FAQ about Yushan Hike Tour for CHEAP in 2020. UPDATED Jan 2020
Jade Mountain aka YU SHAN is the HIGHEST Mountain but the EASIEST Peak in ALL TAIWAN to hike!
Next April 2020. Jade Mountain Tour is scheduled. See Below
Yushan is the Easiest summit among the Taiwan peaks but not easy in itself!
The trail is not very steep but it is still strenuous for non-fit hikers.
Take your time (4 to 6 hours) for backpacking and enjoy the wildflowers and the birds!
The round trip can be done in 2 days only, not including transportation to go there.
Hiking Jade Mountain is a VERY EXPENSIVE adventure when you take commercial Jade Mountain Tour in Taiwan!
To simplify and answer the numerous questions that we get on FB Hiking Taiwan Club facebook here is the summary :
DISCLAIMER: Information in that website are for EXPERIENCED HIKERS. We heard from Rescue Officer that too many people go to the High Mountains with poor equipment, with poor physical fitness, with poor sense of direction etc.
Many hikers brag on their blog that they did it solo and easily…
Of course, you will never see posts from the people who failed…
And we can tell you that we see so many people giving up before reaching the summit of Yushan at the altitude of 3952 m.
Reality is: “it is not easy for 92% of the population to climb High Mountains in Taiwan!”
IF you are NOT an experienced hiker, then our best advice for your own sake is to join a group tour with a company!
GO SOLO at YOUR OWN RISK!
0- Trekking Jade Mountain Itinerary: 5 peaks
Day 1 Taipei to Tataka 4 hours by car or [8 hours + overnight] by bus. FIRST NIGHT Sleep at Tataka.
Day 2 Check permits then Go to trailhead at Tatajia Saddle + Climb Front Peak + West Peak then 2nd NIGHT sleep at Paiyun Lodge.
Day 3 early morning 5 am climb to Jade Mountain MAIN PEAK then East Peak (challenging) + North Peak (MUST DO!) then back to Paiyun then back down to trailhead then 4 hours by car to Taipei city or Taoyuan Airport, or overnight then 8 hours by bus.
1- Yushan Mountain Permits
You must have 2 permits: the permit of Yushan National Park + the permit of Entry mountains aka the Police Permit because you get it from the Police!
The permit from Yushan National Park is to limit the number of hikers in the National Park to protect the Nature, the Environment, the animals.
The Entry Mountain Permit is for the Search and Rescue Team, so, you prepare your itinerary well and respect that itinerary!
Yushan National Park Permit :
DIY apply for a permit in ENGLISH here:
The English Version is not as detailed as the Chinese Version, but you have no choice:
It is also your bed reservation at Payun Lodge, only 92+24 beds.
When to apply permit for Jade Mountain?
Foreigners with passport copy with an address abroad can apply EXACTLY 4 months before (apply on 14 Jan for sleeping in Paiyun on 14 May), 24 beds are dedicated to foreigners, this is first applied, first paid, first approved, first served!
If 2 teams of 12 hikers applied 3 milliseconds before you did… YES they count by MILLISECONDS ! then
you have to re-apply permit (refill all the application with members info) for the lottery more than 30 days before your hiking date.
You are in competition with Hong Kong people, China people, Singapore people, Malaysians, Filipinos, Americans, Australians and even with Europeans: German, French, Dutch…!
CONS: with Foreigners permits, you are ONLY allowed to climb the MAIN PEAK, you miss the iconic NORTH PEAK with AWESOME VIEWS that most of foreigners miss!!! 🙁
92 beds are for everybody, Taiwanese and Foreigners, Yushan National Park draws a lottery one month before, so this is an equal chance for everyone.
TIPS: More chance to get the permit if you sleep in Paiyun lodge on Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday. Weekends have high competition, of course!
This permit cost 500 NT/person and if you are late to transfer the money (in 3 days) then it is canceled to give beds to somebody else. That’s why we could get the permit in November 2018 ah ah ah!
FAQ Can I hike SOLO in Jade Mountain?
Yes! Permits for SOLO HIKER are possible except during snow season January to March. You must send proof photos of your experience in high mountains over 3000m + proof of insurance already paid. (Yes we know, it’s weird to have insurance with the uncertainty of getting the permit…)
Regular accidents happen. You GO SOLO at YOUR OWN RISK!
Climbing Jade Mountain in One Day?
WARNING! A new article will be written because this is really tough!
We’ve met Marathoners, Spartan Racers, Triathlon racers and it was hard for them!
