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Beidawu – 北大武山

Beidawushan 北大武山

Sunset near the Kuaigu Cabin

Having failed to get a permit in the Yushan National Park because of the snow season, we headed a little further south to Pingdong County to hike Beidawushan which is Taiwan’s southern most Baiyue (top one hundred mountain). In the past this was a reasonable 2 day hike, but a large landslide caused my Typhon Morakot means the trailhead is much lower and further back making it a much tougher walk. We did it in 2 days, but if you’ve got the time, I think 3 days would be more enjoyable.

Although it’s one of the smaller Baiyue (3092m), Beidawu is a mammoth rock that rises sharply from the ground. The strip of land that it lies on is only 80km from the west coast to the east coast and on fine days you can see both (or so I hear!) Continue Reading »

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The weather in northern Taiwan is notoriously bad in the winter and this year has been no exception.  So f you’re going to hike in the rain, there won’t be much scenery to look, unless of course you visit a waterfall and the Sandiaoling Trail 三貂嶺 has waterfalls in abundance.

Sandiaoling Waterfalls

Hegu Waterfall, the first waterfall on the trail

When I woke up on Sunday the weather in Taipei wasn’t too bad, just a slight drizzle and so I had high hopes for our hike.  However, the further east we got, the heavier the rain became and when we finally arrived at the tiny station of Sandiaoling, it was pretty much a persistent downpour.  Still, everyone was in high spirits as we headed along the tracks and got onto the very muddy trail.

Continue Reading »

Some Upcoming Hikes

We’ve got two open hikes planned for February.  The first is to Snow Mountain on the 10th-12th and the second is to Dabajianshan on the 25th-27th.  February 27/28th are both holidays and so we’ve got a 4 day weekend then.

Snow Mountain is Taiwan’s second highest peak and a great climb.  Some amazing scenery!

Snow Mountain Facebook Event

Dabajianshan is probably Taiwan’s most distinctive mountain.  Look on the back of a $500NT note, that’s the one!  It’s a great 3 day hike to this huge mountain and back.

Dabajianshan Facebook Event

If you’re interested in joining us on either hike or on some gentler day trips around Taipei, then join the facebook group, Taiwan Adventures – Group Hikes.

Dabajianshan

Dabajianshan

Dabajianshan

Snow Mountain, Taiwan

Snow mountain - 雪山

Snow Mountain - 雪山

Well it’s finally here!  Our mobile guide to Taiwan for the iPhone and iPod is available in the app store now.

The features include;

  • More that 900 points of interest that cover everything from hotels to hot springs to hiking.
  • More than 2000 photos, many of which you’ll only see in the app
  • Online and offline maps to make finding you way around so much easier
  • Street addresses with both in pinyin and Chinese
  • Easy to use:  Search by district, category, distance, map or just browse through our photo albums.

One thing that we’ve really tried to push with the app is Taiwan’s superb outdoors.   You’ll find that may of the points of interest are waterfalls, hikes, forest recreation areas, swimming holes, beaches, wild hot springs etc. and with the online and offline maps, it’s so much easier to find these hidden gems.

The Taiwan Adventures app can be downloaded from the app store for free.  Inside you’ll find a free database containing information about Bali and Danshui and from the store, you can then make in app purchases for the other areas of Taiwan.

Hope you enjoy it!  And look out for updates coming in the very near future!

Taiwan Adventures Guide for iPod and iPhone

The entry for the Bishan Temple near Neihu

Taiwan Adventures Guide for iPod and iPhone

Entries all have info regarding prices, opening hours and the address in Chinese and Pinyin as well as links to websites

Taiwan Adventures Guide for iPod and iPhone

The map shows your location in red and all of the entries are in blue.

Taiwan Adventures Guide for iPod and iPhone

Zoomed in the map give enough detail to find your way around

Taiwan Adventures Guide for iPod and iPhone

The free database contains info about Bali and Danshui. The rest of Taiwan has been divided into 5 areas, Taipei, Northern, East, Southern and Central

Taiwan Adventures Guide for iPod and iPhone

I personally really like flicking through the photo gallery to look for interesting places

Taiwan Adventures Guide for iPod and iPhone

Available in Chinese and English

Yushan Info

A couple of bits of news from the Yushan National Park came out in the last week.   The Paiyun Cabin, which has been closed for sometime now, is set to open in the spring of next year.  It seems that the cabin will be divided into roughly 10 rooms of 8-12 people rather than the old barrack-style that it used to be.  That should mean getting some sleep will be easier when you don’t have to listen to 60+ people snoring!  The Cabin will also have a restaurant too and hopefully there will still be kitchen facilities for those who want to do their own cooking.

