Qufengbi Coastal Trail

 

Near the Jialeshui Scenic Area

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.

The Qufengbi trail isn’t actually much of a trail and is much less known.  However it is the more interesting of the two trails.  Jialeshui Scenic Area has several kilometers of fascinating rock formations.  There are now two shipwrecks to visit.  One shipwreck is nothing more than large rusting hunks of ship innards but in September 2014 a 2nd ship was wrecked on this coast.  The Aviva Cairo was being towed from Manila to Thailand (strange route?) during typhoon Fung-Wong and was ultimately beached along the Qufengbi trail.  The Aviva Cairo shipwreck has mostly been dismantled for scrap and is no longer very impressive.  There is also an abandoned army outpost along the route.

Rating and length – moderate – 11 kms (not including Jialeshui shuttle) – 6 hours one way

Best time to hike – October to April – It’s possible to hike year round but the summer will be very hot.  A solo hiker passed out while hiking the trail and had to be helicopter rescued in 2015.

How to get there – The best choice is to hike from one end to the other but you will need to arrange transportation to do that.

The south trailhead is easy to access at Jialeshui Scenic Area.  Go north along the coast from Jialeshui and enter the scenic area (70NT/person and 50NT/vehicle).  At the parking lot there are several restaurants, drinks and toilets available.  A shuttle bus tour will take you the first 2.4 kms along a road to the beginning of the walk.

The north trailhead is a little more difficult to get to.  You can get there by taking the 200 east from Hengchun.  It is located at the end of Nanren road near Jiupeng.  There are a couple of small temples and some bathrooms.

Option 1 – The easiest option is to contact Mark Roche at Blue Skies Adventures.  He organizes 1-2 daytrips along the Qufengbi Coastal Trail at a reasonable price which includes van dropoff and pickup.  Blue Skies Adventures FB

Option 2 – If you have your own car you can stay overnight in the Kending area and organize a taxi to meet you at Jialeshui scenic area (leave your car) and take you to the north trailhead.  One person has reported it costing 800NT to do this but that might require negotiating.  This is also the best option for someone with no transportation.  They should take a taxi to the north trailhead and hike to the south.  It would be best to prearrange a taxi in the Jialeshui scenic area but you might be able to get a taxi there or a restaurant might have a number for you to call.

Option 3 – If you have two cars or if you are on a scooter trip then you could split into two groups.  One starts at the north trailhead and the other starts at the south trailhead.  You meet in the middle and exchange keys.

The hike – Almost the entire trail is on a beach of shifting rocks that vary in size from flattened baseballs to car tires or even refrigerators.  There are no hills but the lack of trail makes an otherwise easy trail challenging.  By the end of trail you will be very sick of stepping from one shifting rock to another shifting rock.  There is no route finding since the entire hike is within 20m of the ocean until you reach a small village at the north trailhead.  Until that point there are no signs of human habitation other than the occasional fisherman and the abandoned army fort.

I have hiked the trail from both directions and don’t have a particular preference.  Directions will be given from the south trailhead.  The direction of your hike will probably be decided by your transportation options.  If you start at the south trailhead you will to pay an entrance to Jialeshui Scenic Area (70NT/person – 50NT/car) but you will be able to ride a shuttle for the first 2.4 kms instead of doing a roadwalk.  The shuttle bus will stop frequently at different rocks that ‘might’ look like various animals.  At the end of the shuttle bus tour continue past the pagoda through the many natural rock formations.  These natural rock formations continue for about 1 km until you reach a small road that you might be able to enter on if you can find it in Manzhou.  The trail changes from small rocks to sand to solid rock formations several times during the hike.  It will take 2 hours until you start seeing bits of old shipwreck that are scattered all over the beach.

Shortly after the shipwreck you will go past Qufengbi point and get your first views of the new shipwreck.  Unfortunately it will take you another 2 hours to reach the shipwreck.  Before you reach the shipwreck you will cross a stream (possibly dry in the spring).  Just after the stream the old army fort is obscured by ocean rock but it’s definitely worth checking out.  After the army fort it won’t take long to reach the shipwreck. The new shipwreck has been dismantled and is no longer as impressive as it was orignally.

It will take another 1.5+ hours to reach the north trailhead.  The north trailhead is just before a small village that you have been able to see for hours.  There is a small path that is easily missed but the beach becomes very rocky at this point and you should exit at the small temples that you might be able to see from the beach.

GPS info – south parking lot N21.994109 E120.863257 – north trailhead N22.086670 E120.890072

Dates visited – 9/29/2012 – 5/2/2015

Resources – Jialeshui National Scenic AreaAviva Cairo shipwreck (IHS Maritime 360)my first blogmy second blogRichard Saunders top 5 dayhikes

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