One way to say “bicycle” in Chinese is “iron horse.”
Today we’re going cycling in Taichung.
The Houfeng and Dongfeng bike trails used to be a
railroad. The two trails put together are about 16
km long and take about 3 hours to complete roundtrip
if you take a regular bike. We have to finish shooting
before it rains, so we’re on electric bikes today.
This is the Houfeng section of the trail and I think
it’s really interesting because there’s a bridge that
you have to cross and it’s narrow, long and a bit
scary if you stay on it too long. Really exciting.
After the bridge you’ll come to a tunnel, again long,
narrow and really cool.
This tunnel is 1200 meters long, it was built more
than 100 years ago during the Japanese occupation.
This tunnel is the first in Taiwan to be converted
into a bicycle path. I think it’s quite cool.
A great way to repurpose obsolete railroads and tunnels,
wouldn’t you say?
At the end of the Houfeng trail, you’ll come to Houli
Horse Ranch, previously a military ranch.
This ranch was started during the Japanese occupation.
Taiwan was a springboard into southeastern countries
for Japan, and the Japanese government established
and operated 10 military ranches in Taiwan - the was
one of them.
Horses were bred and riders were trained here, when
the time came, they were shipped off to war. The Japanese
lost the war, and eventually 9 of the 10 ranches closed
down. This is the last of them, now open to the public.
Houli Horse Ranch is like a big park. There are lots
of old trees to enjoy and paths to walk. Occasionally
you’ll see an old stable or building from the occupation.
If you’re like me and like horses, you’re going to
like it here.
Riding a horse is sort of like riding a bicycle. You
only need to learn it once. I haven’t been on a horse
in more than ten years, but it comes back to you with
a bit of practice.
Houli and Fengyuan are a ways from downtown Taichung,
and I never thought they can be so interesting. I
knew that Houli is known for saxophones, but bike
trails and this ranch too? Holy cow, Houli is fun!
You should come!