Camping in Neiwan

Hoping to return to an excellent campground in Hsinchu County soon. I’ve heard that the No. 7 Rd between Fushing and Baleng might be a bit messy after the recent typhoons. Has anyone ridden/driven it recently? Is it passable on scoot?
Thanks in advance.

You want to go to Hsinchu County?

If that’s the case and you need to get all the way to Baling, then you’ll be camping somewhere on the 120 correct? This road runs from near Baling all the way to Neiwan in Hsinchu County.

The reason I’m asking is that the 120 was not open 3 weeks ago when I tried to get to Baling from the Neiwan side, and the size of the slide that stopped us looked as though it would take months to repair.

If your campground is where I think it is you won’t be able to get to it from Baling…You’ll have to continue south on the 3, turn up into Neiwan and go up from there.

Could you tell me which campsite you plan to go to? And how far is it down the valley on the 120? The slide is pretty much halfway to the Southern end about 10-12 km from linking up with the 7 (coming from the south on the 120)

I also remember that Sandman drove over the 7 to Ilan just prior to the last Typhoon and said there were countless slides on the western side. The road from Neiwan is also a mess but passable if you are very careful.

The amount of Typhoon/Earthquake damage up there has to be seen to be believed.

Thanks for your quick reply, MJB. The campground (an great place that was recommended by Mr He, who’s planning to join us for this trip - if we can make it!) is about a 45-minute scooter ride south of Baleng. I’m fairly sure that you’re right in that it’s not reachable from the Baleng side and that we’ll have to do the Neiwan route. Does this add a lot to the journey time? Is it still stunning scenery (i was knocked out by the trip from Shrmen Res. onwards last time - doing it midweek helped - and was looking forward to seeing it again) taking the Neiwan route? Thanks again.

Yep, the campground is at the Southern end of the 120, which means you’ll have to go through Neiwan.

I pulled these directions from another post about getting to Smagus…

Neiwan is about 5km south of Kuanshi in Hsinchu County. I don’t know where you are starting from, but if you know where Lungtan is, simply take Highway 3 south from Lungtan until you see the Neiwan turnoff…From Lungtan it’s about 15km.

Neiwan is not well marked but there is a ore-carrying cable that runs over the highway about 1.5km before the Neiwan turnoff…Can’t miss it…Turn left into Neiwan and go up…

Pay attention here, or you’ll get LOST!

Once in the Neiwan area, keep going up…you’ll cross railroad tracks, a quick village, and then come into a town with a bypass road (A highly congested tourist area, can’t miss it)…pass all of this and keep going up…after about 3km, you’ll go through another small town with a bypass road (Note: the bypass road was wiped out during the last Typhoon so now just go through the town)…THERE IS A BRIDGE after these two roads recconnect…Turn right over the bridge. Follow this road up, you’ll cross a bridge and be on the right side of the river…IMPORTANT…Look for a bridge with a large statue carved into the rock on the other side on your left (about 2km?)…If you miss this, you are fucked so pay attention! Cross this bridge, you’ll go through a narrow gorge and then pop out in a valley with a small village…Stay straight on this road and you’ll start a steep climb of about 10km to the top of the ridge (put on your coat…It’s cold up there) with an elevation of 1,450 meters. Once at the top, it’s a good place to chill for a moment, admire the view and rest your weary ass.

Allow for about 50 minutes for the above- mentioned section.

Once you can feel your butt again, head on down the valley…After 1.7km, the road splits…It’s the only left you’ll see, take it. You’ll wind down some seriously steep road and descend back into the valley so be careful. Watch out for recent slide damage from the earthquake.

Also, the road itself is in pretty bad shape from Neiwan all the way up. There are huge sections damaged by landslides and temporary dirt fixes are in place everywhere. Many of them are very steep, rocky and slippery.

This is going to be a bit of a struggle on a scooter…Any chance of just coming to Yangmei and going up with Mr. He?

Contact me by PM if you need more details… :slight_smile:

Terrific stuff - thanks again, MJB! I’ll print out the directions and take them along. Mr Ho also suggested that we meet him in Yangmei and travel by car but i’m sure that the scoots will be fine. We’re planning to meet Mr Ho, who’ll be in his car, in Neiwan. We drove by scoot last time (also against Mr Ho’s advice) and it was fantastic. I love my scoot (Suzuki an125 that i bought new over 8 years ago - getting traded, sadly, for the 250 version next year) and riding it down to the campground was amazing. The whole drive took a little over two hours last time.

