Campsites in Taiwan

I have been enjoying to go to [url= little piece of heaven[/url] for a bit of weekend camping for some time, and I am now looking for other campsites with decent facilities, on or near site eating and restocking of essentials possdibilities, and not too many chicken-bone trowing, karaoke singing rednecks to ruin the fun, when going there on your average weekend.

I would like to hear if any of you know any good campsites, you can recommend. Doesn’t really matter where, as long as they are good, and are an excellent frame for a few days of discovering, relaxing, and having a good time.

Any takers?

Taian, in Miaoli County, is a nice place to go camping. The campsite is part of one of the hotspring hotels. It didn’t have showers when I was there but it did have bathrooms. In any case there was a river right there to bathe in as well as the communal hot springs. I think it was only $150 for unlimited use. The hotel also has adventure activities like abseiling and river tracing.

Taian has 5 long hikes (4-5 hours, and one that could take up to 10 hours) and other short ones. The river is pristine as it flows in from Sheiba National Park. There are several hot spring hotels with decent to excellent facilities. The food is great (aboriginal and hakka) and the scenery wonderful. It’s only 90 minutes from Taipei.

Pinglin is also nice. Good biking around there (including a marked 25km route and mountain bike circuit), and lots of hiking. The river is also very clean and you can swim in some parts. Your children will love all the fish in the water.

The main campground can get too crowded but there were other spots further down the river. However, some of them had to close. Next time I am there I will check out campgrounds. If you go before then go to the Tea Museum for information.

Can anyone reccomend a campsite nearby a decent beach for swimming/football/BBQing? Preferably one that will be open now or in the next couple of weeks.


Or Jinshan.

[quote=“Muzha Man”]Taian, in Miaoli County


Pinglin is also nice.[/quote]

Can you provide some simple directions, from Taipei?


As for other camping spots, I’ve only experienced two, but they were both nice. “In season,” one or both might be busy.

The first is in the little port town of Fugang, about 10km north of Taidong on the east coast. The campground is right on the small, main road, on the beach side, adjacent to the harbor and fish market. Nice access to the ocean. Good showers, fire pits, sites. I believe it is called “Shauleliou” or something similar.

The second is on Green Island. It is on the south end of the island and is the only campground there. Sits on a hillside overlooking the ocean, shaded by a bunch of old trees. Simple, but nice facilities and showers.

I’d be interested in any other spots as well. Considering the approaching summer season, maybe someone can suggest cooler campsites in the terrific mountains of Taiwan.

Both are pretty simple to get to. Pinglin is on the number 9 highway between Xindian and Ilan. Do you know how to get to the 9?

Taian is off provincial highway 3 in Miaoli County. You could take the provincial highway all the way down from Taipei (if you are taking a scooter) or take National Highway 3 down and get off on the 6 and pass through Miaoli City. The roads were changing last time I was there but just follow the signs to provincial 3 and Dahu. Taian is off provincial 3 on county road 62 around Dahu. Any simple map will show it. It’s out of the way but not at all obscure.

I’m planning a hiking club trip down there in June to tackle the old tree trail if you want to check it out then.

BTW, I did a pretty detailled write up of both areas (including maps with locations of campsite) in the new Lonely Planet.

[quote=“Muzha Man”]Both are pretty simple to get to.


I’m planning a hiking club trip down there in June to tackle the old tree trail if you want to check it out then.

BTW, I did a pretty detailed write up of both areas (including maps with locations of campsite) in the new Lonely Planet.[/quote]
Good pointers, and now I have a reason to seek out the latest Lonely Planet!

Sure, keep me posted on the hiking trip. That might work out nicely.


Is the campsite at Fulong open now?

It was open for the adventure race last weekend. I got the impression that it was open in general, but can’t swear to that.

/steve requests a campsite sticky…

Concept is good, but I wonder if the Wiki is the place for that. I’ve been pondering what I would do over there if I actually had time or energy to write stuff. Lists of restaurants, movie theaters, campsites, beaches, etc. All of those would be great to have easy access to.


