Jade Mountain and Fenchiu

Awoke to the 4am wake up call ready for our 5:00 sunrise tour to Jade Mountain. We jumped aboard a mini-bus waiting outside the lodge amidst a dozen other Chinese tourists and headed out to Jade Mountain while it was still dark. As the sun started to rise we stopped off at various viewpoints along the roadside until the final stop, which was very aptly timed, to watch the sun peep out from behind the mountain. Stunning. We arrived back at the lodge 7ish and disappeared to bed for a couple more hours (it had to be done). When we re-awoke we said our goodbyes to the jolly receptionist and jumped on another mini-bus bound for Fenchiu, a small village an hours drive or so west. We were dropped outside a church that doubled up as a youth hostel (yes), and a German nun greeted us and showed us our room. Then we explored the main street (a small market), dabbled in some traditional Taiwanese souvenirs and ate lunch. Still the only gwilos in the village. Magical. Late afternoon we wondered down to the start of a trail into a misty rainforest. Tired, we opted for a few quiet beers relaxing on a bench in the middle of this fantastic forest. Surreal, but just what was needed. A quick game of basketball back at the Church, and a traditional Fenchiu ‘lunchbox’ for dinner. Then, after stumbling past “Good Point Coffee/Tea House,” a friendly local named Michael invited us in to join him, his ‘master’ and “master’s best friend,” to sip some Taiwanese liquor (strong) and traditional Oolong tea. Of course we obliged! We retired to our triple-sized wooden floor bed, and that was Monday.

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