Azaleas – Hehuanshan East Peak

by Weedy Tan

May 28, 2017

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TAIPEI, Taiwan – The months of May and June are the best months to see the wild azalea flowers (玉山杜鵑花) in the mountainous area of Taiwan and Hehuanshan East Peak (合歡山東峰) is the favorite mountain most Taiwanese choose to see the azalea flowers in bloom.

Hehuanshan East Peak is a 3,421-meter-high mountain in the central part of Taiwan and is number 35 on the “Top 100 Mountains of Taiwan” list. The list includes only the most beautiful, unique, and dangerous mountains worth hiking with heights of over 3,000 meters.

Hehuanshan East Peak is accessible from Km. 33 of Highway number 14 that passes through Puli (埔里), Qingjing Farm (清境農場), Wuling (武嶺), Hehuanshan (合歡山), and all the way to the famous Taroko Gorge (太魯閣). Highway 14 is a narrow, winding, dangerous and difficult road. It gets clogged during winter when locals travel up to the mountain to see the rare snowfalls that occur only on high altitude mountains in subtropical Taiwan.

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Highway 14 (Hehuanshan Road)
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Wuling @ 3,275 meters is the highest vehicle-accessible pass in Taiwan

The natural scenery around the Hehuanshan area is so beautiful and it makes you feel so small in the face of the huge mountains surrounding you.

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The beautiful natural view @ Hehuanshan

On weekends, there are many people including kids as young as four or five years old and elderly in their 70s and 80s who hiked the Hehuanshan East Peak to see the beautiful wild azalea flowers. There are literally hundreds of people at the hiking trail at any one time.

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Long line of hikers along the Hehuanshan East Peak trail
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Long line of hikers along the Hehuanshan East Peak trail
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Long line of hikers along the Hehuanshan East Peak trail

The Hehuanshan East Peak hiking trail is 1,050 meters long and it takes about 3 hours round trip to navigate. The peak is at an elevation of 3,421 meters above sea level.

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The Summit of Hehuanshan East Peak @ 3,421 meters

The azalea flowers start to appear after hiking for 800 meters and they are almost everywhere on the summit of the Hehuanshan East Peak.

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Azalea flowers at Hehuanshan East Peak
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Azalea flowers at Hehuanshan East Peak

Published in the online newspaper Taiwan News:
http://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/3176994

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