When nature looks this good, it is easy to keep coming back any day
A big part of the popularity of Hehuan Mountain might well reside in the fact that it only takes a car to get there. It might not sound so easy, but in contrast to other high-altitude destinations in Taiwan, there are no troublesome permit applications on unfriendly websites, constant waiting lists, or hiking gear (too specialized at least) needed to have a great experience. This is a big incentive for hiking enthusiasts, and even families with children to come here and hike all year round.
My first attempt at witnessing the beauty of Hehuan Mountain was nothing worth noting, though. Thick fog literally veiled the scene from the beginning to end for my stay, and other secondary attractions in the area could not quench my desire to photograph this place. I had to wait patiently for the next opportunity. After all, to match time availability and good weather is half determination and half luck.
On my second attempt, there was determination, and there was luck. An early morning road trip to this mountain range had everything a landscape photographer could dream off. A surprise indeed, since according to my experience, the elements rarely play nice. During this trip I was able to see snow, a rare appearance in Taiwan, a cotton-like, thick sea of clouds forming over the deepest valleys of the central regions of the island, and beautiful clear skies ideal for short winter hikes and cruising along the winding roads by car. Reaching the peaks of Hehuan Mountain would have to wait for yet another visit.
Below is a collection of my third visit to this lovely destination in Taiwan. On this occasion, the main objective was to climb two of the many peaks, see two sunrises from different points, and to photograph the world below when there are no clouds covering it. A sight of valleys stretching far beyond the sight can reach, softly merging with the sea.
For a glimpse of the highlights of this road trip to Hehuan Mountain, with the hiking trails we took, and with some extra drone footage, here is a summary video:
Last but not least, here is a video in 4K resolution of my best aerial takes during this trip:
For more travel stories, drone movies and other short clips, click here.