We are landing in Kaohsiung late on a Friday night, and leaving early on Monday morning, and hoping to do a 2-day hike in-between, staying somewhere decent that does not require a tent. (This is the kind of thing we do in the Swiss Alps, when visiting Europe). But I have not been down that far south in Taiwan before (we have climbed Yushan and Chi-Lai South as well as hiked in Taroko Gorge and the hills around Taipei, so not entire novices).
Ideally we’d stay in a hotel near the airport on Friday night, take a train/bus/taxi to a hiking trail in the morning, walk over some hills to another town and stay there Saturday night; walk over some more hills to another town and stay there Sunday night and then make our way back to the airport early Monday morning to fly out.
Does anyone have any suggestions for where to start/trails to take/how to buy an appropriate map (ideally online before I arrive) or any other comments? All help much appreciated.
If you can’t get answers here you might contact http://www.barking-deer.com/.
They are based in southern Taiwan and should be able to give you some ideas, even if you don’t want to join their tours.
You can do Beidawushan. Two days. Should be able to get permits same day as they are just the police mountain check.
hikingintaiwan.blogspot.com/2009 … south.html
Trialhead is a bit lower now than when I went but I think it’s still two days.
very nice walk. Hard to get lost once you’re on the ridge, which helps.
Bit far for a taxi from Ktown, though.
I had a look at the writeup - looks lovely but seems to be camping - which I indicated we do NOT want to do. You mentioned a “cabin” - what is that? I’m really looking for somewhere to stay that night which has beds and food (basic is fine, non-existent not so fine) - so town to town (or village to village) rather than up in the mountains!
Also maolin turned up in a bunch of searches - that seemed more likely to have a village we could walk to (perhaps along the road?) - any views or info on whether that’s a practical option? Thanks.
What you are asking for doesn’t really exist in Taiwan. Other than Yushan and a couple others, parks don’t have cabins with food. They often have cabins, but they are unmanned.
You can walk on the road in the mountains anywhere but no one does that unless they are going to/from a trail: or they are on a bike. I suppose the Alishan region would be ideal for road walking if you wanted to do it. Lots of little villages and great scenery but you’d have to choose well and do lots of research on how far between villages. Also a weekend would be very unideal as traffic would be heavy.
Maolin is also a possibility. Going from Maolin to Dona is possible in a day I think. But again, weekend traffic could be bad.
I am curious, are there any trails in the scenic area there? We went there once, but only to Duona without walking in the mountains.
I am curious, are there any trails in the scenic area there? We went there once, but only to Duona without walking in the mountains.[/quote]
Some short ones and apparently a fantastic canyon to explore. Richard Sanders did a hike there last year.
The locals also know some very long trails down to remote butterfly valleys.
With a typhoon approaching this week and probably affecting most of Taiwan it’s probably not a good idea to go hiking next weekend, even if the center of the typhoon is far from Kaohsiung. Heavy rain is very likely, and that means high possibility of landslides and what not. In any case watch the weather forecast closely and don’t go anywhere were it might get dangerous.
Thanks for all the replies. I think (especially given the weather risk) we will stay around town this time and hire a car to go into any areas that are ok, suss them out and perhaps plan the walking holiday for next time. I know what you mean about Alishan - we’ve done that before. I also looked at the bottom tip of the mountain range - looked possible to cross from one side to the other but wasn’t sure the quality of the paths. We can do 30km a day with packs with good paths… not if bushwhacking!
[quote=“fairhsa”…We can do 30km a day with packs with good paths…[/quote]
Really? That isn’t the usual pace in Taiwan because of the steepness of the terrain. 1-2m per hour is usual in a lot of places as it’s like going up and down stairs, and there are always washouts and other hazards to negotiate. It isn’t like other destinations and I’ve seen countless foreign hikers far overestimate how much they could cover in a day.
Bushwacking is also not something you do in Taiwan. Again because of the terrain. You stay on the trail or you fall into a ravine.
Or contend with unhappy snakes. Stay safe!
Beidawushan is the obvious mountain hike in southern Taiwan. I haven’t done this one yet but I have heard that it’s still two days.
Another option if you can work out the transportation aspect is the Jinshui trail. theworldisnotthatbig.com/2011/12 … il-taiwan/ It’s a fairly easy dayhike. You need to find a ride up a little mountain road to LiLi. The best plan is to have someone pick you up at the other end but that will be hard to organize.
Maolin has a few short (1 hr-ish) trails but no big mountain trails. they are spread out so you would need to have your own transport. You also wouldn’t want to walk from Maolin to Duona on the road. Ick. I’m not sure Richard Saunder’s canyon hike can even be hiked in the summer but certainly not after a typhoon. It’s a really narrow canyon and the current might be too strong to go up it. there was still a fair amount of water in February last year.
One of the best high mountain hikes in southern Taiwan is Jiaming Lake but it’s a 3 day hike (normal people) and you can’t access from the west side of the mountains. Instead you have to drive to Taitung and access it from there.
Aside from Beidawushan and Jiaming lake most of the classic high mountain hikes are in central and northern Taiwan. Some really great hikes.