Yongheshan is roughly translated as”Mountain with a wing ” or, “Wing Mountain”.
We, as Filipinos, simply call it “Sanwan”, because it sounds like the famous name of a Saint/City (San Juan) in the Philippines.
Sanwan is translated in English as “Three Bay”. It’s a bit mountainous and it’s part of Miaoli.
The Yongheshan loop is in fact, a bit intimidating to accomplish for the uninitiated.
This Mountain serves as the training ground for cyclists. Both rookies and veterans that are just nearby, frequent this place. Some folks come here to hike or to observe nature.
If you’re fond of viewing Sakura flowers, then try to visit them while they bloom during winter. White(rare) and pink varieties can be found in here.
I’m writing this blog to serve as a guide for those who are not yet familiar with “The Yongheshan Loop”, as there’s a probability of getting lost if someone’s not properly oriented in traversing this place.
This mountain is approximately 100 meters above sea level.
In case you’ll get lost, just open this link and simply follow it back to Toufen city.
There are designated bike lanes here and their ubiquitousness is quite obvious.
Taiwan government and its citizens strongly support cycling. There are even dedicated Cycling Routes that are strategically designated all around the island.
Here is a free and downloadable guide, if you’ll be wishing to cycle around Taiwan. A printed version is also available, but of course, you will have to shell out some reasonable amount of money for that.
Zhunan 竹南鎮 Science Park is easily accessible. If you’re from Hsinchu, you can take the bus with numbers 5801 or 5807. You can download an application that can check their location. The iBus app is both available in iOS and Android.
This Administrative building houses the Zhunan Postal Office, Police Station,Mega International Commercial Bank of Taiwan, and the THSR bus terminal (located on the rear side).
The THSR Shuttle buses take trips regularly. Just don’t forget to check out their website for an updated schedule. Use Easycard or Yoyo Card in order to ride this shuttle bus. You can avail of that in convenience stores like Family Mart, 7-11, etc.
There are actually two kinds of Shuttle buses in here. These are 101 and 101A.
The 101 or the Orange Line bus originates from Zhunan 竹南鎮 Science Park Terminal Station and travels all the way through Shei-pa National Park Headquarters.
While the Black Line buscomes from Zhunan 竹南鎮 Science Park Terminal Station and travels all the way through THSR Miaoli Station ONLY. Please pay attention to that matter.
Both buses travel vice versa. Just carefully check their schedules respectively.
This Park has also its own 7-11 Convenience Store that is conveniently located near my workplace.
The NHRI in Zhunan 竹南鎮 Science Park.
If you’re searching for a quiet place to jog, or to just walk then try to visit the NHRI compound.
You can also bring your bike if you wish to. The scenery here is so placid and folks rarely visit this place.
Everyone might have initially guessed that outsiders are not welcome here. They’re absolutely wrong. Entry is allowed as long as you only have the good intention to jog or to just simply walk around.
Due to its vastness, you’ll certainly be surprised the first time you’re gonna visit this place.
You will eventually realize that it almost occupies the half of Science Park. And yes, it’s beautiful inside.
Zhunan 竹南鎮 in Taiwan actually means “Bamboo Town”.
updated on May 07, 2018
I have no idea, why Zhunan town is called as such. What really first crossed my mind, was the abundance of bamboo in this town during the old times. And that made people call Zhunan, “The Bamboo Town”. Maybe. Who knows?
I’ve searched the web about the origin of its name and found nothing. Instead, what showed up is Changhua (located in central part of Taiwan) which is also called “bamboo town”, primarily because there was a fortress that was made out of bamboo during the ancient times.
Zhunan traditionally was a beach and a fishing community. It’s closely associated with Matsu, the sea goddess. Protector of sailors and fishermen. That’s according to Wikipedia.
龍鳳Lóngfèng means Dragon Phoenix. Right within the harbor’s vicinity are a Fish Market and several seafood restaurants.
Further south is the Bike Trail’s starting point.
The 8-kilometer,150-hectare seaside forest begins at 龍鳳 Lóngfèng Harbor(North) and ends at Zhonggang Estuary in the south.