This campground you guys mention sounds interesting. What’s it like? Private or part of a park? What kind of facilities? What kind of setting? What’s there to do in the area (besides drive up to Baling or Neiwan)?

Hi Mucha Man,
The campground seems to be a private venture. There’s very adequate facilities in terms of showers and toilets. There’s a small restaurant and basic wooden huts to rent. The owner is very friendly and helped us a lot with directions and advice. We bought a huge wild chicken off the farmer next door and owner help us cook (and eat!) it - it was the best chicken i’ve ever tasted. He’ll also rent camping gear there. It seems that it was not only the roads that were damaged by the typhoons but the campground took a beating too. The owner says that we’re more than welcome to plan a trip out there and he’ll open the grounds for us but the huts are out of use due to damage; i’ve a feeling we’ll be the only ones there if we make it out next weekend. Plenty of hiking to do it seems in the area.

I tried to ride up there a month ago… and will try again, if I have ppl such as alleycat in the car willing to push when we get to a bad place.

I found the campground in May this year, and went up with Chung in June, and again right before the big typhoon.

It seems that I have lost the phone number to the owner - do anyone of you have it?

Nice pics…

When I drove by a few weeks ago, the river wasn’t looking too inviting. Running very high and muddy. The riverbank itself has also changed. There are major slides both right before and directly after the campsite. The swimming hole in the pictures most probably is filled with rubble but I didn’t get out to check.

Still worth the trip, especially if the damage and the closure of the 120 keeps the rest of the weekend ‘comfort campers’ away. The one picture of all those tents in such close proximity makes me a little nervous. One thing about camping in any sort of public/private campground that is really annoying is that the locals love to camp within centimeters of each other.

Two years ago we had just started setting up camp in the gorge after searching for hours to find somewhere private. We had the place to ourselves when two Delica vans pulled up. There was ample room for them to camp at least 100meters away. Where did they decide to pitch? 10 feet from our tent. Full gas bottles, screaming kids, KTV, the works. My wife and I looked at each other, pulled down the tent and moved to the far side of the meadow. After about 10 minutes and much debating, they too pulled down their campsite and moved next to us again! :fume:

Ok, we packed up again and moved to the other side of the meadow. One of the women, curious, came over to talk to us. “I’m so happy you’re here, it makes it feel safer” she said…My wife looked at her and said “Privacy is good too”. She got the message and left us alone.

A very sweet exception to this rule is the campground on Green Island. If all the campgrounds in Taiwan were set up like this one, I’d be using them a lot more often. As it is, most of them are crowded, cramped and dirty. It’s a shame for most of the local kids that listening to badly sung KTV in the mountains is their only camping experience.

Can we rent out the entire place? I’d be willing to pay extra to do so…

Mr He, the campground boss’ number is 0937 141 993, and if you didn’t have Alleycat in the car you probably wouldn’t need to push…

MJB, i’m not really expecting the place to look as good this time - actually it’s quite cool to see how much effect nature can have when it turns nasty. Going more for the chance to get out of Taipei for a day or two and to make a hash of a BBQ.

I’ve done very little camping (that was my first time in Taiwan) and we realy enjoyed it. Isn’t Taiwan amazing for buying such things as camping equipment? The tent cost about NT$2,000 and was perfectly adequate (though it did say it was a ‘6-8 man’ tent when it was really only big enough for Mong and I). The other campers all came on the Saturday Night - about 10 more tents but Friday night the place was all to ourselves. The other campers were fine, friendly but not too obtrusive, but we were pitched amongst the trees so we had a healthy level of privacy.

It’s survivable when you pitch among the trees, also filters the noise from the dining hall.

I refuse to believe that there will be any other there camping on November 20.

So MJB, you can safely go with us.

Damn! Looks mighty fine Mr. He. Pity I’m working that day, so I’m out. Next time maybe.
Be safe up there – the road was fucking bad last time I was there, and that was BEFORE the most recent typhoon. Give yourselves plenty of time, too, as there were L-O-N-G waits on the 7 while waiting for the workmen to move their heavy machinery. You’re looking at several waits of up to 40 minutes each. I imagine the road from the Neiwan side will be even worse.

