Distance: 3.5km

Time: a very leisurely 1¼ hours.

Difficulty: 2/10 it’s really very easy, paved, not many places to go wrong, adequate signs, the only difficult point is for the steps.

Water:  0.5L

Shade: some shade, OK for a mid afternoon hike with sun cream.

Mobile network: pretty good all the way.

Enjoyment: This is more suitable for families or early morning health walks, there are a couple of nice views but compared to what else Taiwan has to offer its not hugely exciting.

We did the trail from the top to the bottom and back, this map was next to where we parked the scooter.

There’s only one way to go at the start so just follow the signs and the path.

The first portion is pretty flat and has all been paved.

You quickly come to steps heading down and from here you’re going down all the way to the main road.

At the first junction we turned right, (it’s signposted as heading towards the West Coast Highway).

There was another slightly more easy to read map at the junction.

After turning right we walked past a small homestead with a viewing platform looking out towards the sea, our presence there disturbed one of the two dogs which barked enough to alert the old woman who lived there. She came out for a chat and we learned that she’s 83, has had a knee replacement, (she pulled up her trouser leg to show us the scar), and that she has a grandson in college. She invited us in for dinner but we declined as we’d already promised to be home for dinner with my partner’s mum.

Just beyond ama’s house we turned left where the sign indicated that it was just another 450m to the highway.

As you go down there’s another viewing platform giving you a closer view of the incinerator.

At the next junction we turned left where the sign said that it was 220m to the Huang’s ancestral house, (the sign actually says ‘ancent’ house).

After a short walk through bamboo the path turns into road and we passed some buildings. The Huang’s ancestral house was just off to the right once we got onto the tarmac.

Walking down a little further we got to the highway.

This was my least favourite part of the walk, we turned left onto the highway and walked along the edge as there isn’t any path. Luckily though it’s only a very short distance, maybe around 50m.

After the short stretch on the road we turned in again to the left, (there’s a brown road-sign indicating that the trail is this way), and headed up.

Just beyond the first couple of houses the path heads up again.

There are a few diversions to viewing areas along the way, most of which are described as ‘no export’. At this T-junction we turned left towards Taipingling.

There is a brief flat section which was welcome given that the heat had made us rather sweaty.

At this signpost we just kept following the path towards Taipingling. I enjoyed the English name for this valley though, on the rear arm of the post it says ‘Dark Light Pit (No Export) 84m’.

Pretty soon we arrived back at the first junction where we’d headed right. From here it was just a case of retracing our steps up.

The light was beautiful as we headed back up and even more so as we made our way home on our scooter.

This is a little way after we left the starting point, the sun was setting beautifully as we rode past this valley full of elaborate graves.

And by the time we were riding along the west coast highway it was sinking behind the horizon in a spectacular array of colours.

How to get to Linkou Taiping Coastal Trail

Car or scooter: google maps address – 244, 台北縣林口鄉105縣道轉79鄉道約3公里處(林口高爾夫球場附近)

GPS location: N25 07.483 E121 22.282

Public transport: Taipei City Bus F235 goes from Linkou Chang Gung Hospital. You can get to the hospital by taking bus 2001 from Taipei West Bus Station (Terminal A). The bus stops a little way down the road, it’s about a five minute walk to the trailhead. However you’ll spend more time travelling than walking if you come by public transport.

My new words learnt on this hike were:

  1. 手臂 / shǒu bì / arm
  2. 吵死人了 chǎo sǐ rén le / technically it means noisy dead people but it’s more accurate to say it means loud enough to wake the dead, my partner likes to say this to me if she thinks I’m talking too much.
  3. 隧道 / suì dào / tunnel
  4. zhòng / plant (v)
  5. dāng / to be
  6. 底片的相機 / dǐ piàn de xiàng jī / film camera
  7. 底片 dǐ piàn / film bottom shee

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