Prepare for one hour walk to reach Tataka saddle (no shuttle bus at 5 am), trailhead + 11 km up to Yushan Main peak then 11 km down +3 km to Tataka as there is no more shuttle van at 5 pm…
60 permits are delivered each day by Yushan National Park.
You must reach Paiyun Lodge BEFORE 10 am! Else the Lodge Manager who is strolling around will stop you to turn back! And the guy is a strong Aboriginal guy… Unless you look like John Rambo, you have no chance to win against him… if he doesn’t see you then climb up!
Oh! You have to give him your Permits!
Most of the time, you won’t have time to go to the Awesome North Peak :-((
Schedule recommended by Yushan National Park: start at 5 am (sunrise) from the trailhead not from Tataka, finish at 5 pm (sunset) at the trailhead.
It’s pretty tough but you do not carry a heavy backpack, you just bring a daypack with 2 bottles of water that you can refill at Paiyun Lodge.
Do not forget your POWERFUL HEADLAMP! Most hikers finish at night… Last shuttle van is at 5 pm, else you walk 3 km more…
Now, you see why getting a permit is the most difficult part of climbing Jade Mountain?
IF you could not get permit for Yushan Jade Mountain
THEN why not applying permit at Xueba National Park?
Check this Article : Xueshan Hike alternative
For strong hikers, check the challenging Hiking Qilai mountain in Taiwan
For VERY STRONG hikers, contact us for many days SECTIONS 🙂
There are 9 peaks at Jade Mountain.
Usually, FIT HIKERS climb the FRONT PEAK, the WEST PEAK then sleep at Payun Lodge.
The 2nd day: they climb the MAIN PEAK, the EAST PEAK, the NORTH PEAK (AWESOME VIEWS!!!) then quickly go back down to the trailhead.
*** Permits must include these peaks ***
The 4 other Southern peaks: Yushan SOUTH PEAK, LUSHAN, Dong Xiao Nan peak (East Little South peak), and NAN Yushan peak (SOUTH YU SHAN peak) require 2 more days and are for FANS of Baiyue Mountains, the Top 100 mountains challenge!
AWESOME VIEW at Yushan South Peak though!!! And not so far to reach, but steep rock climbing at the end…
Permit of Entry mountains for Jade Mountain
only after you get the 1st permit then you should apply for the permit of Entry mountains at https://nv2.npa.gov.tw/NM103-604Client/
Use Google Chrome Web Browser to translate the website.
National Police request that somebody in Taiwan (Taiwanese address + Phone) is your Guardian Angel. This person is LEGALLY RESPONSIBLE to take care of you if you have an accident.
The Police sometimes call that person to check.
That’s why you have to ask a friendly Taiwanese or try with your hotel manager in Taiwan or ask your (Singapore, Filipino who speak Chinese…) friend who lives in Taiwan and can guarantee that he knows you.
This permit is free.
Usually, you get the permits first then you can book your flight, organize transportation, guide, food, equipment, etc…
Permit of Entry mountains is checked at the LOCAL POLICE STATION of TATAKA.
Tataka Police station opening hours: 6:30 am to 10 pm.
You can validate your permit the day before if you start too early before 6:30 am. https://goo.gl/maps/taFwFvQynv2wC4rt7
2- How to go to Jade Mountain from Taipei?
you go to TATAKA permit Control cabin first, then you take a shuttle van to TATAKA SADDLE which is the Trailhead, price: 100 NT/ person or you walk for less than one hour if you have time.
Solution for SOLO hiker :
2 small Bus leave at 8 am and 9 am from Sun Moon Lake Shuishe Visitor Center to Tataka, price 350 NT for 83 km
2 small Bus leave at 1 pm and 2 pm from Alishan village in front of 7-11 (Alishan National Forest Recreation Area) to Tataka, price 150 NT for 20 km
Bus 6739 for Mt Jade Yushan hike
WARNING: do not take the bus for DONGPU VILLAGE but for DONGPU LODGE! It is a completely different locations even if the name is DONGPU !!!
==> you should spend one night in the popular Sun Moon Lake, 80 km or in the famous Alishan National Scenic Area, 20 km from Tataka (also called Tatajia).
There are plenty of hotels there, you search online. You can find a double room for 2000 NT.
CLICK THIS PICTURE:
CONS: small bus 20 seats so it can be full, tight schedule not flexible, takes much more time!
Time = Money… WARNING 2019: The Bus does not operate every day since the summer of 2019!
