Smangus is an Ayatal tribal village deep in the mountains of Hsinchu. At an altitude of 1500 meters above sea level, it is also known as Taiwan's most remote aboriginal village. It has become a tourist hot spot not only for the aboriginal culture here, but also for the grove of giant Cypress trees which are close to 3,000 years old.
The name Smangus is the Ayatal name of the Netleaf Oak tree (querus rugosa 銳葉高山櫟) that grows here. The Ayatal tribe has inhabited this area for thousands of years. After the ROC took control of Taiwan, most of the tribe converted to Christianity thanks to western missionaries.
The village of Smangus was electrified only in 1979, and a road to the village was only completed in 1995. Before that, it was a three hour walk to the nearest town.
After word got out about the grove of giant Cypress trees in the area, the village quickly became a tourist hot spot and remains so today.
How to get there:
By car/scooter: From eastern Hsinchu, take highway 109 to Jianshi Township until you reach the turnoff to Smangus. It's about a 2 hour drive from Guanxi township in Hsinchu.
Bus: There is no public transportation to Smangus.
Tour: You can take a day tour to Smangus with Klook here.
Looking for a hotel? Find out where to stay in our Taiwan hotels guide or search for the best hotels deals in Taiwan here.
Please see below:
Ever since reading Joshua Brown's Article about Smangus in 2017, I always wanted to go. Also, I had planned a trip to go with my friend whose mom lives up there, but that never worked out. We decided to go up the mountain after our trip to Neiwan.
A bridge and grown-over field on our way up from Neiwan.
Our first grand view on the way up the mountain.
The road to Smangus.
Amazing views of the mountainous valley in Jianshi Township.
Another view from the road.
Looking down at a small farm surrounded by bamboo.
View of the mountains in on the way to Smangus.
Another view from near the road.
Another view of the scenery.
There are lots of hiking trails here too.
Finally made it to the fork in the road that goes up to Smangus. But by this time, my daughter had thrown up all over the car. So we had to call it quits.
Even though we didn't make it all the way, you can still go. Tell us how it was!
More photos from the road to Smangus above.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more of our blogs on Hsinchu to come!
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