Monday, May 14, 2012

Another Visit to Pasir Ris Park

Situated just next to Pasir Ris Interchange/MRT and is so accessible, Pasir Ris Park remained one of the park that I visited the most to-date. With the board walk that bring visitor deep into the mangrove area, one can visit mangrove without their leg getting muddy.

It has been raining the whole night and it is still drizzling when I visit the park on Sunday morning.
 This tree must have been struck by lightning!!
Not just one side, but both side of the tree trunk was affected!
With the weather getting hotter, most migratory birds already on their way back to their breeding ground. The park remained as busy with all the resident birds such as this Spotted Dove
Common Flame-Backed Woodpecker
There are lots of flying dragon in the garden too.
 Re-introduced, once extinct orchid was seen blooming on one of the tree trunk - Bulbophylium medusae.
 I cross over to the Boardwalk and lots of Tree Climbing crabs are out for feeding. Tree Climbing crabs are also known as Vinegar crabs as they are pickled in vinegar & black sauce to go with porridge.

Tree Climbing crabs are primarily leaf-eaters and they are known to attack propagules, as such are seen as pets of mangroves. They will also scavenge for  meat if there are any!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Wulai Halfday Tour

Is not an easy task to pick a location for outdoor nature walk in Taiwan if you have few hours to spare! There are so many nice places to go and I ended up travel to Wulai, a small town in Taipei County, famous for its hot springs and aboriginal culture. I rented a transport cum tour guide (6 hours block) from Taipei City and it took me about 45mins to reach Wulai.
Even in Wulai itself, there are quite a lot to cover and is not possible to finish it in one day, I decided to cover just 2 area - the old Wulai street & Neidong Forest.
I only stop here for a waterfall photo shoot on the way to Neidong Forest.
What an impressive waterfall! I can't capture the whole waterfall with my 28mm lens!

 Nice carving near the entrance of Neidong Recreation Forest.
 Map of the forest near the entrance, this give me an idea to plan my route so that I don't miss my transport back to Taipei in 2 hours time.
 After filling up my particulars for insurance purposes, I'm ready to explore this forest!
 Among all the signs, I pay attention to this particular sign - about hornet (Vespa afinis) since they are very active during this period.

If you travel to Taiwan during April/May, you will notice that many part of the park, hill or mountain are cover with 'snow'! Tung Oil tree (Aluerites fordii Hemsi) are very common in Taiwan and they are blooming during April/May. If you miss the Cherry Blossom blooming, this Tung Oil tree bloom immediately after Cherry Blossom. Check out the video below.

 If you are into macro photography, this place will not fail you.

 Minivets are quite common in the forest.
White-bellied Yuhina is another bird that not difficult to spot as they are quite active hunting from branch to branch.
 Endemic to Taiwan, this Black-browed barbet is preparing for next generation!
 The reflection of the sunlight give the stream a very nice colour!
 One of the smaller water falls in the forest.
I like this special built hand washing basin. The water, the wood are all from the forest. A real green innovation.
After quick exploration of the forest, I go to the Wulai Old Street. This is the place famous for its natural hot water springs bath. I have to give it a miss as I have used up my 2 hours slot allocated and go straight to the famous Taiya Po Po (泰雅婆婆美食店) restaurant for my lunch. All the vege sold are organic!

 Other than vegetables, the restaurant also offer fresh water prawns & a very unique 'rice in the bamboo'.
If you are a mushroom lover, you will be happy to get your supplies here too!

This place really worth to come back over and over again!!