From Bamboo to Bambooshoots
It took me nearly four hours to walk out from the bamboo forest in the wildest mountain I’ve hiked so far. What greeted me ahead wasn’t the downhill trek I was looking forward, but something even more spectacular. Tall straight bamboos reaching up into the sky lined the path on both sides. It was truly an amazing view after being nestled inside the forest all morning.
ARASHIYAMA IN JAPAN OR HERE IN TAIWAN?
If you’ve ever been to or seen the bamboo grove at Arashiyama near Kyoto in Japan, you will know how famous, impressive and crowded it is. Here’s a photo I took when I went last year. Look at the people!
And here’s from my trek. Granted the bamboos aren’t as uniform, thick and upright as Arashiyama, but here I have the entire bamboo forest to myself. Just me and nature. I know which is my favourite place, what about you?
DESCENDING AT LAST
The signpost at this juncture says we need to take a left towards a farm, so back into the bamboo forest I go again to continue my trek! At least this time, I’m definitely descending. By the way, did you notice the elephant on the top of the signpost? This trail is called Xiang Bi trail, and Xiang Bi means elephant trunk.
The habitat on the way down changed once again. These toadstools looked a bit fairy tale but something about its black and red appearance tells me they’re not as innocent as they look.
A bit further along the path I saw some more markers on the ground. These are boundary markers for the bamboo forest. This area is famous for bamboo shoots and they are in season now. That’s why the thing I really like about this hike is how I can see bamboo to bambooshoots. On the way down the mountain, there were freshly cut bamboo stubs discarded on the ground. Many of the villagers come here in the morning to cut bamboo shoots and these boundary markers indicate the ownership of the different parts of the forest.
NOT QUITE THERE YET
Finally, I got to the end of the trail, or what was supposed to the beginning of the trail. I had completed the 3.2km+ trail even though it took me five hours. I made it! Or so I thought. This hike never stops surprising me.
What I had forgot was that we still need to get back to our car and I had no idea how far away we were. All I knew was that we would continue to walk down hill. Only this time it was along the road, and that we would stop by the farm cafe for some snack – don’t forget we’ve been locked in the thick forest all morning. When we got to the farm, they were closed but the view from the patio was so breath taking.
Well, it turns out it was another 3km back to our car by the Xiang Bi Suspension Bridge, and that would take us about 40 minutes. By this time, none of us fancied walking anymore so we hitchhiked our way down. Did you know, this is the first ever hitch hike in my life?!!!!
And this time I really was within reach of my destination. This sign post points to the Xiang Bi trail and the Xiang Bi Suspension Bridge. The indeginous tribes have their own language that’s why the english name is written in, well not english.
One more short walk, back across the suspension bridge and six hours later, I really did finish my hike.
FROM BAMBOO TO BAMBOOSHOOTS
Remember who I said on this hike you can see from bamboo to bambooshoots? We even went for dinner at a nearby restaurant afterwards, and they served the most delicious and freshest bambooshoots I’ve ever had.
If you missed the first part of my hike, you can read it here.