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As your train follows the North Link Railway around the coast, you will see mountains on one side and azure seas on the other in an enchanting tableau of natural splendor. Along the way you will experience the changes and turns of nature's handiwork. After the train rolls onto the Lanyang Plain your eyes will be filled with emerald green rice fields and, Turtle Island in the distance. Once you pass through Su'ao the scenery racing by your window will change drastically, and majestic mountains and deep blue waters will immediately appear.
Besides enjoying the scenery of the Northeast Coast and the Lanyang Plain as you travel the North Link Railway, you will also find stupendous attractions at the Qilan Forest Recreation Area and the Taipingshan Forest Recreation Area. In these recreation areas you can experience natural beauty and "green showers," and relax in the soothing waters of hot mineral springs as well.
The Taipingshan Forest Recreation Area encompasses the Renze Hot Springs, Lantai Nursery, Primeval Forest Park, Mt. Duli (Independence Mountain) Wildlife Preserve, and Cuifeng Lake, among other scenic attractions. The area between the forest park and Mt. Duli is especially favored for viewing the sunrise, the sea of clouds, and, in season, the snow. The Renze Hot Springs produce carbonic water that is colorless and odorless, and feels slippery on the skin. Take the nearby forest trail if you want to watch birds or enjoy a "green shower."
The tiered Mt. Qilan nursery grows mainly Formosan red cypress seedlings but also offers the enjoyment of other flowers and trees, pathways amidst cherries, peaches, and other flowering trees, a "green shower" trail, 14 different aerobic exercise devices, a "Little Tarzan" forest challenge area, and an European-style villa along with wooden cottages for comfortable guest accommodation (please reserve rooms a week ahead of time). Don't forget to sample the unique taste of locally grown monkey-head mushrooms. You can order them in the villa's restaurant.
The giant tree area here is the only old-growth stand of Formosan red cypress trees left in Yilan County. Most of the trees are sky-piercing behemoths more than 1,000 years old, and some of the 51 giants (a few of which are Taiwan cypress) are more than double that age. A number of the trees have been named for ancient notaries who lived about the time the trees sprouted; there is a Confucius tree, for example, and one named after the Tang emperor Tai Zong.