- AliShan Backroad Ride Summary
- AliShan Backroad Ride First (Failed) Attempt
- AliShan Backroad Ride Second Attempt
- Bantianyan Ziyun Temple 半天岩紫雲寺
- VIDEO: Taiwanese Temple Traditional Ritual
- #159 Backroad
- Drone VIDEO: Near DaHuJianShan
- Small Detour: Orange Residence (柑仔宅) Village
- Continue on Part 2!
- Also Recommended:
- [Exchange Great Views with Peace of Mind] Challenge AliShan 挑戰阿里山
- [ See Tea Fields from the Sky! ] MeiShan 36 Turns with Drone Part 1 梅山36彎空拍之一
- Taiwan Bike Routes Map
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AliShan Backroad Ride Summary
- Self Ride, 2nd attempt
- Starting/ending Location: Near HiLife, ZhuQi Township 竹崎萊爾富.
- Bike Length: ~ 95 km. Elevation gain: ~ 1800 m.
- Hill profile: One big hill + ups and downs.
- Good for: Adventure.
- Can be very foggy in winter.
- Prone rock slide area after first high point. Don’t linger and pass with caution.
- Route Highlights:
I did the “Challenge AliShan” ride event before on Provincial Highway #18 (省道18線). The view was stunning, but there were constantly big buses passing by, creating safety and air pollution hazards for cyclists.
Great AliShan views but lots of big buses.
So I asked myself: “Can I find a way to avoid big buses while enjoying the great AliShan mountains?” This AliShan Backroad Ride was the answer.
AliShan Backroad Ride First (Failed) Attempt
The first attempt did not go well. The lingering heavy fogs forced me to cancel my ride for safety.
Must suck camping in fogs…
While beautiful, it was too dangerous to ride. Can’t see shit.
AliShan Backroad Ride Second Attempt
Originally there was also heavy fog in the morning and I was worried. The local convenient store worker said the fog should go away around 8:30am. He was pretty accurate!
Fog in the morning on #159.
And the sun came out!
Thank God the fog gradually disappeared!
Pass again the camping site.
Far away areas were still foggy.
Soon we arrived at our AliShan Backroad Ride’s first point of interest: BanTianYan ZiYun Temple (BanTianYan means “half sky rock”. “ZiYun” means “Purple Cloud”). As a 3rd level historical monument the temple was pretty big and cool.
Approaching the temple.
The temple’s Paifang
Guardian legendary beasts. Probably Kirin.
Inside the temple area was a big GuanYin statue.
Dragon Ball GuanYin.
As I visited the temple I was fortunate to encounter a traditional ritual. Not sure what it was but it looked cool.
VIDEO: Taiwanese Temple Traditional Ritual
Having much fun of the Temple, for our AliShan Backroad Ride we continued cycling #159 towards ShiZhao 石卓, a big tea fields town in AliShan.
Continued into the mountains!
Still foggy when looking back.
25k to our destination.
Soon great AliShan strange shaped mountains began to appear.
Great AliShan mountains.
Can you find the Dawg?
Passing local elementary (DaHu) school.
This made Taiwan to have 4G even in the big mountains!
Soon we arrived at the first high point. Following this was a ~1km prone rock slide descend section.
Great cliff and WIP tunnel.
There was 2-3 tunnels here protecting the sliding area.
The view here was great though.
Through the infamous BaZhang River 八掌溪 upstream. In 2000 4 workers were trapped and washed away in front of all Taiwan big media, creating big social impact that forced government to review and improve rescue response efficiency.
Passing the prone rock slide area the road made a turn at a mountain valley with a small village here. Above the village was a formidable pointy mountain DaHuJianShan 大湖尖山.
The great DuHuJianShan 大湖尖山.
Drone VIDEO: Near DaHuJianShan
The bare cliff far away was the prone rock slide area which we passed.
What made AliShan so pretty also caused lots of hill slides.
Small Detour: Orange Residence (柑仔宅) Village
At one point tea fields began to appear. and so I took a detour into a village’s country road.