Taroko Gorge – Final Part

There are (including this post), four parts.

If you want to start from the beginning, you could roll down or go directly to (will open in a new window, so you won’t lose this page):

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

 

Arriving in the hotel after the one-day-tour, we enjoyed a good coffee, and then went to the Hsiang-Te Temple about 5 minutes from the hotel by walk.

There are four principal bodhisattvas in Oriental Mahayana Buddhism: Samantabhadra (Vajradhara – Pusien – Lord of the Truth and patron of the Lotus Sutra – often depicted mounted on a white elephant), Manjusri (Wenshu – depicted with a sword, associated with wisdom), Avalokitesvara (Guan Yin – compassion of all the Buddhas)and Ksitigarbha (Di-Zang – his vow is to empty Hell)

The Hsiang-Te temple is a Buddhist temple, dedicated to Ksitigarbha and Avalokitesvara.

In Taiwan, Folk and Taoist religions are often mixed with Buddhism. Ksitigarbha is often appealed to protection from earthquakes. So it is totally natural to see this temple here, where earthquakes are devastating.

Many people have a misconception about this Buddha: as a lot believe, He is not the Judge of Hell but the one who wants to empty Hell.

To enter the temple, we have to walk on a big bridge, crossing a river. Here are some pictures from the bridge:

Then, crossing the bridge, we enter the temple. In fact, we pass the entrance gate because the temple is at the peak of the mountain and so we have to climb the stairs… yes, climbing again 🙂

Here is Buddha, mid of the way:

        

Still on the way, a pagoda with 7 storeys. I went on the top, being very careful with the narrow and steep stairway (at the entrance, there is Happy Buddha”:

        

The place is really beautiful, with nice gardens.

On the top, we reach the Temple. Here is the left hand side:

With on the left, on the ravine side, Ksitigarbha Buddha (Di-Zang):

        

And here is the front view of the Temple:

Except few monks, the place was empty. So quiet and beautiful…

Here a closer view of Di-Zang:

        

Then, it was time to go back to hotel. “Sorry” the tour guide told us that the restaurant in the Youth Center near the hotel is good with very fresh ingredient. So we wanted to give it a try. In this area, except in the hotel, the places close very early. At the opposite end of the parking lot of the hotel, there are 3 small Taiwanese restaurants and they close at 7pm!

Seems the Youth Center restaurant closes around 20:30 so we had time to enjoy a whisky first and it is what we did! 🙂

So, after relaxing our muscles from the long tour, we moved to the Youth Center. Do you know what? The restaurant is located at the top of the mount! So climbing and climbing again… 🙂

Diner was quite cheap but it looks at least for me, as “pien tang” on a tray… Anyway, food was good and they provide Taiwan Beer too 🙂

Then, a good shower followed by a sweet bath, my new novel… So good!

The night was much more better than the previous one.

I could have a good sleep.

In the morning, we enjoyed again the wonderful breakfast (fortunately I walked a lot otherwise this trip would finish with me getting few more kg 🙂 )

Next morning, we took a tour which did not need a car.

We went to Baiyang Trail, the entrance been about 20 minutes by walk from the hotel.

For this tour, a flash light is necessary.

The starting point is a 380 meters long tunnel and then we followed the Wahel and Tatzuchili Rivers.

The final destination is the Cave of Water Curtain.

One view on the way to the entrance of the trail:

The above stone fell down after earthquake and torrential rain.

Here is the entrance of the trail, the first tunnel:

        

Some views after the first tunnel. The exit of the first tunnel is at the right hand side of the picture:

Now we are moving to the next tunnel:

Our final destination is:

And after another tunnel is waiting for us:

          

The view after:

          

I promised you before some nice encounters. Here is one: small bats 🙂 They did not move and acted as the local stars:

           

Time to go to the next tunnel:

            

And at the exit, another beautiful views:

Another “special” encounter here 🙂

         

I was staying behind to enjoy the view and take pictures; then moving forward, I saw something moving… It is a Taiwanese Macaque or “Rock Monkey”. This one obviously was not scared by me (normal because usually people should be scared by him!). If you do not feed the wild monkeys and do not look at them in their eyes, you should be OK and they won’t be aggressive.

More pictures of him here:

And then, as magic, he disappeared.

Near the location where I spotted the rock monkey, there is a beautiful view of the river (be careful to not fall down):

        

Really beautiful. (I know, I already wrote it 🙂 )

On the way to the next tunnel:

Did you notice that now, we switched to a schist pattern?

At the exit, one more great view. Water falls are everywhere:

          

And what’s about that?

Amazing! And this one? (even though you have to bend a lot to shot the picture – did I mentioned to I am scared of vertigo? 🙂 )

         

Before arriving to the next tunnel with water curtain, there is a suspended bridge leading to a place we could enjoy the view form a different way:

At the entrance of the next tunnel, we can see closer the marble:

         

Some people are so stupid! They do not deserve what Mother Nature provides: they used tools to cut some part as souvenir! Disgusting!

Next, is the entrance of the final tunnel, the one with water curtain:

The rest of the trail was destroyed by earthquake and typhoons. We could still go inside this tunnel, but it is under your own responsibility!

At the exit, the view is really beautiful. I had to let my camera at the entrance because the water so I could not shot any pictures. I walked a little after the exit, but not so long because after few meters, it’s the ravine. Even for walking I only had less than 50cm path and then… ravine.

The tour guide told me that even the entrance of this tunnel will be closed quite soon. So we were lucky to enjoy it!

Inside, all the path is covered by water (about 50cm) and on the side, there is a path people could walk without going through the water curtain.

I don’t know why, but at that moment, I thought it would be fun to walk under 🙂

The water was very cold, and falling with pressure so not easy to keep balance by walking bare foot on the rocks.

Here is my picture after the walk:

It was fun! 🙂

Then, we walked back and stopped at the suspended bridge:

        

From the bridge:

And as the Japanese one, it did not stop to shake when I was walking on it!

And here was the last picture.

Back at the hotel (it is the last day) we asked to delay a little the check out so I could take a shower and change my clothes. Hotel gave us 30 minutes. Great 🙂

I hope you enjoyed the pictures, as I enjoyed the trip in Taroko Gorge.

Thank you Queen D 🙂

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One Response

  1. Really nice pictures!

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