After wandering around Nanjhuang, I next got on my rented scooter and headed towards Tai'an. Tai'an is a rural township in the mountains of Eastern Miaoli. Mountains in Taiwan don't mess around, so like many mountain townships, it's not the most convenient place to get to. There's one road, the Miaoli 62, that is decently big and easy to drive that takes you into the area of the township that is centered around the hotspring resorts that bring in tourists. This is the road I planned on using, and which I would highly recommend you use if you just want to pop in and enjoy the hot springs.
Unfortunately, I was waylaid by a mischievous road sign along Road 124 heading south out of central Nanjhuang that led me to believe that it was an alternate route to Tai'an. Now, I can't truthfully say that this sign was all lies and nothing good--it did take me eventually to Tai'an--but I can say that the sign was all half-truths and nothing good. The route it took me through might be alright to drive in a car, or a properly large motorcycle, or perhaps on the back of a donkey with a contingent of sherpas at your disposal, but the route was definitely not fun to drive in a dinky 125 cc scooter with two people on it.
Basically, the road I used--which is so small and minor that its name, if it has one, doesn't even appear on Google maps--wound through the mountains as it made its way south from Road 124 down to Road Miaoli 62. I have never driven up and down so many horribly long and steep inclines in my life. Even the more hilly islands I've traveled to at least, while steep, did not have slopes that continued for so long since the mountains on the islands are more limited in size than those in eastern Miaoli. I'm just really, really glad my brakes didn't give out at any point.
But hey, I saw views like this! Wow!
Here is the town area where the hot springs are. Most of the residents of this township are Atayal, so there were some mosaics by the road showing traditional activities.
That's all for now. More next time!