Smangus/ Taikang Accomodation


So pessimistic. I’m sure we’ll never again see so much high altitude, freestyle feces-slinging.

I’m more worried about the rubber raft concession. I bet the lake is full of escapees from lovely Bitan paddling their rafts in circles while lighting off fireworks.

A question for chung: Could we rent porters in one of the villages? Maybe a couple of sedan chairs as well. Then sandman and I wouldn’t have to worry about being out of shape.

Thanks for the link to the national trails website. Interesting read.

It looks and sounds extremely enticing.

Have you done the hike before, Chung? What’s the distance, or how many hours of reasonably fast-paced hiking are involved? Is it very tough going, with lots of climbing up steep and slippery slopes? And is it truly isolated, or is there some kind of road by which those accursed SUVs can penetrate and despoil the area, especially taking their infernal machines and hideous occupants right up to the edge of that gorgeously inviting lake?

This from the website:
Smangus Historic Trail:
Major fauna include…
…Reptiles such as Taiwan Bamboo Viper, Hundred Pace Viper, Chinese Cobra, and Taiwan Habu. :astonished:
Lions, and tigers and bears, oh my!

Harden up Lumberwuss,
Except for the hundred-pacer those other snakes are very common in the lowlands. It’s a little cold now but wait until it warms up and you could find them in your neighborhood. The trick is to keep your eyes off the women.

I have snakes in my bloody garden for crying out loud.

PPL make noise and tramples. That keeps the snakes at bay. Just watch where you set your feet.

I’m under the impression there are no public huts. My brother-in-law, who has been fishing up that way, claims there is a road, but it is now restricted to people afilliated with the Taida research station.

When we were last up there, I had a look down the trail and didn’t notice any tags. This would indicate to me that the area is not very popular with local hiking clubs.

I have no problem with live snakes – the more the merrier. Its those inert toilet snakes that bother me.

According to my map, the trail is roughly 14km in length with a 700m difference in elevation from the village of Smangus. Atayal locals claim that they cover the distance in about five hours. I have not walked the trail, so I really don’t have any idea as to the conditions, aside from confirming that is a narrow single track with few tags.

Then it sounds like it should be a fairly easy stroll, not even too much of a problem for a reasonably fit city girl or a healthy outdoorsy older child.

However, the existence of that research station and access road gives cause for concern. There are always plenty of people who can swing their connections or bluster enough to gain entry to such roads, no matter what restrictions are supposed to apply.

A few Taiwanese researchers and friends drinking gaoliang would not bother me too much, however, when the locals say 5 hrs, then we would be looking at 10.

No trail markers basically that noone ever uses the trail.

I have seen Bununs hauling 40 kg backpacks up the trail to Jade Mt., and they were still more than twice as fast as I was, and I was carrying much less.

Lets do it. So we’re looking at spending Friday night in the villa, Saturday night under canvas and Sunday night in the villa, right? I’m not keen on driving up there early Saturday and slogging up there only to slog back down the next night with the prospect of driving – fucked – back down the hill on Sunday night.
Chung, will she let us stay Friday and Sunday or will we need to pay for the Sat. night also?

The Yuanyang trail is really a four day trip - two days hiking and another two getting there. To trek up to the lake we would need to be on the trail at sunrise - this would require staying in Smangus the first night. How about we put the lake hike off until the holiday in June? Longer days and warmer weather will make for a much more enjoyable trip. In the meantime, we could combine a weekend at the villa with a day hike up to the Taikang or Jhenxibao ancient trees. Let me know when you would like to go and I’ll make the arrangements.

I’ll check Jojo’s schedule and get back to you. I know she’s keen to go back up there, although she didn’t think too much of the food – she mentioned that next time, we should arrange a discount and she’ll do the cooking. Was she jesting? Who knows, but she sure can cook up a storm!
And don’t you think that a barbie up there under the stars on a warm pretty night would be fantasmagorical?



I don’t think the young Miss He forgot any.

Anyone could tell me how to get from Taipei to Smangus with a motorbike?

That’s possible, but will be a long trip.

  1. get a map.

  2. drive out and get provincial route 3.

When you see the signs toward Neiwan turn left. Drive past neiwan and continue up.