It is known for its captivating scenery and diverse ecosystem.
Its landscape includes forest, wetlands, sand dunes, and beaches.
Uninterrupted hiking/biking trails stretch from north to south. Outdoor sports facilities are even built along the trails.
Folks visit this recreation spot for Surfing, Kitesurfing, sightseeing, biking/exercise, picnics, observing nature or for a casual walk.
If you are fond of surfing or perhaps on kitesurfing, then Qiding beach must be included in your itinerary.
If you’ll visit the beach, you’ll instantly notice the swells. They’re not just ordinary waves. That’s why swimming here is prohibited. That’s according to the signs that are installed on the beach.
Though some stubborn folks still do, and I’m one of them. Haha!
If you don’t know how to swim, it’ll be much better not to take your chances. Better be safe than sorry.
Anyway, if you’re new to surfing or kitesurfing, and is eager to learn, then SPOT’s in charge. They are actually located here in the Central part and are currently offering lessons(surfing) and equipment rentals.
If you’re riding a bike or a scooter, please take a moment to examine the image below.
Take heed, that the two inner lanes are dedicated to fast moving vehicles only. YOU SHOULD NOT ENTER any of these.
The two outer lanes are for slow moving vehicles. And yes, that includes your bike. Commence here.
If you’re not yet familiar with traveling through Taiwan, then I suggest that you must engage in a group ride first. Always take with you your GPS capable phone, and a backup battery or a power bank.
If you want more tips on what to pack for a ride, then you should visit GCN’s Channel on Youtube.
I also ride with groups, but oftentimes I prefer riding alone because it gives me a sense of freedom. I’m always free to choose when the right time to stop. When to have a little break or whenever I feel the need to take images.
A sign on the road like the succeeding image is widespread all throughout the Island. You should always watch out for such if you’re riding on hybrid expressways. That’s your lane as a cyclist, definitely.
The agricultural sector in Taiwan is not being left behind and is instead significantly supported by the government. For it greatly supports the food security, development of rural communities, and mainly for the conservation of Taiwan.
Implementation of high-technology in farming is obviously utilized here.
The above image is the Zhonggang Estuary. This is the point where the river absolutely greets the ocean. On the right side (not shown) is the Zhunan Incinerating Plant.
You will definitely pass along this particular area if you’d prefer to choose the Zhunan-Houlong route.
This time you have to turn left. You can go straight ahead, but this will lead you to a stairway. Of course, that too will lead you up to Haowangjiao, but you have to let your bike stay down below.
The pulchritudinous Cape of Good Hope, Haowangjiao 好望角 never ceases to amaze me. There are times that I just want to put down the camera and just prefer in indulging myself in admiring the view. As James Thurber once said, “Beautiful things don’t ask for attention”.
Profound. Isn’t it?
A flock of people is always here during weekends and holidays. Don’t worry about the parking space if a car is your preferred means of transport to get here. There’s an ample space at the top. And yes, there are comfort rooms too.
And if you’re hungry or just want to have a bite, then there’s nothing to worry about. There are literally vendors here that sell beverages and snacks.
According to Wikipedia, the township’s name (Houlong) originates from that of a Taiwanese Plains Aborigines’ settlement. During the Kingdom of Tungning, the place was called Aulangsia (Chinese: 後壠社). Other variants of Aulang existed (Chinese: 凹浪/後壟; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Āu-lâng). In 1920, the place was renamed Kōryū Village (Japanese: 後龍庄), under Chikunan District (竹南郡), Shinchiku Prefecture.
Did you know that Aborigines have been living in Taiwan long before the Chinese came? They’ve been here for thousands of years before the arrival of Chinese people. Taiwan was once a Dutch colony and the capital was Tainan and not Taipei.
Many Taiwanese are actually Austronesians. The same group where Filipinos, Indonesians, Malaysians, Maori people of Hawaii/New Zealand and Thais belong. That’s the reason why you come across people that look exactly like Filipinos when you explore the highland territories.