As for the campsites being open, you can call and make sure:

Fulong 2499 1791

Youth Activity Centre at Jinshan

2885 2151

Mucha man, do you have a phone no on the campsite in Taian, Miaoli?

The campsite is on the grounds of the Tenglong Hot Spring Resort about 15km down county road 62 (the road ends another km further). Tenglong, with its wood cabins and suspension bridge, looks a bit like a little mountain village. Campsite should be open all year.

Phone: 037 941002

Come on guys…Where is your sense of adventure?

Just find your own…works pretty well for us.

Besides, exploring for new campsites is half the fun :sunglasses:

I went to Taian today with the wife. We had to attend a funeral in Fengyuan and decided to stop in on the way back.

The best way to get there is to take highway 3 to the Miaoli/Houlong interchange and then exit and head east on the number 6. But don’t stay long on the 6. Follow the signs to the new 72 expressway. This way you will avoid Miaoli City altogether. The 72 is great. A fast straight road to the number 3 provincial highway. At the 3 provincial turn right (the 72 ends here) and drive a km or so until you see the turnoff to Taian. Expect to take about 2 hours from Taipei.

The campsite is open any time. There was no one using it today. NT300 for a tent site.

I forgot my camera so I will just have to describe the place. You can camp at a few locations around the tenglong resort. The best is just beside the parking lot. It is a shaded area with stone tables and barbecue pits. Bathrooms with showers are just below.

A one minute walk away you’ll find a restaurant, cafe, convenience store and the food stalls on the other side of the suspension bridge. One thing I love about taian is that food tends to be very good here. the food stalls sell locally grown meats and vegetable dishes prepared hakka or aboriginal style. Cheap and delicious. Not at all like tourist area food but more like good home cooking. Of course if you want more expensive restaurant food it is available.

They used to roast whole chickens on the roadside but I didn’t see any today. Locally grown fruit is sold roadside in season.

The wenshui river flows below the campground. It is clean and very wild lookign now as it is still a mess after typhoon mindulle. For swimming however, there is another stream that crosses the wenshui at right angles just a hundred yards from the campsite. You can’t miss it. It flows just left of the cafe. Spotted three good deep swimming holes today just walking 150m upstream.

There is a clear, easy to follow (though damn tiring) 5 hour return hike to an old tree at the top of Dongguanshan (1500m) a hundred metres from the campsite. The staff at the resort said a fellow with some private land near the top runs a guest house and campground of sorts up there. Sounds interesting but you’ll need to hike or drive a jeep to get up there.

There are more long hikes in the area. I know of 5 within a kilometre walk. The guys at the front desk of the resort know of at least 10 in the area.

The resort has private and public (segregated) hot springs. My wife has used the segregated ones and says they are very nice and have a good mountain view. NT200 for unlimited time.

Some of the other hotels nearby, like the Sunrise and King’s Spa have outdoor mixed public spas. The facilities are very nice.

The only drawback for the campsite is that the resort is popular with student groups so karaoke is likely to be playing, though not in the campsite itself. However, it won’t go too late and you can always walk down to the noisy river to drown it out. there are also numerous riverside cafes and restaurants you can visit in the evening. Or you could go for a hot spring.

The student groups do offer one advantage and that is the resort often has adventure activties on offer like paintball, abseiling and river tracing. AFAIK, you can join these even if you are not part of the group.

I short, I think this place has it all: fantastic scenary, a decent campsite, swimmable rivers, lots of hiking, hot springs, good food at all price ranges, a small village with a weekend market, and it is not terribly crowded or overdeveloped and given its location is not likely ever to be.

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Just north of Taihe on the other side of the Shigupan River is the village of Caoling at 800m elevation. It’s actually in Yunlin County, just (barely) outside the Alishan National Scenic Area. It has a population of 857 persons, of whom only three are aborigines.

For many years, Caoling enjoyed a reputation as one of Taiwan’s prime mountain resorts. That reputation took a beating, literally, on September 21, 1999, when a powerful earthquake ripped through central Taiwan, killing about 2400 people. The Caoling area was badly affected. In fact, the whole western side of Caoling Peak collapsed in a huge landslide, killing 29 people. Had the center of Caoling been located 1km to the west, the entire village would have been wiped out - imagine that. Although total disaster was averted, many homes, hotels, and restaurants were severely damaged, and have subsequently been torn down because they were unsafe.

The earthquake severed all roads to Caoling, and for awhile residents had to depend on air drops for food and other supplies. The good news is that visiting no longer requires a helicopter - the roads have been rebuilt, new hotels have risen from the rubble, and the tour buses have returned, though not yet in record-breaking numbers. Nevertheless, the tourist industry is slowly recovering. Caoling is still a beautiful place, and definitely worth a visit.

Bank & Post Office
Caoling is blessed with a post office, a rare find in these mountain villages. Like other post offices in Taiwan, it offers a difficult-to-use ATM which only works with Taiwanese ATM cards, but it’s better than nothing.

If you’ve got your vehicle and you’re in the Taihe area, driving to Caoling would appear to be a piece of cake, as one need only follow Highway 169 north. However, one potentially serious obstacle is the bridge that crosses the Shigupan River, which was severely damaged by a typhoon in 2001. At the time of this writing, the bridge was still open but in precarious condition. Repairs are under way, but there is always the possibility that another typhoon will make things worse, or cause the bridge to collapse totally. Unfortunately, the Shigupan River is one of the most troublesome in Taiwan, the site of frequent floods and landslides.

If this bridge over troubled waters is not open, you can still almost certainly reach Caoling by taking Highway 149甲 from Douliu. During bad typhoons, this road too can sometimes be closed due to landslides, but it is usually soon reopened since it has no major bridges that are likely to collapse.

Caoling can be reached by bus from Douliu. The buses are operated by the Solar Bus Company 日統客運 (Tel: 05-5326167), which has a bus station just to your right as you exit the Douliu train station. Currently, departures from Douliu are at 7:20, 9:50, 12:00, 13:00, 15:00 and 17:00, and travel time is about 1-1/4 hours. However, you should call and confirm these times, as the schedule is subject to change.

Caoling Lodge (Tel: 05-5831121) 草嶺山莊 is first up as you arrive in Caoling from the direction of Douliu. This large comfortable place has doubles for NT$1600.

Holiday Inn 假期大飯店 (Tel: 05-5831397) is not related to the hotel chain with that familiar name. It’s built in motel style and has really beautiful double rooms for NT$2000. It’s directly behind Caoling post office.
Yunglih Hotel 永利飯店 (Tel: 05-5831288, 5831012) is an oldie that was rebuilt totally after the earthquake. It has doubles for NT$1200.

Linjia Hotel 林家山莊 (Tel: 05-5831128) has notably tacky concrete block architecture, though the price of NT$1200 for a double (on weekends) is near rock-bottom in Caoling.
Green Plain Vacation Hotel 綠原渡假村 (Tel: 05-5831153), lives up to its name with an assortment of wooden villas and a spa. Doubles start at NT$1600.

Sing Ming Hsiu Hotel 新明修大飯店 (Tel: 05-5831116), is a huge hotel that has some dormitory rooms with beds at NT$350, doubles NT$1500.

Caoling Hotel 草嶺大飯店 (Tel: 05-5831228) is a large rebuilt place with doubles for NT$2000, twins NT$2500.

Shennong Hotel 神農大飯店 (Tel: 05-5831303) is another new concrete tower with doubles for NT$1500, twins NT$2000.

Shiuling Hotel 秀嶺大飯店 (Tel: 05-5831222) is east of town, too far to walk from the bus stop so it’s only OK for people with their own vehicle. Doubles are NT$2000, twins NT$3000.

