Wanting to do a hike this week-end. We were wanting to climb maybe Jade/Snow mountain, but being very skint students, hiring a guide is way off our budget! Can you get away without one? How much is the fine if you get caught and does anyone know of a half decent trek below 3000m, which doesn’t have half of Taipei saying “hello” ?? Much info and general chat on this subject greatly appreciated!
As I remember there was some information in the Lonely Panet guide book to Taiwan. Check there for agencies you should contact to get the permit… Not sure if you even need one, but check that book first, you can buy them usually at Elite bookstores, there is a big one on the 3rd floor in AsiaWorld Department Store across from Taipei Main Station. Just incase you need it
For most places you apply with the local police. To be honest it is best to get someone who speaks Chinese to help.
Usually it is a formality, but some special areas may have waiting lists and be hard to get a booking (Chi Lan big trees reserve for example).
A good base for trecking is Mt. Ho Huan (He Huan Shan) you can take the road up to 3,200m. There is a hostel by the road if you want to stay (although it is only an hours drive from the hot spring resort of Lu Shan, which has many hotels). From there it is open access to all the surrounding peaks. As I can tell permits are not needed for the local peaks. It is quite a workout given the altitude, and you can see the sea in both directions on a clear day (unusual!).
Note: Jade mountain has quite difficult rock conditions. It is also remote (= potential weather problems) and high (4000m). An experienced guide is recommended.
Malkie’s right. I went to Chilai a year or three ago and we didn’t need a guide. On the other hand, we tried to go to Tapachienshan and got turned back by guards/guides when we refused to pony up $3,000 or whatever it was.
It used to be that you went to a police office opposite the Lai Lai Sheraton for permits, but I don’t know if that’s still the case.