Hehuan Mountain (aka Hehuanshan or Mt. Hehuan) may be the most popular place to see snow in Taiwan, partly due to the fact that it has the highest public road in the country (located at Wuling (武嶺). Most people in Taiwan live at or near sea level in a tropical/subtropical environment that never has snow. However, it does snow in Taiwan at many places with higher elevations, such as Yangmingshan, Jade Mountain, Alishan, Snow Mountain, etc. If temperatures get low enough between December and February, snow is possible to fall wherever the elevation is high enough in Taiwan. However places like Hehuanshan are special because you can drive a vehicle right to the top.
Hehuanshan lies at the edge of Taroko National Park on the border of Nantou and Hualien Counties. The road from Nantou to Taroko Gorge passes through the saddle on Hehuanshan between the the East Peak and Main Peak, and is the highest accessible public road in Taiwan (also known as Wuling 武嶺).
Near this place, the Wushe incident and Taroko War took place (see below for more details).
During the Martial Law period in Taiwan, a ski lift ran on the mountain, but has since been abandoned due to lack of consistent snowfall.
The Taiwan military also has its winter training grounds near the mountain.
Recently Hehuanshan has been a popular place for hiking and taking photos, and has been an Instagram hot spot.
Hours: 24/7 unless otherwise closed by the department of transportation
When to Go:
It snows on Hehuanshan usually December to February.
You can check the current weather for Hehuanshan here and live video feed of the mountain and ground conditions here.
How to Get There: Take provincial highway 14 from Puli, and keep going after your reach Qingjing Farm.
Alos you can take Provincial Highway 8 from Taroko Gorge National Park.
Stop when you reach the very top of the road, the Wuling parking lot.
Traffic Control: Buses and large truck are not allowed. Sometimes chains are required (no one has chains in Taiwan).
Map: Please see below:
Sun Moon Lake is a beautiful scenic area in Taiwan and a popular tourist destination. Besides the lakeside scenery, one can also enjoy boat rides, Taiwanese street food, gift shops, temples, a gondola, aborigine theme park, and more. It is for sure a must-see destination for anyone coming to vacation in Taiwan.
We have visited Sun Moon Lake a total of 6 times over 7 years, using 3 different cameras and 3 cell phone cameras, in luckily mostly good weather. In the blog below I will stitch together all of these trips in a way that hopefully makes sense. It may not be the most ultimate guide ever but it has most of the major sites in it.
Sun Moon Lake (aka Zintun in local Thao language) is the largest natural lake in Taiwan and home of the aboriginal Thao tribe. According to legend, a white deer led the tribe to the lake, and is now trapped in a marble stone on Lalu Island, which is sacred ground to them.
The name "Sun Moon Lake" comes from the different colors of the water in the lake, some of it being murky and on other parts of the lake, clear. Another account says that the name comes from parts of the lake being round like the sun, and other parts of the lake being curved like the moon.
The first hydroelectric plant was built on the lake in 1919 by the Japanese, which was later taken over by the ROC government. The hydroelectric power is part of a system of hdro power plants running from Wushe to Sun Moon Lake down to Shuili Township, and includes at least 8 plants.
Sun Moon Lake Scenic area was created in 2000. The lake attracts visitors from around the world from year round for its beauty and surrounding sights, and is also known for the annual Sun Moon Lake Swimming Carnival which thousands of people attend each year.
How to Get There:
Bus: There are buses (Ubus/Kbus/etc) that leave all day from Taichung Station.
By Car: Take National Highway 6 from Taichung up to Puli, and then follow the signs on highway 21 down to Sun Moon Lake. You can also take a car/scooter up highway 21 up from Shuili Township further south.
Boat: You can circle the lake via three spots: Shuise Pier, Xuanguang Pier, and Ita Thao Pier.
Scenic Area Entrance: Free
Parking: Around 100 NT per day for cars
Boat Ride: 300 NT per person
Gondola Ride (Ropeway): 300 NT per person
Formosan Aboriginal Cultural Village: 850 NT per person
Scenic Area: 24/7
Boat Ride: roughly 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM every day
Gondola Ride: 10:30 AM - 4:00 PM every day
Formosan Aboriginal Cultural Village: 9:30 AM- 5 PM every day
Map: Please see below:
Qingjing Farm (aka Cingjing Farm) is a high mountain farm in Renai Township of Nantou County. It features beautful mountain scenery, sheep petting zoo, animal shows, horse riding, and horesmanship shows.
During Japanese rule, the area around Qingjing farm was originally pasture for the cattle of the Seediq aboriginal tribe. This is the same tribe that caused the Mushe Incident, the biggest rebellion against the Japanese during that era involving mass killings of Japanese and even more Aboriginals in return. If you don't know what I'm taking about, you should watch the film Warriors of the Rainow: Seediq Bale. The Mushe incident memorial can be found a littler further down the road in Wushe as the Mona Rudo Resistance Monument.
Later in 1959 the ROC government made the area a relocation area for a few military families to plant tropical fruits. In 1967 Chiang Chin-kuo (Chiang Kai-shek's son) visited the area and remarked: 「清新空氣任君取，境地優雅是仙居」meaning "There is fresh air for one to breathe, and the area is elegant like the dwelling place of a fairy." From then on the farm changed it's name from Rongmin Farm (榮民農場meaning honorary citizens' farm) to Qingjing Farm, meaning "Fresh Landscape."
By 1985 the farms around Qingjing all were making losses. But then the first hotel was built in the area, the income of which was greater than that of the farm itself. From then on the tourist sector of Qingjing farm began. Nowadays the farm is purely a tourist attraction, and many hotels and hostels have been built in the area.
Full adult ticket: 200 NT on holidays, otherwise 160 NT
Student ticket: 130 NT
Elderly/disabled/children 6-12: 80 NT
Groups over 30 people: 120 NT
8 AM - 5 PM every day!
How to get there:
From Taichung, take the Kbus, Nantou Bus, or Quanhang bus to the Puli bus station. You can also take Kbus from Taipei Main station straight to the Puli bus station. From there, you can buy entrance tickets to Qingjing and round trip bus tickets all in one via Nantou bus. The bus will leave and come back to Puli Station. Be sure to take the bus all the way to the Qingjing entrance.
Take national Highway 6 to Puli and then continue onto provincial highway 14 all the way to Qingjing farm. There are private parking lots above the entrance for about 200 NT a day, and there are usually extra spots even on a busy day.
Please refer to the map below:
We are US Expats that have extensive experience living and working in Taiwan. In our day, we had to learn many things about Taiwan the hard way. But we have come to learn that Taiwan is one of the best places in the world for Foreigners to live. Our blog does not represent the opinions of every foreigner in Taiwan. We are just trying to help others learn more about this beautiful country.