Road Conditions Central Taiwan

My gf keep telling me that the roads in central Taiwan are still damaged from earthquake & taifun.

I’m planning a tour trough the mountains from Tainan via Alishan (No. 18) to Sun Moon Lake, from there via to Lushan (No. 14), then via Taroko to Hualien (No. 8) and then east cost road to Ilan (No.9).

Did somebody did that tour or parts of it recently? Are the roads OK, means drivable with normal car? Recommenations?


Earlier this year I traveled almost everything on your route, except no. 9 HUALIEN - YILAN. It was no problem, some small bumps here and there and some monkeys blocking the way on no. 18, that was all. (If Taroko is crowded, count many hours for that leg). I would stop for a nice hot spa in Lushan, because in this season that’s great.

There’s a government website you can use to check road conditions. I posted about it here:
[ … 585#387585](Road conditions

Thanks, that helps!!

We’ve travelled Taizhong, Chiayi, Alishan, Sunmoon-Lake last year Christmas. No. 21 from Alishan to Sunmoon-Lake was bumpy but very interesting. We were told that it’s impossible, but once on Alishan local bus drivers said, it would be fine, so we checked it out.

At the beginning of October I was trying to cross the central mountain range from Taroko to Puli but the road was so miserable I decided to return to the east coast. Until Tianhsiang it was more or less fine but soon after that there was a lot of damage. At some places half of the road was missing due to earlier landslides, in general there was a lot of mud all over the place, huge rocks were lying around, the road had a lot of deep cracks, and, probably worst of all, the good old trucks were nonetheless driving around like crazy. The most shocking experience was the sight of a car hit flat by some major rocks probably not very long before.
I was driving up from Tianhsiang for about an hour when it started to turn very foggy, making the drive increasingly dangerous. All three of us in the car felt very uncomfortable, we had no idea how far we are from the peak, so eventually we opted to return to Taroko.

Wonderful place but I would not recommend it in this part of the year. Probably right before the summer typhoon season it’s fine, I guess there’s less rain then and the authorities have enough time to repair the roads by that time.

And one more hint: Pretty much all maps show a road between Puli and Taroko/Hualian with the number 14. We wanted to do that, it’s there, but it’s closed. So don’t rely on that as an alternative to the Taroko route (8?).

[quote=“Balazs”]And one more hint: Pretty much all maps show a road between Puli and Taroko/Hualian with the number 14. We wanted to do that, it’s there, but it’s closed. So don’t rely on that as an alternative to the Taroko route (8?).[/quote]I know what you mean. But others might not. A section of the 8 has been broken for years, and it seems that the section of the 14 you mention was never built in the first place (that section is marked in dotted lines on one of my maps).

Nevertheless, the “New Central Cross-Island Highway” (Xinzhongheng) uses sections of both the 14 and the 8. The 14 runs through Puli and goes up to Wushe. Then you take the left fork on the 14甲 up to Dayuling. You then take the 8 all the way down through Taroko (Tailuge).

I would imagine that the road damage you saw in October has been cleared up by now. But it would be nice to hear definite confirmation of that from someone who’s been there since. Or phoning the highways agency on 02-23113456 might be a good way to get information.

Just came back from a trip through there. We made it the other way around, up the 8 till the junction where the 14 goes off (or better the 8 goes off through this tunnel…). The road through the inner Taroko gorge is quite ok, they are building 2 new tunnels to bypass some parts (like the one at the Tunnel of Nine Turns…) so there is some construciton work going on. There is also one part where half of the street is gone. A very uncomfortable place as it goes around a corner and you can’t see coming traffic and there is no traffic light.
From there the road is pretty good and no problems there. Further up the mountain the road gets into worser shape again. Around the area before it really goes up steep. A part of road where they just repair. They finished the concret wall on the side but still about 1 km of mud road. A little bit troublesome after the rain the last week and with people not used to drive there. But you can make it if you are at least a bit experienced in driving on slippery ground.
On this part up till the “holy tree” are more parts with washed out roads. Several times you will pass that but if you drive carefully it is ok.
Later on the 14 are some parts with mud too but just for about 2 or 3 km, the rest of the way up to the 3275m high pass is ok, also the way down on the other side.
Overall the street is ok but be aware that it is dangerous to do it after rainy weather and I would rather go it the way we did. The muddy sections are ok to take them on the way up, on the way down they would be a bit scary I think (besides you have good skills and the fitting car…).

I will try to host some pictures later and maybe write a report of the whole trip (Longtan on the 7 to Lotung a bit south of Ilan to the National Center of Traditional Arts, than on 2 and 9 down to Hualien, back up to 8 and the Taroko Gorge, up the 8 and the 14 to Wuling on 3275m and down the 14 till Puli, than 21 till it meets again the 8 and out to Tungshih, passing over with the 3 to the freeway 4 and than freeway 1 and later 3 back to Longtan, nice trip… :wink: if anybody is interested.

I did the same trip around 5 years ago and it was marvellous.

Since I had my old parents with me and wasn’t sure about the road conditions, I’ve decided to take the No9 highway (south of Kaohsiung) to cross the island and then drive up north.

We spent a night in Jrben Hot Springs, drove into the Taroko Canyon and spend another night there, drove down again and made our way to Taipei.

Recommended trip, even if the three days planned could have been longer…

I’ve done huohan shan and half way down to Tianxiang at night in the mist … very interesting with two scared women in the car and oncoming crazy truckdrivers that push the truck to the limit …