It was a lazy weekend and we were bored out of our skulls. We had no energy to do hiking, so we were searching for easier alternatives than forcing our knees climbing rocks. We heard about this Batcave (蝙蝠洞) in Taiping City, which is less than 1 hour motorcycle ride from Taichung. When I first heard about the Batcave, what came in my mind was a batcave like in Batman comics. An underground dark cathedral with stalagtites and bats perching on its ceiling, eyeing you.
What this batcave actually was a network of old water tunnels that were built during the Japanese colonial time. The water had long been shifted to a larger canal, leaving the old tunnels abandoned, in which the bats started to call these tunnels their home.
the entrance to the cave
The cave was perhaps only 50 metres long. But it was pitch black inside. The width of the cave would only fit an average size person and not to mention it was very damp, it made the cave looked like a seemingly endless labyrinth. Our only help was a flashlight from a mobile phone. Inside the pitch black cave was a strange experience as we could hear people who were on the outside of the cave, and even above the cave. We heard children laughing and running, as well as people chatting. We could hear several Taiwanese went inside the cave. But they only walked for few metres before they returned to the entrance.
It took about 20 minutes to explore the cave, in which we only walk along the tunnel, cursing once in while because our shoes got wet from the puddles on the ground. We passed 2 openings where we could whiff some fresh air.
Finally we reached the exit where we had to climb a rope to get down. It was only about 1 metres high, but since it was very steep and slippery you would need the rope to help you get out.
So that was the mini manmade batcave. Although the experience was quite blahh, it was enough to scare little children and enough to make cute Taiwanese girls cling harder on their boyfriends. But the small garden outside the batcave had a nice statue of the legendary Old Man Under The Moon.
After that we were still looking for some place else to go, so we continued to ride uphill. We saw a sign that pointed to a “Fairy Waterfall” and decided to take a look. It seemed that we lost our way because we ended up on a dirt road. We continued riding along the road, which lead us to a loquat plantation at the peak of the hill. It was an ugly looking plantation as the farmer seemed to let plastic fertilizer sacks lying everywhere on the ground. A lot was even mixed with the dirt.
So we went back and decided to take a rest next to a small river. It was okay, as there was a small, miniature even, waterfall. We dubbed it our “eventual fairy waterfall” as it was big enough compare to those little fairies.
We went back to the city. It wasn’t like what we expected, but a good day nonetheless. Here are some of the things we passed by: