Dongpu Hot Springs(東埔溫泉)
Dongpu Hot springs Scenic Area borders Yushan National Park. The area has large hotels and restaurants, which makes it a popular spot for spending the night. Hot springs, Rainbow Waterfall and Yunlong Waterfall are some of the places of interest. Enter the National Park through the Batongguan Japanese Era Crossing Trail, which is one of the main entry point for mid to long distance hiking / climbing trips.
Regular tourists can walk as far up to Yunlong Waterfall without needing to apply for permits. Going farther towards Guangao and Batongguan requires permits.
Alishan Forest Recreation Area (阿里山森林遊樂區)
Alishan Forest Recreation Area is run by the Forestry Bureau of the Council of Agriculture. Alishan Great Tree and Forest Railroad are two of its main attractions. The sunrise, sunsets and sea of clouds are also natural beauties in the area. 21 kilometers from Tataka of Yushan National Park, there are hotels and restaurants in the Alishan Forest Recreation Area. There are many forest trails inside the recreation area, providing great opportunities for tourists to get close and appreciate nature.
Tataka Recreation Area(塔塔加遊憩區)
Tataka is a word from the Tsou Aboriginal language, which means wide-open and flat grassland. At 2,610 meters, Tataka is the highest point in the New Central Cross-Island Highway. It is also the crossing point of Highway 18 and Highway 21. Towards Chiayi Alishan (or Ali Mountain) is Highway 18, going towards Nantou Xinyi is Highway 21.
In Tataka, one can look east and see the peaks of Yushan , look west and discover Mt. Zhu and Tataka Mountain range across Shenmu Creek. At dawn and dusk, mountain mists and clouds form between the peaks. At the beginning of winter, the view becomes even more extraordinary when the Taiwan Reddening Maples become red and dots the green mountain ranges.
Yushan National Park has set up a recreational area here at Tataka with trails and a visitor center with guides and multimedia installations, which will enhance the ecological experience.
New Central Cross-Island Highway(新中橫景觀公路)
New Central Cross-Island Highway became fully operational in 1990; From Chiayi County’s Alishan to the 2610 meter high Tataka area of Yushan National Park, then descend the mountain at Xinyi Township, Nantou County, and finally connecting to Shuili Township or Yuchi Township’s Sun Moon Lake and other highway systems. The highway has made the remote areas of Nantou and Chiayi Counties much more convenient. It has also made traveling in the area much easier.
New Central Cross-Island Highway crosses through Nantou and Chiayi two counties, not only has it made it much more convenient for the tourists to travel through this area, it has also formed a network of points of interest in the central to southern Taiwan region. From the Alishan forests to the magnificent Yushan, from the famous Dongpu Hot springs to Sun Moon Lake and Xitou Scenic area, the highway now links these tourist-spots and provides a wonderful new choice in natural recreation.
The section of the New Central Cross-Island Highway that is within the Yushan National Park starts in the north at Highway 21’s 119.6k and ends in the south at Highway 18’s 104.2k. Many scenic spots are dotted along the way.
National Park boundary line plaque – From this point on, you are within National Park boundaries.
122.5k Guan Peak – From here, you can see the tallest peak in northeast Asia – Yushan Main Peak.
Guan Mountain – A good vista point of the peaks of Yushan.
Fuqi Trees – or Husband and Wife Trees, these two Formosan Cypress trees stand witness to the forest fire of 1963.
Tataka Visitor Center – The center provides guides and has a small restaurant.
Upper Dongpu – important trailhead for the area.
Shi Mountain border plaque – National Park area stops here at this point.
Highway 21 at marker 142K, Fuqi Trees(夫妻樹)
Or Husband and Wife Trees, these two remaining Formosan Cypress trees bare witness to the great forest fire of 1963. One can stand at the spot and picture the sea of Formosan Cypresses in the days past. At sunset, this spot provides breath-taking views.
Highway 21 at marker 122K, Guan Peak(觀峰)
It is a good place to see the Yushan Main Peak. There are stone tables and chairs at the spot. Take a breather, check out the mountain vistas, also a good spot for bird watching.
Highway 21 at marker 132K, Guan Mountain (觀山)
Here, you can see the magnificent mountains of Yushan. Due to its location in relation to the mountain valley, quick and mystifying mountain mists and clouds form, especially in the afternoons.
Highway 21 at marker 145K Tataka Visitor Center(塔塔加遊客中心)
The highest point of the New Central Cross-Island Highway. Highway 18 and 21 connects here. Short trails, visitor center with exhibitions, multimedia facilities, information desk and a concession stand.
Highway 18 at marker 108K Upper Dongpu (上東埔)
No relation to the Dongpu Hot springs, this is an important trailhead for hiking Yushan. It is also the starting point of the Nanxi Forest Road. Beneath the parking lot is Dongpu Lodge, providing room and board.
Highway 18 at marker 104.2K Shi Mountain (石山)
New Central Cross-Island Highway exits the National Park boundary here. It is a good spot to see the Alishan mountain range and the Shenmu creek valley. In late fall to early winter when the maple leaves turn red, it is magnificent. Taiwan Macaques are active in this area. For your safety and theirs, do not disturb or feed them.