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Move into the Ren’ai Township of Nantou County and you are almost at the Aowanda National Forest Recreation Area. Variety is the spice of life. Leave your daily life behind and plan a visit to this Recreation Area to enjoy its beautiful scenery and landscape. At the altitudes spanning between 1000 meters and 2600 meters, the high-quality recreation area occupies a total of 2700 hectares.
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Above 120 different species of birds dwell in the park, around 30 of which are native to the place, including the Swinhoe pheasant and Taiwan partridges. Get on to the birdwatching platform for better viewing. You’ll also enjoy the rich biodiversity of the region. If luck is in your favor, you might also spot the Formosan blue magpie or as they are fondly called “long-tailed mountain ladies”. You get to notice intricacies of the birds’ world and their behavior with each other. Observing these birds so closely can calm you. Your mind is taken off stresses when you concentrate on these chirping birds.
The long pathways inside the maple, pine and the forest park give you enough opportunities to trek along the river-sides to the suspension bridge, from where you can view the distant mountain peaks. You can bank on this expedition to burn some of your extra calories along with having some fun.
It’s a fun-filled experience cruising around the Sun-Moon lake, the largest in the entire of Taiwan. You can avail mountain bikes for the purpose and cycle around soaking in the surrounding majestic beauty.
Soar above the large water-body in a cable car to get an aerial view, including that of the Lalu Island. It’s altogether a different experience when the cable car zips off across the lake. Both adults and kids look forward to riding this cable car.
It is one of the famous trails in the area. Some other popular trails are maple tree trails and cherry blossom garden trail. This steep Hao Han Hall Trail takes you to the park of the forest and to the suspension bridge that helps you cross the river to reach the pine tree zone.
How to Get Tickets?
Ticket confirmation takes a max of two working days and is valid for 4 Hours (between 1 pm and 5 pm). The voucher type e-tickets are inclusive of location pickup but don’t include meals. Order the tickets online on your preferred date to purchase online.
How To Get Around?
If walking around is not your favorite mode of traveling, then go by car or a scooter. No heavy vehicles are allowed.
What Should I Wear?
It is advisable to venture in outdoor clothes and trekking boots, preferably with steel toes and anti-slip soles.
Best Time to Visit
To observe the changing autumn colors, visit Aowanda at October beginning. The autumn continues till the end of December. The forest attracts the maximum concentration of fireflies in April as well as May. These flies surprisingly create a magnificent and illusory effect within the incredible natural set-up of the mesmerizing forest.
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Will I Need a Guide?
Not needed. If you still want, visit only during the weekends.
How To Get There?
If not going by the shuttle bus, from Puli you need to take the provincial highway #14 towards Hehuanshan and the Taroko Gorge, which continues for about half an hour. It brings you to the Renai Township, from where you follow the road signs. You’ll be heading East from here to arrive at the entrance to the park.
The hiking paths are a pleasure to walk amidst the pristine forests. Waterfalls are easily accessible. A full Aowanda reservoir will give you a view of the turquoise waters. A varied range of wildlife including bugs, insects, reptiles, and monkeys. Apart from maple, you will also find cherry blossom in the forest.