Despite the heat, summer time is one of my favorite seasons in Taipei because friends come back to play! Last week my friends Joanna & Spencer from Hawaii, Poy, Julie and Chin from London, Max from Germany, Hiro from Japan, Curtis from Portland and Cormac from Ireland and I went on a waterfall hike on the outskirts of town, starting from a little train station village called Sandaoling. I love having so many friends from different parts of the world! I love awkwardly introducing them before going on a random hikes even more. I had read about how awesome this hike was from various blogs like this one, so we went in our swimsuit-all so excited to jump into the water!!
Don’t go chasing waterfalls…in the summer time in Taiwan.
We got there and started walking down these railroad tracks til we reached a cluster of buildings where the entrance of the hike was. After unsuccessfully finding a place to grab lunch from, we settled down on this local older woman’s front porch after she offered to make us ramen if we paid her. It was SO. RANDOM.
The hiking trail was exciting and scenic, with suspension ladders, ropes, and wobbly stones. We were meant to pass by four waterfalls, and everyone was anticipating a refreshing dip in the river. When we finally got to one, there was just a little drip. No waterfall. Same with the next one, and the one after that! Of course, I was disappointed and felt really bad. Everyone moaned and groaned, but there was nothing we could do…but admire the rocks where there WOULD have been waterfalls!
According to the blogs, we were meant to keep on hiking til we got to Shifen. The trail we were on ended on a pavement road, so we hesitantly walked along for about an hour or so til we realized I had no idea where we were going HAHA. We asked villagers and after getting pointed to different directions and sweating our asses off, we found another paved road to follow. After a ton of cabs passed us with tourists, we reached Shifen. Half my troops were staggering along cause we had hiked/walked over 5 hours by then!
Shifen is a mining town where Taiwanese and locals alike come to light off sky lanterns. It’s one of my favorite sights in the world-the way those lights just float up into the air with everyone wishes written on them. We let ours off, and then jumped on the train to go back to the city for FOOD.
Moral of the story is: adventures like these, although considered a fail, make the most memorable and fondest memories. I’ll never forget the waterfall hike with dried up waterfalls, and all the old and new friends that were made along the way!