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Taiwan's Southern Cross-Island Highway revives attractions after long-closed section reopened

Reopening of section comes as welcome news to both regular tourists and alpine hikers

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A sea of clouds seen from the Southern Cross-Island Highway 

A sea of clouds seen from the Southern Cross-Island Highway  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — With the reopening of a section on Taiwan’s Southern Cross-Island Highway (Provincial Highway 20) that had been closed for almost 13 years to repair damage caused by a typhoon, some of the highway’s most popular attractions have once again become abundant with tourists.

The eight most notable attractions along the east-to-west highway include Tianlong Suspension Bridge, Wulu Gorge, Lidao Tribal Village, Motian, Xiangyang National Forest Recreation Area, Yakou, Kuaigu, and Tianchi.

With an elevation of 2,722 meters, Yakou is famous as a spot for viewing the seas of clouds. The Daguanshan Tunnel at Yakou is the highest in the country.

Kuaigu is a forest of giant cypress trees where mist usually hovers. It’s located near the highway’s 141-kilometer mark at an elevation of 2,454 m.

Tianchi is a high-altitude pond just a short distance from the 135-km mark of the highway, nestled in the mountains about 2,300 meters above sea level.

The reopening of the section of highway from Tianchi to Xiangyang is welcome news not only to regular tourists but also to alpine hikers, who now have easy access to the trailheads of three of Taiwan's "100 Peaks": Kuhanosinshan, Taguanshan, and Guanshanlingshan.

Traffic control is being enforced on the conditionally opened section between Meishankou and Xiangyang from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. five days a week. It is still closed every Tuesday and Thursday, according to the Directorate General of Highways.

Taiwan's Southern Cross-Island Highway revives attractions after long-closed section reopened
A sea of clouds seen from the Southern Cross-Island Highway. (CNA photo)

Taiwan's Southern Cross-Island Highway revives attractions after long-closed section reopened
Kuaigu (CNA photo)

Taiwan's Southern Cross-Island Highway revives attractions after long-closed section reopened
Lidao Tribal Village (CNA photo)

Taiwan's Southern Cross-Island Highway revives attractions after long-closed section reopened
Wulu Gorge (CNA photo)