Their hair color, skin color, height, and other striking physiological resemblances are very plain to see.
Notice also their language. It’s not even Chinese at all.
Example are Paiwan people that are located in southern Taiwan.
Their language is actually related to “Ilocano”, my native dialect.
Their’s even a scientific theory that all Austronesians actually originated from Taiwan.
As of June 2014, 16 groups have been recognized.
We’ll not dig deeper into this, but if you’re intrigued, you can search for a documentary made by BBC, titled South Pacific. In addition to this, search for the movie賽德克·巴萊Seediq Bale.
The most expensive movie that Taiwan has ever produced.
This movie is based on true historical events and you’ll certainly learn more about the history of Taiwan after watching it. You’ll be surprised to find out, that the protagonist Mona Rudao looks exactly like a typical Filipino.
This military structure makes me imagine that machine guns actually protruded through these holes during World War II, perhaps. Or were they just recently made?
Or were they just built just in case? Anyway, I won’t go further into that matter.
And yes, you can find such structures at the top of Cape of Good Hope.
If you’re done visiting Haowangjiao, then perhaps you may want to check out the other nearby scenic/historic spots too.
The giant Matsu statue, the Historic Train Tunnel, The Fossil layer and Cape Paradise (beach).
This spot intrigues me a lot. Here’s an ancient definitive evidence of a violent Tectonic Plates activity. Notice the sediment layers. Why are they tilted?
This is due to earthquakes in the past. The violent force is so evident that ancient sea floor is even lifted above sea level. This is how mountains are formed over time.
But take heed that not all mountains are formed this way. Some are actually spewed out by volcanoes. Anyway, we’ll not dig deeper into that.
Hsinchu, officially known as Hsinchu City
(Chinese: 新竹市), is a city in northern Taiwan.
It is popularly nicknamed “The Windy City” (Chu Chien) for its windy climate. Hsinchu is administered as a provincial city within Taiwan.
Longing for a bike ride and haven’t decided where to go this weekend?
The 17 Kilometer Scenic Coastal Area is waiting to be included in your itinerary.
This strikingly beautiful bike trail stretches from Nangang Hsinchu to Nanliao Village.
The collaboration of three Southeast Asian countries Japan, South Korea and Taiwan resulted in the materialization of this project.
This scenic coastline boasts an abundance of leisure activities and diverse ecological resources that attract both local and international tourists.
The incumbent Mayor Lin Chih-chien 林智堅 Lín Zhìjiān recently decided to further improve the project.
As of this writing, Siangshan Crab Viewing Area and the Nangang Birdwatching Ecological Park will combine with the existing fishing port, beaches, Nangang Canal, Mangrove Forest, Siangshan Wetland, and the Southern Tip Sand Dunes, forming a completed 17 Kilometer Scenic Coastal Area.
That is the famous Harp Bridge. Here, you can witness photographers on the other side of the bridge at dusk, where everyone patiently anticipates for the sunset hoping to have a beautiful and clean shot of the setting sun.
In front of this informative large rock is the Shiangshan Wetland.
During low tide, people actually come here to gather clams (“tulya” in Filipino).
There are also vendors here that offer beverages and grilled squids.
You can also find parking spaces and nearby restrooms here.
If you’d prefer to explore the 17 Kilometer Scenic Coastal Area by summer, then don’t forget to wear sunblock or shades. Majority of the area has no shade at all. The previous image is the only point where the path is actually shaded by trees.
That is the Loveboat Sign at the Seaview Park. There used to be bikes for rent here. At the back is a restroom (not shown). People prefer swimming here. Photographers even do photo shoots in this area.
Kanhai Park used to be the place where ashes were dumped from the city’s garbage incinerator. The ground level here is a bit steep because the ashes were buried here. Over time, it added up and eventually formed what is now known as “The Kanhai Park”. Now, its lawn is beautifully covered with grass and is a great place to view the ocean and of course, the wonderful sunset. It is now one of the cornerstone points of the 17 Kilometer Scenic Coastal Area.