Attraction 燕子崖 Meishan Township,Chiayi County, Taiwan 603 Published on: 13-11-2015
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Why Rueili Scenic Area Swallow Cliff is special ?
Rueili Scenic Spot is located in Meishan Township, Chiayi County, with an elevation above sea level of 1000 to 1200 meters or so. The Rueili Village was called the “Young Leaf Forest” because there were so many “Young Leaf” trees that they became forests. It was renamed Rueili when the Japanese ruled over here. The famous “Rueili Eight Landscapes” are located on two hiking routes: one is between Rueili and Jiaoliping, including the Yun Pond Waterfall, the Swallow Cliff, the Thousand-Year Bat Cave, and the Youth Mountain, and most of them are near the old Rueili Hotel.
The second landscape is an outstanding cliff, the “Swallow Cliff”. The cliff surface is full of horizontal stripes due to obvious wind erosion and is full of fine and organized holes. Many swallows come to build nests for that reason, so it got the name.
What to explore at Rueili Scenic Area Swallow Cliff?
This cliff is about 40m wide with two uneven parallel lines at the top, and a sunken cliff of about 2m high at the bottom. Horizontal lines are clearly seen on the wall of the convex cliff as a result of weathering, and there are neatly lined small holes on the surface where swallows nested. There is a pass under the cliff. Water falls like a curtain of water from the cliff during the rainy seasons.
The hike to Swallows Cliff begins in Ruili just below the elementary school. There’s a map board by the side of the road that marks the beginning of the hike. Head past the small Earth God Temple and then down a set of some 1481 steps (yep, we counted them!). The trail next passes by an area known as the bat cave (though you’re unlikely to spot any bats) and then quickly comes to Swallows Cliff where swallows are known to nest in the holes in the cliff face.
How to get to Rueili Scenic Area Swallow Cliff?
Getting to Rueili is fairly easy. If you’re driving, leave Highway No. 3 at the Meishan Interchange (梅山交流道). Head into Meishan and take County Highway 162 to Taiping (太平). From there, take road 154 to Taising (太興), and then turn onto County Highway 166, which will take you all the way to Rueli.
If you’re traveling by bus, buy a ticket for Rueili at the bus station right outside the Chiayi Railway Station. The only bus in the morning leaves at 9:30am and takes you to the Meishan bus station, where you board the Rueili bus.
- Plenty to see on the way there
- View more magnificent during summer time
- An exciting experience to walk through it
- The nesting place of Asian house martins
- Swallow Cliff in Rueili, truly beautiful
燕子崖 Meishan Township,Chiayi County, Taiwan 603
Tips for you
The swallow cliff is about halfway through the youth ridge trail. The actual trail is 2400 meters long and you have two options where to start. Firstly you can start at the trailhead next to the police station in ruili or the second option is at the 72.2km road marker (it is clearly signposted). Having been twice I would personally suggest that you take the 72.2 km trailhead, hike to the swallow cliff and bat cave and then turn back around. This option is less strenuous and would mean you won't need to backtrack a longer distance or walk on the road to your transport. If you are spending a whole day hiking in the region then the youth trail interconnects with the yuan tan and yun tan trails. the cliff itself is teeming with the small Asian house martins and if you stand under the waterfall you can see the little heads of their young peeping out to be fed. Other, less abundant, species are evident, so twitchers may want to bring their binoculars. the steps leading to the cliff can be slippy so be careful. from the 72.2km trailhead it's around 30-45 minutes, mainly downhill (steps) to the cliff. as one reviewer mentioned earlier, ruili doesn't have anywhere near the numbers of tourists seen in other parts of chiayi and in fact I didn't see anybody else in the whole time I was on the youth trail.