Saturday, November 23, 2013

Hiking in Sitou

This place has been on my list of places to visit since probably the second week here. Five months into my time here and it still hadn't happened. After an extremely busy week spent with my mom and a much needed lazy Saturday, the roomies and I decided to finally take a day trip to Sitou. We left the apartment early, purchased a combination bus/park entrance fee ticket and settled in for the 1.5 hour bus ride. The bus ride was extremely bumpy and full of twists and turns, which made it impossible to sleep (my preferred activity on long bus rides). Instead I was forced to stare out the window at the beautiful mountain views, shame.

Sitou Forest Recreation Area sits high up in the mountains (and it wasn't until after our visit that we realized how high up we actually were) and is an experimental forest area controlled by a nearby university. The majority of the trees were planted for research purposes, starting close to 100 years ago. The park consists of a variety of hiking trails that vary in difficulty. The trails lead visitors past many man-made and natural sites. It was an extremely beautiful and almost other worldly place. As we hiked higher and higher up the mountain, the clouds and fog overwhelmed us and created a very surreal atmosphere. It was an amazing place that once again reminded me how absolutely beautiful this country is.

These are some of my favorite pictures from the year. It's hard to have bad pictures when the scenery is so beautiful.

University pond and bamboo bride


Up in the skywalk

Giant tree

Photo credit to Michelle

Rainbow Bridge, my favorite place

The view from the bridge


This palm frond was at least 8 feet long

The trail that I severely underestimated its length and difficulty. So worth the sore legs though.


Part of a massive boulder that fell off the mountain during a large earthquake in 1999.

We taught Angela how to crab walk. 

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