As we arrive at the local “long dong” (dragons cave) crag, I am reminded of the states. Jack Johnson can be heard from a portable stereo someone brought along. People who speak little English at all are yelling “take” and “on belay”. Some one has put up a high line…some things never change.
There are some quaint reminders of my current location however. For instance, it is common practice for climbers to bring their backpacking stoves to the crag to heat up water for their instant noodles, even though it is a 5 min approach from the cars and the nearest 7/11.
Despite its peculiarities, rock climbing in Taiwan is sick. The college I am interning at has a climbing tower and bouldering area which is free to the public. Weekly trips are made to Long Dong by the locals because it is the only summer climbing destination. Located along the North East shore of Taipei, long dong is the beach side crag we have all dreamed of.
The routes are all well graded with quality rock. I was surprised to find how many trad routes there were. Although long dong is primarily a sport climbing destination is has well over 50 aesthetic trad lines. The four which I have done were all top notch. There are some multi-pitch climbs, but they are the rare exception and are known for loose rock (they say that like it is a bad word here).
Once you have finished climbing for the day, or just want to take a break, local tide pools make for great cliff jumping, deep water soloing, high lining, or snorkeling (there really are tropical fish that swim around you!).
The video below is some cool aerial footage taken the day I went to long dong.