Hehuanshan mountain (合歡山) is a 3,421 meter high mountain that is a very attractive destination to much of the people of central Taiwan. The mountain peaks occassionaly receive snowfall during the winter months in Taiwan, a rarity. Today, I got a chance to visit the great eastern peak and enjoy the breathtaking view. The road up was narrow and dangerous. There are no dividing lines and the traffic is two ways. We would have to slip by semi-trucks and passanger trucks with only inches to spare. The guard rails didn't seem to offer much protection from the seemingly 500 foot cliff. The blind corners do not help either. But that road is the only road and the highest paved road in Taiwan. Snaking our way up the mountain, we crossed alot of aboriginal restaurants and markets. One old man was removing a cooked duck from a large clay barrel. Possible slow smoked with wood. I didn't get a chance to eat anything aboriginal, but it looked goood! At the peak and our final destination, there was a building to take a rest and grab some lunch. We ordered some Ramen and took a seat next to a big window overlooking the valley. Hong-Ying said there used to be a small ski lift here and that my Dad used to ski here back when it was operational.
On the way back down the mountain, we decided to visit the "Paper Dome" church. This was the Takatori "Paper Dome" Catholic church that was erected in Nagata-ku, Kobe, Japan after the Great Hanshin Earthquake of 1995. The japanese needed to quickly reconstruct a new church for disaster relief. The paper church was later donated and relocated to Nantou County, Taiwan after the 921 Earthquake in 1999. The church and it's surrounding gardens and ponds were beautiful. I would have taken more pictures, but it started to rain. So we cut the visit short and headed back home before we got caught up in the thunderstorm. More photos found here.