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:
We have been to see the monkeys at Ershui twice. We went again after the first time because it was so fun. The first time we went by train/taxi, the second time we drove a car.
View of Ershui Station.
From the station, we noticed it was kind of a long walk to the trailhead (about a 20 minute walk} so we hired a taxi.
Luckily there was one taxi in front of the station.
The beginning of the trail has a statue of a Monkey. You can tell why people come here.
"We are members of a macaque group, F1, here. We have two neighbor groups, F2 and F3, along this hiking trail. We are happy to share this habitat with you. Please do not feed us and keep us wild! You can find five adult males, 16 adult females, 9 infants, and 20 juveniles in our group. Have you seen us?"
First monkeys seen on the trail.
An entire family of monkeys blocking the trail.
Monkey climbing up a rock.
Monkey eating a banana from somewhere, probably one that a hiker gave them.
Taking photos of the monkeys.
Monkey standing on a fence.
This is about as close as I am comfortable with getting.
Taking pictures of monkeys is fun, but do not endanger yourself by getting too close.
Giving them food is even worse because they will want to then search for food on your person. This can also be bad for future hikers because they will expect food and may attack people in search of food.
I have a friend that was stupid and brought a bag of bananas to feed monkeys in Kaohsiung. The monkeys stole the bag from his hands and scratched him in the process.
Don't feed the monkeys!
The trail goes further up the mountain to Songbo Temple, but we never have gone that far. The temple offers some great views of Ershui and Changhua county, which you can see in this blog here.
For more about Ershui Village, check outthis blog by Spectral Codex.
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