The only bad news is that the cleaning fee for staying at the cabin will rise to $700 for foreigners and will remain at $220 for Taiwanese.  Given how much bad English and infrequent updates there are on the website, it seems a little rich for the foreigners to be charged more than 3 times as much.   We’ll have to see what eventually happens.  Fingers crossed the park authority see sense before the cabin opens.

Also earlier this week the dates for the resting period for Yushan were announced.  Climbers will not be allowed to hike Yushan between Feb 1st and Feb 29th.

Group Hike to Snow Mountain

Snow Mountain, Taiwan

Snow Mountain, Taiwan

Next month Taiwan Adventures are organising a group hike to Snow Mountain, Taiwan’s second highest mountain.  We’ve already ran trips to Nenggao, Jialuo Lake and Songluo Lake and this will be our first group trip to the Sheipa National Park.  If you’re interesting in joining us, please sign up at our facebook page.

The plan is to leave Taipei on Friday 25th November at 7pm and return on Sunday 27th November 7pm.  The trip involves spending 2 nights in cabins on the mountainside.  Total cost for the trip is $4500NT and this includes transport, permits, insurance, food and guiding.  The trip is limited to 10 people so please sign up ASAP!

Itinerary

Friday – Meet 7pm, drive to Wuling Farm and then hike at night for an hour to arrive at the Qika Cabin.

Saturday – Up around 8am, breakfast and then hike up to the 369 Cabin passing by Snow Mountain’s East Peak. Sleep at the cabin.

Sunday – Up sharp (2/3am) and head to the main peak for sunrise. Hike back down to Wuling Farm and then drive back to Taipei. We expect to be back around 7pm.

Equipment

You will need;

– At least a 40L backpack
– Pack cover
– Sturdy hiking shoes or boots (Sneakers won’t cut it on this one)
– Fleece
– Raincoat
– Warm pants
– 3 pairs of socks
– Warm hat
– Gloves
– Sleeping bag (winter bag – it will be very cold  at night, possibly below zero)
– Rain gear
– 2L of water
– Flashlight (preferably a headlamp)
– Toiletries and personal items
– Sunscreen

If you have trouble getting anything, let us know and we’ll see if we can help you out. We’ll provide all the food with the exception of lunch on Saturday.

Notes

It’s important to note that although hiking Snow Mountain doesn’t involve any technical climbing, any high mountain hike where you are carrying your own gear is tough.  Please consider your fitness and ability before signing up.

We will require a deposit of $1000NT from anyone who wishes to come.  This is non-refundable unless we are forced to cancel because of the weather.

We must receive the deposit before 25th October otherwise it will be too late to apply for the permit.

Snow Mountain, Taiwan

The view from the East Peak as the sun comes up

Snow Mountain - 雪山

Almost at the peak

Snow Mountain, Taiwan

Looking towards the Central Mountain Range

Snow Mountain, Taiwan

The Black Forest in winter

Taiwan Adventures The Oneline Guide

It’s been a hectic and crazy year for us, but finally our comprehensive online guides to Taiwan are finally ready.  Myself, Neil Wade, Ross Tweedie and my brother, Phil Dawson have spent the last 8 months or so building the two guides.  There is one in English and one that we have had translated into Chinese.

It’s been hard work to say the least.  Working full time jobs and then spending the evenings writing and the weekends travelling and visiting places, but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed.  It gave me a real kick up the arse to get out there and visit some of the places that I had been meaning to go to for a long time but had never gotten round to.

Some of my personal highlights include Guguan which I knew nothing about but absolutely loved, especially the hiking, getting the car stuck in snow at the top of Hehuanshan,  and motorcycling up and down the east coast between Hualien and Taidong with Neil this summer.

Each guide is divided up into 5 main areas, Taipei, north, east, south and central and then each area is divided up into specific places, such as Kending, the North East Coast or Danshui/Bali.  You can use the site to search for what’s near you or to plan a trip to another part of Taiwan or simply browse through the categories for things that interest you.

We have some 900 places listed including hotels, hikes, hot springs, transport etc.  Each place is listed on a google map and the address is in Chinese and English to make it easier to find.

Hopefully next week the mobile app version will be released in the itunes store and each area will be available for download to your iphone, ipad, or ipod. The app version will have online and offline maps so getting directions will be even easier and there are some 2000 photographs included.  We will continuously update the app and so, unlike a guide book, you won’t have to wait 3 years to pay for a new version., the update be available for free!

We hope that people find these guides useful and we’d love to hear some feedback about how we can improve them – info at taiwan-adventures dot com

 Iphone app guide to Taiwan

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