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Bridges in Taiwan

Updated on April 22, 2013
BlossomSB profile image

Bronwen has lived in, taught in and visited a number of countries and loves to share these travel experiences with others.

What is a Bridge?

The word bridge is interesting. It comes from an Old English word, brycg. It can be used as a verb or a noun. As a noun, the word 'bridge' can represent many things.

  • A bridge may be a part of a nose, a ship, false teeth, or a stringed instrument.
  • A bridge may be the name of a game.
  • A bridge may be a structure that is built between or over obstacles so that a route may span the obstacles or provide passage between two points.

Source

Bridges in Taiwan

Bridges in Taiwan are built for many purposes and a variety of materials are used in the construction of bridges, depending on the design and its function - and, I guess, the funds available for its construction.

Bridges in Taiwan also need to be well-built to withstand typhoons and the many earthquakes.

The Taipei Bridge: Probably the best known bridge, especially for tourists, is the Taipei Bridge that crosses the Dan-Shui River, linking the main part of the Capital City with a number of commercial areas. it has quite a history, most of which can be read elsewhere.

  • There had been a wooden bridge across the Dan-Shui River since the end of the 1400s.
  • In the later part of the 1800s it was moved to a more narrow part of the river.
  • In 1925 it was replaced by one of steel and concrete.
  • In 1969 a new concrete toll-bridge was opened.
  • The current bridge was opened in 1996. As well as about six lanes for motor transport, it provides separate lanes for motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians.

Other Road and Rail Bridges in Taiwan: There are several different types of bridges in Taiwan that are very well-known and well documented, so what I am mostly concerned with here are smaller bridges.

The Small Bridges of Taiwan: Taiwan people love bridges. They provide great venues for viewing sunsets and, along with all the steps on trekking paths up the many mountains, it is considered a healthy activity to walk across bridges, so there are numerous bridges at the sea-shore in unexpected places and in public and private parks.

A Bridge Linking One Rock to Another at the Seashore
A Bridge Linking One Rock to Another at the Seashore | Source

Seashore Bridges

Sometimes bridges at the seashore are built linking one rocky area to another. They aid those who wish to clamber over the rocks and also add to the scenic beauty. These bridges are built in many different styles and with different materials. Many are humped, sometimes several times over so that the walker is obliged to climb up and down as he crosses.

The boardwalk where the group in the photograph is standing is also a type of bridge as it spans over the rocks and small seawater inlets.

An Unusual Range of Bridges to Follow
An Unusual Range of Bridges to Follow | Source

Unusual Bridges

Even small bridges vary in size, purpose and in the materials used in their construction.

The bridges above are part of narrow walking paths that wind around between houses and over a small stream. There seems to be a different view to enjoy at every turn and it is very picturesque.

Bridge Near the 'Loch Ness Monster.'
Bridge Near the 'Loch Ness Monster.' | Source

Bridges Over Small Rivers and Streams

Apart from the large bridges that sometimes carry pedestrians and vehicles on one level and trains on another level above or below, because of the mountainous terrain in Taiwan there are many small rivers and streams that need to be spanned. These bridges may be intended for pedestrians only, for bicycles and motor scooters, or for local traffic.

The bridge above is utilitarian, but is also useful for viewing the 'Loch Ness Monster,' which is fun, both for locals and visitors. 'Nessie' rises up out of the depths, spouts water and then sinks down below the surface again.

Bridge/pathway/track up a Steep Hill
Bridge/pathway/track up a Steep Hill | Source

Bridges in Steep Areas

There are delightful rural areas that are quite close to cities and easily accessible for walkers.

In the photograph above the hiking trail runs beside a light train track and there is a safety rail at the side. The scenery is lovely and the air is cooler in the mountains. Most of the trail is actually a bridge beside the deep ravine and it's good to pause on the steep climb to enjoy the views and listen to the sound of the waterfall. The trail continues to climb for quite a distance.

Source

Footbridge Over a Busy Road

This photograph was taken from our flat on the fourth level of the Good Shepherd complex in the Taipei suburb of Shi-Lin. The road is about eight lanes wide and would be almost impossible to cross without the bridge. On festival occasions the bridge is often decorated. That is a high school opposite.

I remember crossing that footbridge to get home during a typhoon. The authorities had thought it would miss Taiwan, so schools and universities were not closed until the storm was almost upon us. The staff bus driver did a valiant job of trying to keep the bus in the one lane, but we were often blown across to another lane. Fortunately by this time there was little other traffic.

When I alighted, the rain seemed to be almost horizontal. I ran to shelter in a shop doorway. The windows were all covered, but the noise of the shrieking wind was horrific. I ran to the steps of the footbridge and grabbed a column. Gradually I reached the top where the wind was even stronger. I was soaked through and just had to wait for a slight lull to let go of one pillar and run to grab the next. Sheets of corrugated iron were blown across the road like paper. I was really glad the bridge was there.

When I reached the bottom of the steps the other side I had to cover my head with my bag. The rain was coming in sheets and numerous tiles were being blown off roofs.

It was such a relief to get indoors.

The bridges in Taiwan are so varied and interesting and they are definitely worth seeing but it is best not to visit in typhoon season.

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    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

      my goodness Blossoms you are indeed quite the traveler, and bless you for sharing your experiences with us...:) this hub can really help Bridge the Gap.. Yeah? LOl ) maybe it'll get those kids off the comps and into seeing the world in its realistic form.. like you do...

    • profile image

      Rayne123 4 years ago

      There is some nice pictures in your article.

      Information I had no clue about so thank you

      Laurie

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Thanks so much, Blossom, for taking us along and across the bridges of Taiwan!!! You are my only hope of traveling anywhere lately! LOL

      Thank you for sharing your amazing photos too.

      Voted up ++++ and sharing

      God bless, Faith Reaper

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Beautiful pictures and interesting information. Thanks for sharing with us. Without you, we'd never see some of these places.

    • profile image

      ubaidh86 4 years ago

      @BlossomSB: Very nice and interesting hub, voted up.! God Bless.!

    • Annie Miller profile image

      Annie Miller 4 years ago from Wichita Falls, Texas

      Great photos and interesting Hub, Blossom. Would love to visit Taiwan one day.

    • BlossomSB profile image
      Author

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Frank Atanacio: Yes, we can just about live on the computer and learn quite a lot, but it's much better to try the real thing. Then life can become an adventure - even if it's learning about a bridge on a violin!

      Rayne123: As Frank said, it's great to be able to bridge the gap - and I, too, have lots of gaps in my knowledge. Glad you enjoyed my photos.

      Faith Reaper: Actually, it's a while since we lived in Taiwan, so it's a case of happy memories of exploring a lovely part of God's world.

      MsDora: Thank you for enjoying them with me, and for your lovely comments.

      ubaid86: I'm so glad that you enjoyed it. May God bless you, too.

      Annie Miller: Life is so full of interesting things and there are many to see in Taiwan. If you are able to visit I'm sure you would enjoy the experience.

    • kidscrafts profile image

      kidscrafts 4 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      Very interesting hub and great pictures, Blossom! I love the vegetation! I hope that one day, I will be able to visit that side of the Earth!

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Blossom - I so enjoy going on these amazing journeys with you! What a fabulous life you are living. Such awesome places to see and experience.

      Thanks for sharing

    • jhamann profile image

      Jamie Lee Hamann 4 years ago from Reno NV

      What a great read with wonderful pictures. Thank you for this hub. Jamie

    • BlossomSB profile image
      Author

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      kidscrafts: Thank you. Yes, the vegetation is beautiful. I hope you get there, too.

      shiningirisheyes: Thank you for sharing it with me, God's world is so wonderful and varied and there is so much to see and experience.

      jhamann: Jamie, what a lovely comment, thank you.

    • profile image

      mroberts30 4 years ago

      Nice blog!!! Also check out these other great offers at

      mroberts1.findnowbuynow.info

    • BlossomSB profile image
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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      mroberts30: Glad you enjoyed it.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      There are certainly a lot of interesting bridges in your post. Love the winding one down the hill. I guess they would have to build it very secure with all the earthquakes an nature's power that shows itself at times. Blessings.

    • BlossomSB profile image
      Author

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      teaches12345: That is true, but if they are damaged or destroyed in earthquakes, landslides or typhoons, it's amazing how quickly they are rebuilt. Even good-sized trees in the cities' streets are pulled upright and strongly staked whenever possible. Take care and God bless.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Blossom - I absolutely love bridges -- of all kinds. This is a wonderful hub. I simply love all the pictures and all your explanatory text. A terrific hub. I am smiling. :) Sharing. Theresa

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 4 years ago from Taos, NM

      What beautiful and quaint bridges the Taiwanese have built. They do like bridges don't they. What an unusual and creative article you have turned this into about their bridges. Your writings of you varied travels are always so interesting and informative also. Great Hub!

    • BlossomSB profile image
      Author

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      phdast7: Thank you so much for your lovely, affirmative comments.

      suzettenaples: Yes, they do like bridges and they are so necessary in place where there are many steep mountains. I often think that maintaining them all must be a nightmare.

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