The longest suspension bridge in Taiwan
This weekend I went to the longest suspension bridge in Taiwan. This is called the Taiping Suspension Bridge and is located at Chiayi County in central Taiwan.
太平雲梯位於台灣的嘉義縣梅山鎮。 它有281米長，海拔約1000米高，是台灣最長和最高的觀景吊橋。 從山下開車上到觀景吊橋，必經之路是非常刺激的太平36彎。 這段山路大概有7公里，但卻有36個髮夾彎之多!吊橋處於雲海中， 視野佳的時候可以遠望台灣海峽。 可惜我去這天比較大霧， 不能看得太遠，但這又有另一種不同的感覺。過橋費是100台幣， 換取的景觀和體驗絕對是非常合理的價錢。
THE LONGEST AND HIGHEST SUSPENSION BRIDGE IN TAIWAN
The suspension bridge is 281m long and 1000m above sea level. This not only makes it the longest suspension bridge in Taiwan, but also the highest as well. To come up to the mountain at this height, we had to drive up a lot of bendy narrow mountain roads first. This is the famous Tai Ping 36 Bends, sometimes called the Meishan 36 Turn Cloud Path. This is so called because we have to drive about 7km along 36 hairpin bends!! It’s great fun if you don’t suffer from motion sickness.
After a gruelling 20 min drive we finally arrived at the visitors center. The Taiping Suspension Bridge has only opened for a year. About 18 months ago I came here for a hike, and they had just finished building the bridge but it was still not open to the public. Apparently when they first opened, they had so many visitors that you had to pre book tickets online. Now the hype has died down and we could just walk in (well not literally, we had to pay of course).
There wasn’t much to do at the visitors center, and since we had plans for the afternoon, we didn’t waste any time here. We got our tickets first and then headed across the road to the enter the suspension bridge. The tickets were NTD100 / £2.5 /USD3.2 per person, very affordable considering the great value you get.
WALKING ACROSS THE SUSPENSION BRIDGE
The bridge operates on a one way system. You can only walk one way across the bridge and have to come back down another path once you get to the other end. I think this is great idea so it doesn’t get too busy with people walking backwards and forwards all the time. The bridge deck is 2.1m wide, wide enough to walk comfortably even if there are other visitors standing by the side admiring the view.
Here’s the start of my walk. Although it’s a Sunday, it’s not that busy. Unfortunately the sky wasn’t as clear as I would have liked it to be. And there wasn’t much to see on either side. I’m told on a clear day, you can clearly see the 36 hair pin bends.
And here’s me arriving on the other end of the bridge and looking back at the people coming towards me. I took some video as I was walking over. Once I get round to edit it, I will share it so you can have a better view of the surroundings.
ALTERNATE VIEWS OF THE SUSPENSION BRIDGE
In the meanwhile, let me share some more photos of the suspension bridge from you. These were taken after I walked across the bridge and down the path back to the car park. I think how they designed the path was very clever as you’re actually walking underneath quite closely to the bridge and can get a great view of it at different angles.
One thing that I did find quite amusing was the slide. Quite often you see these in theme parks. As I was walking down the path, I thought this was a really cool and fun addition to the bridge. However it looked bit dangerous towards the end section where there is no cover. I thought one could easily fall out and possible get killed. When I got to the bottom of the slide, I saw that it was actually sealed off albeit rather hastingly, and there was a sign there. Apparently this is an emergency exit and not a slide for fun! How and why one needs this as an emergency exit beats me as I can’t see how this is safer than the staircase!!
Remember I said earlier on that I had plans in the afternoon? I was going to hike further up the mountains through the tea fields. I will definitely share that hike with you as the tea fields are so beautiful. During my hike, I took a photo of the suspension bridge that was now nearly 200 meters below me. The sky still hadn’t cleared but the bridge was clearly visible.
MY FAVOURITE VIEW OF THE SUSPENSION BRIDGE
I’m going to leave you with my favourite photo of the suspension bridge. This was taken on the way to the visitors center. It was my first glimpse of the suspension bridge and I quickly whipped out my mobile to take this photo. I like how the clouds in the sky were so fluffy, and the suspension on both sides of the bridge were spread out like wings.