Alishan

Alishan, April 12 - 13, 2010. Click pic for album

Taroko to Kending

Taroko Gorge to Kending, Feb 14 - 19, 2010.

Northern Cross Island Highway

Northern Cross Island Highway, May 19 - 21, 2008. Click pic for album
20th November, 2007

Tonghouxi beyond Wulai

Tonghouxi

The place on the road toward Tonghou where you apply for the mountain permit

I had already decided to take the bike to Tonghou (桶後) today if it didn’t rain. D was going to stay home and relax in prepration for her big tour around Taiwan from Saturday till next Sunday — nine days on the bike — but when I was getting ready she couldn’t resist, so she came with after all.
So, yet another trip to Wulai and yet another attempt to reach Tonghou. We got a late start, though, and I had gear problems, so we had to turn back before we got there. Again. We were meeting some friends this evening, and it’s not very fun to ride on a rain drenched, pitch black road without road ligths after dark.
After the little bridge in Wulai we took a left and continued for another seven kilometers before we turned back. After three km, there’s a police station and a gate across the road. It was opened today, so we kept rolling on. After another three km we had descended down to the river and we reached Tonghou Forest Road (桶後林道) which is actually paved with cement. This is where you have to apply for the mountain permit/rushanzheng (入山證). Nobody home today, so we continued for another km or so before we decided it was time to turn back. Home in Taipei again, we had logged exactly 70 km, plus a couple hundred meters extra.
Despite the constant drizzle after Wulai, it was a pleasant trip, especially after Wulai. It is beautiful to ride on a small narrow road through untouched forest and slowly descend to the river down in the valley below. Almost no traffic, no people and untouched nature just about 1.5h on a bike from SOGO in downtown Taipei. Almost too good to be true.
On the way back we were almost assaulted by some maniac in an old Honda Accord. Honking the horn, shouting and waving. D was getting annoyed when we stopped at a red light and they were there again — then we saw that it was Tim, the owner of our Giant store down by Da’an Forest Park with the back seat full of bike. He and his wife had been biking up Fushan in Wulai together — there’s a trip for another day off. We told him about my gear problems, so now I’m going there tomorrow to get a lesson in gear tuning. And to pick up my new pump that he ordered — a small hand pump that extends and becomes the kind that you can put on the ground and step on so you get more power — and the new bike bag because I had to return the first one because I couldn’t put the shoulder strap on it; a hook was missing. An extremely friendly and helpful guy who is out biking three or four days a week. He says he can’t stop and must make 150-200km a week. Good for us, that means he knows all the stuff he sells from hands-on experience (Nice plug, no?).

Facts After the small bridge in Wulai leading to the commercial tourist shopping area, take a direct left. After 6,5 km along the Tonghou River, you get to Tonghou Forest Trail (paved with concrete) where you should apply for your mountain permit.

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2 comments to Tonghouxi beyond Wulai

  • Nice to find your blog all about cycling. I often ride up to Wulai and sometimes up to the checkpoint you mentioned.
    I have only been past the checkpoint once, but that time we rode as far as there was a road. It is extremely beautiful and very easy to get to from Taipei.

  • tbv

    Wulai is a great area. There’s Tonghou, and then there’s Neidong and Fushan which we haven’t done yet. We’re going to do the Tonghou Rd to the end some day, and from there you can go further still. The owner of the 102 bike shop (Jianguo-Xinyi intersection)told me he brought a group of friends with him that way (on mountain bikes), and when the road ended, they continued along the small forest trail untl they came out on the other side and continued on the road down to Jiaoxi where they hired a mini van back to Taipei. They left Taipei at 6am and returned again at 6pm, so a full day trip. Sounds pretty cool.