Solutions for GROUPS :
Hiking Yushan Jade Mountain transportation solution 1
You hire a van+driver and share the cost of the van, the driver is at your order, so pick up + drop off at your will, you can also stop at hot springs or restaurant on the way 🙂 Price max 19000 NT on the driver market, this price is for the whole trip of 3 days! One way from Taipei, the driver waits for you 2 nights, then one way to go back to Taoyuan airport or Taipei city. Price indicated is the max, you can find a cheaper price like 15000 NT if the driver is available during low season for example… UPDATE Nov 2019 Prices increased and we got quotations of 27000 NT for one van.
???????? From Taichung city to Tataka: We got a price of 4000 NT/one-way trip but one day before, the driver increased the price to 5000 NT!!! We had no choice than to accept because it was too late to find another driver…????????
From Tataka to Taichung, we called many other drivers, only one was available yeah! His price was 4000 NT. But the day we had to take, he said we were too late (20 min late) because the direct road to Taichung city is closed at 5 pm and it was 4.30 pm… so the price was 5000 NT via Chiayi city!
???????? But wait! It is not finished! In the van on the way, he said he could bring us to a nice and cheap hotel near Taichung HSR station. He couldn’t say the price of the hotel but we searched and it was 4000-5000 NT per room! So we refused and wanted to go to Taichung city center, this is when the driver complained and it was another excuse to increase the price of a One-way trip to 5500 NT!!! ????????
The Driver’s phone number 0937951400 or phone number 0928358307 for record.
HONEST CAB DRIVER :
For group of hikers you can search on Google “Paul Driver Taiwan” : that guy is one of the best cab driver in Taiwan go and check with him if he is available!
He will not change the price at the last minute and if he can not make it, he will ask a driver friend to do the job.
He’s often driving Singapore people in Taiwan, see the reviews on his website.
Hiking Jade Mountain transportation solution 2
You go from Taipei or from Taoyuan Airport to Chiayi Train station
By normal train max 600 NT
By HSR High-Speed Railway 1080 NT from Taipei. (Ticket Price in Nov 2019)
Then rent a van+driver 3500 NT (Price of 2017) ONE WAY so 700 each if you are 5 hikers. Max capacity of 7 hikers with bulky backpacks.
You can find the vans at Chiayi train station Front exit, old ladies with photos will direct you to these vans. UPDATE Nov2019 at 2 pm, we didn’t find them nor the Private vans so they were already complete and left.
But the best is to book a driver 2-4 weeks before your arrival because, at the last minute, the drivers are always more expensive!
PROS: A more flexible schedule, no hassle to come back after the hike when you are tired. A Driver is a MUST HAVE if you have a plane to take the same day of summit Jade Mountain.
CONS: More expensive, most of the time the driver doesn’t speak English and even with Google Translate, you will have misunderstandings and the driver will drive you to the wrong destination… (Incredible but this is the experience of foreign friends)
Money saves Time.
3- Guide for Hiking Jade Mountain?
IF you are really experienced hiking by yourself in high mountains and ONLY want to climb the MAIN PEAK THEN you do not need a guide. “Hiking by yourself” means that you have hiked without following somebody, you were active and you know the dangers in the mountains.
IF you are newbies or want more to climb more peaks THEN it is advised to take a guide to limit the risk, and save time, do not get caught by the dark and chilly night! Nobody will find your body in the ravine…
IF you have plenty of time THEN you do not need a guide.
The guides are not full-time guides. They must take 3 days off from their job if they go with you and by the way, they have to pay for their trip to Jade Mountain too…
The guide usually applies for permits, book transportation, book lodges, etc… The Guide carries safety equipment like a walkie-talkie, medicine, first aid kit.
Therefore a guide will cost about 20-25 000 NT to take care of a group.
PROS: a guide organizes everything, he saves you time in research and booking, it is safer for newbies.
CONS: expensive, difficult to find an English speaking guide available.
One more time, TIME = MONEY.
4- FAQ What about the food in Jade Mountain?
Ah ah ah! This is the main question from our friends from Singapore 🙂 you can book IN ADVANCE the dinner + sleeping bag + breakfast + brunch for 950 NT (price of November 2018 and 2019), payment 7 days before by bank transfer to the Aboriginals Team.
Why in advance? because the Aboriginals buy the exact quantity to carry on foot, on their back to Paiyun Lodge the same day as your day climb! You will see them if you pay attention.
They carry 40 kg of food/bottle gas when going up and 20 kg of garbage/food leftover when going down!
I know them because I went down with them from Paiyun Lodge at 6:30 pm to the trailhead at 9 pm, it was a power walk in the pitch dark of the night! It was also scary, dangerous and I really recommend NOT to HIKE BY NiGHT at Yushan!
