TRIBAL Hike in Taroko into the Mountains | 12 Days in Taiwan EP4

TRIBAL Hike in Taroko into the Mountains | 12 Days in Taiwan EP4

(upbeat music) – [Will] Previously. – Hope later, have good way. – They thought I was pro. It’s starting to grow – Mm, so crispy! (screaming) – [Will] So much passion! Can I have the rest of this? In December, we had the opportunity to travel to Taiwan with my wife, Chantelle. We explored the country
from top to bottom. We learned about something
called Taiwanese “re qing” and came out of it with that
much more of an appreciation for the people, the
culture, the landscapes and very full and satisfied tummies. I don’t know if we’ve pushed
ourselves to the limit as much as we have on this trip but that’s kind of what
travel is all about. This was one awesome trip
that I’ll never forget. From Taitung we finally make it to Hualien where we check into our hotel
and then go out to explore. Look, look, look! The claw. Do we have change? Do you think we can redeem ourselves? (claw machine noises) – Oh no! – [Will] Did you get it? Oh! Ah! How do you feel about that? – Not good. Not good. I can’t believe it. I don’t know how I feel about that. (a bell rings) (truck playing music) – At first, you think
it’s an ice cream truck but how it works in Taiwan is that these trucks play really loud music so that locals know that
the truck is coming by so that they can bring out
their garbage and recycle and then they pick it up. Fourth night market. Her third night market. And I don’t know, this one
feels a little different. I mean, part of it is that
a lot of shops are closed. This is a proper,
established, night market. All the stalls are permanently here. I can tell the stalls are
definitely a lot bigger. I don’t know. But there’s something
about a grungy, kinda like, night market, where you’ve
got to wheel in your carts, and there’s a lot of action happening. So the problem here is that you’re walking through a night market and there’s not a lot of people, you’re kind of worried that the food’s kinda just been
sitting there for a while. (upbeat music) – [Will] Alright, we got a juice! We just found this really cool spot. Near the, one of the exits
or entrances to the market, And this one is some sort
of dumpling with veggies and some pork I think, as well. The local vegetable, it’s quite crispy. Good morning from The Azure hotel. You got your basically, your own, – [Chantelle] I have my
noodle in here already. – [Will] Your own noodle station. So you can make your own noodles. And you make your own veggies. It’s all DIY.
– What’s over there? – [Will] And you’re good. Sam, right? – Yeah, I am Sam.
– Hi, Sam! – Alright, Sam just picked us up. He checked out our gear and
I think we’re looking good! We wanted to do Taroko Gorge
a little bit differently. So we joined a My Taiwan Tour 2 day trek. So we’re at 7-Eleven and we need to get some lunch for our hike because there’s not going to be
any food along the way. So we got some onigiri’s. And I guess we need to get some
lunch for tomorrow as well. And just snack food along the way. Let’s go! This is the Taroko National
Park Visitor Center. Sam is going to show us a
little bit about the topography and some of the places in Taroko. This is the pre-hike stretch. Packing up! Put on some lipstick which
is important for hiking. That means it’s definitely
gonna to be wet. – Ready! Ha! – Alright, we’re geared
up and ready to go. So we’re basically going this way. Stopping here for the night. Up to Datong and then back down. Following the river,
this is Shakadang Trail. And then we walk all the way
back to the Visitor’s Center. And off we start. It’s only 1.2 kilometers up, actually. And we’re joining up with a second trail. It’s no so bad so far, but we’re only literally
fifteen minutes in. Got some other locals that are climbing. I think it’s time to take off some layers. And we got the stair-master
climb coming up. Wooh. Yeah, basically signposts
every couple hundred meters. – The village of Dali. The ancient name is he he se. That means snake. But now is winter. Now have spiders. – [Will] Same wasn’t kidding,
there are giant spiders. See, right there, it’s
called the face spider. Up and up and away we go. 1.3 kilometers doesn’t seem like much but when you’re climbing
up hill it’s vicious. Sweatin’ like crazy. – We finished the Dekalun Trail. – Oh yeah, I changed my pants. Less sweaty in there,
you know what I’m saying. Hat on. The mud doesn’t have a
really good hold, for sure. How’s the trail? – Pretty good. – The trail has definitely gotten more interesting, more slippery. I think it’s drizzling a bit, as well, but luckily we’re in the forest right now so there’s quite a bit
of foliage to cover us. – We got one up, one up, one up. (video game sounds) – [Will] Got all foggy all of a sudden. I guess we’re about halfway there. I’m tired, crazy sweaty, but you know what’s keeping me going? Those mochis. – Indigenous people, they use those cars to transfer their vegetable
