we saw the the blue magpie while on a hike in yangmingshan, the national park to the north of taipei. it’s a beautiful place, with hills and mountains carpeted in green, water buffalos roaming around, remnants of the japanese military, lakes and hot water. getting there was its own adventure though! we caught a mini-bus that drove all the way uphill like it was being chased by rockets, or like the driver was afraid the bus would roll down the hill if it stalled. because the number of seats was limited (and there were lots of elderly people going to the thermal baths), we stood the whole trip and held on to dear life. what a ride!
after we stepped off the bus, the surroundings were so green and beautiful… everything was quickly forgotten!
we started our hike in a small circular trail around qingtiangang grassland, and then took the path to lengshuikeng, while the water buffalos watched us from afar. there were stakes on the ground in certain spots, so that you could hide behind them if they decided to attack, which apparently happens sometimes! 😱 they were super well-behaved though.
calling this a hike might be a bit of a stretch, as the path was always paved with stones and well-kept. more like a nice walk in the forest, to take in the sights. everything is so vivid green up here, i enjoyed it a lot.
and at the end, there was this thermal bath place, the water of which drained through some pools where you could sit and have a little foot bath. it was so good… what a perfect ending to a hike!