hiking Mount Yushan (Jade Mountain) , Taiwan, highest mountain in Taiwan

Hiking Mount Yushan (13,113 feet), the highest peak in Taiwan – The Republic of China (ROC)

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Hiking Mount Yushan (13,113 feet), the highest peak in Taiwan

Taiwan is a small island in the South China Sea, 180 km from China’s south-eastern coast; the body of water separating Taiwan from China is known as the Taiwan Strait.

Taiwan – officially the Republic of China (ROC), and China – officially the People’s Republic of China (PRC), have been in dispute since 1949, following the Chinese Civil War, when the PRC snatched power from the nationalist government of China – who, after the war, fled to Taiwan. The dispute is about the official country/nation/sovereignty status of Taiwan and its relationship with China.

hiking mount yushan ( 13,113 feet), the highest peak in taiwan
Hiking Mount Yushan – Taipei 101 at Dusk

Taiwan – in terms of self-governance, has been independent (unofficially) since 1950. The People’s Republic of China (PRC), however, regard Taiwan (ROC) as being a rebel region that must be reunited with mainland China – through force if necessary; although up until present (2017), using force to re-unite Taiwan with China has only ever been threatened when talk (or whispers) of Taiwan officially declaring Independence pop up.

Taiwan’s stance on the matter is that Taiwan is part of China under its own ROC definition of China, and NOT part of China under the definition of the PRC (People’s Republic of China).

It’s a complicated rift and as a result of the PRC threats, Taiwan has found itself in a kind of diplomatic wilderness with few official friends (allies) throughout the world. Despite all of the political controversy and problems, however, Taiwan has defied the odds and has grown into one of Asia’s strongest and wealthiest economies.

The eastern part of Taiwan is made up mainly of rugged terrain – lush, green foothills that rise from the coast to meet huge mountains, the highest being Mount Yushan (Jade Mountain), with an elevation of 3,997m (13,113 feet). Due to this rugged terrain, the vast majority of Taiwan’s residents live on the flat western side of the island that extends north to south. With a population of roughly 23.5 Million people, Taiwan is regarded by some sources as being the second most densely populated country on earth, after Bangladesh.

I worked in Taiwan for 4 months in 2003 as a cleaner/detergent salesman. I had to learn how to speak Mandarin because many of the Taiwanese who I dealt with couldn’t (or didn’t want to) speak English. We – our sales team (a motley crew from around the globe) worked out of hotels and traveled up and down the country, from Kaohsiung in the south of the island, to Taipei in the north, and everywhere else in between. The sales team was made up of three Czechs, a Bulgarian, two Englishmen, a Frenchman, two Kiwis (New Zealanders) and me – a Scotsman.

When I found out about Taiwan’s rugged, mountain topography, I was over the moon – one of my favourite pastimes back in Scotland was hiking our ‘Munro’s.
Note: a ‘Munro’ is a Scottish mountain over 3000 feet, named after the Scottish Aristocrat Sir Hugh Munro, who compiled the first list of 3000+ feet peaks in Scotland.

The highest mountain in Scotland is Ben Nevis (4416 feet); Ben Nevis is  8,697 feet shy of Mount Yushan, the highest peak in Taiwan. When I heard that Mount Yushan was 13,113 feet I knew the rugged, eastern side of Taiwan – that makes up two-thirds of the country, would be a hiker’s paradise.

Sadly, I never got to climb Mount Yushan – the highest mountain in northeast Asia (higher than Mount Fuji in Japan) when I was working in Taiwan, but it has been on my hiking/trekking list ever since, as a mountain I must climb before I die.

This year (2017) I am going to Nepal to trek to the Everest Base Camp (EBC). I have made a note in my diary, however, to climb Mount Yushan before the end of 2018. I am married to a Thai national and I am planning an extended trip to Thailand for 2018 – I hope to travel to Taiwan as part of that trip to climb Mount Yushan.

