Saturday, April 22, 2023

Mt. Jade Main Peak Preparation, Hiking Permit, Transport and Lodging

7 Days Budget DIY Solo Trip in Spring Season Taiwan... April 10 to 18, 2023

Yushan, also known as Jade Mountain (3,952masl), is the highest mountain in Taiwan. It has also been claimed to be the tallest mountain in East Asia, but this depends on how one defines "East Asia" (Mt. Everest North Face is located in Tibet, China). Asian Trilogy Peak is an adventure to hike the best or the highest summits of Asia. It is composed of Mt. Kinabalu (4,095masl), the highest peak of Malaysia; Mt. Fuji (3,776masl), the highest peak of Japan and Mt. Jade (3,952masl), the highest peak in Taiwan.

What months are the best to hike Mt. Jade (Yushan):

The recommended period is during the dry season from October to December, late spring from May to early June when the mountain is blooming with beautiful wild flowers. December to March requires snow climbing equipment and experience (if not, the permit is invalid).

Important Notes on Hiking Yushan Trails;

1. From Yushan National Park, click this link.
2. Hiking Permits Application Dates: 4 months to 35 days before the entry date.
3. Foreign Advanced Application Eligible Route: Yushan Main Peak 2-day Route only (foreigners outside Taiwan)

Basic Itinerary of Yushan Mt. Jade Main Peak (3,952masl) 2-day Route

Day 0: Arrrived in Taipei at least before 0500H, then go to Dongpu Lodge.
Day 1: Ascend from Dongpu Lodge (2,560masl) to Paiyun Lodge (3,400masl) for 5 hrs with 11km distance.
Day 2: Ascend from Paiyun Lodge (3,400masl) to Mt. Jade Main Peak (3,952masl) then descend back.

Hiking Permit and Transport to Yushan Mt. Jade (my "baon" trail food)

Hiking Permit and Transport to Yushan Mt. Jade (Alishan bus schedule posted in 7-11)

Hiking Permit and Transport to Yushan Mt. Jade (Shangdongpu bus schedule posted in Paiyun)

Hiking Permit and Transport to Yushan Mt. Jade (Park Entry Permit)

Hiking Permit and Transport to Yushan Mt. Jade (Park Entry permit checked)


1. It requires to have 2 types of permits to hike Yushan; a National Park Entry Permit and a Police Permit. The National Park Entry Permit is meant for entering Yushan National Park while the Police Permit is meant for entering any high altitude area within the National Park. Application for the National Park Entry Permit has to be submitted before the balloting date, which happens one month before your climb date. The Police Permit can be applied on the or or before climb date.

2. Both Permits are FREE OF CHARGE and can be applied in the Taiwan's National Park website. Application deadline for Paiyun Lodge must be submitted at least 1 month prior to the proposed entry date in order to qualify for the lottery draw. The lottery draw is conducted 1 month prior to the lodging date, between 15:00 to 16:00. 

3. When Yushan National Park issued a snow control (usually in December to March), visitors need to be equipped with ice axes, crampons, and helmets (and familiar with using them), all visitors are required to have experience of snow climbing (a photo is accepted as proof). If not, the permit is invalid. 

4. Once the Park Permit (1 page) is approved, Police Permit (2 pages) application is on the same website (all written in Chinese). These permits are need to be PRINTED which will be send only via email 5 days before hiking Yushan. You can print also these documents from your USB drive in Alishan 7/11 for 2 NTD per page.


Feb. 18, 2023 Sat - I applied the for National Park Permit in Yushan Trails 2 Days(Tataka - Yushan Trails -Tataka )(Paiyun Lodge Advanced Application), checking first the status of the accessible trails. An email was received from npmcpami on this day confirming my application.

Feb. 20, 2023 Mon - I received an email from YSNP with subject Foreign advanced reservation status confirmed(Y11201XXXX). For Paiyun Lodge, "Your team has met the requirements of Paiyun Lodge foreign advanced application, and your reservation for Paiyun Lodge on 2023-04-12 has been confirmed." For the park permit, the status is "Lining up". Teams with the Lining Up status 1-2 month prior to the park entry date are joining the draw and are waiting to fill in the new released vacancies after the draw.

Mar. 13, 2023 Mon - I receive an email from YNSP confirming my Park Permit Advance Application and Paiyun Lodge Apr. 12 bed accommodation (480 NTD). I will need to pay the fee at the trailhead office - Paiyun Mountaineering Center on the hiking date and claim the park permit after payment, the building next door to claim the mountain permit. This means that Foreign Hikers who don't have Taiwan local bank account don't need to have permits before arrival. Just show up, pay the fee and get two permits on hiking day.

