Fulong Hiking Guide / by Josiah Edbrooke

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Fulong

Hiking Guide

A short little route around the beach to avoid the crowds (mostly)

Ola folks! Sorry for the lack of content over the last week or so. Life has been fairly busy with odds and ends, and the weather here in Taiwan has not been cooperating at all. Two weeks of rain and grey skies pretty much! not exactly ideal! Anywho this little guide covers Fulong beach. For a long time I had always heard from friends and seen pictures of Fulong, but never had the time to check it out. It's suitable for all fitness levels and well worth the day trip to visit!

Upon visiting I found it to be a nice little spot, although on weekends and during the sand sculpture competition it gets incredibly busy. But if you go off the beaten track a bit you can find some nice little compositions and quiet areas of the beach. As soon as you arrive at the train station the crowds start to mass and head down the main path to the beach. The problem is that this can lead to long queues getting on to the tiny cordoned off section of the beach. The main bridge over here is only single file space back and forth, which leads to large crowds. Not exactly the definition of a relaxing day out at the beach! 

Instead of following the crowd like a bunch of sheep, hook a left at the crossing and head towards the large park. You can also hire bikes close to the entrance here, I didn't this time as it was incredibly hot, but I can see it being fun to cruise around this area in spring or autumn when the weather has cooled down slightly. It can be easy to get lost in this area, but in this case I think it's a good thing! there are lots of little view points and unexpected pictures you'll be able to find here. While exploring I stumbled upon a nice viewpoint that gave a good panoramic view of the whole beach! 

 The Fulong sand sculpture competition. f7.1, ISO 200, 1/500, 24mm

The Fulong sand sculpture competition. f7.1, ISO 200, 1/500, 24mm

 The main attraction. f7.1, ISO 200, 1/400, 100mm

The main attraction. f7.1, ISO 200, 1/400, 100mm

 The left side of the beach. f7.1, ISO 200, 1/500, 100mm

The left side of the beach. f7.1, ISO 200, 1/500, 100mm

 Dew drops on the grass. f6.3, ISO 500, 1/100, 86mm

Dew drops on the grass. f6.3, ISO 500, 1/100, 86mm

The path winds it's way around the park through fairly dense forest, just keep following the signposts to get to Longmendiao bridge. There was a locked gate at one point but it was incredibly easy to walk around it no problem. It might have been tricker if I had been on a bike but not impossible by any stretch of the imagination. The bridge here is far quieter and makes for some nice (if somewhat cliche) BnW photos. 

 Longmendiao bridge. f10, ISO 200, 1/160, 24mm

Longmendiao bridge. f10, ISO 200, 1/160, 24mm

 Alignment. f10, ISO 200, 1/100, 24mm

Alignment. f10, ISO 200, 1/100, 24mm

 Looking towards Longmendiao towards Fulong. f10, ISO 200, 1/160, 100mm

Looking towards Longmendiao towards Fulong. f10, ISO 200, 1/160, 100mm

 A wide view of the beach and ocean. f10, ISO 200, 1/160, 24mm

A wide view of the beach and ocean. f10, ISO 200, 1/160, 24mm

After crossing the bridge, the path leads to the beach, where you can either keep walking left, or forge your own path onto the beach. Even though this was only a short 5 min walk from the main bridge, everyone stayed cramped together in the tiny section right next to the sculptures. Personally being stuck in a cramped and hot space, with a bunch of people getting in my personal space is my personal hell! So I would recommend anyone wanting to escape the crush of the main area at Fulong, follow this route to get your own spot on the beach. The beach here is actually pretty long, meaning there is plenty of space to park it and enjoy the sound of the ocean on your own! 

 One of my fav captures! a little dude chilling. f10, ISO 500, 1/100, 83mm

One of my fav captures! a little dude chilling. f10, ISO 500, 1/100, 83mm

 Sun, Sea & Blue Skies. f11, ISO 200, 1/200, 24mm

Sun, Sea & Blue Skies. f11, ISO 200, 1/200, 24mm

 tidal reflections. f11, ISO 200, 1/60, 24mm

tidal reflections. f11, ISO 200, 1/60, 24mm

From here, I decided to walk back towards the sand sculpture to see what the fuss was all about, and to my surprise there were no checks or tickets required from this side. I walked in with no problem, entirely bypassing the crowds, queues and crush at the main bridge. The sculptures were actually pretty impressive, they must have taken long time construct them. 

Some of the bigger sculptures made a nice contrast with backdrop of the incoming stormy sky. I ended up converting quite a few of the pictures from that day to BnW. The sky lent itself nicely to a moody atmosphere I felt. The beach here is fairly long, so it's easy to go for a wander and find these little reflections and dramatic sky that are worth photographing. 

 Stormy Skies. f11, ISO 200, 1/160, 50mm

Stormy Skies. f11, ISO 200, 1/160, 50mm

 King of the castle. f11, ISO 200, 1/80, 30mm

King of the castle. f11, ISO 200, 1/80, 30mm

In summary, I would say Fulong is a pretty place to visit if you are craving the seaside after being stuck in Taipei! It's a full on day trip just to get there though, either by train or car. I would suggest taking the train as you cut out the risk of traffic, but in saying that you never know what cool sights you might see on the route over if you drive there. It takes about 3 hours getting there from Taipei, so pack some snacks for the ride! There is some local food around the town area, but I spend most of the time photographing and exploring. 

I hope this helps anyone thinking of visiting Fulong! 

Until next time!

Sy Edbrooke ^^