Tianti (Sky Ladder)
entrance to Tianti
Nantou Jhushan's Tianti (Sky Ladder) & Bagua Tea Garden
By Niang Chen Translated by Ann Lee
Tianti (a.k.a. "Sky Ladder") is located in Da-an Village (Da-an li), in Nantou county's Jhushan township. To get there, take National Freeway No. 3, get off at the Jhushan interchange, and follow route 3 (台3線) into the heart of Jhushan city. When you reach Nantou's Route 49 "Shiang" spur, connect straight onto the Route 49-1 "Shiang" spur road and look for a sign that says "Tianti Suspension Bridge". Once you drive througha row of green bamboo, you'll find yourself at the entrance to Tianti, where there's an admission fee of NT$50.
The name Tianti originates from the fact that it sits astride the Tai Ji Valley like a ladder, although it's really a 136-meter-long suspension bridge. It has a total of 208 steps and, when you view it from afar, it resembles a ladder from the sky into the valley, connecting the sky and earth--a sight which inspires the imagination.
Walking across Tianti can also take you to Yufu Suspension Bridge, from which you get a complete look at Tianti. Or you can take the small road which leads directly to Qinglong Waterfall. When you stand on top of the waterfall, looking down the valley, you'll see river rapids flowing through rows of huge rocks, plus the renowned Fei Lai Shi (a very big, well-known rock) sitting within the valley walls. This enormous rock is inundated with creek water, giving it a shiny, smooth surface. At the end of the walkway, there's yet another gorgeous mountain and grass area.
Tianti and Bagua Tea Garden are quite close to each other so, if you're keen on tasting some fragrant, locally-grown tea, head back to the Route 49 "Shiang" road and connect to the Route 149 county highway. There are many narrow mountain roads here, so keep especially alert for the sign indicating "Bagua Tea Garden" to get there.
Bagua Tea Garden is an attractive place where visitors will find a large expanse of green tea bushes, resembling a thick, fluffy green blanket covering the grounds. The tea plants surround the mountains and on a map resemble a Taoist "bagua" symbol, resulting in the name of this famous tea garden, which actually belongs to the Hong-Yi Tea Making Factory. There are a good number of tea factories located in this mountainous area and you'll see tea plantations almost everywhere you go. Thus, when you reach the top of the mountain, look carefully for the sign that says "Hong-Yi Tea Making Factory" to reach your destination.
Left: Tai Ji Valley
Right: Fei Lai Shi