Just walked in the door after doing the Smagus route by motorcycle…

Yes, it can be done and it is a fantastic ride…I wouldn’t recommend it for scooters or psuedo-Harley riders though, the road is rough and steep. Your ears will be popping all day from all the elevation changes but worth every dust-streaked Kilometer…


I’ll post better directions later, right now a nice soft cushion for the… :laughing:

Join us next time, Michael.

We wil happily have you onboard. Chung is very keen og going there shortly - toward the end of the month.

OK, directions for Taikang/Smagus by car and motorcyle.

First, for those starting in Taipei, you need to figure out how to get down to Jungli or Lungtan…There are several ways to do this depending on where in Taipei you live.

By Motorcycle;

The easiest and least frantic (traffic-wise) would probably be to go out Roosevelt road to the Bitan area and turn right across the bridge…Go under the freeway, stay to the right on the 4 lane road and after about 1km you’ll see a sign to the 2nd Freeway…Ignore it, stay straight and the road turns into two lanes and slowly winds up into the hills…You’ll do this for about 10km, then you’ll pop out on Highway No 3 just north of Sanshia. Turn left and head into Sanshia…From there, follow the signs to Tashi, then Lungtan…From there you’ll want to be heading to Kuanshi and then on to Neiwan…Neiwan is not well marked but there is a ore-carrying cable that runs over the highway about 1.5km before the Neiwan turnoff…Can’t miss it…Turn left into Neiwan and go up…

Count on at least 2 hours for the above-mentioned stretch.

Pay attention here, or you’ll get LOST!

Once in the Neiwan area, keep going up…you’ll cross railroad tracks, a quick village, and then come into a town with a bypass road…pass all of this and keep going up…after about 3km, you’ll go through another small town with a bypass road…THERE IS A BRIDGE after these two roads recconnect…Turn right over the bridge. Follow this road up, you’ll cross a bridge and be on the right side of the river…IMPORTANT…Look for a bridge with a statue carved into the rock on the other side on your left (about 2km?)…If you miss this, you are fucked so pay attention! Cross this bridge, you’ll go through a narrow gorge and then pop out in a valley with a small village…Stay straight on this road and you’ll start a steep climb of about 10km to the top of the ridge (put on your coat…It’s cold up there) with an elevation of 1,450 meters. Once at the top, it’s a good place to chill for a moment, admire the view and rest your weary ass.

Allow for about 50 minutes for the above- mentioned section.

Once you can feel your butt again, head on down the valley…After 1.7km, the road splits…Stay to your right. Follow this for about 12km (Nice twisties here!) and eventually you’ll come to a police-check in area. You’ll have to present either your ARC or Passport and pay 10NT to get in.

Allow 20 to 30 minutes for the above-mentioned section.

Now for the fun part…You’ll be heading up again for maybe 12-16km…Keep an eye out for the Hotel mentioned at the beginning of this post, it’ll be on your left overlooking the valley…Not far past this, maybe 1km or 2, there is a sweeping but tight 180 degree turn on the road going right…Just before this, there is a primitave looking sign hanging over the road with a spooky looking dirt-track going off to the left and down…The track looks horrible and it is, but it is the ONLY way into Smagus…From here, it’s about an hour by dirt-track semi-paved, loose rock, steep switchbacked and generally shitty road to Smagus itself.

Allow for at least 2 hours for the above-mentioned ride…

I did it by motorcycle in one day from Yangmei…But, if you want to enjoy the area, it’s not realistic, especialy coming from Taipei…But, if you are into motorcycle touring, you’ll love this!

Caution, the dirt-track into Smagus is narrow and dangerous…I would say don’t take a scooter or passenger car down here…You’ll need some ground clearance, good brakes and enough power to negotiate the steep switchbacks…BE CAREFUL!

By car;

Take the 2nd Freeway to either Lungtan or Kuanshi and then onto Neiwan…You could also come down the 1st Freeway and then cut over on the 66 just south of Jungli and then onto Lungtan or Kuanshi…It’s up to you…

I saw a few passenger cars going down there, but everyone I talked to said that they wished they hadn’t…If you are driving any kind of truck or van with some ground clearance, you should be ok…

Lastly and no offense to anyone…Don’t be an idiot and go up there with your shitty half-dead car or motorcyle…Not only will you not make it, Murphy’s law will dictate that you will break-down in the worst possible location ie, in the middle of nowhere!

If my directions are long-winded my apologies…Feel free to PM me at anytime for more details…Good luck!