The weekend Yilan-ers might head to the nearby Scenic Spot of Wu Lao Keng, but in the summer you might find that a more comfortable place to be is a just a short walk away under a rail bridge.
Under the grey steel frame you can find families seeking respite from the hot sun and partaking of the national pastime that is sitting in water, (different seasons simply require different temperatures of water).
The other national pastime which seems to be greatly enjoyed here is rule flouting. Despite there being a big red sign prohibiting barbecues, the sweet scent of smoked sausage suggested that a fair few families had decided to go ahead and get cooking anyway.
Almost everyone was gathered in the two strips of shade where the rail and road bridges crossed the water. Previous visitors have used the stones to form pool of various depths so that children of various sizes can paddle and play. One especially prepared family had brought a whole set of chairs and tables with them.
Only a brave few strayed out of the shade: a lone fisherman and two kids who wanted to join him and the children’s mother.
As with other streams, rivers and watercourse in Taiwan, the depth can rapidly increase during or after heavy rain so don’t venture into the water if there’s a chance that there’s been rain upstream.
How to get there:
Google maps address: rail bridge , Yilan County, Su’ao Township, 新城里 – people had parked cars and scooters along this strip of road, although some intrepid scooter riders had taken their bikes right down to (and in some places, through) the water.
GPS location: N24 37.007 E121 48.732
Public transport: coming from Yilan, the easiest way to get here is by train. Catch a train heading towards Su-ao and get off at Xinma Station (新馬車站). Whilst you’re on the train you will pass over the bridge just before arriving at the station and so you just need to walk back along the road until you find the bridge. From what I saw, there were paths heading down from both sides of the bridge but if you’re not sure, then take the road here which goes under another railway bridge and then through an industrial seeming area – there’s no way I would have come down here without a guide to tell me it was the right road.