Taroko National Park's Buluowan Shanyue Suspension Bridge to be opened on August 12th 2020
Taroko National Park’s Buluowan Shanyue Suspension Bridge to be opened on August 12th 2020
Online reservations for interpretation services during trial period
The opening ceremony for the Shanyue Suspension Bridge, crossing the Liwu River in Taroko National Park, will be held on August 12th, 2020. Afterwards, the Bridge will commence a trial phase where the public can reserve interpretation services online. These services will be offered twice in the morning and twice in the afternoon daily with a quota of 200 persons per session and 800 persons per day.
At a length of 196 m, a width of 2.5 m, and crossing the Liwu Valley at a height of about 152 m, the entire length of the Shanyue Suspension Bridge is accessible to those with disabilities and is suitable for those with wheelchairs or strollers. The trail has viewing platforms built on both the north and south bank of the suspension bridge, with the south side equipped with a tower that carries the bridge’s load. The distinctive architecture of this southern tower resembles the Chinese character for “moon” (月), which echoes the ambience of the surrounding mountains. As strong winds may blow across the bridge due to the deck crossing the valley at a relatively high elevation, open-structure gridded railings were specially installed on the center of the deck to mitigate wind-induced motion and tremors, thereby increasing the stability of the bridge. From the planning to the construction stages, special attention to safety was given to every project element, and as such, the project was awarded the 2018 Public Works Gold Award for Safety and the 2019 Public Works Gold Award for Quality.
From the deck of the Shanyue Suspension Bridge, visitors are presented with a magnificent panorama that encapsulates the winding eastwards flow of the Liwu River to the west all the way to the Buluowan Meander Core geological formations to the east. At its towering height, this viewpoint provides a brand-new perspective of Taroko Gorge. According to the Taroko National Park Headquarters, although the primary purposes of the Shanyue Suspension Bridge are to mitigate crowd control and to facilitate tourism safety, achieving these purposes in turn will realize further objectives for disaster relief and reduction. Notwithstanding, the suspension bridge also further provides a unique recreational experience and an additional panoramic viewpoint for tourists.
A guided tour format will be implemented during the Shanyue Suspension Bridge’s initial trial period, where a professional interpreter will share in depth with visitors the unique geology and ecology of the Taroko Gorge, and the history of the Shanyue Suspension Bridge. There will be four 45-minute sessions daily at 09:00, 11:00, 13:30, and 15:30, with each session capped at 200 visitors and each day capped at 800 visitors. The online reservation system is expected to be officially launched at 9 am on August 7th, at which reservations can be made for the afternoon of August 12th, and between 3 to 14 days before the intended visit date thereafter. Please make an appointment using the Taroko National Park’s official website.
To ensure the safety of visitors, the Taroko National Park Headquarters highlights the potential for strong winds on the suspension bridge, and that actions and activities such as using umbrellas, running and jumping, and climbing over railings are prohibited. Additionally, please keep watch and do not let go of your belongings. At the same time, because a large crowd is expected to be present at the opening at noon on August 12th, for the safety of tourists, flying drones and aerial photography will not be permitted on and around the Shanyue Suspension Bridge and the surrounding Buluowan Terraces.
The government is actively promoting a “new normal” post-pandemic lifestyle in line with the easing of COVID-19-related restrictions. As it stands, the opening of the Shanyue Suspension Bridge is timely and provides tourists with a new scenic spot. In addition, other attractions such as Yanzikou (Swallow Grotto), Jiuqudong (Tunnel of Nine Turns), Changchun (Eternal Spring) Shrine, and trails such as Shakadang, Baiyang, and Huide are also popular with tourists. In order to prevent overcrowding and to provide tourists with information about the number of people at each scenic spot, the Taroko National Park Headquarters will provide relative estimates of crowd sizes at each scenic spot using green, yellow, or red signage on its official website. The Taroko National Park Headquarters welcomes tourists to visit the Shanyue Suspension Bridge as well as other various scenic spots, and experience Taroko’s natural and cultural attractions.