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New Taipei City Travel

Tamsui-Kavalan Trails: Hand-made trails, documentaries, and books

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The Tamsui-Kavalan Trails were an important mountain trail network that spanned across the Taipei Basin and Lanyang Plain during the Qing Dynasty. They played a crucial role in transportation between these two points before the TRA launched the Yilan Line. The Tamsui-Kavalan Trails should not be regarded simply as a “route” connecting Tamsui Subprefecture and Kavalan Subprefecture. Instead, over the past 200 years or so, the northern section of Xueshan (Xue Mountain) has held invaluable historical memories, including indigenous hunting paths, the footprints of Han people, trading posts, and military patrols. Countless ancestors traversed these dozens of intricate and meandering mountain paths. The Tamsui-Kavalan Trails also bore witness to the development of Taipei City, New Taipei City, Keelung, and Yilan, and can be regarded as Taiwan's pilgrimage route. Today, it has been designated as a “National-Level Green Trail”.
淡蘭古道中路:北勢溪古道


2015 and 2016 – “Reappearing the Centuries-Old Tamsui-Kavalan Trails”After the advent of railways and national freeways, the entire world underwent a significant transportation revolution. The Tamsui-Kavalan Trails, which had lost their original transportation function, gradually faded from public view. Nevertheless, for over a century, they have quietly existed within the mountainous region between Taipei and Yilan. Since 2015 and 2016, the Taiwan Thousand Miles Trail Association has collaborated with Taipei City, New Taipei City, Keelung, and Yilan across multiple counties and cities in the joint effort of the “Reappearing the Centuries-Old Tamsui-Kavalan Trails” project. By reviewing literature, maps, interviews, and other sources of information, the Taiwan Thousand Miles Trail Association has obtained the initial route background and, in conjunction with historical, cultural, landscape, recreational system, safety, and other considerations, designed the systematic Tamsui-Kavalan trail routes we have today. It has also adopted the twin-bristle fern as the identifying symbol, establishing the brand of the Tamsui-Kavalan Trails.

金字碑古道

Combining public and private resources, the government and civilians collaborated to progressively restore these ancient trails using the handcrafted trail method. The concept of handcrafted trails relies not on heavy machinery and construction contractors, but employs simple tools and locally sourced materials instead. Through the participation of volunteers, a collective effort has been made to restore the trails, ensuring their harmonious integration into the existing landscape while preserving the essence of the original cultural pathways. After years of dedicated work, the centuries-old Tamsui-Kavalan Trails, with their rich and enduring history, have been rejuvenated.
淡蘭古道北路:金字碑古道
中坑古道


2018 – “Tamsui-Kavalan Trails Trilogy”
To promote the ecology and culture of the Tamsui-Kavalan Trails, the Tourism and Travel Department of the New Taipei City Government collaborated with the internationally acclaimed Director Xiao Qing-yang. They traversed the northern, central, and southern sections of the Tamsui-Kavalan Trails, resulting in the creation of the "Tamsui-Kavalan Trails Trilogy". Director Xiao Qing-yang, through his work spanning from "The Tao of Kung Fu" and "The Tao of Ancestors" to "The Tao of Health" within these centuries-old trails, orchestrated live performances by traditional opera musicians and captured the sounds of nature, including insect chirping, bird calls, and the flowing river water. This endeavor beautifully illustrates the multifaceted vitality of these historical trails.


The “Tamsui-Kavalan Trails Trilogy” was honored with the first prize in the Sports and Leisure category at the 14th ART & TUR – International Tourism Film Festival in 2021. In 2023, the original soundtrack album “Beginningless Beginning” produced for “Tamsui-Kavalan Trails Trilogy” achieved a remarkable feat by winning the Best Recording Package award at the 65th Grammy Awards, propelling Tamsui-Kavalan Trails onto the international stage
葡萄牙國際觀光電影節運動與休閒類宣傳片首獎


2019 – “Tamsui-Kavalan Trails – The Northern Section”
The first travel guidebook for the Tamsui-Kavalan Trails, titled "Tamsui-Kavalan Trails – The Northern Section", was brought to life through the combined efforts of the Taiwan Thousand Miles Trail Association, historians, and mountaineering experts who possess an intimate knowledge of these trails. After meticulous planning and 18 months of dedicated compilation, the guidebook was officially launched. The book provides insights into the cultural history, town stories, flora and fauna ecology, along with recommended routes along the northern section. Its high-quality layout garnered immediate acclaim upon release, and to date, it has undergone five printings. Many travelers set out on the northern section of the Tamsui-Kavalan Trails with this book in hand to experience these historic trails step by step, and craft their own unique stories along the way.

淡蘭古道-百年里山的長路慢行 (1)

2020 – The website themed on the Tamsui-Kavalan Trails
A website themed on the Tamsui-Kavalan Trails was developed relying on the smart technology. This innovative UI/UX interactive trail map simplifies the intricate network of trails within the Tamsui-Kavalan Trails. From users' perspective, this website integrates and interfaces information related to pre-trip preparations, itinerary planning, GPX data, transportation, weather, and rest stops. Easily capture all types of hiking information, and comprehensively explore the abundant history, culture, humanities and ecology of the Tamsui-Kavalan Trails.