or some goods they will use. – [Will] Put on our rain jackets. Headed towards Dali village. We made it, finally. It looks quite abandoned here, though. I don’t know if there are
many villagers left here. (acoustic guitar music) So unfortunately, the church is closed, so we’re literally having lunch at the doorstep of the
church in the Dali village. It’s raining cats and dogs, but I am so thankful we have lunch right now cause I am famished. I’m eating the whole thing. And you know the best part of
lunch is the mochi, so good. And we’re back on the road,
hiking up about 3.3 kilometers. And then twenty minutes up to
our eventual accommodations for the night. This area down here, which just, you can feel it kinda starting to go. It’s just like old. – [Chantelle] You’re getting old. – So we just did our 3.3 kilometers. We’re at kind of an
intersection of roads here. We can continue along this way to Datong or back this to Dali, but
we’re actually heading up to our little village over here. We made it! We were wet and exhausted, but so glad to be home for the night. Alright, we’re losing light pretty quick, but I wanted to give you a
quick tour of what it’s like to stay with the Taroko
tribe member’s house. And so we’re actually staying
in a gentleman’s house called the Dadao’s house
and this is his place and he’s been receiving
guests here for a long time, hikers like us, and on the outside it doesn’t really look like much. The views are gorgeous, obviously
you have the mountainside, the clouds opened up, the rain dissipated, and it was quite the scene. But we’re actually standing
just outside the house right now and you wouldn’t expect to
have tables like this here. Over here we’ve got the dining tables, where we’re going to be having dinner. Our host for today is actually
the Dadao’s son’s wife’s mom. So we’re calling her “Ah Ma” here for today, and she’s basically gonna
be cooking us dinner. And she helped us prepare
a few different things. We’ve got hot water, we’ve
just got water as well, clean water, and rice. Let me take you inside so
you can see what it’s like. So on the outside it looks
like kinda metal walls, it doesn’t really look like a whole lot. It looks a little run down,
but once you come inside, you realize they’ve done a really good job of putting this place together, right? And really great place for
hikers like us to stay here. You’ve got these sliding doors
here, really Japanese style. It’s been raining all
day, so we’re usually just hanging things on the wall here. We’re not staying here tonight, but this is one of the largest dorms that they have here available. So inside is this long room and it is that tatami
type of accommodation. I think you can accommodate probably a good 10 to 15 people
here, you’d be fine. You can see a bit of a wall of fame here, with all the different folks who have come to this house over the past many years. Let me take you around the corner here. This side of the house,
this is actually the room that we’re going to be staying in tonight. It’s a smaller room, it’s just
the three of us here today, so I think it’s gonna
be the perfect place. So inside the room, there are blankets, they have carpet down below, pillows. And lastly, the backside of the house, this is were Ah Ma is really
cooking up a storm here, they have utensils, we’ve
got a gas powered stove here where she’s cooking salmon. There’s like vegetables
that she’s making for us, so this is the full kitchen right here. This is where all the action’s happening. Over here on this corner
is where the shower is. To our surprise, there is
actually a shower here, which is crazy. We didn’t think we’d actually
be able to shower here. It’s really spartan, but it
has everything that you need. You’ve got running cold water, there’s hot water that comes out of there. The pressure isn’t really good, so you kind of have to mix
it together and use the pail to put it over you to wash yourself up. But it’s everything that you need, and the toilet’s over there, as well. And lastly, if you can look
through the window there, we’ve got a working campfire out there. And after a much needed shower,
it was finally dinner time. – Time for dinner! Chicken. – [Will] Meatballs! – (speaking Mandarin) (fire crackling) – [Will] It is really, really wet. We’re just trying to
dry our stuff right now, around the campfire. Makin’ tea. (a bell rings) – [Multiple Speakers]
(speaking in foreign language) (a bell rings) – Thank you. – [Will] Thank you. – Thank you. (speaking in Mandarin) – Good morning. – [Will] Good morning. – (speaking in Mandarin) – [Sam] Good morning. – [Multiple Speakers]
(speaking in foreign language) – [Will] We’re all set up tatami style. – Yeah, it’s pretty cold. – Goodnight, guys. Good morning! (tranquil music) Like the previous night, we
had a big, big breakfast. Putting on some traditional…