I have researched the best way to go about hiking Taiwan’s highest mountain, which can be difficult to organise independently, in regards to obtaining permits etc., so I have decided to use a tour company instead. The benefits to using a tour company are that the company wil organise all permits, high-altitude insurance, hiking accommodation, and Taipei hotel pick-up and drop-off.

Hiking Mount Yushan over a 2 day (2 night) trek is generally regarded as a moderate/difficult trek which requires an above average level of fitness. Hiking for around 6 hours is the norm for the first day; the second day is more challenging with around 10 hours of hiking (with some exposure to high altitude on the second day as you head for the summit).
High Altitude Travel Insurance

If you ever happen to find yourself in the beautiful, rugged, Republic of China (ROC), better known as Taiwan, then make sure you do some hiking – hiking keeps you fit, mentally and physically and it’s a great way to connect with nature and experience a beautiful country like Taiwan; if you have prior hiking or trekking experience then you can consider hiking Mount Yushan, northeast Asia’s highest peak!

hiking mount yushan (Jade Mountain) , Taiwan, highest mountain in Taiwan
Jade mountain in the morning, Author Grantabc99

Hiking Mount Yushan (13,113 feet), the highest peak in Taiwan

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17 thoughts on “Hiking Mount Yushan (13,113 feet), the highest peak in Taiwan – The Republic of China (ROC)”

  1. This is a very impressive subject, hiking Yushan Mountain. I’ve been to Taiwan a few time, only to Taipei and never knew the highest mountain in North East Asia was there! I hope you get to climb Mount Yushan before 2018, you’ll get lots of unseen pictures and unheard of stories from the trip!

    1. Thanks, James – glad you enjoyed the post. I usually trek/hike independently but Mount Yushan is a difficult one to organise on your own and so better to use a tour company for this one. Thanks for commenting. Good luck and safe travels!

  2. This is awesome! Thank you, Raymond, of sharing info about Yushan mountain. Imagine that – we are going to Taiwan in less than a week. We will be staying there for 3 months. I was looking for things to do there on weekends for weeks now. We love hiking, so your information is invaluable. You saved me tons of time. Cheers!

    1. No problem, Elena – glad you found the post helpful. Good luck in Taiwan – if you like hiking then Taiwan will suit you well. Thanks for commenting. Good luck and safe travels!

  3. I had a short layover in Taiwan last year but due to time restraints didn’t leave the airport! But from the view I had of it from the plane, I never would have guessed there’d be such a great hiking opportunity there! 13,113 ft is insane. It’s a shame you didn’t get to hike it while you were working there but it’s the perfect excuse to go back! And good luck with your Everest base camp trek; I have the utmost admiration for anyone who treks Everest – whether to the summit or the base camp.

  4. Before I start, that photo of the Taipei skyline at dusk is just unbelievably good. Good job taking it! Going back to this post, I’ve always pictured Taipei to be a modern city where most of your time will be spent exploring its metropolis. But it’s nice to know that you can explore natural destinations like the Mount Yushan too! I’ll keep this in mind if I do get to travel to Taipei in the future!

  5. A great recommendation to keep fit and explore the beautiful ‘off the beaten path’ parts of Taiwan. if I am ever in that part of the world, i would love to do some hiking.

  6. Sounds like an awesome hike! I’m going to be visiting Taiwan in June, so I’ll have to keep this in mind. 🙂 That’s also incredible that you are going to Nepal to trek to Everest Base camp! :O

    1. Thanks, Jackie – Taiwan is a great place for hikes. I’m looking forward to the Everest Base camp trek in October. I trekked the Annapurna Circuit in 2012 and it was superb. I’ve copied and pasted a couple of links to Nepali trekking posts that I have written – you’ll find them below. Thanks for commenting. Good luck on your travels!



  7. All the best for your hike in Nepal – it’s going to spectacular! Have you spent a lot of time preparing for it? I really hope you do get to hike Yushan in the next couple of years.

  8. Wow, this sounds crazy. And even crazier that you are going to hike Everest Base Camp! Can’t wait to hear about that one and also Mount Yushan when you make it there.

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