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Newer Page 98 of 1218 Older Full Trip Report
Taiwan Yilan Hiking Marian trail

6 May 2023

Matcha latte missionary trail

Marian / Shengmu / Matcha hiking trail

Today's hike has about 9 different names. You can find it referred to as Marian or St Marian's hiking trail, the sacred mother trail, Shengmu hiking trail, and now more recently, matcha mountain hiking trail (green tea for those that still do not know what matcha is).
Apparently a few years ago, this was a moderately popular hiking route, but a quasi famous Japanese guy came here and took some photos, applied an aged film filter to the photos and put them on Japanese instagram, along with the caption 'matcha mountain, omg, kawaii *thumbs up* *eggplant* *pedobear*' and a week later flights were being chartered to bring groups of Japanese people here. Look it up, not a joke!

Anyway, if you are playing along at home, it is about a 20km round trip from Jiaoxi station, to the top of Sanjiaolunshan and back to Jiaoxi station, so allow 6 hours and 30,000 steps. If you somehow fluke a bus in each direction, take 6km off.
There are a number of stages to all this, I will explain below with all the many thousands too many of pics that I took today.

Taiwan-Yilan-Hiking-Marian trail - Here is Jiaoxi station, it is 2 stops over from Yilan, about 10 minutes, the trains come regularly. But there is a problem, no matter how hard I tried

Here is Jiaoxi station, it is 2 stops over from Yilan, about 10 minutes, the trains come regularly. But there is a problem, no matter how hard I tried, I could not stop my camera from fogging up! Hence the surreal like dreamy quality of this photo, people would pay money for a lightroom preset that does this.


Taiwan-Yilan-Hiking-Marian trail - No bus. And there are no early buses it seems. Weird on a Saturday, I know this will be an extremely popular hike.

No bus. And there are no early buses it seems. Weird on a Saturday, I know this will be an extremely popular hike.


Taiwan-Yilan-Hiking-Marian trail - Stage one was to walk through the really quite nice and unexpectedly large town of Jiaoxi, a hot spring town it seems. More pics on the way back. Ther

Stage one was to walk through the really quite nice and unexpectedly large town of Jiaoxi, a hot spring town it seems. More pics on the way back. There are some big hotels and a golf course as you start to go up the hill.


Taiwan-Yilan-Hiking-Marian trail - This is a dam. There are signs everywhere telling you not to swim in the dam. Look closely though and of course, there is a woman swimming in the dam.

This is a dam. There are signs everywhere telling you not to swim in the dam. Look closely though and of course, there is a woman swimming in the dam. In Taiwan, signs are suggestions at best.


Taiwan-Yilan-Hiking-Marian trail - The next stage of the hike takes you up a scooter accessible path to the Catholic Sanctuary of our Lady of Wufengqi. This has been constructed in a st

The next stage of the hike takes you up a scooter accessible path to the Catholic Sanctuary of our Lady of Wufengqi. This has been constructed in a style to entice the local aborigine population to become Catholics. Yeah, that is probably a true fact.


Taiwan-Yilan-Hiking-Marian trail - A bit more of the cool church, you will see it again on the way back.

A bit more of the cool church, you will see it again on the way back.


Taiwan-Yilan-Hiking-Marian trail - Here is my church. Not a lot of members lately.

Here is my church. Not a lot of members lately.


Taiwan-Yilan-Hiking-Marian trail - The next stage takes you along a gravel track, without steps, to this point, the start of the Marian hiking trail, where a lot of steps will commence.

The next stage takes you along a gravel track, without steps, to this point, the start of the Marian hiking trail, where a lot of steps will commence.


Taiwan-Yilan-Hiking-Marian trail - There are waterfalls.

There are waterfalls.


Taiwan-Yilan-Hiking-Marian trail - And lots and lots of slippery steps. I was moist, everything was moist, my bag was dripping with moistness, so was my camera. It was kind of hard to t

And lots and lots of slippery steps. I was moist, everything was moist, my bag was dripping with moistness, so was my camera. It was kind of hard to take photos due to everything being slippery and wet, but at least my lense was not fogging up anymore.


Taiwan-Yilan-Hiking-Marian trail - After at least an hour of steps, if you go at full idiot speed like I do, you come out into the cloud and the low bamboo area.

After at least an hour of steps, if you go at full idiot speed like I do, you come out into the cloud and the low bamboo area.


Taiwan-Yilan-Hiking-Marian trail - This is where 99% of the crowd stops, for the shot of matcha mountain, see below. There is a toilet there I think, I sweated so much no one could tell

This is where 99% of the crowd stops, for the shot of matcha mountain, see below. There is a toilet there I think, I sweated so much no one could tell if I had wet my pants anyway so I did not need to use the actual toilets.


Taiwan-Yilan-Hiking-Marian trail - Matcha mountain in all it's glory.

Matcha mountain in all it's glory.


Taiwan-Yilan-Hiking-Marian trail - The alternate aspect of matcha mountain. White balance seems a bit warm.

The alternate aspect of matcha mountain. White balance seems a bit warm.


Taiwan-Yilan-Hiking-Marian trail - Me, with dirt on my pronounced forehead.

