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08/24-25 - Syakaro Historic Trail & Smangus Giant Trees

Product Number: PBTWON002-0824

☀️☀️☀️ Trail Rating: Hard ☀️☀️☀️ Welcome to nature. There is no concrete jungle here. Only the lush forests and rugged mountains make up the landscapes of this remote corner of Hsinchu County. Join Parkbus Taiwan as we set out to hike the famous Syakora Historic Trail followed by a day in Smangus, one of Taiwan's most remote indigenous communities.

Trip Overview

Find the perfect blend of stunning, remote hiking and indigenous cultural experiences on this 2-day small group adventure with Parkbus Taiwan.

Guests will hike 24km along the entire famed Syakora Historic Trail, an ancient communal road for the local Atayal indigenous tribe. Built by hand during the Qing Dynasty by the local Atayal people, this trail was then modified as a guarded road during the Japanese Occupation Period. In addition to the fascinating historical significance of the ancient trail, the scenery along the way is even more beautiful. Surrounded by towering trees and a bamboo forest, this trail features suspension bridges, scenic viewpoints, and rich ecology.

Stay overnight in Smangus, the last Aboriginal village in Taiwan to get a road link to the outside world and the only community in all of Taiwan that successfully operates as a cooperative. During the stay in this remote village, guests will enjoy local Atayal cuisine and hospitality, as well as have a chance to hike the picturesque Giant Trees Trail that meanders beneath the cool green canopy of the ancient trees that stretch into the sky.

Daily Itinerary
DAY 1
Day One Experience

Day One Schedule

  • 07:30 – Bus Pick Up Hsinchu High-Speed Rail Station(從新竹高鐵站集合出發)
  • 09:30 – Arrive: Syakora Historic Trail Trailhead in Wufeng Township, Hsinchu(抵達位於霧峰鄉的霞喀羅古道)
  • 09:30 – 17:30 – Hike 24km along the famed Syakora Historic Trail ending in Jianshi Township, Hsinchu(在霞喀羅古道步行 24 公里)
  • 17:45 – Bus Departure from Syakora Historic Trail (從霞喀羅古道出發前往司馬庫斯)
  • 18:15 – Estimated Arrival at Accommodation in Smangus(預計抵達司馬庫斯)
  • 18:45 – Dinner at Indigenous Restaurant in Smangus(在當地餐廳享受晚餐)
  • 19:45 – Freetime(自由時間)

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Day one will almost entirely consist of hiking the famous Syakora Historic Trail. The Syakora Historic Trail straddles Jianshi Township and Wufeng Township in Hsinchu County. This is a bucket list hiking experience among many hikers in Taiwan. Along the way, hikers will experience a trail rich in historical and cultural significance, as well as the stunning scenery of the surrounding mountains and forests.

From the pick-up location at Hsinchu High-Speed Train Station, guests will take private transportation to the trailhead of Syakora Historic Trail. Starting off from Wufeng Township, guests will hike as a group and pass through unique historical sites and abandoned buildings from a bygone era. Guests will cross over suspension bridges in the midst of beautiful and dense forested valleys. The Syakora Historic Trail, meaning "black heart stone" in the Atayal language, has been designated a National Trail in Taiwan and is a remote thru-hike.

 

Some trail-side snacks will be provided, but guests are expected to prepare their own breakfast and lunch on the trail. Guests will also be expected to bring sufficient water for the day, as there are no water sources available along the Syakora Historic Trail. 

Upon completing the trail, our private transportation will pick up guests and transfer the group to the Atayal community of Smangus, nestled in the mountains of northern Taiwan. After checking into our accommodation, we'll cap off our lovely day in nature with a locally prepared dinner.

Trail Details

  • Trail Type: Intermediate Mountain Trail
  • Day One Trail Distance: 24km 
  • Altitude: 1247~1507m 
  • Estimated Hiking Time: 7.5 hours
  • Difficulty: Intermediate

Rating of Day 1: 3/5 

This trail is considered an “Intermediate” route. This trail is not overly technical and only features a total of 260m but does cover a significant distance and is remote. There are a few sections that require guests who are comfortable climbing down/up a ladder with a steep descent. There are some other sections that require scrambling across uneven terrain, but generally, this is a well-maintained trail. Guests should be in moderate to good physical fitness and be comfortable hiking on uneven terrain for extended periods of time. Please consider your own abilities before joining this trip.

