We met up with our driver 王师傅 at our hotel 頭等艙飯店高雄‧站前館 Airline Inn – Kaoshiung Station for our day trip to 屏東 Ping Tung at 9am. He was the alternate driver whom 許大哥 (who took us from 高雄国际機場 Kaohsiung International Airport to 東港码头 Donggang Ferry Terminal) offered, as he had a last-minute assignment. We could not help but feel a little disappointed as we thought 許大哥 was really friendly and experienced. While 王师傅 seemed to be rather unfamiliar with this area (and we appeared to have done quite a bit of detours during the earlier part of the trip) he was a very safe and patient driver.
The original NT4000 10-hour (9am to 7pm) plan which included petrol, toll, parking and passenger insurance (excluding entrance fees) was:
酒店出發 > 霧台谷川大橋 > 霧台 > 原住民文化園區 > 山川琉璃大橋 > 涼山瀑布 > 佛陀紀念館或旗山老街 > 回高雄
We ended up extending by more than an hour and we topped up an additional NT500 on our own accord for his patience. Here was what we did:
Our first stop, while on our way to 霧台 Wutai, was a beautiful Presbyterian Church for 排灣族 Paiwan.
They are one of the mountains indigenous peoples, and the church is nestled within such lovely views.
We were also lucky that one of their members were around preparing for their festival, and we were invited inside the church.
地磨兒 (三地門) 公園 Demoer / Timur (Sandimen) Park
(stayed ~15 minutes) [Google Maps]
地磨兒 refers to 三地門 in Paiwan language.
A quick stop for some greenery and indigenous architecture. We were left to roam about ourselves, so we didn’t quite understand the significance of this place. It also appeared to be a bit run-down / under renovations.
霧台魯凱文物館 Wutai Rukai Museum
An interesting museum explaining the culture of 魯凱族 Rukai, one of the mountains indigenous peoples.
岩板巷藝術街 / 霧台村岩板巷
(Less than 5 minutes’ drive from 霧台魯凱文物館, stayed ~ 1 hour) [Google Maps]
Moving along the trail here, we took in the sights of the architecture and drawings.
We had a break at 霧台星雅風味館 Hsing Ya B&B [Facebook], and tried 獵人便當 Hunter’s Bento (NT50), QQ小米餠 Millet Pancake (NT20), and 手工焦糖愛玉 Caramel Ai Yu Jelly (NT30). The 獵人便當 tasted like our rice dumpling and the 手工焦糖愛玉 was a refreshing respite to the hot weather. The QQ小米餠 was a bit too mochi-like so I didn’t really like it. The owners were friendly and shared about their lives here.
As we continued walking, we could not resist a yummy 小香膓 sausage (NT25) from a little stall 小四.
We ended our trip here at 臺灣基督長老教會霧台教會, another Presbyterian Church [Google Maps].
神山瀑布 Shenshan Waterfall
(About 10 minutes’ drive from 霧台村岩板巷, stayed ~40 minutes) [Google Maps]
Though this was quite near the previous destination, our driver took us to some amusement park which he thought we might want to visit, but we didn’t… Anyway, we reached here around 1pm, and it was a relatively quick walk to see the lovely waterfall.
(30 minutes’ drive from 神山瀑布, stayed ~40 minutes) [Google Maps]
Finally it was time for our late lunch! It was close to 2:30pm by the time our food arrived.
We had 晚香玉筍 Asparagus (NT220)，蒜泥山豬肉 Pork Slices with Garlic (NT250)，山芋鷄 Chicken Soup with Yam (NT450)，饭 Rice (NT15). Came with complimentary 洛神茶 Roselle Tea, watermelon and grass jelly dessert. The soup was really awesome with the fragrant yam, and we could not stop drinking despite the hot weather. Thankfully there was free tea and dessert to cool us down, lol! We also enjoyed the crunchy asparagus. The pork slices were a bit tough though.
