Hard to imagine that vibrant Kerala, the state where the perennially-busy Kochi airport which is home to Air India Express is located, was once relatively little-known as a tourist destination, taking a backseat to Delhi, Jaipur and Agra. That’s all history now as Kerala is but obviously holding its own when it comes to drawing tourists with over 10 million flocking every year. But it’s nice to know that even a popular state as Kerala still has its relatively off-the-beaten track destinations, places with a lot less tourists per square feet.
With only an hour’s drive from Taipei, Yangmingshan is one of the favorite getaways from the city, especially during summer time. Yangmingshan National Park is one of the nine national parks in Taiwan. It is the only national park in Taiwan that has a volcanic geography and hot springs. The elevation may be low at 200-1100 meters above sea level but is endowed with magnificent landscape, breathtaking valleys, scenic hills, waterfalls and hot springs. If one does not have much time to go around for adventurous hikes, these places below can be enough to fill your Yangmingshan experience for a day or two.
A sprawling 1120 hectare of land situated on the lower part of the mighty Magat River in Cagayan Valley has been converted into an eco-park, descriptively named Lower Magat Eco Tourism Park of LMET. The eco-park is under the municipality of Diadi, north of Nueva Vizcaya, already bounded by Isabela and Ifugao provinces. This was our playground after covering the Ammungan Festival’s Street Dancing for that day. A much deserved brief respite at the heart of a forest.
This plankwalk spanning 3.5km seems to have become part of the primary forest eco-system already having been built more than a decade ago. I can’t help but stop ever so often as we were headed to Niah Cave located inside the Niah National Park in Miri, to look closely at the many critters, like the millipedes, the bugs and slugs that have seem to have found this wooden walkway as their home. On what should have been less-than-an-hour hike, took longer as we marvel at the unsullied forest. What more of the cave that lay ahead?