Time for Taiwan 2015-2016, Episode 30: Cycling in Houli
One way to say “bicycle” in Chinese is “iron horse.” Today we’re going cycling in Taichung.
The Houfeng and Dongfeng bike trails used to be a railroad. The two trails put together are about 16 km long and take about 3 hours to complete roundtrip if you take a regular bike. We have to finish shooting before it rains, so we’re on electric bikes today.
This is the Houfeng section of the trail and I think it’s really interesting because there’s a bridge that you have to cross and it’s narrow, long and a bit scary if you stay on it too long. Really exciting. After the bridge you’ll come to a tunnel, again long, narrow and really cool.
This tunnel is 1200 meters long, it was built more than 100 years ago during the Japanese occupation. This tunnel is the first in Taiwan to be converted into a bicycle path. I think it’s quite cool.
A great way to repurpose obsolete railroads and tunnels, wouldn’t you say?
At the end of the Houfeng trail, you’ll come to Houli Horse Ranch, previously a military ranch.
This ranch was started during the Japanese occupation. Taiwan was a springboard into southeastern countries for Japan, and the Japanese government established and operated 10 military ranches in Taiwan - the was one of them.
Horses were bred and riders were trained here, when the time came, they were shipped off to war. The Japanese lost the war, and eventually 9 of the 10 ranches closed down. This is the last of them, now open to the public.
Houli Horse Ranch is like a big park. There are lots of old trees to enjoy and paths to walk. Occasionally you’ll see an old stable or building from the occupation. If you’re like me and like horses, you’re going to like it here.
Riding a horse is sort of like riding a bicycle. You only need to learn it once. I haven’t been on a horse in more than ten years, but it comes back to you with a bit of practice.
Houli and Fengyuan are a ways from downtown Taichung, and I never thought they can be so interesting. I knew that Houli is known for saxophones, but bike trails and this ranch too? Holy cow, Houli is fun! You should come!
Michella's notes 米雪拉的筆記：
We mostly shot on the Houli portion of the path and it was quite beautiful! The bridge, the tunnel, and the way down to the ranch were all really nice. Would love to see what it’s like on the Fengyuan side sometime!
Taiwan Cycling Festival 台灣騎跡 http://taiwanbike.tw/default.aspx?lang=2
Houli Horse Ranch 后里馬場 https://www.travelking.com.tw/eng/tourguide/taichung/houli-horse-farm.html