Distance: 2km – this walk can be made quite a bit longer if you decide to do the full loop.
Time: 50 minutes
Difficulty: 2/10 – nothing difficult really, just some steps – the middle section requires a little care after rain but anyone should be able to do this.
Total ascent: 158m
Water: 0.5L – you can probably do this without water in the winter or if you’re sure of where you’re going but it’s a good idea to always take some.
Shade: mostly shady, in the late afternoon I didn’t need an umbrella or sun cream.
Mobile network: good throughout.
Enjoyment: This isn’t really an especially exciting walk on its own but we’ve used it a couple of times as a brisk walk/gentle jog warm up before going swimming at the nearby temple pool. In this combination we were able to wash off the hill sweat before swimming in the cool water and relaxing in the steam room/cold spring – it’s this double-up activity which I really enjoy.
Other: pack your swimming stuff if you plan to make use of the pool and don’t forget that swimming hats are a necessity here.
Link to GPX file can be found here.
The walk starts from the karaoke parking lot going up an old road which quickly narrows into a set of steps.
Just beyond the white building in the first picture there is a grave/barbecue area (because the residents of the graves around here are aparently not already tormented enough by the earthly ‘delights’ of the karaoke caterwaulers).
The steps continue up, passing a shelter/karaoke area with exercise equipment and a kind of vegetable garden.
When the path reaches the road, head left for 50m or so.
The gold statue marks the top entrance of Shulin Nan Liao Land God Temple, (the temple with the pool). The steps continue up on the opposite side of the road.
This next 500m or so follow the same route that we took on a previous walk in the area.
At the first junction take the right path signposted towards Mt. Jiandong (尖棟山).
The next short section is the narrowest and steepest part and is almost all unpaved.
The path comes out at a junction, to do the short loop head right downhill.
On the left the path passes a couple of small farms or shelters including one which has been excessively decorated with empty bottles.
When you see some graves on the right you’ll be nearing another karaoke place – take the steps just to the left of the building.
Just beyond the karaoke place you have to pass through the eating area of a small restaurant.
The steps head back down to the road and for a short way you get panoramic view from Taishan on the left over to Shulin on the right.
Upon reaching the road, turn right and head uphill to complete the loop.
how to get there:
Google maps address: 238, New Taipei City, Shulin District, Lane 45, Section 2, Bao’an St, 53號 – there’s road parking here and further up the road.
GPS location: N24 59.734 E121 24.718
Public transport: the quickest way here on public transport seems to be by getting a train to Shulin Station and getting a taxi or walking the half an hour up to the staring point (ask taxi drivers to take you to 樹林南寮福德宮 / Shùlín nán liáo fú dé gōng). In my opinion, this is definitely worth the effort if you plan to walk and go swimming, but maybe not if you’re just planning to walk.
My new words learnt on this hike:
- 老鼠屎 / lǎoshǔ shǐ / literally mouse poo or rat poo (the Chinese differentiation of these two animals is ambiguous) – idiomatically it means the one that let the side down. Something I might hear in my classroom if my students are not so pleased with one of their classmates making a mistake which causes them to lose the game.
- 孤獨 / gūdú / lonely
- 黏住 / nián zhù / stick (v.), 黏黏 is sticky.
- 少來 / shǎo lái / this is pretty much the equivalent of the English interjection come on – from what I could gather the usage is mostly the same but the english version has a wider possible application.
- 暈倒 / yūn dǎo / faint (v.) – the adjective is almost the same but without the result complement 到.