We are not going up on the 7, as the road from Baling to the campsite is out in a rather meaningful way.

We go up from Neiwan, as they at least have something looking like a road there…

Damn, can’t you skip work and come?

Doable by motorbike (road tyres)?

If you are a decent rider it can be done…You are riding an FZ right? I think you’ll be Ok as long as you have some dirt riding experience and your bars are still above the triple clamps :wink:

A lot of the dirt sections are wet, bumpy, climbing steep switchbacks, and slippery. Also probably 20 sections that could throw you if hit at speed.

It’s a shame in a way. Before the typhoons/earthquakes this had to be one of the best asphalt section of mountain twisties on the island. On a boring Saturday afternoon, it was so much fun to rip up this 17km stretch by motorcycle. It’s been a couple of months since the big typhoon and if anything the road looks worse than last time I was up there. On the plus side there’s nobody up there.

Scenery is still fantastic though…Well worth the trip.

Sorry to go off topic, but I just wanted to point out that aside from a weekend destination the campground is also well positioned, directly between the Fuba and Shihlu historic trails, for a stop on a multi-day trek. Starting from Wulai the journey would take about six days and pass through some of the most stunning scenery on the island.

Day 1: (Taipei County) Wulai - Fushan
Day 2: Fushan - Baling (Taoyuan County)
Day 3: Baling - Campground
Day 4: Campground - Yanglao (Hsinchu County -Chienshih Township)
Day 5 & 6: Yanglao - Wufeng (Hsinchu County - Wufeng Township)

Sorry to go off topic, but I just wanted to point out that aside from a weekend destination the campground is also well positioned, directly between the Fuba and Shihlu historic trails, for a stop on a multi-day trek. Starting from Wulai the journey would take about six days and pass through some of the most stunning scenery on the island.

Day 1: (Taipei County) Wulai - Fushan
Day 2: Fushan - Baling (Taoyuan County)
Day 3: Baling - Campground
Day 4: Campground - Yanglao (Hsinchu (Xinzhu) County -Chienshih Township)
Day 5 & 6: Yanglao - Wufeng (Hsinchu (Xinzhu) County - Wufeng Township)[/quote]

Would you need a guide to do all this or are the trails well marked?

[quote=“Mucha (Muzha)”]
Would you need a guide to do all this or are the trails well marked?[/quote]

Both Fuba and Shihlu are pretty straight forward once you get to the trailhead. As for the road sections (Baling -campground - Yanglao), you could always cut out two days of asphalt (or river walking) and opt for a sedan chair - pay a local to drive you. Keep in mind, what I have posted does not reflect the post typhoon conditions in the area. I haven’t been to Chienshih since the storm, so I don’t have any information as to how much of the trail system has been damaged.

Aside from the historic trails, there is/was a scenic walk to the old fort on Lidongshan, and three noteworthy day hikes to areas of old growth forest -Smangus, Jheng Si Bao, and Taikang. Finally, if none of these interest you there’s always river chasing on the upper reaches of the Daan or lounging at the Taiya waterfall across from Sanguan.

I also jsut came back from the drive - and I made it to the campground.

Way worst on the west side, but they are avtuallyt fixing it.

On the east side of the Yulao ridge, there are 2 major landslides, but only one of them offered any problems for my old Yulon.

On the west side, the second one right past Naluo (not the one where they direct you over on the other side of the river for a few hundred meters) was bad, and I think I shot a shock absorber while passing it.

Most of the roads there are all passable, but I guess that we still have 2-3 months, before the area normalizes. The locals told me that one problem was they they need to get the 2 bad places around Naluo (before the steep ascent to Yulao) fixed, before they can get proper equipment up there.

It’s doable in a car like mine, but I fear for it fully loaded next weekend, and there’s no way I will do that drive if it rains.

The campsite itself is not damaged. The bad news are that the dam making the excellent swimming pool is completely gone. No big pool to frolick around in, just the shallow river. Also, no word on when it will be fixed, if ever. The locals miss it too.

Are the cabins damaged? Also, any news on conditions up the mountain …Taikang, Shinkong?