Dawn and 'sea of clouds' enjoyment from Jinlong Mt.
By Niang Chen
Translated by Anna Yang
Taiwan's only landlocked county--Nantou--is famed for its tremendous natural scenery, and is less than an hour's drive away from Taichung via National Freeway No. 6.
Located in Nantou's Yuchi basin, Jinlong Mountain is an excellent central Taiwan location for watching a spectacular sunrise without having to travel all the way down to Chiayi county's famed Alishan for the same view. Visitors can depart from Taichung around 5 in the morning and arrive Jinlong Mountain by 6 a.m. To watch the dawn here, one can choose between three scenic overlooks found along the path to the summit. Magnificent sunrise and sea of cloud vistas overshadow the dim lights of distant houses, offering beautiful dawn scenes famous enough to attract photographers from all over, hoping to capture a variety of images in the changing light. After appreciating a beautiful dawn, visitors can continue to nearby Sun Moon Lake (about 30-60 minute drive) for a lakeside bike ride, enjoying the stunning winter cypress blossoms that create snow-like effects. Also recommended is a drive along County Highway No.147 toward Guoxing village's Jofengershan area for views of the plum blossoms. Although there aren't as many plum blossoms here as Xinyi village during the flower season, it's also less crowded.
This means that a true feast for the soul and senses--including dawn and sunset views, and enjoyment of flower and other natural scenes, and clean mountain breezes--can all be packed into a single day trip from Taichung.
_Transportation from Taichung to Jinlong Mountain (金龍山)
Exit National Freeway No. 6 at the Ailan interchange and continue toward Sun Moon Lake. Turn right onto County Road 131 and head toward Shuili village--carefully following signs to Jinlong Mountain--and turn right onto the lane toward Jinlong Mountain as directed.
_Guoxing Plum Blossom Area
Exit National Freeway No. 6 at the Beishan interchange and continue toward Puli on County Road 14. Turn right onto County Highway No. 147 and continue toward Jofengershan (九份二山) as directed by signs. Visitors may also access County Highway No. 147 from Jinlong Mountain and head straight to Jofengershan.