Worrying for Nothing in Taroko Gorge

Approaching Tiensheng

(A Video: Exploring Taroko Gorge)

After walking Taroko Gorge ( 太魯閣國家公園) from the gate entrance to Tienshang (天祥), it was time to explore the area and all it had to offer.

The bridge that replaced the suspension bridge

We were edging closer and closer to Tienshang and a sense of fear suddenly began to engulf my body.  Past memories of crossing a very high suspension bridge over rushing water flashed into my mind. During my first visit to Tienshang, some friends and I decided to check out the pagoda located on the opposite side of a very long suspension bridge.  I remembered how the bridge shook and swayed from side to side and then moved up and down under my feet as one of my friends, upon discovering my terrifying fear of heights, jumped on it repeatedly.    Several people were crossing and it seemed like no one heeded to the maximum number of people allowed sign. I recalled freezing with fear half-way across before finding the inner strength to walk briskly across while keeping my eye on solid ground just meters ahead of me.

The Bridge doesn’t look so high!

 As we approached the area, my sense of urgency and fear turned to sighs of relief and relaxation.  The suspension bridge that had cause me so much fear and anxiety in the past was now replaced with a solid bridge.  Crossing over to the pagoda this time was enjoyable and fun. I could concentrate on the views from the pagoda overlooking Tienshang instead of the frightening task of crossing the suspension bridge again.  I absolutely enjoyed the views and the fact that I was on solid ground.  We had the entire side of the bridge to ourselves! And this time round, it didn’t look as high as I remembered it!  I could look down  with ease.  I could enjoy the whole experience.

View from the Pagoda

 We continued to make our way into town and stopped for water and some other bare essentials.  Then we decided to complete one more trail before we headed back to our car.  We made it to half-way towards the waterfall but time was not on our side plus our legs screamed no more so we decided to get back to Tienshang to get the last bus of the day.

The Pagoda
The pagoda

But unfortunately, things don’t always work out as planned!!  Check out my next blog entry about the how we got out of the gorge which proved to be an adventure in itself!

 Have you ever crossed a suspension bridge?  Would crossing one make you weak at the knees or would you consider it a thrill?


5 thoughts on “Worrying for Nothing in Taroko Gorge

  1. Gorgeous photos! I’ve crossed a few suspension bridges and looked down from quite a few mountains. I love the views. They don’t make me nervous unless there are other people around. (I harbor the irrational fear that someone is going to push me off the edge. Probably because my older brother “accidentally” knocked me off his bunkbed when I was three. I cracked my head open on a radiator. Ah, the joy of a large family!) Unfortunately, where there are mountains and views, there are almost always other people around.

    I survive by sitting down or hanging onto a railing or tree whenever possible. Also I look over my shoulder a lot.

    1. I am happy to hear you enjoy heights as sometimes the best vantage points are from up above and looking down. I actually function much better on mountains than in cable cars or on suspension bridges. Maybe the thought of being on solid ground eases my mind!

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