The following day, for rock climbing, we needed to make our way out to Long Dong on Taiwan’s northeast coast. Long Dong, meaning Dragon Cave, is 35km from Taipei and can be reached by car in around 1 hour. Even after this relatively short drive the city is left behind and you will find yourself in the quiet fishing village of Homei. A public bus can be taken to Long Dong from the Taipei Main Railway Station but I was lucky enough to be travelling with some Mandarin speaking friends who had arranged a car. A friend and I had chosen to climb just one day before returning to the city but the others had found some accommodation near the elementary school in the village. From here the crags can be accessed by walking to the far end of the jetty and following the red arrows painted on the rocks.
As with any sort of outdoor climbing trip you need to be experienced, own all the correct equipment and obtain the guide book so that you know what you are climbing! Alternatively you could hire a local guide but you still need to have climbing experience or you will probably find it too difficult. The first section of bolted sport climbing was around a 10 minute walk from the jetty, following the red arrows over large boulders. As we rounded the corner and caught sight of the Pacific Ocean against the clear blue sky we were all grinning from ear to ear. Added to this the rock looked amazing and we were all set for a great day of climbing.
This is actually one of the nicest climbing locations I have been too. The only danger seemed to come in the form of some local wasps and a very real risk of sunburn as there was next to no shade. These wasps were very large, around 5cm in length with equally proportional stingers, and I’m not exaggerating! Thankfully, due to their size you could hear them coming as they buzzed along and they didn’t seem too interested in us, just be careful and consider wearing dark colours so you look less like a flower.