got the head-wear on! We’re headed up to, I
guess, the mountain peak, so that we can check out the Pacific Ocean on the other side of the mountain. We’re going up with Ah Ma, as well. No walking stick, nothing. – Almost can’t keep up with Ah Ma. – [Will] Ah Ma is collecting all the ferns. – [Chantelle] This is off
the beaten alright. – [Will] There’s the coastline down there. It’s just peaking through. Literally a path that
they’ve been caretakers of for generations, up here to the top. – So after two tumbles. – [Will] It was muddy. It was muddy. Pretty muddy, but luckily
mostly just the jacket. It’ll come off, like right now it’s literally coming right off. Packing things up here at camp, and then we’re gonna head back down. – (speaking Mandarin and Truku) – Sad to say good bye to Ah Ma and her hospitality was
definitely something else. Until we hit the road again, but we didn’t know it at the time, things were gonna get a lot harder. Just passing through Datong Village. There’s a B&B over there, as well. Which looks pretty nice. But we’re on our way
now to Shakadang Trail. Think we got a pretty steep downhill that we’ve gotta pass through, all this down hill is beating
on the knees for sure. Look at the patterns on that. They call it a snake tree. Oh my god, after all that,
we’ve only done one-ish km, there’s still one km to go. The words Shakadon never sounded so good because we were so glad to
make it down to the bottom. One, for the flat trails, but, two, for the enormous beauty
that was down there, including the turquoise
waters, the marble boulders, and the trails carved out of the canyon. Sam says we have to have the sausage. Mm. Sam was right. Just when you thought it
was over, there was more. Oh my god, we’re back in the van, it feels good to be
sitting down, in a chair. My legs are really sore. So, Sam, tell us, how do you feel? You feeling pretty good, right? – Yeah, I guess, still walk, and then remember this
route is not suitable for those who have no experience of hiking. – Like us. Okay, so we’re at the
Taroko train station, we weren’t able to make
it to the Hualien station because we’re not gonna make it. It’s a four thirty train
ride, it’s four ten, it’s still a bit of a ride back. What Sam has suggested
us to do, is basically, let’s come to the station first, let’s see what kind of
trains we can switch to. – (speaking in Mandarin) Things actually got a
little bit complicated. They weren’t able to switch tickets for us and the one they gave us was way too late, so we ended up buying our own tickets to get to Taipei a little early. Guess we’re having dinner
on the train again. Oh man, crazy. We’ve made it back, we
did the full loop around. We literally made it a
few steps off the train and we found a food court
in the station, so why not. Our hotel for the night is WESTGATE, and they’re in a really super popular area called Ximending, which
we’re walking through right now, which is kinda cool, so super convenient. So we’re in a new place. This is Ay-Chung Flour-Rice Noodle and it’s literally in the
middle of Ximending and it’s happening. – [Chantelle] It’s happening. – It is really happening. It’s almost like noodles that
are like shiitake mushrooms. Just a lot of shiitake mushrooms. But they’re just thin rice noodles. Pretty salty, hinted with
like a soy sauce type of base. Something chewy, I
don’t know what this is. (record scratching) Look at the consistency of that. This would be a lot easier
to eat with chopsticks. We’re finally home in Taipei. (soft piano music) So we’re trying to find… Next time on 12 days in Taiwan. (techno music) It’s gonna take a lot of patience. – [Chantelle] You’re first one! – I gots it. She’s crying.

7 thoughts on “TRIBAL Hike in Taroko into the Mountains | 12 Days in Taiwan EP4

  1. Would love to hear from you about any crazy hikes you've done.

    Our two day hike was certainly an unorthodox way to see Taroko Gorge but one that was rewarding to meet a local in the mountains no less. Would you do this or would you prefer to take a tour bus into the national park?

    If you liked this video, make sure you subscribe ( and hit that bell!

  2. Haha interesting, I just stopped at the entrance of the dali datong trail this summer (ad: it's my today's episode), so I'm glad to have the opportunity to see what's next! The spiders are really huge. But with this rush travel you missed a lot when you go deeper in Taroko, including a natural hotspring kinda destroyed but still worth visiting! I really enjoy your videography, it's different of what I usually like but it's very clean and pro! And I totally respect you for hiking with all the material on your back!

  3. Wow that looks like an incredible hike! I can't believe how well fed you guys were too. You definitely needed all that food for the energy 😀 Great episode Will!

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