Wulai Waterfall (烏來瀑布)
Wulai (烏來) is a popular mountain village located in North of Taiwan, outside of Taipei main city, with majority of the residents being aboriginal people of the Atayal Tribe (泰雅族). The village is named after “ulai”, a term in the Atayal language, which meant hot spring, hence this place is extremely popular for hot springs. Beside hot springs, Wulai is also famous for its luscious greenery, high mountains, waterfalls and cherry blossoms.
We were lucky to see a magnificent Wulai Waterfall the day we went there. The water falls down from the cliff from 80 metres in height, creating a beautiful fall. There were very few people around as it was a weekday, hence we have the scenery all to ourselves.
Right on top of the waterfall is Yunxian Park (雲仙樂園), which can only be accessible via a cable car. It is a mini theme park but we weren’t interested to go there.
Exploring the village
The village was really quiet, so after lunch, we just walked around randomly before taking a dip in the hot springs.
Wild boar sausages (山豬肉香腸)
Wild boar sausage is one of the popular snacks in Wulai, and on Wulai Old Street there are many stalls selling the same type of sausage. We settled for this one, which was highly recommended by many other bloggers.
Sausages ready to be grilled!
We bought just one to share in consideration of our waistlines…
See the oil glistening in the light? Gosh it was really sinful! There’s a nice balance of lean meat and fats, but to be honest, it tasted very much like the normal Taiwan sausages (台灣香腸) that I usually eat. Set us back at NT$35 per stick.
Another stall selling not only sausages, but also other grilled stuff.
Wide variety to choose from
You just choose whatever you like and the boss will grill it for you until piping hot. There are wild boar meat, quail, sausages, and mua-ji.
Mua-ji grilling (烤麻糬)
Mua-ji is another popular snack in Wulai. It is actually made of glutinous rice flour mixed with water and them steamed into a sticky and chewy rice cake. Usually we will let the mua-ji cool and then coat it with chopped peanuts before serving. (I’m hoping to make and share the recipe here one day!)
Here in Wulai, the mua-ji is grilled to make it hot, then coat it in some sweet sauce before finishing it off with a generous sprinkle of finely chopped peanuts (NT$30). A pretty delicious and sticky snack to end the day before we catch a bus back to the city.
|Getting to Wulai(烏來):||
1) Public Transport from Xindian Station
|Heading to Wulai Waterfall(烏來瀑布):||
1) Upon reaching Wulai bus terminal (烏來總站), walk through Wulai Old Street (烏來老街), cross the bridge and you will see a train station.
2a) Take a little train (NT$50 per person) that brings you 1.5km up the valley.
Note: As at Aug 2012, the train is not operating due to Typhoon Saola, so it’s either the stroll or the taxi (we chose to walk!)
3) To look for the viewing gallery of the waterfall, look for the public toilet sign, which will be next to a tourist centre / gallery. There are chairs and tables outside (which we helped ourselves to set up). A very good place to have lunch.
|Things to do:||
|Best time to visit:||
All seasons! (Spring for the cherry blossoms; summer to cool off in the rivers; autumn for the autumn leaves and winter for the hot springs and bird-watching.)
|Timing / notes:||
We spent about almost 1/2 to 3/4 of the day here, but if you plan to go on the trails and the park, you’ll probably need a day. There are plenty of lodging available here as well, but not sure of the availability for weekend / peak season (e.g. summer holidays)…
We went to Wulai on a Monday in August, and majority of the shops are closed, I think the place is only more crowded on weekends. But it was a nice experience to be away from crowds.
If you are planning a trip to Taiwan, you may want to check this out: