#LDlifehacks: Getting to Long Dong

Most people who have been commuting from Taipei to Long Dong will be well-acquainted with the Kuokuang Long Distance Bus 1811 & 1812. They runs five times daily departing from Taipei Main Station and terminate in Yilan.

Departure time at Taipei Main Station (exact location here):

1811 – 8:50, 10:20, 17:40, 20:20
1812 – 14:20

So what happens if the buses are full, or you miss your bus?

Here are two alternatives for you to consider:

Option 1: Take TRA Train to Keelung & transfer to Bus 791

  1. Walk to Bus Stop “Keelung Station (Renxiang Clinic)” (exact location here)
  2. Take Bus 791 towards Fulong (福隆)*, travel time: approx. 45min
  3. Get off at Longdonggang stop (龍洞港) – closest bus stop to School Gate

Bus 791
Estimated arrival time at Keelung Train Station (Renxiang Clinic)

Weekdays

Sat, Sun & National Holidays

5:00

5:20

5:20

5:50

5:55

6:30

6:30

7:40

7:10

8:45

7:41

9:25

8:30

9:50

9:12

10:30

10:12

11:08

11:12

11:50

12:12

12:30

13:10

13:10

14:08

13:50

14:52

14:32

15:38

15:08

16:40

16:17

17:10

17:17

18:13

18:13

19:17

19:17

20:12

20:12

21:40

21:40

*Time of arrival at bus stop estimated from official bus schedule here

Reminder:
Make sure you’re taking 791 towards Fulong, NOT 791 towards “Country Xincheng” (國家新城)!



Option 2: Take TRA Train 
to Rueifang & transfer to Bus 856

Take the TRA train to Rueifang Train Station, the closest train station to LD, then hop onto the Golden Fulong Shuttle Bus 856.

Screen Shot 2018-01-23 at 21.31.30

Train schedule from Taipei Main Station to Rueifang Train Station from 6am to 8am (https://www.railway.gov.tw/en/index.aspx)

Screen Shot 2018-01-23 at 20.49.54

Bus 856 weekend schedule, including national holidays (http://www.gold-fulong.com.tw/en/Default.aspx)

The first bus departs Ruifang at 8am, goes up to the mountains to Jiufen before it hits the coast at Yiyang Sea (yes the bay with contrasting hues of blue and yellow, resembling the Yin & Yang symbol ☯️) and continues on the Coastal Highway towards LD.

The great news is Bus 856 now stops at Longdonggang stop (龍洞港), the closest bus stop to School Gate parking since August 2017. The bus schedules above are not updated with the new bus stop addition but Longdonggang is in between LD Bay Ocean Park and LD Four Seasons Bay.

The entire bus ride from Ruifang to Longdonggang takes about 40min. The bus comes every 30min on weekends, and every hour on weekdays. A pretty good option if you want to get some breakfast or pack lunch from Ruifang before making your way to the crags. Ruifang has a quite a bustling day market scene, more on that in future posts 😉

Reminders:

  1. It is recommended that you take this option only when you’re taking Bus 856 before 10am. The traffic towards Jiufen through the mountains could be crazy with tour coaches and tourists who usually turn up around late morning!
  2. To get to LD/Jiufen, board Bus 856 at Bus Stop B (see map below). This is NOT the bus stop (Bus Stop A) right in front of the train station.
856 bus stop

Get on Bus 856 from Bus Stop B

Advertisements

#LDlifehacks: The Taiwan Bus App

Don’t travel around Taiwan without the Taiwan Bus App! Although named as a “bus app”, the application provides useful information for various modes of transport islandwide from time schedules of the MRT, railway trains and buses to the actual quantity of U-bikes at a specific location. And the most important thing is, it is finally available in English! C-O-O-L!

fullsizeoutput_2d3d

Introducing the Taiwan Bus App

There are no U-bike stations around Long Dong (I’ve seen some random bikes lying along the coast somehow), but LD is easily accessible by buses, directly from Taipei or from train stations like Ruifang & Keelung. Read more about getting to LD from Ruifang from my previous post here.

fullsizeoutput_2d3c

Buses that I have saved, basically all the buses that come to our village!

The Taiwan Bus App gives real time of bus arrivals, reducing waiting time and enabling us to manage time more efficiently. It works only on mobiles with data, or where you can get wifi, and I personally feel that it’s worth getting data for this purpose (unless you decide to hitch-hike, which is totally cool too!).

fullsizeoutput_2d40

Bus arrivals in real time. Nice!

Longdong Port or Longdonggang stop (龍洞港) is the closest bus stop to the North Parking Area, the parking before School Gate. Cross the road, take the flight of stairs down to the back of the Ho-Mei Village (和美村) and keep walking along the driveway towards Ho-Mei Elementary School (和美國小). This is the most common way climbers take to go climbing at School Gate and beyond, even all up to Second Cave.

To get to Golden Valley and Back Door, take the Long Dong Cape Bay Trail (龍洞岬灣步道) which begins at the side of Ho-Mei Elementary School. The trail is paved with stoned steps and you will find yourself gaining elevation and end up at the top of the crags (awesome view!). After passing two vista points, walk another 100 to 200m and you’ll see a dirt trail on your left that leads you down to the coast. The trail has a clear path but may be hidden in the bushes. You will find warning signs of seasonal “Freak Waves (瘋狗浪)” at the start of this trail. This is the same way fishermen take to get to the coast.

IMG_0735

Freaky freak waves!

To go to Back Door, walk to the end of the paved trail and it will lead you to the South Parking Area which is equipped with restrooms. You will see another vista point, go around it and make your way down with care.

For climbers who are going to LD from Keelung and Bivy, Bus 791 brings you to both Longdong Port or Longdonggang stop and Fozu Temple stop, which actually refers to Hsilingyan Temple (西靈巖寺)at the South Parking Area. The bus stop is just 5 min away from the parking, a fast and convenient way to get to Golden Valley and Back Door.

fullsizeoutput_2d3f

Download The Taiwan Bus App for free at https://itunes.apple.com/tw/app/taiwan-bus/id1163101845?l=en&mt=8. It seems like it is currently available only for iPhones, let me know if you find anything else!

Some reminders:

  1. At times you may notice the next bus timing suddenly “disappear”, and the bus app shows the arrival time for the next bus (in 98min time!). Calm down and take a deep breath, chances are there are some hiccups in the system and the bus will still turn up at the same timing you noted.
  2. Press the bell early before you alight. The buses go really quick and you don’t want to miss your stop!

P.S. For guests staying at The Bivy, if you would like to see more of the surrounding, it is entirely possible to walk to LD! There is a walkway along the coast and from The Bivy it takes about 30min to get to North Parking Area. At times you may find our doggie Chongchong following you, she knows LD pretty well and could possibly show you the way 😉

IMG_0636

Introducing Chongchong, The Bivy’s greeter & security/bouncer