Feilong Trail is located in Xinpu (新埔) Township, Hsinchu County. The total length of trail is about 9 km with multiple smaller trails connect with each other. The trails are mostly in shade and surrounded by tall trees and greens with a few pavilions along the way. Part of the hill used to be a military training base, so some horizontal bars and balance beam are still around.
At the top of hill there is a Sanseng Temple (三聖宮) which was built in a memory of ancient heroes, Guandi and two other heroes. The god statues were once being moved during Japanese colonial period. Later the owner of the Temple, Mr. Pon found these statues after World War II and moved them back to the current place in 1973. The square in front of the Temple has a beautiful outlook of Xinpu Township and is also a great place for picnic.
Five Fingers Mountain also known as Wuzhi (五指) Mountain is situated in between Zhudong (竹東), Beipu (北埔), and Wufeng (五峰) Township, Hsinchu County. The mountain was named after its five joint peaks, which resembling a person’s hand. The highest peak is 1061 m in height and is an extension of Xue Mountain (雪山). The beauty scenery of Ermei (峨嵋), Beipu, Zhubei (竹北), Hsinchu, Zhudong and Feifeng Mountain can be seen at the peak of middle finger. There are quite a few temples, including Pangu (盤古), Zaojun (灶君), Zhulin(竹林禪苑) and Yuhuang (玉皇) Temples at mountainside as well.
The most common trail entrance is from Zhulin Temple hikes to thumb, index finger, middle finger, ring finger and little finger then travels back on the same route or takes a side trail from middle finger back to Zhulin Temple. The entire journey takes about 4-5 hours, 6.5 km depending on your pace. Note that the side trail is straight down the hill and requires a bit of rock climbing skills. Most trails are surrounded by tall trees in shade so you won’t feel too hot when you go up and down of each peak of fingers.
Let us know how you get on with your hike.
Located in Hukou Township, Hsinchu County, Hukou Old Street is a 300-meter long street occupied by two-story redbrick shop-houses that were built around 1914 during Japanese colonial period. The rises and falls of the Hukou Old Street is very much related to the development of train station and is considered as one of the well-preserved Old Streets in Taiwan. The original Hukou train station was established in 1892 at the current address of the Catholic Church on the Old Street, which was built later in 1959. Then after the train station moved away in 1929, the businesses in town were declined.
With a number of government-funded renovations, the Hukou Old Street were able to rejuvenate its traditional looks of wooden window frames and sliding doors along with carved facades and granite slabs. The old movie theater was renovated into a restaurant and the box office was kept by the side of the wall. Besides appreciating the architectures, there are also several vendors and restaurants selling Hakka delicacies, as well as handcrafted products and some grocery shopping that are locally grown. The Old Street ends at Sanyuan Temple (三元宮), worships Sankuantadi (三官大帝) and is commonly known as the kings for heaven, earth, and water.
The Old Street can be reached from Hukou Train Station by taxi or bus. Alternately, there are buses to take outside of Hsinchu Train Station as well.
Xingfeng Wetland is situated at the North and South river bank of Hongmao (紅毛) River estuary near Chihe Temple (池和宮) on West Coast Highway. The 8.5 acres of mangrove ecological park has many fiddler crabs, mud skippers, shrimps and shellfish. Taking a walk inside the park you will be surrounded by tall lush mangroves and instantly feel you are in a maze with unexpected wonders. Not to mention chilling by the side of river bank and watching a splendid sunset at the dusk.
The mangrove ecological park also connects with cross-country cycling route to YongAn Fishing Port in Taoyuan County. The round trip journey is about 30km in total. Beautiful coastline, wind turbines, fishing port, local farms and cafe can be found along cycling route. If you are up for a swim, you can also get close to the ocean at one of the nearest beaches. As the location is a bit off from Xingfeng Train Station, highly recommend driving to the park and park at the free public parking lot.
Feifeng Mountain (飛鳳山) located in Qionglin (芎林), Hsinchu County is 423 meters in height and is a popular hiking place on weekends for Hsinchu residences. Taipei 101 can be seen in a distance on a good weather day at the peak of the Feifeng Mountain. This might sound a bit hard to believe but it takes a bit of luck and good eye sight to spot it. Throughout the seasons there are various types of flowers alongside of hiking trials, such as azaleas, cherry blossoms, and tung blossoms etc. as well as observation points.
There are several different trails at the mountain and the most common ones are 2.8 km and 1.8km trails which can be found after the archway of Feifeng Mountain. The 2.8 km trail head will be on your right hand side before you reach the 1.8 km trail head on your left hand side down the road and both trails connect with each other as a loop. To complete a loop taking about 1.5 to 3 hours depending on your pace and the difficulties of these trails are moderate with a bit of steep hills. Let us know how you get on after your visit.
Xinwawu (新瓦屋) also known as New Tile House is the first Hakka Cultural Reserved District in Taiwan. It can be reached by Express No. 7 Bus departs from Hsinchu High Speed Rail station. If you enjoy farmer’s market, arts and crafts or performances, this is an ideal place for you to visit on weekends in Zhubei.
