Taitung Private Tour Day 1 Part 3: Hidden Gems in Yanping & Luye Township 台东包车游第一天:延平及鹿野乡寻幽探秘记

The rain became heavier as we left the charming Chishang Township in the northern part of Taitung County back south towards Luye Township. Most travellers who have heard of Luye Township would probably know it because of the popular annual hot-air balloon festival every July at Luye Gaotai. But no, we weren’t going to try a hot-air balloon journey, because of weather & timing. 2017 hot-air balloon festival would only start on 30 June & end on 6 August. Outside the festival period, hot-air balloon rides are available only early in the morning or in the evening when the air is cooler, & only permissible to fly in dry weather.

离开台东县北部风景怡人的池上乡往南驶向鹿野乡,雨势逐渐变大。一提到鹿野,或许大家立即联想到的是每年七月左右在鹿野高台举办的夏季热气球嘉年华。不过,我们去鹿野并非要去乘坐热气球,因为时间和天气都不对。2017年的热气球嘉年华是从6月30日至8月6日举行,我们6月中旬在台东,嘉年华都还没开始。嘉年华以外的时间虽然也能搭乘热气球,但只有在清晨或傍晚时分,而且非雨天才有机会体验到。

So you may ask, what else is there to check out in Luye Township? Because of its strategic location in the East Rift Valley in Taitung, Luye is home to the largest plain in Taitung, & the plateau, elevated 350m above sea level, is ideal for paragliding. Luye is also known for its tea plantations, Luming Suspension Bridge & Wuling Green Tunnel.

哪鹿野乡除了热气球还有什么好看好玩?位于花东纵谷的鹿野乡,拥有台东最大的高台大草皮,而这高台的视野辽阔,是台湾东部最佳的飞行伞与滑翔翼练习场。当然,鹿野乡广阔的茶园,昔日台9线交通联络要道 – 鹿鸣吊桥,以及武陵绿色隧道也很有名。

Enroute to Luye, we passed by Yanping Township, a mountain indigenous township populated mainly by the Taiwanese aborigines – Bunun people. The small & lesser known township (455.8 sq.m.) used to be administered by Luye Township until 1945. Over 95% of land area in the township is mountainous with an average altitude of 400m. We didn’t visit the more well-known Hongye Village in the township. Instead, we were driven to a historical suspension bridge constructed since the Japanese Occupation.

沿途,我们经过以台湾原住民布农族居多的延平乡。延平乡总人口只有约3,500人,占地455.8平方公里,原本属于鹿野乡的管辖,但在1945年后才分治。由于地处中央山脉之上,山地占超过全乡的95%,平均海拔达400公尺。我们并没去探访延平乡较多人知道的红叶村,而是去探访一座自日治时期就搭建的古老钢索吊桥。

武陵村的明野钢索吊桥

Situated by Luliao Creek, construction works for Mingye Bridge was completed in 1933 during the Japanese Occupation. Back then, the wide suspension bridge was one of the main roads that connected the aborigines in Wuling Village to other parts of East Rift Valley. However, as traffic to & fro Taitung continued to grow after the end of WWII, Mingye Bridge couldn’t cope with the increasing traffic load. Thus, the provincial highway bureau decided to build another bridge (Wuling Bridge) on its right in December 1965. Overtime, due to lack of maintenance & usage, Mingye Bridge collapsed. Now, what we see is only the 2 bridge piers that remain, with paintings of the tribal folks on its walls. The historical structure certainly evoked rustic charm, enhanced on a rainy day hidden amidst the misty backdrop of mountains.