There is no fridge in the mountain, no cable car, no helicopter to transport food, gas bottles and clean sleeping bags for guests… it’s all made by MANPOWER!!!
As experienced hikers, we do not take this food and rental sleeping bag option. Why? Because we carry our own sleeping bag LOW TEMPERATURE 0 degree + our own food + gas stove. We can cook OUTSIDE of Paiyun Lodge, it’s very cold but possible. We also save money.
Some newbies are sick with altitude and they can not eat, they vomit.
What are the meals at Paiyun Lodge Yushan?
Pork ribs with plum sauce 300 NT
Roasted chicken thigh with honey sauce 300 NT
Steamed pork with salted dried vegetable 300 NT
Vegetarian Oriental Meal 300 NT
TAKE CARE! If you arrive after 6.30 pm at Paiyun Lodge there is no more food! Yes, they don’t keep for late hikers… UPDATE: 6:00 pm in Nov 2019 means no more food!
BREAKFAST at 2:00 or 2:30 am (There is no other choice), the staff at Paiyun Lodge counter will ask you in Chinese to choose when you withdraw your Dinner + Breakfast tickets. (They really don’t speak English).
PROS: order food+sleeping bag to hike with a light backpack. You help Aboriginals to earn a little money. Aboriginals carry HEAVY packs of food every day… There is no helicopter to bring food!
CONS: booking meals at Paiyun Lodge is really a big hassle, they don’t speak English, you have to book before, then transfer money by bank or ATM, then send them the receipt. I ordered meals and sleeping bags for a Filipino Team this Nov 2019 and it was the same hassle even with using Chinese…
5- INSURANCE! Do not forget it!
Accidents happen every year, there are very few accidents but it still happens!
3 deadly accidents in October 2018 one slipped and fell near Yushan East peak (challenging peak), one fell near Yushan Main peak (easy peak though), another hiker was left behind the group and died from hypothermia.
Accidents happened in 2019 too but I didn’t keep the record.
So, you should buy insurance in your own country because it is adapted to the medical fees, the hospital fees of your own country. In Taiwan, one night at the hospital costs about 5000 NT, one simple surgery minimum 20000 NT, one Xray 500 NT, one head MRI Xray nearly 10000 NT!
Check that your insurance covers HIKING in HIGH MOUNTAINS over 3000m!
F.I.Y For us, special insurance for hiking High Mountains costs about 500 NT / person for 3 days.
6- Equipment for trekking Jade Mountain
The equipment for Jade Mountain Trek is the same equipment for hiking Snow Mountain, click here. Except that the cabin Paiyun Lodge is much more comfortable, it’s a 5 stars lodge among the mountain cabins! But it is still noisy in the early morning at 3 am and you do not sleep well…
If you take a guide, the guide can lend you some equipment, else you have to buy or rent in Taipei by yourself.
7- Altitude Sickness: IMPORTANT!
It often happens:
- if this is your first time in High Mountains.
- if you climb too fast from Sea level to High Mountains = from Taipei to Paiyun for example.
- or if you didn’t sleep well, if you are tired, sick, hungry, thirsty, digesting heavy food… it is like the seasickness when the boat moves, some people get seasick, some people do not.
- if you are not a fit person if you never exercise.
Read this article from Wikipedia about Altitude sickness.
The altitude of the summit is 3952 m.
The altitude of the Tataka Saddle which is the trailhead is 2610 m.
So the theoretical difference of elevation is only 1342 m.
This is roughly the equivalent of climbing 3 times Taipei 101 tower on foot!
The trail is not very steep, it is regularly steep with some flat sections.
The main difficulty is due to the altitude sickness.
9- Summary Links
FAQ Who are you in Hiking Taiwan Club?
This website was made thanks to a SINGAPORE GIRL HIKER who told us it was too expensive to hike Yushan or Xueshan, this was before we built that website!
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Hiking Baiyue 百岳 and doing River Tracing is our hobby!
We are PASSIONATE NATURE LOVERS and VOLUNTEERS (not paid) to help you go and climb Yushan Xueshan Nanhu Qilai Beidawu Chiaminghu etc. But we are also BUSY with our jobs & families & often on the mountain trails :-))
Do you know the Baiyue 百岳 Top 100 Mountains?
If you do not get a permit for Jade mountain from Yushan National Park, there are 99 other mountains to climb in Taiwan!
Start with easy hikes around Taipei
You can apply for the permit at Shei-pa National Park: Have a look at this article “Xueshan Hike PLAN B” CLICK HERE
For strong hikers, you can ask a permit at Taroko National Park: check the challenging Hiking Qilai mountain in Taiwan