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Waterfalls and gold Mazu in Ilan county 宜蘭

Jiaosi Travel Blog

 › entry 25 of 34 › view all entries
Interior of the train from Hualien to Jiaosi
The northeastern county of Ilan (pronounced yi-lan) in Taiwan used to be thought of as a remote and rural area, and it probably is still rural compared to Taipei, but it's a lot easier and faster to get there now.

There are some beautiful parks and trails here, places I hadn't been before. I wanted to go visit this time because my friend Sherry sent me a link to this wonderful web site http://forestlife.info (it's in Chinese), which has lots of great photos of places all over Taiwan!

太平山國家森林遊樂區, inspired by photos
五峰旗瀑布 WuFengChi waterfall photos inspirations <-- we went here
國立傳統藝中心
林美石磐步道  inspried by photos <--- we went here
松羅國家步道
新寮瀑布

Ilan (pronounced yi-lan) is the next city north of Hualien.
View of Taroko bridge and toward the gorge beyond from the train
We got a ride to the train station courtesy of the hotel I stayed at. Bought tickets for the 9 o'clock train (with seats this time) and headed for Jiaosi (just north of Ilan). The train went along the coast, but through many tunnels, so we didn't get to see the cliffs. It was a good idea to drive up yesterday to see the cliffs and beaches. On the train, they were selling the famous Sun Cakes from Taichung!  When I came back with my husband Kevin and David and Eric many years ago, we got some Sun Cakes on the train near Taichung. It was one of the favorites for Kevin, something which never tasted as good in the US. So I got a box to take home. (I can report that they still tasted good after getting home, and Kevin is very happy about it!)

We arrived at Jiaosi about 10:30am.
Tasting the yummy, light, flaky Sun Cake pastry with honey filling
The hotel I booked was just within a block from the train station, so we dumped the luggage and headed out. First we stopped at the Tourist Information office to see if they have any information on hostels for Deats. They didn't. But gave us a photo lab where he could burn photos to CD so he can take more photos today. We kept our eyes open for cheap lodging, but since Jiaosi was a hot springs resort, cheap hostels were not available. They had "rest" rates, for people who just want to spend a few hours in the hot bath, but that wouldn't do. After buring the CD, we went to see our first sight today.

Wufengchi (五峰旗瀑布) was about a 10 minute taxi ride away, I wanted to preserve my energy for the climb, otherwise Deats wanted to walk. We also were going to meet Ann in the afternoon, so not too much time to waste.
Me and a couple I knew from the US whom we ran into at Wufenchi waterfall
As we entered Wufenchi area, surprise, surprise, I ran into 2 familiar faces! Really this is not something that had happened to me before, but in less than 24 hours, I have run into 4 people I knew from the US or Canada! Deats might have thought I knew everybody in Taiwan, but I was just as surprised as he was.

The waterfall trail started with a small river, then up the hill to the 2nd level waterfall, which was very pretty, and then even further up to the top  where the 1st level waterfall could be seen. You couldn't really go to the top of the waterfall, which was perhaps another few hundred feet up a cliff. But you could go below, where there were rocks in the river. And Deats went exploring for more photo opportunities! Luckily he didn't really break his foot while walking on those slippery rocks.

I got talked into walking back into town.
The lowest waterfall at Wufenchi
We had a snack sitting on a bench by the road to count as lunch. Ann called my cell phone and we arranged to be picked up by her. She drove us back to Ilan where she worked, a very resort like office complex for the county. We had a cup of coffee and she had to deal with some work matters. Then Ann took some time off and we headed to Sinliao waterfall for a quick hike before it got dark!

We next went to Nanfang-oa harbor, and stopped at the Mazu temple. This turned out to be a special temple because of the jade Mazu statue on the 2nd floor and a 200 kilo gold Mazu on the 3rd floor. Not only that, the statues were quite beautiful. Even though Deats was "templed out" before this, he found them to be very nice, and I agree that this is a more unusual one worh a visit. From the 3rd floor balcony, you could see the roofs of the entrance looking like waves, and then the fishing boats in the harbor.
Wufenchi waterfall, base level
Mazu is a commonly worshipped goddess and protector in the coastal parts of China. She was originally a real person from the 10th century. Born to a fisherman's family as the 7th daughter. She did not cry when she was born and was named the "silent girl". The legend had her saving her brother and father during a storm when they were at sea, and she at home. After her death or ascension into a goddess, she was worshipped and became the protector of the fishermen.

