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Go to Yushan National Park, Taiwan

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Yushan, or "Jade Mountain", is the hardcore brother of Alishan and one of the best places to hike in Taiwan.

At 3952 meters, Mt. Jade is the highest peak in Taiwan, and offers serious hiking, serious views and serious snow (one of the only spots on the island to get a glimpse of the white stuff).

Alishan-goers are families who take trains to the peaks to watch sunsets and are then catered back to the bottom. Yushan offers few such conveniences, but we expect that might just be your thing.

The Yushan area contains five peaks, simply labeled "Main Peak" and one each for North, South, East and West. The Main Peak is the highest (though not by much) and the most popular. The mountain lies just east of Alishan, and contains some of Taiwan's most distinctive flora and fauna. A trip to the Taipei Zoo might uncover some of the same species, such as the Formosan Black Bear.

Getting To Yushan National Park

Getting in and out of Yushan is a bit of a challenge but determined explorers won't have a problem. Shuttles in the early morning take you from Alishan to the beginning of the Yushan main peak trail. On the other hand, you could rent a scooter and ride from Chiayi, through Alishan and to the Tataka Recreation Area. Keep in mind that there are no buses or trains back from the Alishan train, so you'll need to continue to Dongpu to get out.