I’d like to rent a cabin up in Baling or Sanguan for a few days. Does anyone know of any establishments that have clean wooden cabins with fireplaces?
I know a place at Shangbalin. Nice little wood cabins, clean, about a grand a night (not certain about the price). I don’t think they have fireplaces (if you find such a place, I’d love to know about it!). I never stayed there, but Jojo spoke with the owner and his wife and classed them as “really nice people.”
She got a bunch of literature from them, so I’ll try and dig it out for you. Some OUTSTANDING trails up there. The one that starts at the far end of the preserve thats home to the ancient trees goes for 17 clicks right down to Fushan village in the Wulai valley.
have you ever walked that trail? I started out on it once but didn’t have enough time left to get to the water source that night so turned back. I’ve read that there is only one water source along the path. How long does it take?
We carried water when we did it, but also met a couple of abo hunters who showed us how to make cups out of those great big leafs that grow everywhere, so we could gather water from tiny trickles. Also, we did it on bikes (!), so times wouldn’t really help. But hey, its only 17 km, so it shouldn’t take that long. Transport from the other end might be a bit of a problem, though. We’ve thought about doing it in two groups – you know, one group starts at each end, they meet in the middle and swap car keys. Problem with that is the poor buggers that start at Fushan’ll be slogging uphill the whole way, so knife fights might be in order to establish who starts where.
If you start at the tree preserve, in the afternoon, you can hike in for a couple of hours and you’ll come to a weather recording station set in a grassy clearing right on the trail, on a high ridgeline, facing east, where you can camp comfortably and wake up to an astonishing sunrise.
If you do the hike to Fushan I would be very wary of the the hunters and their leaf drinking cups. Last Monday I was up in that area and there was no shortage of spent shotgun shells along the trail. Also, there are lots of leeches and poisonous snakes to contend with, so gloves, hat and trousers are essential. From the trail head at the end of the Lalashan preserve it is about a six-hour downhill walk to the end of the Wulai road at Fushan. As Sandman suggested you could camp, but I think it’s much easier to overnight in Baling, then hit the trail at first light with a day pack.
Those leeches are nothing to worry about. They’re very small, and seldom get up any higher than the ankles and calves. And you don’t have to worry too much about the snakes at this time of year – most of them have already disappeared until next spring.
By far the worst things on that trail, to my mind, are those “cat bite people” plants, or whatever they’re called that line certain sections of the trail – like ordinary stinging nettles pumped up on steroids – VERY bloody painful indeed!
Great thread. How about a few more details though for those of us who have never been to the area. I’m looking for a good hike this weekend. How do I get to the forest/tree preserve? And Sandman, any more info on the cabins in Shangbalin? I’m interested in them too.
While looking for links to Lalashan, I came across this great site dedicated to snakes in Taiwan. anzsg.server101.com/poisonous_snakes_taiwan.htm
Thanks for the links.