Me, with dirt on my pronounced forehead.


Taiwan-Yilan-Hiking-Marian trail - The less matcha-er-ry bit of matcha mountain.

The less matcha-er-ry bit of matcha mountain.


Taiwan-Yilan-Hiking-Marian trail - I ascended the little lookout bit, this is not the top, and not the end of the hike.

I ascended the little lookout bit, this is not the top, and not the end of the hike.


Taiwan-Yilan-Hiking-Marian trail - First I had to stare at this guy and contemplate why everyone aspires to be nailed to a cross as the ultimate achievement in human history. I imagine

First I had to stare at this guy and contemplate why everyone aspires to be nailed to a cross as the ultimate achievement in human history. I imagine this perplexes the locals more than it does me.


Taiwan-Yilan-Hiking-Marian trail - I will now go up there to the actual top. I kind of had regrets about this, as the path became ankle deep mud. I had to put my camera into my bag prop

I will now go up there to the actual top. I kind of had regrets about this, as the path became ankle deep mud. I had to put my camera into my bag properly as if I fell over it would get mud-logged.


Taiwan-Yilan-Hiking-Marian trail - There were 1000 groups of people who went to the Matcha view, there were maybe me and 2 other groups that went to the top of Sanjiaolunshan. They had

There were 1000 groups of people who went to the Matcha view, there were maybe me and 2 other groups that went to the top of Sanjiaolunshan. They had machetes! This is the summit, not a lot to see. I was a bit concerned about snakes as I could not see my feet due to face high grasses, but also ticks, do they have lime disease here? It seems to be a USA only disease for some reason.


Taiwan-Yilan-Hiking-Marian trail - For the treacherous journey back down through ankle deep mud, the fog rolled in.

For the treacherous journey back down through ankle deep mud, the fog rolled in.


Taiwan-Yilan-Hiking-Marian trail - Nice cloud, nice view, fog still on it's way.

Nice cloud, nice view, fog still on it's way.


Taiwan-Yilan-Hiking-Marian trail - Behold, fog. Thankfully it arrived after I was out of face high grass and ankle deep mud.

Behold, fog. Thankfully it arrived after I was out of face high grass and ankle deep mud.


Taiwan-Yilan-Hiking-Marian trail - I stopped for a muddy shoe shot. I just spent an hour in the hotel shower cleaning them. I am glad I opted for my water proof hiking shoes for this tr

I stopped for a muddy shoe shot. I just spent an hour in the hotel shower cleaning them. I am glad I opted for my water proof hiking shoes for this trip. They make my feet hot, but its better than squishing mud between my toes for 10km on the way back down.


Taiwan-Yilan-Hiking-Marian trail - It was now hot, and foggy, but no rain at all.

It was now hot, and foggy, but no rain at all.


Taiwan-Yilan-Hiking-Marian trail - I arrived back at the jungle foresty area, with the slippery steps. Still lots of people.

I arrived back at the jungle foresty area, with the slippery steps. Still lots of people.


Taiwan-Yilan-Hiking-Marian trail - So green, lots and lots of people.

So green, lots and lots of people.


Taiwan-Yilan-Hiking-Marian trail - I forgot to show the trail marker on the way up, so here it is on the way down. Kind of looks like an inverted crucifix. Interesting.

I forgot to show the trail marker on the way up, so here it is on the way down. Kind of looks like an inverted crucifix. Interesting.


Taiwan-Yilan-Hiking-Marian trail - Here is some more of the church, On the right edge there is a fake cave made out of concrete. You can never really fully take Taiwan out of any situat

Here is some more of the church, On the right edge there is a fake cave made out of concrete. You can never really fully take Taiwan out of any situation.


Taiwan-Yilan-Hiking-Marian trail - There is no one at all inside the actual church, just me and my muddy shoes.

There is no one at all inside the actual church, just me and my muddy shoes.


Taiwan-Yilan-Hiking-Marian trail - Behold, the view back down to... somewhere between Jiaoxi and Yilan.

Behold, the view back down to... somewhere between Jiaoxi and Yilan.


Taiwan-Yilan-Hiking-Marian trail - As I exited the hiking area, a lot of vendors had since set up their stalls for the day, mainly selling fruit, which I never really understand, it wou

As I exited the hiking area, a lot of vendors had since set up their stalls for the day, mainly selling fruit, which I never really understand, it would be fruit puree by the time you get to the top.


Taiwan-Yilan-Hiking-Marian trail - Instead of some questionable fruit, I headed to the convenience store, and had an ice cream. This dog lives in the store. A rare kind of dog in that h

Instead of some questionable fruit, I headed to the convenience store, and had an ice cream. This dog lives in the store. A rare kind of dog in that he did not immediately attack me.


Taiwan-Yilan-Hiking-Marian trail - And now, for my last shots from a long day, a couple of shots of Jiaoxi.

And now, for my last shots from a long day, a couple of shots of Jiaoxi.


Taiwan-Yilan-Hiking-Marian trail - The busy street here looks much like the rest of Taiwan, convenience stores as far as the eye can see.

The busy street here looks much like the rest of Taiwan, convenience stores as far as the eye can see.


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