On my bike ride across the Northern Cross Island Highway I passed by the turn off to Lala Shan (拉拉山), just after Baling (巴陵). On Saturday I returned to the area again, this time via motorcycle, and visited Lala Shan. It is just as well that I didn’t make the detour on my bicycle. While the horizontal distance from Lower Baling is not so great, the vertical distance is. The road goes up and up and up. The photo above shows the view from about half way up.
The air was noticeably cooler up at altitude. Eventually we reached the car park and then set out to walk around the stand of ancient cypress trees. The trees are numbered and the signs also show the height, girth and age of the tree.
Only a few of the trees are tall and straight. The gnarled base of this tree has stood the test of time though.
This tree reaches for the sky.
Towards the end of the walk we reached tree 21. For those who don’t read Chinese the sign says, Tree 21, 55 metres high, 14 metres girth and 2,700 years old. It is incredible to imagine that this tree was already well established at the time of Shakyamuni Buddha. It must have survived several thousand typhoons. The forest and old trees at Lala Shan are really amazing and well worth a visit.