Hiking Permit and Transport to Yushan Mt. Jade (Dongpu Lodge)

Hiking Permit and Transport to Yushan Mt. Jade (Dongpu Lodge)

Hiking Permit and Transport to Yushan Mt. Jade (Dongpu Lodge)

Hiking Permit and Transport to Yushan Mt. Jade (Dongpu Lodge)


Day 0: Arrrived in Taipei at least before 0500H go to Dongpu Lodge.
- Best route is train from Taipei to Chiayi, travel time for HSR is 2hrs, TRA is 5.5hrs and 3.5hrs
- Bus #7322 from Chiayi to Alishan (0600H to 1400H only), travel time is 2hrs.
- Bus #6739 from Alishan to Sun Moon lake drop to Dongpu (departs 1300H/1400H only), travel time is 1hr.

Day 1: Ascend from Dongpu Lodge (2,560masl) to Paiyun Lodge (3,400masl) for 6-7 hrs with 11.2km distance.
- shuttle bus (0600H to 1800H) from Tataka trailhead to Yushan trailhead (can walk also).

Day 2: Ascend from Paiyun Lodge (3,400masl) to Yushan Peak (3,952masl) then descend back.
- should be in Shangdongpu before 1330H for Sun Moon lake bus, before 1030H for Alishan bus or else take a taxi to Alishan (1700H last departure going to Chiayi) or stay again in Dongpu Lodge.

Note (bus schedules and reservation):
2. Sun Moon lake bus #6739 seat reservation in Alishan Station 7-11 counter or Yuan Lin bus website.


01. Both Dongpu and Paiyun Lodge requires advance booking and are dormitory bunk beds styles accommodation with shared toilets. Dongpu lodging includes pillow and blanket for 400 NTD per night while Paiyun Lodge is simple wood bed only for 480 NTD, sleeping bag is for rental for 350 NTD.

02. Noodles only is served in Dongpu Lodge while meals is served in Paiyun Lodge for reasonable amount, usually Chinese style dishes and you need to bring your own trail food. Carry enough food for your hike - purchase it before arriving in the park. The nearest shops are in Alishan, 25km away and you have to pay a $300 entrance permit to enter the town itself. 

03. There is no water source along the whole trail, there is a warm water dispenser for free refill at Dongpu and Paiyun Lodge. Be sure to bring enough for your hike.

04. There is no Thrash Bin in both area, Dongpu and Paiyun. Ensure to bring your own thrash bag and throw it all outside the Yushan area.

05. Power bank is essential. There is a shared electric outlet in Dongpu Lodge which is always occupied while zero electric charging in Paiyun Lodge.Surprisingly, there is free wifi in Paiyun Mountaineering Center and Paiyun Lodge.

06. Ensure to bring enough cash for your lodging, meal and transport payment. No ATM available and no credit card payment accepted. My recommendation is at least bring 3,000 NTD in cash with enough tranport pass load around 1,000 NTD. 

07. The trail is well defined and clearly marked with distance markers every half KM showing the distance travelled and the remaining distance to Paiyun Lodge/summit. The trail leading from the trailhead at Tatajia Anbu (2600m) to Paiyun Lodge (3400m) is 8.5km long. This section of the trail is relatively gentle. The trail from Paiyun Lodge to the summit (3,952m) is 2.4km long. The section of the trail is relatively steep especially the last 500m where some scrambling is required.

08. The hiking distance and durations are: (depend on individual trekker’s physical conditions).
Day 01: Tatajia Anbu – Paiyun Lodge – 8.5km (6 hrs)
Day 02 Paiyun Lodge – Summit – Paiyun Lodge – Tatajia Anbu 13.3km (11 hrs)

09. The summit day is on Day 02 of the trek. You will wake up around 2-3am for the summit climb. It takes about 3-4 hrs to reach the summit (for sunrise if you can reach on time) and another 3 hours to descend back to the camp site. 

10. Climbing Yushan is tough; but anyone in reasonable shape should be able to manage to climb the mountain within 2D1N. You are expected to carry your own personal daypack of 6-8 kilograms. 

11. There are only two or one daily bus arrival / departures coming / going to Alishan and Sun Moon Lake. Remember the bus departures timings and customize your hiking plan depending on your budget and endurance level. As per image 3 above upon descend, you should be in Shangdongpu bus station before 1030H if you are going to Alishan or before 1330H if you are going to Sun Moon Lake (taxi fare costs around 2,500 to 3,000 NTD going to Alishan for 30 min travel time, bus fare costs only 60 NTD).


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