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Taichung, Feng Chia Market and hike in Da Keng

Posted by on January 4, 2018

As the last month of 2017 started, I took the chance to visit two of my friends who were temporarily in Taiwan. Yes, Taiwan, the same island I had visited in February, only 10 months ago. Since it’s not close to other destinations I had in mind for my next trips, I never expected to be back so soon. That’s the way traveling goes at times. For as much planning you can do, sometimes opportunities come up and you must say goodbye to all that was previously planned. That’s why I’ve never been much of a planner. 

I landed in Taipei airport in the early afternoon and took a 2 hours Ubus to Taichung 臺中市, the third biggest city of the island (as big as Kaohsiung in the South and only second to Taipei) located in the middle of the west coast. I spent only 2 full days in the city, trying to spend time with my friends and see some of the attractions.

As the three of us were all staying in Xitun district 西屯區 we spent our evenings walking around Feng Chia night market逢甲夜市, considered one of the biggest ones in Taiwan. This was also a popular spot because of its vicinity to Feng Chia University, so the streets were crowded with people enjoying meals and shopping. We found a place to have dumplings and got a few drinks while walking, but it was impossible to run away from the pungent smell of Stinky Tofu, sold everywhere as it’s proudly one of the traditional food on the island.

On my second day, while one of my friends was working, the other and I went looking for a hike close to the city. Mountains are very close to Taichung so it’s easy to guess that there are many hiking opportunities. We chose to go to Dakeng 大坑 Scenic Area. We started at the beginning of trail 10, which we followed up until it merged with trail 6. From there we reached Guanyin Pavilion which offered a panorama over the whole city. The way up was not hard and it took us only 45 minutes. We ended the trail and found a bus to drive to the east side of the Dakeng 大坑 Scenic Area, where trails 1 to 5 are. The bus ride was only 15 minutes long. 

Dakeng 大坑 Trail 2 in Taichung

The bus stops at the trailhead of trails 1 to 4 (trail 5 is the one that links the other four on top of the mountain). We picked number 2 and started the ascent. It said it would take 1 hour to complete 1.4 km of trail. Only one hour?! It seemed to be overestimated, but as we made the way up, the trail changed so that it was entirely made up of logs, nailed one to another in a sometimes precarious way. As it became really steep, we had to use the ropes by the side to pull ourselves up. It was a tiring hike but very adventurous, and we were both without breath on the top! I started to chat to a group of Chinese middle-aged hikers who were having tea together. Even if they spoke no English, we communicated for a while and sat down with them to have tea and a few slices of apple. I love how communication can be behind the barriers of language. They showed us the way on trail 5 to connect to trail 3, the one we took to descend. Some parts of the trail 5 offered amazing views and made the ascent worthwhile. 

We waved goodbye and took the trail 3 by ourselves. An hour later we reached the road again. It was an adventurous hike but I do recommend to do it only if you are fit (at least a little bit), as it’s not an easy one. 

Having seen another part of Taiwan and spent time with my friends, I took the bus back to the airport and left the country to go back to Vietnam. Who knows when I’ll be back again!

Anyway, it was time to go back to Đà Nẵng and organize my next trip. 


One Response to Taichung, Feng Chia Market and hike in Da Keng

  1. ivan damara

    nice article man

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