The Songbo Temple Trail runs through the forest that goes from Ershui Village in Changhua County up the mountain to Songbo Temple in Nantou County. Along this trail one can spot lots of Formosan Macaques which are indigenous to Taiwan. If you come, you can enjoy a sure sighting of monkeys, but for your safety do not feed them or get close to them.
The Songbo Temple that overlooks Ershui Village, sitting on the edge of Nantou County, had its beginnings in the year1657 during the Dutch rule of Taiwan. The first temple structure (Shoutian Temple 受天宮 on the site was completed in 1745 during the Qing Dynasty, and has been renovated until this day. The temple is dedicated to the Zhenwu Emporer. I assume that the trail to the temple as existed since historical times.
1.4KM one way, about 250 meters of elevation gain.
Plan about 3 hours for this hike, or more if you stop for a while to look at Monkeys.
How to get there:
By Car/Scooter: From Ershui, cross to the west side of the tracks and north to Fengbai Raod (豐柏路) until you reach the trail entrance at Fengbo Plaza (豐柏廣場).
By Train: Take the TRA to Ershui station. From there, walk (1.5KM, 20 minutes) or take a taxi to the trail entrance at Fengbo Plaza (豐柏廣場).
Please see below:
Daqiu Island is a small island in Matsu (Lienchiang County), Taiwan that is home to hundreds of wild Sika Deer, and is a "deer watching paradise.“ Once home to a small village, then ROC military base, this island is now home to only one man that takes care of the hundreds of deer on the small island. It is a worth while day trip for anyone visiting the Matsu Islands.
Thousands of years ago, stone aged peoples once inhabited the Matsu Islands, including Daqiu Island itself. These stone aged people later disappeared.
The Matsu islands were inhabited again around theSong Dynasty (990 - 1200 AD) by Chinese Fisherman, the descendants of whom still inhabit the islands today.
Daqiu Island literally means "Big Hill" in Chinese. This is because the entire island is one big hill.
Around 200 years ago, these fisherman started to inhabit Daqiu Island. At its height in 1970, the island had 45 households and 280 inhabitants.
Due to poor quality of life, over fishing, and inconvenient transportation, most the of the inhabitants slowly moved to other islands in Mastu or Taiwan.
In 1990, the last family on the island, surnamed Chen, moved off the island, leaving only soldiers and a military base as inhabitants.
In 1996, the military base on Daqiu Island closed down, leaving it an uninhibited ghost island.
In 2009, one man decided to move back to the island and start a tourist business based on the deer living on the island.
Currently there are regular ferry boats to Daqiu from Nangan during the summer, but in winter the boats must be chartered.
Why are there Sika Deer on Daqiu Island?
Sika Deer were originally raised in Matsu during the Chinese Civil War (1950-1970s) as a food supply for soldiers to eat. However the soldiers did not like deer meat that much, and as tensions with China eased, the practice was discontinued. The 13 deer that remained were sent to Daqiu Island in 1981 and left to become wild. Now there are around 200 deer living on the island.
When to go:
We recommend going In Spring to early Summer (April to June). If you go earlier it will not be so hot during the day, and you will be able to see the Blue Tear phosphorescent microbes in the water at night all around Matsu.
In the winter it is cold and windy, so we do not recommend going then.
How to get there:
Public Ferry from Nangan Fu'Ao Harbor (福澳港) (April to October):
350 NT round trip per person （Stops at Baisha Harbor in Nangan)
Nangan departure times: 9:50 AM, 1:30 PM, Daqiu departure times: 12:10 Noon, 3:40 PM
Trip takes about 20 minutes.
Public Ferry from Beigan Qiaozi Harbor (橋仔港) (May to October):
300 NT round trip per person
Beigan departure times: 8:30 AM, 2:30 PM, Daqiu departure times: 10:30 AM, 4:30 PM
Trip takes about 10 minutes.
Chartered ferries: Around 300 NT per round trip.
Ask your hostel in Beigan (like we did) or try the following phone numbers (in Chinese):龍福號娛樂漁船：馬祖北竿鄉塘岐村273-8號
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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.