The early settler of Xinwawu, Sun-Tan Lin (林孫檀) traveled to Taiwan along with his nephews, Sun-Zhang Lin (林孫漳), Xian-Kun Lin (林先坤) and others from Chaozhou of Guangdong province, China. Later they developed the district and built a family house, Zhongxiao Hall (忠孝堂) in 1805 which at the time was later than the neighboring Liuzhangli (六張犁) district of Lin family. Hence, it was being named as New Tile House in Mandarin. Xinwawu was a closed village surrounded by walls at a size of approx. 2,910 square meters. Zhongxiao Hall had been renovated several times over years and the current one was built in 1973. The remains of old Zhongxiao Hall is still being kept on site.
Now Xinwawu has been transformed to a hub for arts and culture development, welcoming artist in residency, local farmers and communities. Every year there is Hakka tea festival in May, outdoor movie theater in July and August and Hakka drum festival in October. A visit to Xinwawu you can definitely find old among new.
If you want to learn about Hakka history and experience the culture, Beipu Old Street, located in Hsinchu County is an ideal place to visit for half day. Beipu was one of the few townships developed by both Fukienese and Hakka. The Hakka developed the inland and traded with Fukienese who lived in the downtown. Historical buildings like Jinguangfu (金廣福) Mansion, Tiansui Hall (天水堂), and Citian Temple (慈天宮) features the integration of Hakka and Fukienese and the local prosperity in the past which can be traced back to Qing dynasty .
Although the length of main Old Street is not very long, there are many old houses, short walls, and tea houses with rich history can be found at nearby streets and allies. Not to mention, various Hakka delicacies and handcrafts are available for you to discover. If you are tired from walking, just visit a tea house to make your own “leicha” and enjoy a lovely tea break in Hakka style. The Lion’s Head Mountain route runs by Taiwan Tourist Shuttle do stop Beipu Old Street and other nearby attractions offering great alternatives for transportation. Plan a trip to Beipu and let us know your experience.
Neiwan Old Street, located in Hengshan (橫山) Township, Hsinchu County was used to be the main route to Jianshi (尖石) Township for the timber industry as well as mining industry. After the rush, the town went through a recession but now with an easy access by train, it has become one of the popular scenic spots in Hsinchu.
Stroll along the old street, you will discover the rich Hakka and indigenous culture as well as nostalgia atmosphere. There are plenty of local delicacies await you to sample, such as ginger lily-flavored glutinous rice (zongzi), brown sugar cakes, Hakka tea (leicha), Hakka rice cakes (mochi), etc. The street opens from 9 AM until 7 PM or so and is like a night market with plenty of entertainment.
Also, don’t forget to check out Neiwan Theater, Neiwan train station, suspension bridges and comic characters, Brother A-San and Great Auntie, created by local artist, Xingqin, Liu (劉興欽). What’s more, Neiwan is also a great place to watch fireflies and swim or barbecue by the riverbank in summer. If you have extra time, visit one of the hot springs resorts nearby and enjoy a relaxing spa or hot springs bath in Neiwan before going home.
If you want to go somewhere close to nature, Zhaomen Agricultural Recreation Area (照門休閒農業區) in Xinpu (新埔) Township, Hsinchu County will be the place to visit. The 300 hectares of land surrounded by hills and trails, includes Jiuqionghu (九芎湖) and Jianzhuwo (箭竹窩) two areas and is a Hakka village with various farm produces, such as pears, tangerines, pomelos and persimmon throughout the year.
“Hu” and “Wo” in Hakka dialect mean “lake” between valleys; the broader one is “Hu” and the narrow one is “Wo”. The early Hakka settlers saw many lagerstroemia subcostata trees and fargesia then named the areas as Jiuqionghu and Jianzhuwo. In fact, there are only ponds for farming irrigation in the areas instead of lakes.
The paved trails at Zhaomen Agricultural Recreation Area are suitable for all ages and depending on the time of year, you might find dragonflies, rhinoceros beetles, butterflies and birds along the way. During your hike, you can also visit farms for fruit picking, tea sampling, DIY lesson and Hakka cuisine experience. It is definitely a wonderful place to relax over the weekend.
Map: https://goo.gl/nJvO7B 新埔鎮照門里九芎湖15-1號
Fengqi Sunset Trail is located in Xinfeng (新豐), Hsinchu County and is closed to Minghsin University of Science and Technology (明新科技大學) and Tiande Temple (天德堂). The trail is about 3 km in length and West bound to Lian Hua Temple (蓮花寺) in Zhubei (竹北) for another 2 km. The trail is relatively flat with limited steep stairs which is suitable for all ages.
On top of the hill you can overlook Zhubei City, Taiwan Strait and Nanliao Fishing Port. When sunsets the beam of the light will merge with the sea and create a beautiful reflection, so don’t miss out the view if you visit the trail in the late afternoon. There are couple bunkers dated back in WWII still exist next to the trial. Do bring a flashlight, if you would like to have a peek inside the bunkers.
If you take public transportation, you can reach the trail head on foot in about 30 minutes from Xinfeng train station. Taking a taxi outside of the Xinfeng train station would be a good alternative as well.