山川琉璃大橋 Shan-Chuan Glass Suspension Bridge
(NT50 per adult. 15 minutes’ drive from lunch venue, stayed ~30 minutes) [Google Maps]
As the last entry to the suspension bridge was 4:30pm with a limit on number of pax allowed on the bridge, we were advised to visit this place first. The bridge had glass beads painted with various designs and meanings explained along the way. We thought the scenery was quite lovely.
台灣原住民族文化園區 Taiwan Indigenous Culture Park
It was almost 4pm when we arrived. It was too late to pay to enter the actual village and museum, as the place looked huge and we thought we might need more than an hour to appreciate the place. We managed to catch a lovely free song and dance performance though.
涼山瀑布 Liangshan Waterfall
(NT60 per adult, 20 minutes’ drive from 台灣原住民族文化園區, stayed ~1.5 hours) [Google Maps]
This was really the ultimate climb of the trip!
We arrived close to 4:30pm, and after some enquiry, our driver told us that the waterfall was about 10 minutes away from the entrance and that he would wait for us at the car park. Turned out that 10 minutes away was the start of the 1.5 km upward trail to the waterfall *LOL*
Hubby unfortunately started having leg cramps at the start of the trail, so it was up to Ms K and I to capture the scenic views for him to see! The trail started with a very long and steep flight of steps. Best to start slow to keep your strength. It took us about 30 minutes to reach the waterfall, because the final stretch was this treacherous, slippery and rocky walk where we had to hold on to metal ropes and climb over huge boulders and all. The waterfall was so near and yet so far! We could not see the waterfall if we did not complete this final stretch, and we were too far into our journey to give up. We were grateful for friendly tourists who encouraged and helped one another, and I think I wouldn’t be able to make it without Ms K! We felt a great sense of achievement 😀 The view was worth the climb, but this place would not be suitable for elderly or young children.
It was already past 6pm by the time we made it out of this place.
旗山老街 Qishan Old Street
(About 1 hour’s drive from 涼山瀑布, stayed ~30 minutes) [Google Maps]
It was a bit too dark for us to appreciate the architecture here, but that did not stop us from trying a 香蕉大饼 Banana Biscuit (NT40) from 真港百年古早味大餅 [Google Maps] and some souvenir shopping at 台青蕉 香蕉創意工坊 Youth Banana Creative Store [Website; Google Maps; Facebook].
We had the opportunity to chit chat with the staff at the store and were most impressed by them and the food that we sampled! Apparently they have their own banana plantation growing 旧北蕉 crops.
We ended up getting their delivery service to send the goods to our hotel the next day, LOL!
屏東觀光夜市 Pingtung Night Market
Because we were not quite ready to call it a day, we requested for our driver to drop us at 屏東觀光夜市 Pingtung Night Market, and we would make our way back to the hotel via the 30-minute local train ride from the nearby 屏東 Pingtung Station instead.
We reached here around 8:15pm. First we had the sweet and refreshing 芒果牛奶 Mango Milk Shake (NT50) from 果漾鮮果汁 [Google Maps] to quench our thirst.
Next up was the 肉圓 Meat Dumpling (NT30) and 豬血湯 Pig’s Blood Soup (NT20) from Stall 57.
The chewy meat dumpling was not bad but the pig’s blood were too hard.
This was followed by 排骨飯 Rice with Pork Ribs (NT65) and 雞肉絲飯 Rice with Chicken Shreds (NT50) from 夜市快餐 [Google Maps]. While the pork ribs was covered by a rather thick layer of batter, it was not bad. The preserved vegetables and chicken shreds went well with the rice.
We then had some hubby’s favourite 関東煮 Oden (NT75) from Stall 16 關東煮壽司 [Google Maps].
Finally we had from 肉燥飯 (NT20) from 𩵚魠魚焿 [Google Maps] which was a bit too fatty for Ms K’s liking.
We finally called it a day past 9:30pm and returned back to our hotel with our bellies happy 🙂