Wild Taiwan

A lady of leisure writes about wildlife in Taiwan.

Saturday, January 03, 2015

2014 trip day 1 慈湖 -》 石门水库-》小乌来风景区

After many years of absence, we managed to return to Taiwan again. This time round, we hired a car and a driver. This company was recommended by another friend who visited Taiwan. They had found the service very good and the driver was very patient, so we also gave this company a try. True enough, the service was really excellent. The price was also cheaper than what I could find online. The contact is: 阿亮 +886-989983-280.

Day 1: 慈湖 -》 石门水库-》小乌来风景区
慈湖 is a lake named by Chiang Kai Shek in memory of his mother. Here is also where we saw many of the statues of various shapes, sizes, postures of the former president. Should there be a renovation somewhere (either school or administration building which invariably will have a statue of president Chiang), the statue will be placed here temporarily.

At his mausoleum which is beyond the lake, we were in time and so were fortunate to see the changing of the guards. The young guards were very well trained and their steps and swinging of the bayonet were very well timed and precise. There were many times, the knives appeared as if they may stab or slash into the more senior person standing in the middle as the knife tips were so close to him.

At the front entrance, next to the parking lot, is a photo exhibition area as well as a display of wedding gown and various artefacts. Not that we can understand a lot from the write ups. I guess one must know the history to link the write ups and photos to understand all that were going on.

A the bottom of the dam is a park area while at the top of the dam are various restaurants, cooking the fresh water fish and the cabbage (winter time favourite among the Taiwanese). The fish is understandably bony and can be tasty if cooked the right way. Unfortunately we picked the last restaurant and the cooking was not great. All the restaurants serve the fish cooked in three styles. Ours was a fried, a somewhat sweet with toufu and a soup version. 

We were told that in 2014, there was only one typhoon and so water levels in reservoirs were low. It appears that rains and rivers are not sufficient to fill the reservoirs. At the rate Taiwan exports its fruit and food items, a lot of the water is exported outside the country.


We came here years ago (see previous blog). It now has some new features added. There is a 天空步道,a glass viewing area, better steps and paths. This place is not advisable for folks with knee problems as there are many, many steps going up and down.