横跨于鹿寮溪之间的明野桥,建于日治时期,于1933年完工。位于延平乡武陵村的这座钢索吊桥,由于宽度足够,车辆得以通行,是当时居住在武陵村的原住民族人通行的主要道路之一。然而,二战过后,因花东纵谷公路的交通流量持续增加,明野桥无法应付增长的交通量。因此,1965年12月,省政府公路局于明野桥右侧另兴建一座桥(武陵桥)以应付需求。明野桥的角色逐渐被取代,后来也因年久失修,桥面塌损崩坏。现在,大家所能看到的是吊桥两端仅剩的墩座,并漆上在地布农族的可爱绘画。纵使吊桥的墩座老旧,但散发着浓郁的怀旧日式风,在烟雨蒙蒙的午后,被环山围绕的景象,别有一番滋味。:)

Just a 3-min quick drive from Mingye Bridge, we took a scenic drive through the Wuling Green Tunnel. The 4.5 km long stretch of road is covered by 2 rows of tall shady trees – the camphor tree & casuarina tree. It was quite a lovely sight driving through this long stretch of evergreen trees. Although the colours were different, it somewhat brought back pleasant memories of the cherry blossom trees during my road trip in Gyeongju, Korea last April. Too bad the weather wasn’t favourable that day, & we were running short of time, hence we couldn’t alight to take some beautiful shots of the place. In fact, my friend only managed to snap a photo while in the car, which I believe doesn’t do justice to how awe-inspiring the sight was!

离明野桥仅3分钟车程的武陵绿色隧道,全长4.5公里的道路两旁有高大的樟树和木麻黄遮荫。虽然是雨天,但开车穿越这条绿色隧道感觉像进入世外桃源一样。在那瞬间让我联想到去年春天在韩国庆州市与朋友一起开车赏樱花的美景,虽然颜色完全不同,哈哈。可惜下着雨,又没有多少时间,我们没办法下车拍照。我根本也拍不到一张像样的照片,朋友也只拍了以下这张照,完全无法展示出我们当场看到的那番撩人景色。

Admiring the Wuling Green Tunnel with a drive-thru 在车上感受穿越武陵绿色隧道的舒服自在

Following, Mr Wang drove us to a hidden gem in neighbouring Luye Township, up some narrow hilly paths before our car stopped at the secret spot for photo-taking. He mentioned that so far, only travellers who booked a private tour with them would be able to visit this huge Red Cedar Tree of more than a century old as it’s relatively unknown to others.

接着,汪先生带我们到一处在毗邻的鹿野乡的私房景点。车子驶入几条小巷,上了几处狭小的山路才终于抵达神秘景点去拍照。他告诉我们,一般也只有预订他们公司的包车服务,才能探访这棵约百年的巨大茄苳树。很少游人会晓得这个地方,就连上网去查都找不到!

The ancient sacred tree hidden up a secret hill 藏在山上的隐秘神木

Most travellers would have known about the sacred red cypress tree in Alishan, a renowned tourist spot in central Taiwan. If you do a search online, you would probably only find the one in Alishan too. Both species of trees may have a similar physical appearance, but on closer look, the cedar is an evergreen while the cypress is a deciduous. This sacred tree thrives in low altitudes of 1,500 m or below, & is a native tree worshipped by the locals due to its sheer size & age. I stood beside it & could feel how tiny I was compared to its towering height.

说到神木,许多游客都会联想到台湾中部著名的阿里山红桧树,而上网搜寻应该也只找得到阿里山神木吧。虽然两棵树长得蛮相似的,但茄苳树是常青树的一种,而红桧树则属于落叶树的一种。茄苳树分布在低海拔地区(1,500公尺以下),因土生土长且长寿,常可生长成巨树,成为乡里百姓膜拜的神树。站在它旁边拍照,感觉自己好渺小,😄。

Next, it was time for some cool desserts (although the weather wasn’t exactly hot since it was raining since the day before). There is a famous Spring Trading Company that produces fresh fruit ice pops using seasonal fruits bought from local farmers in Luye Gaotai. Although this fresh fruit ice pop brand is sold in other parts of Taiwan, this flagship Luye 76 shop that we were brought to did not have any cashier or staff stationed here.