Breakfast: No / Lunch: No / Dinner: Yes
DAY 2
Day Two Experience

Day Two Schedule 

  • 07:00 - 08:30 - Breakfast at B&B (included in tour)(在旅館享用早餐)
  • 08:30 - 13:00 - Guided walk along the Giant Tree Trail in Smangus(前往司馬庫斯的神木步道)
  • 13:30 - Lunch at a local indigenous restaurant in Smangus(在當地餐廳享用午餐)
  • 14:45 - Depart Smangus(離開司馬庫斯)
  • 17:45 - Estimated Arrival at Hsinchu High-Speed Rail Station(預計抵達新竹高鐵站)

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Day two will begin with a leisurely morning in the mountain community of Smangus. Perched within the rugged mountains, this indigenous village sits at 1,500m elevation, providing visitors with fresh, crisp air and stunning views. There is something even more remarkable about Smangus than just the natural beauty (which is pretty remarkable!). While it was the last Aboriginal village in Taiwan to get a road link to the outside world (1995), Smangus is the only village community in all of Taiwan that successfully operates as a cooperative. This is truly a special community where residents divide and share workloads, and practice cooperative approaches to various industries from agriculture to tourism. 

After a locally prepared breakfast (including in the tour), guests and guide will set off to discover one of the highlights of this remote mountain region, its trees! Smangus is also famous for its giant Cypress tree grove, some of which date back 2,700 years! Guests will begin hiking the Giant Tree Trail shortly after breakfast. Meandering along a relatively flat trail, guests will pass a viewpoint that overlooks the mountains and valley below. The group will set off by entering a bamboo forest and on to explore the spiritually significant forest filled with smells, sounds, and sights sure to impress. The hike itself to the ancient trees is about 5km and the group will spend time on their own or following the guide as we all embrace the wonders of these ancient giants. 



We do encourage guests to take some time for themselves and to really connect with these divine giants. 

The group will walk back to the community of Smangus for a locally prepared lunch. After lunch, guests will take private transportation back to Hsinchu High-Speed Train Station, where we'll say our goodbyes until next time.

Breakfast: Yes / Lunch: Yes / Dinner: No
Cost Description
Price Includes

✅ Reservable ticket(可保留的座位)
✅ Return transportation service on private 9 passenger van(來回接送的9人座小巴士)
✅ 1-night double occupancy accommodation in Smangus(在司馬庫斯的民宿住一晚) - Single occupancy rates available(擁有單人房價格)
✅ Passenger insurance on bus(交通強制險)
✅ Travel agency liability insurance(旅遊責任險)
✅ Licensed, bilingual guiding services(導覽服務)
✅ Nature Reserve Permits(入山許可證)
✅ 3 Meals - Day 1 Dinner, Day 2 Breakfast & Day 2 Lunch(三個餐點,包含第一天晚餐、第二天早餐、第二天午餐)

Price Excludes

❌ Hiking equipment - water bottles, rainjacket, backpack, poles if needed, gloves, etc(登山用具,如水壺、雨衣、背包、手套、登山杖等)
❌ Day one breakfast and day one lunch(第一天早餐和午餐)

Notice

⚠️ Our pick-up location for this tour will be Hsinchu High-Speed Rail Station. To ensure we are able to complete the hike in daylight, the departure time from Hsinchu HSR Station is 7:30 am. This will allow guests to travel from other stations along the High-Speed Rail Network on the morning of our departure. Guests are required to arrange their own transportation to Hsinchu High-Speed Station. If you require assistance, Parkbus Taiwan can help with your planning on a case-by-case basis. Please contact for more information. 

⚠️ Breakfast and lunch will not be provided on Day 1, so guests will be asked to bring their own. There are no water sources on this trail (that don't require proper water filtration), so please be sure you have enough water for the duration of the hike (minimum of 2 liters). 

⚠️ This small group hiking trip is limited to 7 guests. If we are unable to secure 6 guests, we reserve the right to cancel this trip with advanced notice and full refunds provided to any guests who have already paid. Thank you for understanding.