Things to do and see in and around Toayuan?

Described as the armpit of Taiwan in LP, Toayuan does not exactly offer much but it has a good thing or two. I want to know from anyone in the know where to go from here on scooter. Read about Highway 7 to Shimen Dam that apparently offers good views and camping spots. Anyone out there who done it? Any other places to recommend?


Hey there,

Sure I guess LP is right, you’ve gotta get outta the city when living in Taoyuan. What a coincidence, the first time I log on to this forum ever I see this question. I’ve lived here 8 months, in Taoyuan the whole time - I always go to Dasi (Tahsi) to go surfing, the waves have been nuts lately, I’ve been getting annihilated cause I’m fairly new. Anyways, there and Fulong beach are 2 hours away (approx). Shimen Dam is nothing special, went there and it’s more of a lame day trip, but I guess that’s just personal opinion. A good view, I guess - but if you have more than one day off I definitely wouldn’t go there. I’d rather go to Danshui in northern Taipei than Shimen, both decent day trips. Any more questions I’ll try to help.

Cheers, Mike

Forgot to mention Tiger Head Mountain. If you’re staying in Taoyuan for a little while and want a break from the city without leaving it, go to Tiger Head Mountain, I always practice guitar there and hike around. From the intersection of Chen-Kung Rd Sec. 1 and Chung-Chen Rd, go up Chen Kung (opposite some school arches) for 3 minutes on scooter until you see a stadium on your right. Go through that intersection, taking a left (very big intersection) and it’ll be on your right very soon, there’s an archway at its base. There’s another entrance but this one’s easy to find. Cheers

  • Mike

There are lots of beautiful spots to explore along highway seven. The following are two of my favorites; Tung-yen-shan and Hsin Hsing Hot Spring. If you’re looking for a good place to camp, forget about Shimen - too crowded and dirty for my tastes. Drive along seven until you reach the village of Lower Baleng (about 50km from Daxi). From there cross the bridge and take the first road going off to the right. After driving for a few km you’ll see a crowded lane with a dozen houses on the right side - turn onto this road. Follow it down through the fields until you reach the river. On both banks there are numerous places to pitch a tent - the spot directly below the graveyard being my favorite. :sunglasses:

You haven’t visited some of the outskirts of Taipei yet…Sanchung, Hsin-Chuang, Wuku, Panchaio…Etc…Compared to these, Taoyuan is a virtual paradise!

Seriously, get on whatever transportation you have, and head up to the mountains! Within an hour, you’ll be sipping fresh mountain air, and wondering why the hell you didn’t do this sooner…

It’s a cakewalk from Taoyuan city…Just head out Jei-so Rd (Sp?) for about 6km until you cross the 2nd Freeway. About 1km after that, the road will drop to the right down into a valley. At the bottom, stay to the right, and cross over the new bridge (This will bypass Tashi altogether). Go back up the hill, and the road will merge with another 4 lane highway. This is the main road to Shrmen dam. After following this for about 500meters, the road will make a gradual left and a gradual right. At the flashing yellow light, hang a left. You’ll know if you’re on the right one, it’s steep as hell. When you get to the top, turn right. Follow this past Tzuhu, through a long tunnel, onto the village of Sanming, Continuing through Fushing, down a twisty downhill section, do some more twisties, and cross over the big red bridge…Once over the bridge, the road opens up into a 4 laner for about 2km. Once it narrows up again, you’ll see a cop shop and the Holy Grail…The entrance to Highway 7. Depending on how fast you ride/drive, should take around an hour. From there, it’s 35km to San Baling and the campsites mentioned by Chung. If you’re just into riding and checking out the scenery, then continue past Baling to the top of the pass. The scenery there is fantastic and at the top, (1,600meters) you’ll be in alpine forest. Very cool.

I’ll be the first to admit that Taoyuan City is not a garden spot in Taiwan. But before knocking it too much, see what it has to offer first. It’s very centrally located, rent is cheap, and if you are a teacher the payscale is still the highest on the island. If you are looking to save money, and have good access to the mountains, then Taoyuan doesn’t look too bad. I can be sitting/diving on the Northeast coast in less than 2 hours by car. Lastly, you are an hour closer to Kenting than your Taipei counterparts.

Too bad the nightlife sucks though… :s

thanks all and keep it comin’

gifro - is the road to tiger head the one that crosses san-min road where you can see the big stadium. the stadium is very big and shaped like an egg right?

if that is the one then there’s a place you might also wanna try - if u take the right “fork” instead of the left you are basically on the way to taipei. it is a two-way with two lanes on each side. only about 1km further you will see a place on the left (on the other side of the road so u have to make a u-turn at the next traffic light) called “spring farm”. it is hard to find if you are not looking because you have to look back if you know what i mean.

lovely restaurant and some short walks that takes you into the mountain and it’s all smack bang in the middle of the city, but u really don’t feel it. apparently less crowded than tiger head.

let me know about a detailed map of highway 7 - anyone?

i also need to know if there are any places to overnight on highway 7 apart from camping facilities.


