Summer Fun: Liouguei's Whitewater Rafting Revival
◎English translation: Tan You-yi
◎Photos by Siao Meng-cyu
With the sweltering summer heat, it is the perfect time of year to enjoy water activities. Whitewater rafting is one of Taiwan's most popular and exciting choices for families and friends who are looking for fun outdoor activities to do together. One of the best places to do this is in Liouguei, Kaohsiung. The Laonong River flows through the district, being one of only two whitewater rafting destinations in Taiwan. The best time to go is after the monsoon season, making the river basin is more abundant. The route takes visitors past unique forests, badlands and beautiful rock formations.
The source of Taiwan's Laonong River originates at Jade Mountain. The aboriginal people know it as Laku Laku, which means "fierce and unpredictable waters". The river flows through some breathtaking landscapes, from Taoyuan's Meishan to the Taiwan's South Cross Highway.
During Typhoon Morakot, the Laonong River was seriously damaged, forcing the local tourism industry to come to a devastating halt. Reconstruction took 7 years of hard work and now local rafting companies are able to bring this beloved water activity back to the region. Laonong River differs from the Hsiukuluan River, as it provides a more relaxing and scenic experience for visitors.
Many people are nervous the first time trying whitewater rafting; however, every trip is escorted by lifeguards and is such an exciting activity, thus visitors always come back to do it again. There are also good safety policies in place that visitors must follow in order to ensure their wellbeing. Laonong River rafting begins at Tulongwan Waterside Park and ends at Eighteen Arhats Mountain. The whole experience takes about 1.5 hours, along a 12 kilometer long route, with the highest and lowest points being 65 meters apart. It is indeed a memorable experience for anyone that gets the chance to try.