Lengshuikeng Visitor Center and Menghuan Pond--manually-operated wheelchairs

 
Scenic Spots: Lengshuikeng Visitor Center and Menghuan Pond
 
Vehicle: car and manually-operated wheelchair
 
Route: Lengshuikeng Visitor Center → Jingshan Suspension Bridge → Menghuan Pond
 
Time: 7 hours
 
 
Origin of the name: Lengshuikeng
 
Lengshuikeng (H740m) is a valley between Qixing Mountain, Qigu Mountain and Zhugao Mountain that was turned into a lake when volcanic lava blocked dispersal points for water. However, the water did eventually leak out and the lake dried up to expose the lake bottom and form today's landscape. This is the source of Neishuang Creek. There is a bowl-shaped crater in front of Jingshan Suspension Bridge in Lengshuikeng. This is the most complete volcanic explosion vent in the Qixing mountain chain but has been inactive for a long time. However, a cold spring still pours from this volcanic crater today. The water temperature in this area reaches about 40°C (104°F), hence the name Lengshuikeng, which literally means “cold water pit” in Chinese.
 
 
 
 
Lengshuikeng Visitor Center has two handicapped parking spaces for cars and two for motorbikes. However, the wheel-chair accessible ramp and parking spaces on the left-hand side are temporarily closed due to construction work. There is a wheel-chair accessible ramp onto the pavement, which leads to a pavilion. The ramp on the right-hand side goes to the handicapped bathroom and a shop. This is a nice place to have a meal. The toilet is well-lit and the gradient of the ramp is about 30 degrees. On a rainy day, manually-operated wheelchairs slip and slide so users should be accompanied for safety reasons.
 
This Visitor Center was the largest of the several I visited on this occasion. When it rains or is foggy there is a different ambience and on that day quite a few hikers dropped by.
 
 
There is a wheel-chair accessible ramp on the left leading to an observation deck. 
  
 
   
 
There is a wheel-chair accessible ramp on the left leading to an observation deck
There is a wheel-chair accessible ramp on the left leading to an observation deck
 
 
 
 
The observation deck offers a spectacular view of the surrounding beautiful natural scenery, making this an excellent destination for a trip with family or friends.
 
 
The ramp leading to the shop/bathroom on the right has a gradient of about 30 degrees and manually-operated wheelchair users should be careful when they use it.
 

Wheel-chair accessible bathroom

There are two parking spaces for disabled motorbike riders.
 
 
Wheelchair users can easily access Jingshan Suspension Bridge from the right hand side of the parking space for disabled motorbike riders. The distance between the entrance and the suspension bridge is about 200 meters, making the bridge easy to reach even in a manually-operated wheelchair. 
 
 
 
 
   
 
   
  
   
 
     
 
    
 
 
There is a pavilion at the right-hand side of the entrance to Jingshan Suspension Bridge for visitors who want to take a rest. Feel free to forget your worries and relax as the breeze blows. 
 
      
Jingshan Suspension Bridge

With its red piers, black suspension cables and brown wooden floor the 50-meter long suspension bridge across Lengshuikeng Creek stands out from its surroundings. Located between the green mountains Jingshan suspension bridge is particularly eye-catching. Beneath the bridge the smell of sulfur emanates from the creek which is one of the sources of Neishuang Creek. Nearby one can find the ruins of old sulfur mines.

There visitor center provides free Wifi access and cellphone charging service.

Lengshuikeng Visitor Center 冷水坑旅客服務站
 
Address: No. 170, Lane. 101, Jingshan Rd., Shilin District, Taipei City, 11192, 
Opening Hours: 9:00AM to 4:30PM. Closed on the last Monday of every month (if a national holiday falls on a Monday, the area is also closed the following Tuesday) and Lunar New Year’s Eve.
Telephone Number:(02)2861-0036、(02)2861-7934
Shop:(02)2861-1968
Email:yms18@mail.ymsnp.gov.tw

Services:

1.      Pre-booked guided tours
2.      Group tours by center staff: 9:30AM to 01:30PM
3.      Sightseeing information.
4.      Free watching of promotional video.
5.      Guide books, souvenirs, food and beverages. 
  
Then I drove to Menghuan Pond which was about 10 minutes way. You can spend about 60 minutes on the observation deck of Menghuan Pond. 
 
Exterior of wheel-chair accessible bathroom at entrance to Menghuan Pond
 
 
Exterior of wheel-chair accessible bathroom at entrance to Menghuan Pond
 
 
Although the road at the observation deck and car park at Menghuan Pond is smooth, the area around the wheel-chair accessible bathrooms is not friendly to wheelchair users (due to the different heights of the lawn, garden and parking lot). The bathroom is well-equipped, spacious and comfortable.




  The parking lot has two wheel-chair accessible parking spaces, which have some room in between them. Wheelchair users who want to visit the pavilion can access them from the smooth slope at the right hand side. There is a wooden stairway on the left hand side and visitors should pay  attention to the traffic.

 
Menghuan Pond is located in the southeast foothills of Qixing Mountain at an elevation of approximately 800 meters above sea level. It is speculated that the pond could be a caldera lake, concave ground filled with water caused by fumaroles, or even a depression between volcanoes. The water in the pond is slightly acidic and measures about 1,500~3,000 cubic meters with an average annual temperature of about 18-19℃ and annual rainfall of about 4,000 millimeters. When the full pond is after the monsoon or a torrential downpour and shrouded in fog it is breathtakingly beautiful against a backdrop of mountains and sky.
 
In 1970, the rare aquatic fern -- Taiwan quillwort (isoetes taiwanesis) -- was first discovered in Menghuan Pond. Since the establishment of Yangmingshan National Park in 1985, the pond has been designated an Ecological Protected Area according to the National Park Law. It is the smallest Ecological Protected Area in Taiwan and tourists are prohibited from entering the pond. Visitors can enjoy the scenery from the observation deck near the lake.
 
 
Two disabled parking spaces for cars at Menghuan Pond.
Caution:
 
1. Traffic controls are in place on holidays and weekends. However, drivers with disability cards are not subject to this restriction. If it starts to rain before you arrive then please drive carefully on the winding road with low visibility.
2. When the temperature is about 22 degrees Celsius on a cloudy sky at ground level, it will be about 14 Celsius here. Please keep warm and be sure to bring a raincoat.
3. Visitors can bring their own food. Those who suffer from hypoglycemia should bring chocolate as a nutritional supplement.
4. Please full charge your cellphone and camera. For visitors using electric wheelchairs or electric power trike, please remember to bring a charger cord.