Dashanpei (大山背) means behind the big mountain in Mandarin and this name came from the fact that the mountain is situated behind Daqidong Mountain(大崎棟山) in Hengshan Township (橫山鄉), Hsinchu County. It’s one of ideal getaways to hike on numerous trails in one trip. While you’re there, do pay a visit to Hakka Cultural Ecology Hall, aka Dashanbeiyue (大山北月) where used to be “FengXiang Elementary School” and now it has transformed into a wonderland in the mountain for some coffee, plates of Hakka cuisine, and the beauty of Dashanbei.
The trails don’t link together in Dashanbei, so it’d be better to make a plan before starting your hike. During April and May, these paved trails are also the perfect places to see Tung blossom and fireflies. Some of the popular trails are Daqidong Trail (大崎棟步道), Qilong Trail(騎龍步道) and Tea House Trail(茶亭古道) where used to be the pathway for local students and early settlers and at the top of the trail you’ll be able to overlook the Touqian River(頭前溪) and the township.
For the first timer, Daqidong Trail (大崎棟步道) would be a nice one to go for and the trailhead is located behind Leshan Temple (樂善堂). After exploring the trails, you can head to Hakka Cultural Ecology Hall for some of must-eat delicacies in Hsinchu, such as Oriental Beauty tea from Emei (峨眉), kiln baked breads from Hengshan(橫山), handmade rice cakes from Zhudung(竹東), and lei cha smoothies from Beipu(北埔). Also, you can enjoy your time at nearby farmers markets, where you’ll find plenty of fresh and healthy local produces on weekends, too! Feel like to see more? Don’t miss out on Neiwan Old Street and Hexing Train Station.
Driving to Dashanbei probably is the best way to go, considering the distant location in Hengshan Township has less public transportation. There are many parking areas free of charge in Dashanbei, so you can begin your exploration as soon as you arrive. Why not put this place on your travel list.
See spectacular mountain views of Hsinchu from the top
Experience the wild nature as you hike in the mountains
Enjoy the tranquility and sounds of mother earth
Sightseeing neighboring area after the hike
Small-group tour, ensuring a personalized experience
Here is a sample of approx. 8 hours itinerary.
Greet your knowledgeable guide at a pre-arranged meeting point in Hsinchu. Then relax during the scenic journey to Lion’s Head Mountain; gaze out of the window at rugged mountain peaks and revitalizing greenery. Start the hike within the area and stop by waterfall cave and local monasteries as you wander at a leisurely pace. Next, visit Beipu for some Hakka delicacies and historical heritage before concluding the tour.
Private itineraries can run on any day of the week based on your requests. Please contact us to book your tour.
Cinsbu is one of the major red cypress forests of Taiwan located in Jianshi Township (尖石鄉) , Hsinchu County. It is on the opposite side of Smangus (司馬庫斯) and only takes slightly more than an hour from Smangus by car. The road condition to Cinsbu from Smangus is winding but not as rough as the roads to Smangus from Neiwan (內灣). Ideally if time allows, it is suggested to visit Smangus and Cinsbu all together in 2 to 3 days. Since it is quite a long journey from the city, so why not get the most of it by visiting amazing giant cypress trees and two remote Atayal villages in one trip.
There are two different hiking routes for you to explore in Cinsbu, which are known as Area A and B. If you go from Area A, you will see the waterfall and the valley surrounded by group of sacred trees, providing great shades in summer. At the end of the trail, you will reach Poison Dragon Swamp (毒龍潭), a sleepy backwater, surrounded by the clouds and mists and leaves people a sense of mystery while standing by it. However, most hikers take 7 km trails in Area B for the better of road condition and safety reason. In general, the trails in Cinsbu are more strenuous with up and down than those in Smangus.
Along the trails in Area B, besides admiring sacred trees and enjoying the fresh air, you will also see streams of natural water while walking through wooden bridges, in conjunction with some spots with open access to the water. When it comes to March, you can witness the blossom of peach, as well as stunning view of scarlet maple leaves in December. Don’t forget to look up the sky at night and you will be amazed by the starry night view of Cinsbu. Let us know your travel experience there!
Smangus (司馬庫斯), located at 1, 500 meter altitude in the deep forest mountain of Jianshi Township (尖石鄉), Hsinchu County is an ideal getaway to free yourself from the hustle and bustle of city life for a two to three days trip. It takes about 2 hours by car from Neiwan Old Street (內灣老街) to this remote indigenous village. The origin name of Smangus was to honor one of Atayal ancestors, Mangus (馬庫斯), and Smangus is a respectful form of addressing him. The village was completely cut off from the outside world, until the electricity was available in 1979 and roads were completed in 1995. Today many visitors flock to admire the magnificent view of giant red cypress trees and experience the local tribal culture.
Be prepared for 5 hours of round trip hike in a mixed of lush bamboo forest and dirt trails to see the sacred cypress trees. Along the trails, there is waterfall and Koraw ecological park, used to be a cultivate land for farming and is now a home for plenty of unique plants in Smangus. Depending on your schedule, the hiking trip can be done on the first day of arrival or the next morning. Don’t forget to leave some time indulging yourself in the beauty of Smangus and explore the village, such as school and church, Kyokay. Every Saturday night an evening party would be held at church for everyone to attend and enjoy the singing performance and the local custom.
One thing to note that Smangus village runs under communal management. Visitors need to check with the local administration office for the lodging information and the seasonal outdoor activities they offer ahead of time, in order to book an accommodation. Otherwise, lodging at Cinsbu (鎮西堡) on the opposite side of Smangus is also a worth-visit place to consider.
