Shoushan Hiking Trails Night Tour
As the scorching hot sun sets, and the curtain of night falls, Shoushan National Nature Park becomes a refreshing and pleasant option for adventurous explorers. Visitors can wear headlamps and enter forests full of monkeys, experiencing a side of Kaohsiung entirely different from the stunning scenery visible during the day.
“The most fascinating aspect of nighttime observation is that, no matter how many times you go up the mountain, you'll encounter different creatures,” says Makadao Guide Association member Liao De-song, his words sparking sightseers' expectations.
Soon after setting out from the Longcyuan Temple Trailhead to explore the nighttime ecological paradise that is North Shoushan, Mr. Liao points his flashlight at a large and intact spider's web. “This spider sleeps during the day and comes out at night to make webs. It's like a ghost, so it's called Neoscona punctigera [orb-weaver spider],” he says.
We see two large African Land Snails mating while a black slug (Vaginulus alte) slowly moves forward. Walking stick insects cling to branches that sway gently in the wind. Because they are masters of camouflage, it is difficult to distinguish them from the branches. On the wooden-plank track, a specimen of Thelyphonida (also known as a whip scorpion or vinegaroon) passes by; it resembles a scorpion but is not venomous.
Visiting North Shoushan is like watching a reality show on the Animal Planet TV channel. From the hiking trail, the observant can see an abundance of natural wonders and nocturnal ecological treasures. It is an eye-opening experience likely to inspire a return visit.
The 228 Peace Memorial Park adjacent to Shoushan Zoo is where South Shoushan begins. Brightly-lit nearby buildings resemble glittering jewels on black velvet. Stepping onto the hiking trail via the stairs next to Jhongsing Pavilion, nature's orchestra soon becomes audible. Amid the frogs and toads, Mecopoda elongata (bush crickets) and katydids can be heard calling. Arriving at the viewing platform adjacent to Siangsih Pavilion, there are panoramic views of Siaoguei Mountain, Mount Banping, Chang-Gu World Trade Center, and E-Da World's Ferris Wheel.
From Ciman Rest Area, the Dream Mall Ferris Wheel, Kaohsiung Music Center, and other landmarks are to be admired. The city is full of lights, a manmade Milky Way that spills across the metropolis. It is no wonder that people embrace this nighttime scenery, cooled by gentle breezes and soothed by the chirping sounds of insects.
• North Shoushan (Longcyuan Temple Trailhead) 北壽山登山口(龍泉寺登山口)
Next to the Chinese Buddhist Temple Association
• South Shoushan Trailhead 南壽山登山口
At the intersection of Wanshou Rd. and Jhangshou Rd.
Makadao Guide Association
Tel：0932-742-037 (Guide Liao De-song)