One of Yinis cousins is getting married this weekend and the wedding is in Sun Moon Lake. It also happens to be a long weekend due to the national day, so Yini and I decided to go play in central Taiwan for the weekend. We would stop by for the wedding banquet Saturday lunch then continue playing on Saturday afternoon and Sunday.

We started after work on Thursday evening driving south to the small town Puli on the edge of Nantou county, just so we could cut down the driving distance today. This morning we got up at a decent time then headed into the mountains. Shortly before lunch we arrived in the small village Qingjin and went to visit a nearby park that was basically just a grassy hillside with asome paths and a few sheep, not that interesting. We then had some excellent Yunnan style food at a restaurant with the odd name Norwegian Forest.

After lunch we drove deeper into the mountains on a road shrouded in mist. It was exciting, kind of like being in a Lord of The Rings book, sadly we missed out on the view which I’m sure would have been spectacular on a clear day. About an hour later we were nearing the top of mount Hehuanshan on Taiwan’s highest drivable road (highest point 3275m). We parked our car at the road side then hiked the remaining few hundred meters to the peak. It was a pretty easy walk to the top, just too bad it was too misty to see much of the view. At 3416 meters this is the highest point I’ve ever been, I think I need to climb some higher mountains in the future.

When we came down from the peak we drove on through the mist for a while to the high point along the road, Wuling, then down towards the nearby visitor center. Miraculously the mist cleared and we got a great view of the forest clad slopes. The landscape up there is so different from the rest of Taiwan it felt like we’d taken a wrong turn somewhere in the mist and ended up in another country.

The special landscape of Hehaunshan

We drove on, purely for seeing more of this awesome landscape but as we got lower down the mist thickened once more so we turned back. By now it was starting to get dark and the combination of darkness and mist meant I could barely see ten meters in front of me; on that curving road with steep drops off to the side it was quite scary to drive back. However, it had to be done if we didn’t want to spend the night in the car up on the mountain. Some two and a half hours later we were safely back in Puli.