We woke up to our first full day in Taipei, refreshed and eager to explore. Early mornings and evenings are the best time to be out and about because the temperature is actually reasonable. Taiwan is incredibly humid and 90% of the day we were covered in sweat. So we were excited to check out Wulai which is a small indigenous town about an hour outside of Taipei and in the mountains. We were hoping to cool off by doing a little swimming..which you will find out was a failed attempt.
The natural setting that Wulai sits in is gorgeous, lush green mountains, waterfalls, and a crazy teal blue river runner through the town. However, the town itself has seen better days. It’s pretty run down, with most things just simply not in business anymore.We found ourselves walking along an abandoned railroad track up to Wulai Falls, which definitely added to the eerie feeling of the town. The town used to be home to the indigenous tribe of “The Atayal”. This particular tribe had a love of tattoos. When a baby was born they received a small tattoo and then every bday would receive a new one. Without these tattoos you were basically not allowed to partake in society. But, like most tribes in the west their customs and culture has become modernized. After about a 35 minute walk uphill we made it to the “highlight” of the town. An 80 m high waterfall.
By this point we were pretty sticky and sweaty so we wanted to cool off in the refreshing looking river that ran through the town. Well just like everything else in the area the RIVER was closed too! The area was not very well maintained and the river looked a bit polluted, and all the “hiking” trails that led down to the river were blocked off. We asked a few locals and even paid a cab driver to bring us to a spot that was mentioned in our guide book, but it was all in vain. We were pretty disappointed! We took a look through the remainder of the town, which incorporated a beautiful temple and some pretty spectacular bridges. By this point it was around 11:30am. Our original plan was to hang out in Wulai all day but with everything being a bust be boarded the bus and headed back to Taipei to see what we could find in the city!