As we trekked through the lush green forest, I realized how refreshing it was to be back
in nature for the first time in weeks. CET had organized a hiking day trip near Fulong, a
small coastal town on a peninsula in northeastern Taiwan, about an hour away from
Taipei by bus. Known for its bento boxes, beach, and beautiful scenery, it turned out to
be the perfect escape from the noise and crowds of the city.
Around noon, we set out to hike the Caoling Trail, which would bring us to the train
station at the fishing village of Dali on the other side of the peninsula.
No real adventure ever goes as planned, and the hike ended up taking longer than
expected. All the detours and pauses for photos at lookout spots were well worth it!
Extra special shoutout to a few experienced hikers among us, who took a taxi back to
town while the group ate lunch (the aforementioned bento boxes!), and brought back
more water for everyone.
Gorgeous views on the Caoling Trail.
The hike was a great opportunity to finally meet other CET students in person – we’d
been quarantining in the same hotel and attending the same online classes for 3 weeks,
but hadn’t gotten many chances to interact. As we ascended the ridge, a light rain
drizzled, and we almost didn’t notice the wild cows grazing on slopes above the trail.
Once we reached a pavilion on the crest of the trail, the fog cleared, revealing the ocean
With my roommates at Fulong Beach.
By the time we descended, it was too late to take the train back to where we started and
explore Fulong, so we looked around a temple at the base of the trail, then headed
home. However, my roommates and I came back just a few days later to go to the
beach and rent bikes. We were lucky to get a clear day perfect for swimming. After
checking out the sand sculptures from Fulong’s famous annual competition, we took a
dip (my first ever in the Pacific!). When it got closer to sunset, we rented bikes,
conveniently located near the train station and bento shop, and went for a ride along the
Sunset at Fulong train station.
The bike trail goes alongside the road and is not too difficult, but was probably the most
scenic ride I’ve ever been on. Green hills rise up on one side while the ocean stretches
out on the other. The full loop is 20km and goes through a tunnel, but we were running
out of time and had to turn around. We had a perfect view of the sunset on the train ride
back into the city. Of course, a night market is the perfect way to end a beach excursion.
We stopped by Raohe Market near Songshan Station, where we tried corndogs, sweet
potato balls, tangyuan (sesame-filled rice balls in a cold soup of fermented rice), mochi,
and wasabi-cheese sauteed mushrooms.
I’m sure I’ll be back in Fulong soon to finish the rest of the bike trail!