The Qufengbi and Alanyi coastal trails are the only two roadless stretches of coastline in Taiwan. There have been proposals to build roads here before but it seems that finally these proposals have been shelved for good. The Alanyi trail became very popular several years ago and requires an expensive and difficult to get permit. That shouldn’t discourage you from getting a permit and hiking this trail though. There is a reason that the trail is very popular. It offers a mix of wooded walking, beach walking and a short hike up to an outstanding ocean viewpoint. You absolutely need to get a permit to hike this trail. There is a checkpoint at both ends of the trail.
Rating and length – easy – 7 kms – 3-4 hrs
Best time to hike – October to April – It’s possible to hike year round but the summer will be very hot.
How to get there – You can start at either the north or south trailhead but most start at the north trailhead because it is easier to get to. Take Hwy 9 south from Taitung (or over the southern mountains from Kaohsiung) and turn onto Hwy 26 in Daren just as Hwy 9 turns west and crosses the southern part of Taiwan. Follow Hwy 26 for 5+ kms until it ends at a dirt parking lot. The road becomes rough at the end but most cars should be able to make it. The guide will arrange transport back to your vehicle for an additional cost.
The hike – Your guide will meet you at an agreed upon time and place. The hike starts parallel to the ocean but slightly inland. After 10 minutes the hike becomes a stony natural trail next to the ocean. The stones are relatively easy to walk on but you should be careful. There is a short but steep climb on this trail yielding the highlight of the hike. The highlight is a stunning view of the turquoise ocean water for kilometers in both directions. Shortly after the viewpoint there is a shaded resting area. There is another kilometer of beach walking along a great coastline. The guide might stop and rest again at a small stream that empties into the ocean. The trail leads away from the beach and the guide will talk about the natural medicines and nutrition of local plants that can be found along the trail. Some guides speak better English than others so you might need a translator in your group to understand this part. After a short stretch along the beach there is another checkpoint and then the trail becomes a roadwalk for the last kilometer to the parking lot. There is probably a cold drink stand at the end of the trail.
Costs and permits – You must have a permit to hike this trail. The permit includes a local aboriginal guide and costs a flat rate of 3000NT for up to 20 people. You will also need to purchase transport back to your vehicle. This cost our group 4000NT for 2 vans with 12 people.
GPS data – north parking N22.246785 E120.894874 – south parking N22.198557 E120.891010
Date visited – 5/3/2015