🛣 Roads - Southern Cross-Island Highway

I have searched the Web and this Fourm but cannot find a clear answer:

Is the Southern Cross-Island Highway open and or passable?

I’ve heard its closed, i’ve heard its open with temporary roads… whats the deal? I drove the highway that leads into Maolin Township and it was damaged in parts and there are some detours are but still drivable. Is it the same case with the south-cross?

I want to do a scooter/motorbike tour from Tanain/Kaohsuing to Taitung and then south to Kenting, no time limitations.


Yea, it is closed, afaik. Parts of it are open at both E and W sides, but you cannot drive all the way across. Pity, as it is lovely.
You can still drive from Kaohsiung to to Kending to Taidong without using the Southern Cross Island Highway, so your trip plan is still fine.

It’s closed indefinitely from Xiangyang to Yakou according to this CNA report from 7 March.

Damn… not the news I wanted to hear. I guess we could do the drive around the south coast, and then double back, or perhaps just drive as far as we can up to the mountains camp and then come back the next day.

Perhaps someone else has news of a passable route? Im up for an adventure.

Feiren - Can you resend the url. Thx

Make a bigger loop of it and drive up from Tainan to Nantou, over the Central, then Hualian to Taidong to Kending, and back. That would be an awesome trip.

I’ve done the “eastern” segment of the closed SCIH … it’s quite nice on a moto … no tour buses, no blue trucks, just the occasional road works crew in the landslide spots. I would not do it on a sportbike.

The Southern Cross Island is passable and if you are looking for an adventure, might be worthwhile trying it.

A couple of blogs about it



[quote=“Mugatu”]The Southern Cross Island is passable and if you are looking for an adventure, might be worthwhile trying it.

A couple of blogs about it



Can’t access the second one. The first one dates from December 13. Lots of rain and tremors since then. Looks like the guy got a flat tire.

Volviic has better information, but I believe the road is now closed.

mobile01.com/topicdetail.php … =1&cache=0

I’m looking for some updates on a circular tour of Taiwan main.

I’m hoping for a route to take us down the West and back up the East.
Does anyone have any recent updates on roads and points of interest that are still above ground.

I’m planning a four day car trip. Any style of accommodation and in a very low car (no rocky, overly bumpy surfaces please).

I really want to cut across to Taidong, likely across the number 9. Kenting is out of the question. Too many of you Americans and Canadians are going there. :wink:

My end of January observations about it are at aftermorakot.blogspot.com/2010/0 … -year.html As far as I can tell, not much has improved since then and it is now officially closed from Meishan to Siangyang.

See the Taiwan Highway Bureau’s site (in Chinese) thb.gov.tw/tm/Menus/Menu04/t … ?key0=4222

The absolutely dismayed Volvic/Richard

Just registered to give an update about the Southerncross.

Last week i’ve been trying to get over on my motorbike from west to east, but failed
From Meishankou till Tianchih the road is reasonable driveable with 4wd or motor,
from tianchih to the guanshan-yakou tunnel is difficult but doable on motor
After the tunnel it’s complete mayhem, the temporary road is gone, lots of big cracks,
the whole thing looks like it’s about to go again, it’s impossible to get through except walking maybe
There are no workcrews on the part after Tianchih, so i dont expect repairs soon (if ever)

The workers told me that the east part taidong untill the Yakou lodge is driveable, but have not been there myself

It still a great drive till Tianchih, no traffic, lots of monkeys on the road, great scenery

So are there any nice sites at all to visit that don’t require turning back for a long way? I’m hoping to just do some stop starting on a trip around the island without having to double back too far.
Leaving from Taipei and probably taking the 3 highway down and then across the number 9 I hope to hit:

Elan (possibly)

Anywhere else I should stop off on the way in anybody’s opinion?

I’m hoping to put together an article for the site to provide people with a simple to follow ‘to visit’ hot spot list including instructions for travel. Nothing too difficult. Will include pictures and video.

I suggest you drive the 3 to Sanxia, exit and take the 7 spur route down to Shimen and then connect to the 7 proper, the North Cross island Hwy. Stop at the ancient trees at Baling and then drive up to Taipingshan, a gorgeous forest reserve with some nice hot springs on the way up.

Return to the 7 and head up to Wuling Farm, and then up to Lishan and Dayuling and down through Taroko Gorge from the top (the best way down, with Chinese landscape painting views the whole way).

From Taroko take highway 9 to Liyu Lake and ride a bike or drive Hwy 14 up the Mugua River Gorge, a mini Taroko Gorge only far more wild and untamed looking.

Then drive down the rift valley. In Yuli head out to the Wallami trail. Also check out Loshan, an organic growing valley with some of the best scenery in the rift valley: think towering blue mountain ranges on both sides of you as you sit in a lush rice growing valley.

You can ride up the old South Cross Island Highway a bit also.

Then ride down to Taitung but take a side trip up to Luye, one of the nicet bits of rural Taiwan, and also the centre of parasailing. Once in Taitung take Highway 11 back up to Hualien and then the Suhua up to Ilan and taipei. Basically after Sanxia you will be in sparsely populated land with one stunning landscape after the other. And you won’t have repeated a single mile.

After Taitung you could also drive down to Kenting but make sure to take the 199. When riding back, after Fangliao take the 185 up to Sandimen. 70km of pure rural landscape as opposed to the shit you would go through heading up the coastal routes.

From Sandimen continue to Maolin and then cut over to the 20 and up the Tsengwen Reservoir way to Guanziling along the lovely “coffee road”.

From Guanziling head up to Alishan and then across to Tatajia and on to Dongpu, Sun Moon Lake, Puli and Highway 14 up to Hehuanshan where the road gets to 3140m?, putting you above the treeline.

Then once again drop down into Taroko and at the end of that head up the Suhua Highway to Ilan and Taipei.

1 Like

Excellent suggestions Mucha Man! You should put all this great info into a book or something - bound with pangolin skin. :sunglasses:

And wrapped with a cobra.

And wrapped with a cobra.

MM what is the highest point from which water flows into the Danshhui River System?

(I only ask because you have a history of tolerating my obsessions.)

muchoman. wow. im saving that little bit there. And i is gonna do just that one of these here days :slight_smile:

[quote=“bob”]MM what is the highest point from which water flows into the Danshhui River System?

(I only ask because you have a history of tolerating my obsessions.)[/quote]

Indeed. For verily it is a good obsession.

I’d say wherever the Dahan River starts would be the highest point. The Dahan feeds Shimen dam, runs through taoyuan county and feeds the Xindian which feeds the Danshui.

The source of the Dahan seems to be in the north Snow Range around Cilan.

conservation.forest.gov.tw/ct.as … =727&mp=11

BTW, this looks interesting:
docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cac … %26English_P%2B06-P%2B08.pdf+snow+taiwan+mountains+drain+into+dahan&hl=en&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESihcWybqkw6I3qq06qn9vR3nlLcD6m7jSoPXIjDDPgu73_wV7dhxY_xf735itarGBKx3R3oZCUz4Kvl2r-sSWusNaKvZ1KFlmelAdlRWghBdRk9Sq07hCuK2enBY56Ty0FW-k8O&sig=AHIEtbSudiVZ8KcSgnlUliUozdbij_R_OQ