Shibi Hotel 石壁大飯店 (Tel: 05-5831238) is in the beautiful but relatively isolated Shibi Slickrock Scenic Area. Doubles are NT$1200, twins NT$1800.

Dongbi Hotel 東碧山莊 (Tel: 05-5831021) is also in the Shibi Slickrock Scenic Area. The wooden cabins are a major attraction. A cabin for two persons is NT$1400, 6-person dorms are NT$500 per person, 8-person dorms are NT$375 per person.

The village of Caoling is perched on the side of a mountain which is also called Caoling. It was the west side of this mountain which collapsed during the 921 earthquake, creating a devastated moonscape some 2.5km in length. Making the best of a bad situation, the locals have been encouraging a sort of “disaster tourism,” bringing tourists to view the 921 Earthquake Landslide Area 九二一地震崩場區 where there is the Dafeishan Viewing Platform 大飛山觀景台. As time goes on, vegetation is gradually taking hold, so the “moonscape” is gradually becoming less and less moonlike. Still, it is amazing to stand here and try to visualize how such an enormous mountain which has been here for a few million years could simply fall down in a few minutes with no warning at all.

One totally bizarre side effect of the mountain’s collapse is that the rubble created an enormous natural dam in the valley below, plugging up the flow of the Qingshui River. Just a few months after the earthquake, the Qingshui River backed up to create a natural reservoir that was named New Caoling Lake 新草嶺潭. The lake became so large that it even backed up into the Alishan and Shigupan Rivers, threatening for awhile to inundate part of Taihe. For a brief two years, this beautiful mountain lake was a major tourist attraction, and the locals even started offering boat tours. Unfortunately, a powerful typhoon in 2001 finally broke down the massive natural dam, causing the lake to drain. Now, it appears to be little more than a giant mudflat on the Qingshui River.

Heading downhill on a path southwest of Caoling village takes one first to a scenic overlook called Youqing Valley 幽情谷. Further downhill is Qimiao Cave 奇妙洞, Qingwa Rock 青蛙石, and Fengchao Rock 蜂巢石. Shuilian Cave 水濂洞 actually contains a small waterfall with a cave just below it, thus the name which means “Water Curtain Cave.” Just below this is the mighty Qingshui River 清水溪.

Qiaobi Xiongfeng Rock Face 峭壁雄風 is slightly southeast of town. Is a large rock face, very steep but possible to climb up and down with the assistance of some ropes which have been set up for the purpose. It’s not really dangerous, though it probably wouldn’t be advisable to climb on it during a rain storm.

About 2km northeast of Caoling village is Penglai Waterfall 蓬萊瀑布 which has a height of 30m. From here you can do a splendid hike. As you face the waterfall, take the trail which is off to your left. This will lead you to the top of the falls. From there you follow the river upstream, walking on sometimes slippery rock (it’s recommended you wear plastic rainboots to do this). You can walk for several kilometers on the polished rock riverbed – this region is known as the Shibi Slickrock Scenic Area 石壁風景區. At the upper end of the creek you’re at about 1200m elevation.

Go to Caoling in Yunlin County, and it’s great place for everyone.
If you go first time, i think you must find one tour guide to accompany you.
Because the place is too large.And so many scenic spots you can’t find by yourself.
You may be lost. I strongly recommend the longest waterfall for you. Its name is 腳龍瀑布<it’s length is 1200 to 1600 meter> Did you ever see the fall in other place?
Go for it.
Sing Ming Hsiu Hotel 新明修大飯店 (Tel: 05-5831116), the owner of hotel is an tour guide,and he is a nice people.He will drive his car to take you to go.<Because some road in this area are too small,if you have no good driving skill,don’t try to adventure.It’s very dangerous to do that.

■ Map

Yes, but are there any campsites here? If not I will move your post to another thread.

These weretaken near Ruili, which is just across the valley from the destroyed mountain – it was too hazy to get a shot of the mountain, but it was pretty spectacular. The bamboo one is of the path to the wooden cabin we stayed in.