There are a few hotels etc. in Baling (Baleng, whatever), and you can sleep there. On the way, not many.

But highway 7 is great and a good weekend trip. Many foreigners claim that it’s not good on a scooter, but well, all the locals ride scooters up there.

another thing you can do in Taoyuan is to go out to the sea/Taiwan strait for some seafood, which is really good. The best place is Zhuwei (Jhuwei, Chuwei), which is a small fishing port with a fish market/restaurants, seafood stalls etc. You drive toward Taimall, and continue straight ahead for a few clicks. Once you reach route no 15, you turn left, and turn right at the temple/convenience store interchange. (The temple is big and hard to miss). You follow the road and you will be at the harbor a few minutes later.

Mike, I took your directions and ran with them, so to speak, on Sunday. Tiger Head Mtn. was a pretty nice place to just relax and enjoy the locals doing their thing. Later in the day I continued driving up that same road. It led me up into the foothills and WOW it was a very nice drive through the top of the foothills. The stretch of highway up there is amazing when there aren’t any cars. Pretty bad I know, but I must of broken god knows how many speed laws. :stuck_out_tongue: Also was intrigued by the huge amount of stray dogs up there. I even had a small pack of about 20 chasing me on the scooter for a couple minutes. Haha.

I agree. I wandered there about 3 weeks ago. Awesome seafood, but that stretch of beach is one of the filthiest I’ve ever seen. Still, the old coastal fortifications were really cool to see.

There are some nice foothills if you drive past Tai Mall… Follow that little street that runs parallel (and right next to) to the train-tracks and when the street goes no further turn right and drive up the mountains…Look for a temple and park there.
There is one other spot that is hard to explain (in that same area), if you see a bridge with cows and goats feeding in the little valley below your on your way!!! Drive around the beautiful rice paddies and up the hill (there is a red sign indicating where to go).

We’re usually walking around those hills every weekend with our dogs. If interested send PM!

This coming weekend is looking good for a camping trip! Might try those camp sites mentioned by Chung and Michael. Can tents be rented there? Do they allow fires?

You can rent tents from any of the local camping stores in Taoyuan…

As far as the camping sites go, we generally just wander down sideroads until we find what we like and camp there…No people, and no restrictions. With all the landslides/flooding, firewood is easily availible…

One last thing…The camping spot Mucha mentioned has gotten a bit popular and you likely won’t be alone camping there. You can camp a little farther upstream (a little past the footbridge) and you’ll have it to yourself…Some nice spots to swim too, but it’s damn cold! I usually wimp out and take a wetsuit…I camped in that area 4 times last fall and saw the Milky way/shooting stars on all four trips!

Have a good time :smiley:

Here’s a good link with loads of information on the pass between Taoyuan and Ilan - the Chilan rainforest.

For more information on Lalashan have a look through this thread -

There’s a beautiful Japanese temple near Hutoushan. When you come up the road from the Mitsukoshi turn left instead of right. The temple is on the way up to the graveyard which is also a fascinating area.

The ceremony at the Confucius Temple at the base of Hutoushan is great on September 28, Confucius birthday. Go just to see the 2 metre high drums being beaten.

As for the Highway 7 I still think the Youth Activity Centre is a great place to stay. Last time I was there they gave me a 3 person room for NT800 as they simply divided NT2400 by 3. I had the most amazing view for a pittance. Even if you don’t stay there have a coffee on the patio of the coffee shop. This used to be the site of one of Chiang, Kai-shek’s summer villas so you know it’s figgin’ beautiful. Dictator’s don’t vacation in the dumps.

Since you’re in Taoyuan don’t miss Yingge and Sansia. Yingge is a small town dedicated to pottery and ceramics while Sansia has one of the most beautiful temples in all of Taiwan. They have been restoring this temple for 50 years and they are still 20 years from completion.

Sansia also has Wuliaojian, one of my favorite hikes in northern Taiwan. The 3 hour hike takes you right along a knife edge ridge. People used to fall off this all the time before they finally installed ropes. Lot’s of fun. Just don’t carry an umbrella. :wink:

Got to agree with Chung that Tungyenshan is wonderful.

In Nankan Taiwan’s only snake temple can be visited. I haven’t been in but I hear there is a room with thousands of snakes in it. Last year a huge snake appeared at the kindy I worked at. Apparently it escaped from the temple!

Just wanna know.If 'n open a nice sportsbar in taoyuan city,do u think ill make some bucks.Im getting tired to go to taipei every weekend too watch some rugby,cricket,soccer or F1.
dont wanna open a place and losse all my savings.