We had dinner at a seafood restaurant owned by one of Ann's friends. Fresh fish, beer and conversation with the owner and his sister. After dinner, Ann dropped me back off at the hotel, and Deats got a free room at Ann's!


portia says:
too many photos? about #32. and no you don't look pregnant in my photo.
Posted on: Apr 03, 2008
Deats says:
Which one do i look pregnant in, i dont see? ? ?!
Posted on: Apr 03, 2008
cmgervais says:
Thanks for the photo links - nice.
Posted on: Mar 19, 2008
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Interior of the train from Hualien…
Interior of the train from Hualie…
View of Taroko bridge and toward t…
View of Taroko bridge and toward …
Tasting the yummy, light, flaky Su…
Tasting the yummy, light, flaky S…
Me and a couple I knew from the US…
Me and a couple I knew from the U…
The lowest waterfall at Wufenchi
The lowest waterfall at Wufenchi
Wufenchi waterfall, base level
Wufenchi waterfall, base level
lowest level of the Wufenchi water…
lowest level of the Wufenchi wate…
another view of Wufengchi waterfal…
another view of Wufengchi waterfa…
close-up view of the lower cascades
close-up view of the lower cascades
People talking on the cellphone at…
People talking on the cellphone a…
On the way to the 2nd level waterf…
On the way to the 2nd level water…
view of the 2nd level waterfall at…
view of the 2nd level waterfall a…
The pool at the bottom of the 2nd …
The pool at the bottom of the 2nd…
the top of the 2nd level waterfall…
the top of the 2nd level waterfal…
me and Deats at the bottom of the …
me and Deats at the bottom of the…
Looking at the path leading to 2nd…
Looking at the path leading to 2n…
A sign showing the 3 levels of wat…
A sign showing the 3 levels of wa…
Looking down the valley at Wufengc…
Looking down the valley at Wufeng…
a nice resting area just below the…
a nice resting area just below th…
View of the top level waterfall at…
View of the top level waterfall a…
looking up at the very top, the wa…
looking up at the very top, the w…
the lower part of the top level wa…
the lower part of the top level w…
lower part of top level waterfall …
lower part of top level waterfall…
Deats looking small compared to th…
Deats looking small compared to t…
Deats climbed over rocks to get to…
Deats climbed over rocks to get t…
Another view of the very top of Wu…
Another view of the very top of W…
The pool at the bottom of the top …
The pool at the bottom of the top…
upper and middle section of the to…
upper and middle section of the t…
Another view of the tip-top of the…
Another view of the tip-top of th…
closer look at the lower part of t…
closer look at the lower part of …
pool at the bottom of the top leve…
pool at the bottom of the top lev…
Deats at the top level waterfall, …
Deats at the top level waterfall,…
nice pool
nice pool
lower level of the top level water…
lower level of the top level wate…
Wufengchi waterfall, top level
Wufengchi waterfall, top level
Deats and his camera survived the …
Deats and his camera survived the…
me at Wufengchi
me at Wufengchi
Ann and phil at the parking lot wh…
Ann and phil at the parking lot w…
the water from Sinliao waterfall
the water from Sinliao waterfall
on the path to Sinliao waterfall
on the path to Sinliao waterfall
Ann and Deats up ahead climbing up…
Ann and Deats up ahead climbing u…
river and rocks at Sinliao waterfa…
river and rocks at Sinliao waterf…
the waterfall can be seen in the d…
the waterfall can be seen in the …
closer look at Sinliao waterfall, …
closer look at Sinliao waterfall,…
Deats on a suspension bridge at bo…
Deats on a suspension bridge at b…
What the bridge looked like in the…
What the bridge looked like in th…
The Sinliao waterfall closer up,  …
The Sinliao waterfall closer up, …
The large jade Mazu statue at Nant…
The large jade Mazu statue at Nan…
The green jade Mazu flanked by 2 o…
The green jade Mazu flanked by 2 …
view of the jade statues
view of the jade statues
the small green jade statue in fro…
the small green jade statue in fr…
doors and carvings on there at the…
doors and carvings on there at th…
Top of the entry to Nantien temple…
Top of the entry to Nantien templ…
view of the wave-like roofs and fi…
view of the wave-like roofs and f…
The golden Mazu
The golden Mazu
glorious golden Mazu at Nantien Te…
glorious golden Mazu at Nantien T…
Even the smaller one in front was …
Even the smaller one in front was…
both the large and smaller golden …
both the large and smaller golden…
golden Mazu and her attendants
golden Mazu and her attendants
close-up of the golden Mazu statue
close-up of the golden Mazu statue
a lion in front of the golden Mazu
a lion in front of the golden Mazu
close-up of the smaller golden Mazu
close-up of the smaller golden Mazu
both the larger and smaller Mazu i…
both the larger and smaller Mazu …
the attendant
the attendant
a bridge leading to the golden M…
a "bridge" leading to the golden …
Golden Mazu
Golden Mazu
golden mazu
golden mazu
statue on the door
statue on the door
another statue on the door
another statue on the door
incense burner
incense burner
Chinese dice at the temple, this…
Chinese "dice" at the temple, thi…
tiny lanterns with devotees names…
tiny lanterns with devotee's name…
praying at the temple
praying at the temple
doors at the temple
doors at the temple
lantern at the temple
lantern at the temple
sign at the temple saying to go to…
sign at the temple saying to go t…
outside the temple at Nantien temp…
outside the temple at Nantien tem…
Where we had our dinner
Where we had our dinner
fish skins, tasted real good though
fish skins, tasted real good though
egg omelet with tiny fishes, good …
egg omelet with tiny fishes, good…
fried oysters crisps
fried oysters crisps
shark gills, not my favorite
shark gills, not my favorite
Jiaosi
photo by: portia