- Starting Location: Caotun (草屯), Nantou. Route 136 starts at Taiping District (太平區), Taichung.
- Length: 91km. Gain: 1923m
- Wufeng Lin Family Garden and Mansion (霧峰林家) historical site.
- Bat cave and cool buddhism temples.
- Hill profile: Ups and downs, then a final continuous steep ascend.
Route 136 (136縣道) is a popular climbing training route in Taichung. Located at the western part of Taichung, it is easily accessible simply by bike or a short drive.
To add more mileage I choose my starting point south of Taichung in Caotun (草屯), as usual from a convenient store for supplies. The plan is to go north via Route #3, then #129, then right to #136. First great view comes from crossing the big Dadu River separating Taichung from Changhua and Nantou.
Route #3 is relatively safe. There are wide scooter lane to ride your bike on, and there is no big trucks in the weekend. However there are quite a lot of traffic light, forcing me to constantly stop and go.
Once Route #3 goes into Wufeng (霧峰), take a detour and you will see Wufeng Lin Family Garden and Mansion. It is a traditional Chinese affluent residential complex dated back to the Qing Dynasty.
Traditional Chinese building featuring brick constructions and the winged eaves.
Even a stone lion has to be in a cage…
Uniform store signs.
There is nothing very interesting on route 129, which passes through typical Taiwan residential area. Eventually route 129 meets 136 and starts the hilly route.
A cool cliff with green plants grown all over on the side.
In Taiwan, many temples are built at the mountain area due to the belief that mountain area has good “Feng Shui” (風水). Thus it is not surprising to see many temples along route 136.
There is also a “bat cave” and a “bat bridge” not far from one of the temples. They were probably built by a tourist hype in that area. Now nobody is visiting there, making it a nice place for cyclists to rest.
Traditional bat symbol. Due to its close pronunciation to Mandarin’s “Good luck”, bat symbols have been used by Chinese ethics for thousands of years.
Entrance of the bat cave.
After passing a cafe sign there is a short descend, then starts the route’s toughest climbing section.
Up the top there is a rock labeled with “red hill’s top” (赤崁頂).
Hill top view.
Continue riding through the top, there is a short descend and ascend section, then followed by long ascend to the other side of route 136.
A small wind gap that marks the beginning of long descend.
The rigged mountain far away is the “99 peak” (九九峰).
View at the east part of route 136.
Route 136 eventually goes into GuoXing county (國姓鄉) and crosses the upper portion of Dadu River.
The end of route 136 connects with Route 14, one of the major state mountain highways that goes horizontally across Taiwan to Hualien (花蓮) (together with Route 8).