Wild Taiwan

A lady of leisure writes about wildlife in Taiwan.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Man Yue Yuan National Forest Recreation Area 滿月圓國家森林遊樂區

I was looking for places to go on weekends and I found this Sanxia 三峽 and Man Yue Yuan National Forest Recreation Area 滿月圓國家森林遊樂區 whilst browsing through books at the Chang An library (a branch of Taipei public library).

There are many ways to go to Sanxia but I think the fastest way is to take the MRT to YongNing 永寧, take exit 4 and hop on any bus that brings you to Sanxia 三峽. From the bus terminus, we took the mini bus that goes to xiongkong 熊空. This bus only leaves at the top of every hour in the morning http://yoyonet.biz/egoing/bus/beichi/long/peik/06-t.htm
and only one bus returns from 熊空 in the afternoon at 345 pm to Sanxia. The last bus is 610 pm. This didn't leave us with a lot of time to explore the park because we just missed the 10 am bus.
Anyway, since there was nothing nearby in terms of shops or scenery which appealed to us so we waited at the bus stop which offered a little shelter from the sun and caught the 11 am bus.
The bus was very crowded, many old folks got up later from the wet market. The old folks live in the mountain areas, they are probably farmers of tea or vegetables. They sure look fit as a fiddle.

The bus passed by 大板根森林溫泉度假村 Dabangen forest spa village http://www.xn--54q421cqj0anqf.tw/ViewPage.asp?TravelID=1270.
I was thinking of visiting but after 滿月圓, I don't think I want to pay 250 NT just for a visit.

It was a good thing there was a family going to 滿月圓 as well as there was no sign telling us where to alight. It was basically at a junction which had a yellow sign with red lettering selling honey 蜂蜜. A few meters after the bus stop, there was an area with landslide so we could see the roadside concrete barrier completely battered from the falling rocks and boulders. We hurriedly walked past this area. It took us about 30 minutes to walk to the ticketing entrance. There were some carparks but cars were parked all along the roadside. It was a very nice day and lots of people had the same idea of visiting the park. We were thinking if the bus runs more frequently, people wouldn't have to drive.

People living in Taipei county get to have 50% discount on entrance fees so we only paid 50NT for the two of us. The walking paths were covered with gravel and the sides with two rock slabs. We preferred to walk on the rock slabs as it was less tiring. However, other people had the same idea too so it was rather crowded.

The forest is beautiful. There are two waterfalls, virgin and ManYueyuan falls. The one on the right is ManYueyuan fall.
At the beginning of the trail, we saw at least four partriges which quickly disappeared into the undergrowths http://www.birdingintaiwan.com/taiwanpartridge.htm
There were lots of butterflies, some birds with very nice calls but we didn't get to see how they looked like and mosquitoes that bit through my socks. There was a boy who caught a stag beetle probably a Neolucanus swinhoei http://www.geocities.com/RainForest/1803/species.htm

We saw other trails that were not packed with people but the signs were very helpful saying that they take 4-5 hours to complete. There was also a big sign listing the potential animals that you can see such as Formosan clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa brachyurus), Formosan black bear (Selenarctos thibetanus formosanus), Formosan sika deer (Cervus nippon taiouanus) etc. Much as we would like to see the wildlife we don't fancy being mauled by the predators. We also had to catch that 345 pm bus so we gave those trails a miss.

Other websites on ManYueYuan: http://www.pse100i.idv.tw/t/mnyuun/mnyuun007.htm http://taipei.mmmtravel.com.tw/index_m.php?ptype=map_main&id=570