Time for Taiwan 2015-2016, Episode 13: Taking the Taiwan Tour Bus to Shei-Pa National Park
Today I'm taking you on a trip into the clouds. We’re going to Shei-Pa on the Taiwan Tour Bus.
I'm Michella. I grew up in the Silicon Valley and was a journalist in Taiwan for ten years. I like to try new things, play with new toys, and visit old places in a new way. I’m going to show you around the Taiwan that I know. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do.
I’ve never used the Taiwan Tour Bus service, but I think this is a nice start. You make a reservation and the bus will pick you up at your hotel or a major train station. In the bus there’s wifi so you can get connected, and a tablet with information in English, Japanese, Korean and of course Chinese on where you’re going.
Sheipa National Park’s Guanwu recreation area is not only enchanting, but also an educationally rich ecological classroom. Enjoy the mountains, but don’t forget to protect them too.
At nearly 2,000 meters above sea level, it’s so high that we’re looking straight at the clouds and even sometimes, down at the clouds. It’s so beautiful. And the air is so crisp and clean. It’s a nice change from the city.
When it snows, the tips of those mountains over there, which are covered in fog right now are blanketed in white, and it’s supposed to be especially beautiful.
This is Yulun Trail, one of the easier ones, because it’s very short, only about 840 meters long, and it’s paved with wooden planks. If you’re looking for something slightly more challenging, you can try the Mount Jhen trail, which takes about four hours round trip. There are tougher paths still, you’ll need to apply in advance for those.
On the Taiwan Tour Bus itinerary, after you finish the Yunlun hike, you’ll stop by the Guanwu Salamander exhibit. The Guanwu Salamander was discovered not too many years ago. They’re native to here, but are very hard to find. They number only in the hundreds.
Included in the package is also a night's stay at Sheipa Leisure Farm, dinner, and breakfast the next day. The rooms are basic but cozy. The room I stayed in had 3 beds and sleeps 6. There was a nice bathtub, desk area with a computer and internet, a simple lounge chair and a sofa set. The room had wifi, a tv and a heater.
There’s a trail right inside the farm, too, and compared to the one earlier, I personally prefer this trail, because it’s not paved, and see? I’m walking on soft, cushy earth. It’s so nice, and so natural, and just plain lovely to be in the woods without too many man made distractions.
Sheipa farm in the very beginning was a logging field, and after all the trees were gone, the government sold the land to a farmer who turned this place into a fruit farm, growing Asian pears, peaches, persimmons and more recently kiwis and blueberries.
To tell you the truth, I didn't know that kiwis, also known as Chinese gooseberries, grow on trees. I thought they grew on vines like passion fruits. Most of the kiwis in Taiwan are imported, so it's really exciting for me to see a real live kiwi tree. What this means now I can get super fresh kiwis! I feel like a dog who’s just discovered where the cookie jar is hidden.
Why am I so crazy about kiwis? They taste really good, are packed in vitamin C and K, and is a low GI food. They also help with digestion. You know what else you can use a kiwi for? Add one to a nasty tasting vegetable juice, and instantly it’s much better.
I think Shei-Pa is a place where you come to be close to nature, touch the clouds, and just space out. If they add some comfortable reading chairs and a place to cook outdoors, I think the next time I come, I'll be here for a few days. You should come.
Michella's notes 米雪拉的筆記：
My impression of Sheipa is that it’s really high up. It’s really a great place to watch the clouds build up from the bottom of the valley to the bottom of your feet, and go over your head sometimes. That part of it is pretty cool. Nature lovers will probably love hiking the trails here.
We stayed at Sheipa Leisure Farm where the rooms are cozy. The room I stayed in had 3 beds and sleeps 6. There was a nice bathtub, desk area with a computer and internet, a simple lounge chair and a sofa set. The room had wifi, a tv and a heater. There’s a guided tour and a trail within the grounds. The most notable fruits grown there are kiwis and blueberries, I learned that these are a couple of fruits that bugs don’t really like, so pesticides really aren’t that necessary. There’s a Chinese restaurant and a Western restaurant, but I don’t really recommend them. Somehow the food at the Western restaurant looks OK but it tastes a little off, maybe the inventory doesn’t get moved fast enough. Unfortunately I don’t think there is any other choice around. If you find some good ones, let me know!
This is the first time we filmed the Taiwan Tour Bus service and it does sound pretty good. The bus/van takes you around and the driver and/or guide tells you what you’re looking at. Sometimes they have an English speaking guide, which you might be able to request for when you sign up. If they don’t have a guide that speaks your language, the tablet they have in the car has audio descriptions and pictures of each of the stops. The van/bus also has wifi, which is pretty convenient as well. The van they drove that day was a newish looking VW van with a new car smell.
If you like camping, you’re really going to love it here. My camping friends say Sheipa is one of the best places to go.
You should come!
Sheipa Leisure Farm 雪霸休閒農場： http://www.sheipa.com.tw
Taiwan Tour Bus, Sheipa itinerary 台灣觀巴雪霸行程： http://www.taiwantourbus.com.tw/Schedule/Content/?id=1380
Shirt: kotipesä http://www.kotipesa.com
Watch: Martian http://www.martianwatches.com.tw
Shoes: Timberland http://www.timberland.com.tw
UAV: 3DR Solo http://www.3drobotics.com