之后,到了吃清凉冰品的时候了,虽然因梅雨一直下天气也没有太炎热。鹿野高台有一间很受欢迎的春一枝商行,专卖以新鲜在地水果用纯手工制作成的冰棒。春一枝希望能通过大量使用人工,提供就业机会。其实春一枝冰品在台湾各地也有销售,但鹿野76的店面很特别,没有员工驻守。

A unique shop in Yong-an Village, Luye Gaotai 鹿野乡永安村上的鹿野高台一间特别的商行

The male & female restrooms are located on the ground floor of the building, alongside the famous vast grass plains in Yong-an Village. As we arrived at the shop on level 2, we saw a few customers playing marbles at the games table. There were also some who were eating fresh fruit ice pops at the balcony overlooking the plain. Indeed, we couldn’t find any staff, but there is a cash box next to 2 fridges containing a variety of fresh fruit ice pops such as passion fruit, orange, kumquat, lemon & roselle, so that you can “pay” on your own after getting the ice pop of your choice. Trusting yet interesting concept that not only resolves the manpower crunch faced by many businesses around the world, & also tests the honesty of everyone who patronizes the shop. We also paid for our ice pops without any hesitance, reasonably priced between 30 to 60 TWD (~S$1.40 to 2.80) per stick.

在鹿野76这栋两层楼的商店,一楼为树林和草坪、洗手台以及男女厕所;二楼为春一枝商品展示处和供客人休憩的平台。抵达商品展示处时,刚好有几名顾客在弹珠台玩乐。休憩平台也有客人边吃冰棒边瞭望广阔的草坪。还真的没看到任何店员,但在摆放冰棒的旁边有一个投币处让你自行付款。当季的新鲜水果冰棒口味有百香果、香橙、金桔、柠檬及洛神等。这间讲诚信的商店概念很不错,除了可以解决聘用人手的问题,也可考验大家的诚信度。当然,我们拿了冰棒,有把钱(一枝冰棒价格30至60台币之间)投进投币处啦!

A shop that operates based on trust
春一枝鹿野76 – 没有店员的商店

Finally, the last stop of the day was Luming Suspension Bridge, a suspension bridge built since 1959, listed as one of Taitung’s historical architecture. Back then, it was an important road to connect to Provincial Highway 9, linking Yanping, Luye & Beinan townships. Legend has it that there used to be a lot of wild deer roaming & snorting around the bridge in the past, & so the Japanese named this area a “deer hut”, That’s how the bridge got its Chinese name.

最后,第一天包车游的终站是建于1959年,目前已列入台东“历史古迹”之一的鹿鸣吊桥。这条钢索吊桥在昔日是台九线的交通联络要道,是连接延平乡、鹿野乡和卑南乡3乡的主要桥梁。传说这里以前野鹿非常多,而且站桥上可以听到许多野鹿的叫声,这个地区因此被日本人称为“鹿寮”,鹿鸣吊桥也因而得名。

鹿鸣吊桥景观游憩区

The part where we snapped some shots, actually belongs to the Luming Suspension Bridge Recreation Area under the administration of Yanping Township. Completed in 1992, the recreation area comprised of the viewing platform & pedestrian walkway to allow visitors to marvel at its beauty from the best spot. Its striking red colour certainly creates a stark contrast with the surrounding natural scenery of Luye Creek. Pity it was getting dark at 6.30 pm so we didn’t have time to walk along the bridge to enjoy the scenery & check out the old bridge at the other end.

我们下车拍照的地方,叫做“鹿鸣吊桥景观游憩区”。这儿属于延平乡公所管理的区域,由他们精心设计,在1992年把现桥整建为景观桥梁及游憩区,方便游人更容易观赏和了解鹿鸣吊桥的历史及壮丽景色。其鲜红的桥身和鹿野溪四周的好山好水,构成优美的景色。可惜我们抵达是已是黄昏,天色渐暗,无法漫步在吊桥上感受这里的雅致,也没时间走到桥的另一端去查探旧桥的别致风情。

This marks the end of our first day exploring the beauty of East Rift Valley. Weather might not have been perfect, adding a mystical feel to the mountain views throughout the day, but it was a fruitful day nonetheless!

就这样,我们结束了第一天在台东包车游走花东纵谷的山光水色。尽管天不作美,但却仿佛为山线里的景色增添了一层神秘的薄纱,散发另一种朦胧美。能在9小时里游走这么多景点,也算是不枉此行啦。下次希望我能在晴天感受不一样的花东纵谷!

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