Sunday, June 5, 2016

Bitou Cape Trail (鼻頭角步道) - Longdong Four Seasons Bay (龙洞四季湾) - Keelung Miaokou Night Market (基隆廟口夜市) [Taiwan Day 1008: A Beautiful Summer - June 4, 2016]


The summer season had finally arrived in Taiwan. Temperatures were rising every day and the intense heat of the sun became a threat to every person living on this island. Enjoy travelling around Taiwan but don’t risk yourself of getting sunburn during the “Best Time of Year”. I have prepared different activities for this season that I knew people would love to do. For the first round of my “Summer Special”, I have decided to hike the Bitou Cape Trail and dip my body in Longdong Bay. I was with friends which made the start of my summer not just special but also beautiful.


They were Evan, Robert and Gagan. The first two were Filipinos and they were my Travel Buddies in last week's Taiwan Day 1001 adventure where we visited a NASA Exhibit. Gagan came from Nepal and he went to Taiwan to work as a research intern. We all met at MRT Nangang Exhibition Hall Exit 5 and boarded the train to Nangang Station where we transferred to a TRA local train going to Ruifang Station. 

Our Taiwan Tour Bus One-Day Pass

It was hot when we arrived at the train station. There was visitor center inside and I asked help from the staff there. I was informed there was a Taiwan Tour Bus that would bring people to the different tourist attractions in the Taiwan’s North Coast. It was Bus 862 and the One-Day Pass was around NTD 50. We walked outside the Ruifang Station and looked for the police station where the bus stop was located. The bus arrived in a few minutes and we started our exciting journey.

The bus stop is also the start of the trail.


Jiufen and Jinguashi were some of the stops of Bus 862. Gagan was amazed of the scenery as the bus ran along the highway in the mountains. We were all standing on the left side of the bus which made us appreciate more the amazing view of the East China Sea. Bitou Cape Trail was one of the stop of the tour bus and I pressed its stop button to inform the bus driver that we were going to alight. The blazing heat of the sun welcomed us and we all embraced it. haha!



Bitou Elementary School
There was a cemented path beside Bitou Elementary School.

There were clouds on the sky but it could not cover the sun. It was a good thing that Robert shared his sunblock to us before we boarded Bus 862. I didn’t brought any protective lotion so we thanked Robert for his kindness. There was confusion at first on where the trail actually starts until we passed by the Bitou Elementary School. We looked at the guide map and we knew that we were going on the right way. 





A gated fence prevents hikers from entering a military facility.



We had fun taking photos!
It was good thing that there was a rest station at the top.

And then we continued the hike again.

Our goal was to reach this rest station.
But we need to have a photo first. Haha!


We finally reached the rest station where a beautiful view of the mountains and the sea awaits us.

One of best place to have photos in the trail was the Bitou Lighthouse. Unfortunately, the segment of the hiking trail leading to the magnificent building was closed. Big rocks fell along its path prompting the tourism bureau to close it temporarily until it is safe hike it again. But it was still fun to hike the Bitou Cape Trail and I took good photos while standing on its curve walkway. 

We then started our descend towards the town.




Cheers for a successful hike!

We were surprised at the end of our hiking when we encountered a man selling bottled juice drinks. He could not speak English but he let us have a taste of his product. We all liked it and since we were all thirsty we decided to buy a bottle of the juice. The drink was made from the extracts of passion fruit and I have never tasted something like this before in Taiwan. After becoming rejuvenated with that refreshing drink, I told a joke to my Travel Buddies. “Why did the man asked us to give him our empty bottles? Is he going to put juice again to the bottle and resell it?”. We all laughed at my idea.



We bought our ticket here for our entrance at the Longdong Four Seasons Bay.
the ticket
We talked to this woman to rent snorkeling gears.

The town of Bitou was just at the foot of the hiking trail and we made a short walk until we found ourselves at the bus stop where we originally alighted. Bus 862 arrived again and it took us to our next destination, the Longdong Four Seasons Bay. A white building was my landmark and the place was a like a resort with rocky shores that were transformed into rectangular pools. People dived and swim here to see some fishes. There was an entrance fee of NTD 120 and we paid at the gate. Based on my research, snorkeling gears at the Four Seasons Bay were available for rent at a cost NTD 100 but the lady at the shop didn't asked us for any money. 







It was my first time to dip in my body in a beach of Taiwan and I could not contain my happiness. There were fishes that were swimming along with me although there were no beautiful corals to look at. I didn’t know how to swim but I was wearing a life vests so drowning would not become a problem. We wanted to stay longer at the sea but we have to catch Bus 862 or there might be no more bus to take us back to Ruifang Station.





We decided to visit Keeling Miaokou Night Market since we were all hungry. We boarded Bus 787 at the Ruifang Station and at the harbor we walked to reach the night market known for its seafood delicacies. A grandma caught our attention and we ordered seafood noodles from her store. It was very tasty and it was cooked with love. We enjoyed our meal under the night sky amidst the hundreds of people who were also looking for food at the night market. 


Everything was perfect that night. Travel Buddy Gagan even commended me for my selection for Taiwan Day 1008: Bitou Cape Trail, Longdong Bay and Miakou Night Market. He was so elated that he wanted to join my future travel adventures. Yehey! I made a rookie Travel Buddy very happy. The gods and goddesses of Taiwan would surely reward me of my hard work in exploring Taiwan. haha! Today was a lucky day and it marked the start of a beautiful summer.
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