Tunnel of Nine Turns

I’ve been extremely inconsistent about my blog updates and I do apologize. I haven’t been around much and the furry of Chinese New Year festivities and parties doesn’t help much to give me more spare time to work on hobbies such as blogging. But hopefully things will settle down to a good humdrum and my blog posts will start to churn predictably again.

Continuing from where I left off at Taroko Gorge in Hualien, Taiwan. One of the interesting trails was the Tunnel of Nine Turns or Nine Turns of the Coiled Dragon 九曲洞步道.  There are more than 9 turns but 9 is a representative number in the Chinese culture to signify “many”. Since rockfall is extremely common in these parts, we had to put on safety helmets. Don’t I look like I belong in construction?

In case you are wondering, there is no charge at all for the helmets but it is absolutely a requirement when walking this trail. There were quite a few marvelous sights (such as the one below) which I didn’t capture on my camera… I did however capture them on my video which I would post soon.

The gorge is so narrow that only a very narrow area is open to the view of the sky and thus the Chinese named this area “a thread of sky.” You can see the many different colors of marble rocks in the opposite cliff. In the photo above, you can see the Keelun river and the “Fish leaping across the dragon gate” natural structure. The rock formation is supposed to look like a fish trying to swim upstream.

After the Tunnel of Nine Turns, we moved on to several places in the gorge reserve.   The pavilion above, on the east side of the Chimu bridge is called the Cihmu pavilion and was built by former president Chiang Kai-shek, in memory of his mother, Mrs. Wang. The Chimu bridge was built by former President Chiang Jing-guo, in memory of his mother, during construction of the road.

We also stopped by this tiny suspension bridge to view a high waterfall. This suspension bridge was built by the Japanese and is hardly used anymore as there is a bigger and stronger suspension bridge built to cross the cliffs. My sister who is insanely afraid of heights had a  really difficult time crossing this and almost cried.

Our last stop before heading down the mountains was to the Siangde Temple across the Liwu River. The temple is built in the midst of mountains and is also known as Jiuhuashan (Nine Lotus) of Taiwan. To reach the temple and pagoda and the other sights, you would need to walk across Pudu Bridge, then climb up quite a number of  steps. The round trip will take around 50 minutes.

Besides the main temple, you can also visit the Dasiong Dadian temple, Tianfeng Pagoda, and the White Robed Guanyin.

I’ve also added a video below for your pleasure. Do note that if you are reading this post anywhere else other than www.renzze.com, you won’t be able to view the video.


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