If you enjoy outdoor activities, Mautu Discovery Forest (馬武督探索森林) is one of the must visit attractions located in Quanxi Township (關西鎮), Hsinchu County. The trace of Atayal indigenous tribes were found in this area more than half century ago, where was used to be called as Utu (武督). In Atayal language it means the gathering hub of human and resources, then the name got to be changed to “Mautu” later in Japanese colonial period and continued to be used until today.
Before entering the 460 acres of Forest, you will pass a ticking booth then to the trailhead. It takes about 1.5 hours to walk around the entire trails. You will first discover a Green Light Elementary School (綠光小學) surrounded by giant cedar trees, was originally a shooting set for several TV programs in Taiwan. Now it has become an ideal place for visitors to experience the nostalgic moment of being back in elementary school. While enjoying the tranquility of nature in the Forest, do not miss out two breath-taking waterfall spots, Hongqiao (虹橋) Waterfall and Mautu Waterfall. Also, two giant male and female poplars approximately aged 300 and 500 years old respectively and named as Grandpa Poplar and Grandma are worthy of taking a glance!
Some experienced hikers would take on 6 hours of hiking trip from the Forest to neighboring Outer Beak Mountain (外鳥嘴山), 1,350m. However, the journey will be off the trails and suggested to travel with a guide. Driving a car to the Forest would be the best option, alternately, taking Hsinchu Bus departs from Quanxi to Golden Birds Paradise (金鳥樂園) Station, then walk 30-40 minutes to get to the visitor center of the Forest. We would love to hear about your discovery!
This private local-led tour takes you to explore some of the urban nature in Hsinchu and gives you a more complete picture of the city. Being able to navigate through the hidden gems like local do and provide an inside look at some of the city’s most picturesque trails, parks, and gardens.
Daniuqi Trail is located in Quanxi (關西) Township at Northeast of Hsinchu County. The trail, 3.5 km in length used to be the route to Lungtan (龍潭) district, Taoyuan County (桃園縣) before the completion of country road. The trail was steep and the driver had to whip the back of ox in order to get the ox-cart loaded with farm produces through the steep slope. Hence, this was how the trail being named as Daniuqi.
The trail head of Daniuqi Trail is across the street from a Bhaisajyaguru, medicine Buddha Monastery and one can use the public toilet there before the hike. The car can be parked either at medicine Buddha Temple or Siliao Creek (四寮溪). Do expect a steep climb up at the beginning of the trail and make a loop down to Siliao Creek and Jinquancheng Museum (金廣成文化館).
Lion’s Head Mountain is part of Tri-Mountain National Scenic Area, along with Baqui Mt. (八卦山) in Changhua (彰化) and Li Mt. (梨山) in Taichung (台中). The mountain itself extends from Emei (峨眉), Hsinchu County, the lion’s tail to Nanzhuang (南庄), Miaoli County (苗栗縣), the lion’s head and includes 5 different trails, Shishan Historic trial (獅山古道), Tengping trial (藤坪步道), Shuilian Bridge (水濂橋) trail, Shuilian Cave (水濂洞) trail, and Liuliao Historic trail (六寮古道).
The Shuilian Cave, also called Water Curtain Cave in direct Mandarin translation is the largest natural cave in Lion Head Mountain. The mountain spring water flows down along the stone wall to form water curtain after it rains. The Cave was first discovered by a Buddhist monk in 1902 then he established a temple dedicating Sakyamuni, Ananda and Mahakasyapa Buddha. It is about 5 minutes’ walk from Lion’s Head Visitor Center.
A day trip can be done by taking Taiwan Tour shuttle bus (台灣好行) to Lion’s Head Mountain and transfer to Nanzhuang (南庄). The bus runs every 30 minutes and stops by several major tourists sites, such as Green World Ecological Farm (綠世界生態農場) and Beipu Old Street, therefore, it is quite easy to figure out the timetable and get around. Most trails are paved or with stairs and surrounded by greens, leading to many temples and monasteries, offer b&b. You can do a 1-3 hours hike in the morning and sightseeing in the afternoon.
Located in Xiangshan (香山) District of Hsinchu City, Quingqing Grasslands spreads out 64 hectares was once used as a grazing field for Livestock Research Institute but now it has become one of the popular places for weekend activities in Hsinchu.
The grasslands have walking trails, children’s playground, bird watching zone, ecological ponds and more than thousands of trees. A visit there you would definitely feel that you are surrounded by the greens and tranquility of the nature. Every summer the City government hosts hot air balloon event attracting more than 70 thousands of visitors since 2016.
If you have children don’t miss out 54 meter-slides, which near the entrance and are the longest terrazzo slide in Northern Taiwan. There are also children climbing nets, and tree houses next to the slides. The ideal time to visit the grasslands in summer days would be early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the heat.
You can take train to the Sanxingqiao (三姓橋) train station then switch to Ubike for another 2.3 km to get to the grasslands or take taxi from the train station.
Youluo Mountain is located in Wufeng (五峰) Township, Hsinchu County. The best way to get to the trailhead is by car and it takes about 1.5 hours from Hsinchu City to Youluo Mountain. The altitude of the mountain is 1,764 meters, so make sure you have proper hiking gears before visiting the mountain, such as hiking sticks, shoes, gloves and raincoat, etc.
You will be amazed by the breath-taking scenery on your arrival and surrounded by tall trees throughout the hike. There are two trailheads in total and most people go from 1st trailhead and exit at 2nd trailhead to complete a loop. The entire journey is about 4-5 hours depending on your pace but do try to complete the hike before the fog around 3 PM or so.
The 1st trailhead can be easily spotted on the right hand side of the road by where most cars park as there is only one way to reach the mountain. The trail is quite strenuous and steep at the beginning with limited flat ground. Once reaching the peak, the trials on the way down would be much easier. Do not miss out a cold splash by the waterfall at the end of the hike to sum up your journey.