April 8, 2019 - kenshinjeff
Climbing and hiking notes for Yushan in Taiwan 玉山
Still a work in progress.
Hi there, if you’ve arrived here, it means you have the intention of climbing Yushan in Taiwan. There’s already some English guides online, tour groups and facebook groups which will explain booking of huts and getting there, but I’ll just share how we did it in a party of two by ourselves because it’s not so easy to find all the important information.
Notes for Xueshan are here.
- How long to stay
- Booking your huts
- Food and sleeping bags
- Getting to the trailhead
- Comparison to Xueshan
How long to stay
While Yushan is quite a nice place, there really isn’t much to look at while hiking through to the top, unless you’re interested in the flora.
Booking your huts
As of writing (Early 2019), and if you’re a foreigner, national park permit applications open up to four months in advanced. Near to one month before, the applications will be processed in order of applications. You’ll be able to see the number of applications that have been submitted, and those that are in the queue. The online system itself is well programmed and designed, what I can say is that it’s really hard to get a booking unless you’re well prepared and book well in advanced.
The trick is to pre-fill everything before your application, edit your draft before 07:00 AM GMT+8, and submit your draft at exactly 07:00 AM GMT+8.
It’s a lot harder than it sounds if you’re trying to get a slot around the peak period. But if you’re not getting a slot near the peak period, it ought to be fine. Probably.
Getting to the trailhead
The information on getting around will be sent to you via a concise email AFTER your booking is confirmed. I’m sure most of the information is/was all over the park website at one time, but here’s a copy for your easy reference.
The Yuanlin bus goes to Alishan from Sun Moon Lake via Tataka (From North to South), and in reverse direction as well. It was really tedious to book as well. Basically to book the Yuanlin bus, you can only submit the reservation form two weeks in advanced for the bus and send it to them via email. Having an email confirmation will mean that you’ll get a place on the bus reserved for you. It also means that if you didn’t book, the bus might just pass the Tataka stop at an earlier timing and leave since it’s full, or because nobody booked.
You can use the youyou ic card to pay for your journey once you get on the Yuanlin bus, or you can pay in cash. This part was really confusing for me, mainly because the instructions in the email were really unclear, I went to the nearest 7-11 at sun moon lake in attempt to make payment and nobody knew what I was supposed to do, except for the fact that the Sun Moon Lake bus counter opens 08:00 AM, which incidentally is the same time the bus arrives.
Officially you can only get off the bus at Tataka carpark, but unofficially, you should get off at Shangdongpu carpark (approx 1 km away) which is nearer to the Dongpu Lodge. This is also where the shuttle bus will bring you to the “Paiyun Mountaineering Center” to pay for your Park Permit/Paiyun lodging, then you walk to the police station for the Mountain Permit, and the shuttle bus will continue bringing you up to the trailhead for 100 NTD per person.
For the return trip, the shuttle bus will take you from the trailhead to Shangdongpu carpark, you have to Tataka carpark to wait for the bus. The shuttle bus driver did inform us that we could take a bus in the opposite direction, but because we made our reservation for our pickup to be at Tataka carpark, we walked there instead.
What we did was to stay at Taichung, book a taxi to Sun Moon Lake the night before, so we can get on the taxi at 06:30 AM, to reach Sun Moon Lake before the 08:00 AM bus leaves and start early without switching too many hotels. (And we also didn’t want to stay over at Dongpu lodge because the public transport timing didn’t make sense to us.) The taxi booking cost us 1600 NTD.
Food and sleeping bags
I would strongly recommend hiring this company for meals and renting of sleeping
Comparison to Xueshan