the township of Shiding, or maybe Shihding, Taiwan argues about how to spell stuff. The real spelling is definitely Shiding but signs use the old spelling interchangeably, and Google generally uses older confusing spellings.


Taiwan-Shiding-Hiking-Huangdidian - The town is very interesting, there are covered shopping streets cut into the cliff. Despite its ramshackle appearance, most of the shops seemed quite

The town is very interesting, there are covered shopping streets cut into the cliff. Despite its ramshackle appearance, most of the shops seemed quite fancy.


Taiwan-Shiding-Hiking-Huangdidian - Since it looked like rain, I headed to a conveniene store and asked for a rain clothing in Chinese, which worked. I have selected this fetching number

Since it looked like rain, I headed to a conveniene store and asked for a rain clothing in Chinese, which worked. I have selected this fetching number.
Unfortunately it did not rain so I have no photo of me wearing it to share. I am also highly wary of its one size fits all claim.


Taiwan-Shiding-Hiking-Huangdidian - The first hour at least, was endless steps, a hard slog indeed! But I was loving it, It made the long sleepless flights worth it, I was also hoping it

The first hour at least, was endless steps, a hard slog indeed! But I was loving it, It made the long sleepless flights worth it, I was also hoping it would rain so I could try my new $3 coat.


Taiwan-Shiding-Hiking-Huangdidian - I thought this was handy, but the only one I saw all day was 200 metres from the start of the trail. They should put them at the remote bits of the tr

I thought this was handy, but the only one I saw all day was 200 metres from the start of the trail. They should put them at the remote bits of the trail. Actually my phone does that so its only useful if you are using a paper map. So they are useless.


Taiwan-Shiding-Hiking-Huangdidian - The thing sticking up in the middle is Taipei 101. I had good phone coverage all day, probably as I always had line of site to the worlds tallest phon

The thing sticking up in the middle is Taipei 101. I had good phone coverage all day, probably as I always had line of site to the worlds tallest phone tower.


Taiwan-Shiding-Hiking-Huangdidian - Then the ladders started. Taiwan has an abundance of stainless steel. The USA has banned the import of Taiwanese steel this week due to trade dumping

Then the ladders started. Taiwan has an abundance of stainless steel. The USA has banned the import of Taiwanese steel this week due to trade dumping or whatever that term is for making something cheaper than the local market can make it, it used to be called competition.


Taiwan-Shiding-Hiking-Huangdidian - There was no actual summit today. I just hiked up and down many ridges, in this shot the trail is bending around to the right.

There was no actual summit today. I just hiked up and down many ridges, in this shot the trail is bending around to the right.


Taiwan-Shiding-Hiking-Huangdidian - I was super impressed by the long ladders. The longest was over 100 steps. I could have taken a lot more ladder photos but I had to put my camera away

I was super impressed by the long ladders. The longest was over 100 steps. I could have taken a lot more ladder photos but I had to put my camera away to keep my hands free so I didnt plummet on day 3 of my holiday.


Taiwan-Shiding-Hiking-Huangdidian - In addition to ladders there was rope / chain ascents and descents with foot holes cut into the rock.

In addition to ladders there was rope / chain ascents and descents with foot holes cut into the rock.


Taiwan-Shiding-Hiking-Huangdidian - And there were somewhat perilous slippery rock ridges to scramble along. I decided the rope was unlikely to save me.

And there were somewhat perilous slippery rock ridges to scramble along. I decided the rope was unlikely to save me.


Taiwan-Shiding-Hiking-Huangdidian - On the way back down there were many such moss covered ruins.

On the way back down there were many such moss covered ruins.


Taiwan-Shiding-Hiking-Huangdidian - And then the path came to a road, greeted by flowers, and a sign saying 180 minutes to the main road and town... surely not? Jogging time.

And then the path came to a road, greeted by flowers, and a sign saying 180 minutes to the main road and town... surely not? Jogging time.


Taiwan-Shiding-Hiking-Huangdidian - I passed at least 5 such temples, each farmer seems to have their own.

I passed at least 5 such temples, each farmer seems to have their own.


Taiwan-Shiding-Hiking-Huangdidian - Inside each one was a similar setup of action figures. Thats the Harry Potter head wizard guy on the right.

Inside each one was a similar setup of action figures. Thats the Harry Potter head wizard guy on the right.


Taiwan-Shiding-Hiking-Huangdidian - I was so thrilled when I came across a strangely located rubbish truck depot and waste transfer station. Tax write off joke time.

I was so thrilled when I came across a strangely located rubbish truck depot and waste transfer station. Tax write off joke time.


Taiwan-Shiding-Hiking-Huangdidian - I got back to the main road. Too bad its 100 metres above me.

I got back to the main road. Too bad its 100 metres above me.


Taiwan-Shiding-Hiking-Huangdidian - Instead I had more temples to visit, sometimes in the form of covered bridges.

Instead I had more temples to visit, sometimes in the form of covered bridges.


Taiwan-Shiding-Hiking-Huangdidian - Whilst walking along the road in the rain, people slowed down to laugh at me. I laughed at houses built on the side of a cliff. We were all having a g

Whilst walking along the road in the rain, people slowed down to laugh at me. I laughed at houses built on the side of a cliff. We were all having a great time.


Taiwan-Shiding-Hiking-Huangdidian - After finding a bus, I decided to get off at another town back closer to Taipei, This one was called Shenkeng.

After finding a bus, I decided to get off at another town back closer to Taipei, This one was called Shenkeng.


Taiwan-Shiding-Hiking-Huangdidian - It had many nice shops for tourists, and a lot of shops selling the local variety of Tofu, which apparently can cure every disease and cause great suf

It had many nice shops for tourists, and a lot of shops selling the local variety of Tofu, which apparently can cure every disease and cause great suffering to your enemies.


Taiwan-Shiding-Hiking-Huangdidian - Shenkeng has an 'Old Street', which is code for, 'we knocked down everything and built a new street with a few of the old bricks used in it'. It was a

Shenkeng has an 'Old Street', which is code for, 'we knocked down everything and built a new street with a few of the old bricks used in it'.
It was a really nice area, even in the rain.


Taiwan-Shiding-Hiking-Huangdidian - The bus I then caught went through a series of huge tunnels, and emerged very near Taipei 101. This is the other big building under construction nearb

The bus I then caught went through a series of huge tunnels, and emerged very near Taipei 101. This is the other big building under construction nearby which I mentioned last night.
Thats all for now! A great day indeed despite the very grey weather.


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