10.4.14

Taiwan: Roadblock On The Deadliest Route

Taiwan, December 2013

Tíng xà lái! Dao Lù fēngbì! (Stop! This road is closed!)

We were about to pass through Hehuanshan area when our van was stopped by some officers. Unlike me, my dad speaks Chinese fluently so he accompanied our driver to find out what was going on....


Taroko National Park

A few hours earlier...

After a night stay in Hualian area, that morning we planned to do the Hualian - Hehuanshan - Cingjing Farm route which normally takes about 4 hours. It's one of the deadliest route in Taiwan because the narrow winding roads up, sudden storm and landslide. There's only few drivers who has the courage to choose the route even though it's a shorter journey.



Our van ran slowly through the Taroko National Park or famously known as Taroko Gorge. The rock now seen in Taroko began over 200 million years ago when the sediment on the bottom of the ocean collected and eventually hardened into limestone, after some tectonic compression it metamorphosed into marble. The view is undoubtedly breathtaking with one side of marble mountain and pristine river on the other side. I felt so tiny when I look at the steep cliffs towering up disappear into the clouds. I've been there many times before but it still amazes me.


steep cliffs and river



the rest area



It was already midday when my family decided to stop at the rest area. The temperature became chilly because it started raining and foggy. We had a quick lunch and continued the journey. The van ran slowly through the winding mountain road. The higher we went, the road became narrower and narrower. The path along the mountain ridge was flanked by rocky cliff and deep ravines on the other side. My heart skipped a beat and I held my breath every time our van passed a car from opposite direction. After more than an hour the fogs faded and I could see some blue skies when I noticed that I was actually above the clouds. Believe me, the view was so splendid that my pictures don't do justice.


an ancient tree

could barely see the road 
literally above the clouds

roadblock
then came the roadblock part...

My Dad tried to talk with the officers and they insisted it was too dangerous for our van to climb the slippery road of Hehuanshan. They let some smaller cars passing through after fitted the snow chain to the tires. We were quite worried at that time since we have booked and paid our hotel in Cingjing Farm so there's no way to cancel it. After some discussion, my Dad and the officers came back with a conclusion. We had to hire snow chains plus 2 officer cars to tow our van just in case it would not able to drive up the steep and slippery slope. We had to fork TWD 5000 for their service since we didn't any find better options.


installing the snow chain for our van (please ignore the butt flashing)

getting darker + snowstorm

reaching the highest point
The van started to ascend the steep road with a revving sound from the engine. It sounded like the car was complaining because it was forced to climb. The snow chains also made the ride was rather bumpy. After some sharp bends we reached to the highest point of Hehuanshan which is over 3000 metres high.

"Stop! You must stop here now! The snowstorm is coming, stay inside the car!" The officers shouted and frantically waving their hands towards our van.

It was already pitch black outside then I heard the scary blizzard sound and our van began to shake. My family just anxiously sat in silence and I put my jacket on as it was getting really cold that my toes started to feel numb. Over 15 minutes later, one of the officers came back knocking our car and told my driver to start driving slowly as we were going down the mountain. It would be really dangerous for any sudden braking.

tired but happy to be "home"

After an hour drive which to me felt like forever, I was so relieved when we finally reach the warm and cosy Shangrila Hanging Garden Resort in Cingjing Farm. I couldn't wait to snuggle in my comfy bed and having a cuppa of hot chocolate to wind down after a thrilling journey.

30 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. the scenery looks amazing, isn't it? :)

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  2. dapet aja,, foto orang lg benerin ban, kelihatan tuh belakangnya wkwkwk.....
    tp view ya keren lho..bny kabut

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  3. aku juga kesini ci debz 2 tahun lalu.. bagus bngt yahh si taroko gorg ituu.. hehehe..

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    1. iyahhh, ga pernah bosen dech biar udah bolak balik kesini. Cakep emang :)

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  4. This is a great place to explore, Debbie. In my opinion, it's a mixture of Japanese and Chinese scenery. So great! I would do some hiking there.

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    1. staying for couple days would be great if you want to explore this area. So stunning :D

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  5. Kabutnya tebel bener, mesti ati2 kalo berkebdara kesana. Baru semalam cari2 info ttg taroko, eh kak debzie lgs posting ;-)

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    1. hati kita terconnect yach #ehhh :p
      Cuaca area taroko suka galau emang, kalo bisa sih sepagi mungkin. Soalnya kalo sore udah berkabut plus ujan. Yang mesti hati2 kalo dari taroko mau nembus ke Hehuanshan ama Wuling. Seremmmm banget medannya >.<

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  6. Looks like an amazing place but a scary experience! Can't imagine how cold it must've been for you, been in a snow blizzard once but I was in my comfy bed looking outside, don't know how I would freak out in your situation.
    Anyway, gotta say, yikes to the buttflash hahaha

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    Replies
    1. yes, it was one hell scary experience. I think my toes went blue because it was too cold and I only had a thin jacket >.<

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  7. OMG.....how terrifying! Thank goodness all ended well. What stunning views though, beautiful!xxx

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    1. yes, I was so relieved all ended well :)

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  8. Tegang banget nih perjalanannya... Tapi viewnya keren, Deb. Ada kisah lanjutan di tempat penginapan nggak? hehe
    Btw foto butt flashing-nya mengalihkan perhatianku >.<

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    1. iyah, walaupun deg2an tapi lumayan terhibur liat viewnya. Kamar hotel aku ga motret soalnya udah tepar, hihihi. Mau aku kirimin foto butt flashing yg resolusi gede ga? :p

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  9. bacanya sambil nahan napas loh aku ;(

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    1. jangan Meiiiii......ntar kalo pingsan sapa yg kasih napas buatan hayooo :p

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  10. Wuih kece banget fotonya!
    awalnya pemandangan seger-seger, apakah udara disana seger juga kak?
    eh itu benerin ban? kok aneh ya gak seperti di Indonesia. hehehe
    dan ditutup dengan foto yang dingin tapi aslik keren~

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    Replies
    1. yup, udaranya seger cenderung beku soalnya pas winter :p
      Itu lagi pasang rantai di ban biar bisa lewat jalan licin yg tertutup salju

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  11. keren...pengen juga ke sana tuh

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  12. No, I believe as your pics say it, especially number 10 & 14. Sublime!
    Anyway, it's not just about the destination, but the journey..

    "Leave nothing but footprints. Take nothing but pictures. Kill nothing but time"

    http://makanangin-travel.blogspot.com/

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    Replies
    1. Thank you :)
      Yes, there are stories behind each journey.

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  13. menegangkan banget ya, sampe terjebak di tengah badai salju gitu.

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    1. iyaa, huhuhu. Mendadak dateng gitu badainya, untung cuma bentar sih

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  14. Lihat foto2nya dgn tebing2 curam itu jadi inget wkt bbrp wkt lalu pergi ke Lembah Harau di Sumatra Barat ;-)

    Emang ngeri banget ya, jalurnya kayak sempit gitu ... :-o ... Tp emang ya ci, sbnrnya mau komen soal pantat jg sih tadinya, tp ternyata udah diksh warning ama ci Debzz utk ignore :-D

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    1. ihhh, ko Timot kok sama kayak Halim......salah fokus ke patpat si montir. wakakaka >.<

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  15. aaghhhhh biar serem tp seru mbaa...Aku ikutan deg-degan bacanyaaa... paling suka pas liat foto yg di atas awan... pgn bgt kesanaa ^o^

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    Replies
    1. iyah, pemandangan dari atas memang cantikkk banget, lumayan lah buat menghibur biar ga terlalu tegang. Hihihi :p

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