Sunday, June 16, 2013

Formosan Macaque Park in Dakeng

For the last two years, our home lies in a community that nestles up to the Dakeng Scenic Area. Drives home in the afternoon can be peaceful as the city falls behind and green slowly overtakes the scenery. Audrey and I spent many mornings running on the roads that lead up to the first trailhead. There are four main trails in this area and they are joined by a ridge trails. At various times, my path has been crossed by a Formosan Macaque but we have never visited the area where they are known to congregate. As our time rapidly comes to an end, we decided to check out this "park".

A few hanging out on a log
 A write-up of the park can be found here, but the general story is that this man known as Uncle Guo began laying out food for the monkeys and they started to hang-out in this area. There are no fences or cages so these guys and girls can check-out whenever they want.

Xian and Sage were completely fascinated! The scene was not one or two macaques strolling about but big families. We must have seen over 40 hanging out. There were little babies, toddlers, teenagers, a couple big males and lots of moms.

The back side of the red object is a mirror.
To get to this park, drive up to Trail #4 of the Dakeng Scenic Area. This is the one that hosts a Boy Scout Camp and a firefly garden. There are several signs with arrows and monkeys that make it easy to navigate the turns. At one point, you round a bend and find yourself on a typical Taiwanese back-country road: steep hill, barely wide enough for a car and a curve at the top. It's OK, just keep going and you will soon cross a creek and arrive at the park. Admission was 60ntd for adults.

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