2022 – “Tamsui-Kavalan Trails – The Long and Slow Journey through Centuries-Old Satoyama”
Following the publication of the acclaimed "Tamsui-Kavalan Trails – The Northern Section", the Tourism and Travel Department of the New Taipei City Government once again collaborated with several experts of the Tamsui-Kavalan Trails to introduce the book "Tamsui-Kavalan Trails – The Long and Slow Journey through Centuries-Old Satoyama". This book portrays the travel experiences along the northern, central, and southern sections of the Tamsui-Kavalan Trails, along with visits to the stories of 22 local artisans and businesses within the Tamsui-Kavalan Trails. It includes a practical hiking guide for the entire route and exquisite photographs. The book also features an exquisite fold-out map, hand-painted by an artist who has received the Golden Tripod Award after personally walked through all sections of the Tamsui-Kavalan Trails. It also includes the stories behind the planning and branding of the Tamsui-Kavalan Trails, with the hope of embarking on the next century together.
淡蘭古道-百年里山的長路慢行
淡蘭古道-百年里山的長路慢行 (2)

The Tourism and Travel Department of the New Taipei City Government has successfully promoted the Tamsui-Kavalan Trails for many years. Today, these trails are internationally and domestically renowned long-distance trail. In addition to marketing and promotion through the internet, videos, and books, the Department has also collaborated with numerous non-governmental organizations to organize activities such as handcrafted trail workshops, mountaineering seminars, and National Greenway guide training. Let this centuries-old historical trail continue to thrive through people's interactions and visits.
淡蘭登山講座


 
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Hiking for Senior Citizens to Live Longer- Shulin Wuqi Park
You probably will only see majestic weapons on special holidays or TV. But now at the Wuqi Park in Shulin District, New Taipei City, you can see the exhibition of equipment from the army ground forces, army navy forces and army air forces, such as battle tanks, fighter aircrafts and missiles. People can see the equipment in a close distance and its's all free! The New Taipei City Government collaborates with the Ministry of Defense to build the largest Park with weapon exhibition in Taiwan. The environment nearby will make you feel comfortable and you can not only take a walk here but see the weapons used to protect our country. Military fans should not miss it!Go Back to the Good Old Time with Retired Weapons!The Wuqi Park is next to the Military Shrine of New Taipei City. The Military Shrine constructed beside the mountain commemorates the courage and bravery of deceased soldiers and veterans. The Park has 16 pieces of retired weapons from the ground forces, navy forces and air forces. The weapons represent our history and culture. If you walk toward the other direction, you arrive the Datong Mountain Hiking Trail. Datong Mountain is the garden of Shulin District and you can see the beautiful view of New Taipei City once you are on the summit. The hiking trail is not steep and handrails are constructed on the trail, making the trail very suitable for elders to hike!The Wuqi Park is currently the largest park with weapon exhibition from the Ministry of Defense in Taiwan. At the Park you can see the first fighter aircraft that can travel twice as fast as the speed of sound (TF-104G Starfighter), the sea anchor of Zhongzhou Warship, the sea anchor of Lushan Warship, K30 Single-barreled Gun of 5 inches, M166 Mountain Gun, anti-aircraft guns and missiles. All of the weapons have the history of protecting the country for over 10 years and most of them are maintained well. Even if you are not a military fan, you can feel the vibe with the exhibition items and explanation boards and learn about functions and stories of individual weapons.If you follow the route at the Park, you will first see 2 "F-5F Tiger II". They used to be the main fighter aircraft that protected the airspace of Taiwan. They are the heroes of the Park! Besides several majestic fighter aircrafts, you can see naval guns on smaller warships used by the U.S. Navy in World War II and the "Trainable Chaff Rocket Launcher" used on reconnaissance or disturbing the fighter aircraft from the enemy following the route at the Park. How surprising it is that the retired weapons have so many stories to tell!Moreover, you can see the "M1 40mm Anti-Aircraft Gun" that is still in service and battle tanks only can be seen in a battle movie standing in the Park quietly but majestically. You will definitely feel in awe.The Themed Park like a "Museum" is Worth Visiting for a Half Day!There is a 2-story building in the Park and you can see the fighter aircraft you just passed by from height. Its heroic appearance will amaze you! No fences are set up in the Wuqi Park so the public can feel closer to the army. But remember not to climb up on weapons or touch them. The weapons in the Park have the history of protecting the country for over 10 years. Tough the Park is not huge, it is a theme park like a "museum". It is suitable for you to bring your elders at home to come here for a half-day trip on weekends!And the Datong Mountain Hiking Trail next to the Park is a hiking trail that the senior citizens will enjoy. Tree shades are all over the trail so you don't have to worry about hiking in hot summer time!Nearby Places to Go Datong Mountain Hiking Trail Blue Dragon Ridge Shanjia Railway Station
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小客帶路