Well, most of the travelers who visit Taiwan will set Taitung as the destination, either for the endless view of ocean or the spontaneous scenery of the mountains. There are many famous mountains in Taitung. Among these mountains, you must put “Chiaming Lake” on your must-travel list. People who have been to Chiaming Lake say that this is one of the most WORTHWHILE trip in their life. Want to visit Chiaming Lake? There are something you need to know before you make the visit!
｜THE MYSTERY OF CHIAMING LAKE
Since the Ice Age, Taitung owns a rare treasure on the earth, a tarn(cirque lake) called Chiaming Lake. The secluded Chiaming Lake shines every day under the light, like the tears of angel, that’s why Chiaming Lake is also known as “Angel’s Tears”. Not only famous for its quiet atmosphere and natural scenery, but also because its unique geographical environment which has derived many mysterious legends and stories.
Due to the height of Chiaming Lake is high and the climate changes rapidly, there will always be clouds surrounding it. Even a professional climber may get lost. But that’s why Chiaming Lake is so charming. The elusive mountain scenery of Chiaming Lake will be totally different as long as the temperature, humidity or sunshine changes a little. The misty and dreamy picture of the lake makes people feel like coming to the paradise. Even after watching the photos of Chiaming Lake many times before climbing, the moment once you saw it, you still felt infinitely moved from the bottom of your heart : “Here I really came to the front of Chiaming Lake.”
Located on the second section of the Central Mountain Range, Chiaming Lake is the second highest mountain lake in Taiwan. If you want to explore this beautiful place, there are two ways for you.
▸Driving by yourself：First, take the No. 9 line to Chishang Township and turn to the 20th line (about 5km), then go right to the 20th line to the Xiangyang National Forest Recreation Area (about 154.5km), and finally got the trail. You can start climbing through the pathway.
▸Registration of mountaineering groups：In recent years, there are more and more people interested in mountaineering in Taiwan, but for novices, physical training is very exhausting. You can participate in mountaineering groups with transportation and professional coaches. The mountaineering group is more divided in terms of convenience and safety.
If you want to enjoy the amazing scenery, you must do a lot of homework before you go. Though the trail length is only 13 kilometers long, the altitude is more than 3300 meters. Weather and environmental changes usually happens. Besides, the altitude of the sudden rise may also makes people feel uncomfortable. More seriously, some might get AMS(Altityde sickness, Acute mountain sickness).
Followings are the introduction of the trail condition start from Chiaming Lake hiking gate, Chiaming Lake hut to the final destination, Chiaming Lake.
▸Chiaming Lake hiking gate-Siangyang hut：This is a relatively gentle and smooth section in the whole trail. But as a novice with equipment, the uphill section is still tiring.
▸Siangyange hut-Chiaming Lake hut：This part is very steep. On the way, the altitude rises and there are some broken stone roads. You must pay more attention to your safety while enjoying the scenery along the road.
▸Chiaming Lake hut-Chiaming Lake：There are more downhill sections, so the return journey is the most tiring.
In general, the complete trip of Chiaming Lake mountaineering is the round-trip to the hiking trail of Siangyange hiking gate to Chiaming Lake. Most of them are 3 days trip. However, in order to reduce the physical and psychological stress of the novice climbers, many people will adjust the itinerary to 4 days. Because there are more time for adjusting the physical and psychological conditions, and you can enjoy the beauty of Taitung’s secret paradise, Chiaming Lake.
The adjustment part is at the return journey. People will slow down their pace and stay in the Chiaming Lake hut for another night. Though the equipment is lighter, the route of Chiaming Lake to the hut is steeper than coming and is constantly uphill along the route. It will be very exhausted. In the case of novice climbers carrying equipment and adapting to AMS, it is not advisable to go for a long distance journey at one time. Stay for another day can let novice climbers adjust themselves.
｜THINGS ABOUT CHIAMING LAKE HUT
You don’t need to get a mountain permit before going to the hiking trail, but you must apply for accommodation in Siangyange hut and Chiaming Lake hut.
▸Charging(per bed)：NT$600 for weekends(Friday, Saturday and the day before holidays till the end of the holidays)/NT$400 for weekdays
▸Requirements：Make the application 45 days to 8 days before the accommodation. The limit on the number of people is 2-11 people, you can team up with others.
-First stage：Make the application through the website during the period. You will be notified by email if your application is approved.
-Third stage：During the period from the 7th to the 29th before the accommodation, remaining beds will be drawn at 3 pm every day. The results will be showed on the website and you will be notified by email.
There are also camp accommodations. For more information, please visit the official website.
▸Q1：Which season is suitable for climbing to Chiaming Lake?
To avoid the heavy rain, the peak season for climbing is from October to April. Before the mountaineering, it is necessary to confirm the weather conditions, so as to avoid the tyrannical rain and the danger.
▸Q2：Is there an age limit for the Chiaming Lake mountaineering?
Due to the difficulty of the hiking route, and consider to the high altitude may occur AMS, there is an age limit of 18 years old to 65 years old.
▸Q3：Is Chiaming Lake mountaineering suitable for novices?
It’s not recommended to choose Chiaming Lake mountaineering as your first try for climbing. Because it needs to carry about 10 kilograms of heavy equipment. Besides, there are some steep slopes or rising sections which are quite dangerous for novices. If you are a first-time traveler, you must take a physical and weight training class before you participate in.
▸Q4：What can I do for the physical training?
Physical training is VERY IMPORTANT before going to Chiaming Lake. It’s recommended to start from the simple exercise of fast walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, and then gradually progress to the key training of each part, mainly to improve the function of muscles and heart and lungs. Don’t forget to get a weight training. You need to be prepared in all aspects before challenge!
▸Q5：What should I bring?
Since it’s an overnight trip, you need to bring the equipment from shoes, warm clothing, first-aid supplies to sleeping bags. Food, cooking gas and water are things you must carried by yourself, too. So, check the equipment carefully before departure.
▸Q6：How to prevent and handle the condition of AMS(Acute Mountain Sickness)?
Generally, 10-20% of people will have some mild symptoms of AMS. What you need to do are drink more water and take some rest until your body adapt the environment. If you stay up late or have a bad health before departure, it’s strongly recommended to buy some Acetazolamide 250mg (Danmus). But be sure to consult a professional pharmacist for professional advisement.
There are 2 obvious symptoms for AMS, once you or your partners have these symptoms, stop climbing immediately and called the guide for help.
●Dizziness / Headache / Head swelling
●Weakness / Nausea/ Vomiting/ Can’t breath after a rest/ Insomnia
Hope you get more understanding about Chiaming Lake after reading this article! There are many beautiful mountains in Taiwan are waiting for you to visit. Though the trip might be difficult and exhausted, you will get an inexplicable touch after enjoy the breathtaking scenery. That touch is definitely worth for pursuing.
Editor : Lemon@ReadyGo
Thanks to IG@l.t.y__ for photos sharing.