Wednesday, May 20, 2009

South Cross-Island Highway

Drove from Tainan to Taitung on Sunday, across the South Cross-Island Highway, one of Taiwan's most scenic mountain roads. Unfortunately we didn't have time to pause at all - or even half - of the scenic stops, though I did get a quick look at a new national forest recreation area, Siangyang.

UPDATE: Since August 2009's Typhoon Morakot, this road has been closed much of the time, and even now isn't considered safe for ordinary vehicles. In a 4x4, on a mountain bike, or a very carefully driven motorcycle, you have a good chance of making it across. At times, police checkpoints limit access to people living in the villages along the highway. Richard Foster of Barking Deer Adventures blogged about driving the entire length of the road - and not enjoying it - in January 2010. I'm adding an old photo by Rich Matheson showing a high-altitude stretch of the road in its heyday.

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