Pushing for New Heights in Taiwan
The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.
It has been a couple of years since we last visited Taiwan. Taiwan is a small island country with friendly people, mouth-watering local cuisines, and a plethora of exciting outdoor experiences. A perfect combination for any traveler and outdoor enthusiast. For those who have been following my blog, you probably know that roaming in a modern city is not my traveling style. I like old towns with colorful cultures and unique architectures, but most of all I want to immerse myself in the natural beauty of the place and challenge myself (and sometimes my family) with new experiences. I crave for the fresh air and serenity of the outdoors. With my new-found passion for rock climbing, I searched high and low on the internet for a place to climb in Taiwan and found Longdong (龍洞), situated at the Northeast corner of the country. I was drawn to this place because of the rock formation and its proximity to the ocean. Words can’t describe what I felt when I actually arrived and saw the place. The blue sky and water are just pure bliss. After months of research, I finally found Qxadventures, the rock climbing guide service in Longdong. Choosing a good and qualified guide/instructor for rock climbing is no small feat. You can check out my tips at the end of this post for choosing a guide.
Qxadventures is owned by a couple of rock climbers, QX and his wife Kelly, originally from Singapore. Maybe I am biased because of my root in the neighboring country Malaysia or maybe it’s the passion for climbing that I felt from perusing their website, I just had a gut feeling that they are the right people for this trip. I then enlisted my brother-in-law, his brother, and two other friends to join in the fun. Since this is their first time rock climbing, we decided to split into two groups. Kelly led the beginners and I went with QX for one-on-one instruction/guiding. It was a sunny and hot day (temperature is probably close to the 80’s) even though it’s November. I am glad we chose to come on a weekday and awarded with the crags to ourselves the whole day. We started at the School Gate area and after a couple warmup climbs, QX and I split off from the group and headed to the Music Hall area. I think we were only about an hour and a half since we arrived at the crag but I was starting to feel weak and light headed from the glaring sun. It was about a 30-minute hike between the two areas and I had to just lie down under the shade until the dizziness passed. I was glad to have my Nuun tablets with me to give me the boost to go on. We must have stopped and rested for about 45 minutes until I came ‘alive’ again. During that time I had some good conversations with QX and learned more about them and their passion to improve the quality and service to the climbing community, and help create awareness for the public to take care of our environment so that the future generations can still enjoy what Mother Nature provided.
I have not been climbing or hiking a lot since my knee injury in August. After quite a few physical therapy sessions and a resting period, I was able to hike up Mount Washington back home which is 8.5 miles roundtrip with a 3250 feet elevation gain hike. The Longdong climb was another test and I was ecstatic that I did not experience any pain during my climb. The sandstone cliffs here are amazing sights to see, and I love listening to the waves hitting the rocks during the climbs. These climbs were the highest I had done and perching on the ledge admiring the scenery from above was unbelievably soothing. It felt like home and I didn’t want to come back down.
What’s a better way to live life to the fullest than to do what you are passionate about every day and to live life with a purpose? Those who know me know that I don’t give recommendation lightly unless I felt strongly about something or someone; and I do highly recommend climbing with Qxadventures while you are there. Meeting QX and Kelly during this trip truly gave me something more to chew on than just a rock climbing experience. Thank you for teaching me new climbing skills and opening my eyes to the myriad possibilities out there.
Here are the tips I promised:
- Do your research by searching the internet for reviews, reach out to the relevant community or group often on Facebook for recommendations.
- Ask all the questions before committing and know what you want to accomplish during the trip.
- During any activity, know your limits and listen to your body for a safe and pleasant experience.
- Most of all be prepared with your ten essentials or some sort of modifications and practice Leave No Trace (LNT) on the trails, rocks, beach etc.
- Lastly just enjoy the experience.
My previous posts about Taiwan: