April 14, 2014
Wulai From Above
I've been to Wulai many times over the years, so for this visit, I decided to get a different perspective and view Wulai from above. So if you fancy a little adventure in the mountains, read on.Log Cart Trolley
Instead of walking the 1.6 km to the cable car station, we decided to ride the rails on Wulai's cute little log cart trolley. The colorful electric trolleys are small in stature (about 10 passengers per trolley), yet cover the 1.6 km distance quickly and comfortably. Surprisingly, the rail line even has its own train station-styled ticketing office, crossing gate (just like the normal trains) and a small train tunnel. The trolley is fun and is perfect for families with kids, non-walkers and even for train buffs.
Just past the walkway bridge on Wulai's historical street , you will find the path leading up to the trolley train station. A single journey ticket for an adult is NT$50 and for a child, it’s NT$30. Wulai Cable Car
Being somewhat wary of heights, I assumed the cable car ride would be an ordeal, but actually I was pleasantly surprised. The cable car looks just like the kind you would find in the mountains of Switzerland, so the five-minute ride up the mountain side was pleasant and felt really safe. One car can easily fit up to 25 people inside, yet it didn’t feel cramped. If you can, try and get seating or a standing position on the front left side and near a window for a better view of the ride up. It’s a perfect position to just watch everything go by or take photos of the beautiful surrounding mountain scenery. A standard round trip adult ticket is NT$220, and a child ticket costs NT$150.
After disembarking from the cable car, take time to check out the viewing deck for a spectacular view of the valley below and the luscious green forests covering the mountains. Since our visit was during the cherry blossom blooming season (in March), the forest's uneven canopy of green and brown leaves was infused with swaths of pink petals, making the view even more attractive. Amusement Park
While the term “Amusement Park” might bring to mind glamorous style fun and entertainment, this amusement park here is more like a mix between a carnival on one side (Side 1) and an outdoor adventurer’s fantasy land on the other (Side 2). Side 1 contains everything one would expect of a carnival, including rides, games, animals, indigenous tribe themed theatrical shows, gift shops and even a roller coaster fun house. Side 2 (my favorite side) is geared towards outdoor related activities such as hiking, archery, swimming, and even a “military” style obstacle course. Apart from food and drink, most of the activities are included in the price of the cable car ride.
I have to give the park’s designers kudos for designing the park to fit in nicely with Wulai’s ecology and mountains. Forest covered trails zigzag around the park’s different facilities and buildings, while waterfalls, ponds and streams seem to be everywhere According to their website, the warmer months are perfect for viewing the local animals and plants such as fireflies, frogs, butterflies, beetles, flowers and ferns. Overall, I think the amusement park is a wonderful little hideaway and definitely worth a visit.
Side Trip: Easy Hike with Beautiful Scenery
Located only about 45 minutes from Wulai is an amazing 2 km plus trial in the heart of the Neidong Forest Recreation Area/內洞森林遊樂區. While the trail is not difficult or very long, it is definitely worth checking out for its beauty, waterfall and fresh air. The key-point of the visit is to slowly walk through Neidong's luscious green forest and enjoy the spectacular scenery, including the park's three-tier waterfall. The trail is extremely easy and even incorporates a well designed wheelchair access ramp for the first-tier of the waterfall. The admission fee to the park is only NT$65 which is well worth it for the scenery and fresh air. Information of Interest
Wulai Log Cart Trolley (觀光台車)
Overview: A short 1.6 km log cart trolley ride leading up to the magnificent Wulai Falls and Cable Car Station
Tel: (02) 2960-3456
Operating Hours: 08:00~17:00
Fees: Standard: NT$50, Special: NT$30.
Neidong Forest Recreation Area/內洞森林遊樂區
Overview: A pleasant 2.2 km forest walk leading to three beautiful waterfalls.
Tel: (02) 2661-7358
Address: No. 40 Sinsian Village, Wulai Township, Taipei County
URL (Chinese): http://recreation.forest.gov.tw/RA/RA_1_1.aspx?RA_ID=0200002
URL (English): http://trail.forest.gov.tw/RA_En_JP/0200002/RA_EN-01.htm
Opening Hours: 08:00~17:00
Monday to Friday: Adults NT$65, Children NT$40, Concession NT$10
Weekends and Holidays: Adults NT$80, Children NT$40, Concession NT$10
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