You’ve probably never heard of Dayuling, and that’s totally normal.
In fact, not many people have ever heard of this tiny “village” located in the middle of Taiwan’s mighty Central Mountain Range. As a matter of fact, Dayuling doesn’t have much to offer to the ordinary tourist – it’s got no special attractions like temples, museums, or shopping, and it’s lost in the wild, far from any major Taiwanese city.
BUT… Dayuling is a very important point along the Central Cross-Island Highway between the east and west coast. It’s one of the only places aside from Ching Jing Farm (west side) and Tiansiang (in Taroko Gorge) where you can eat, sleep, buy supplies for hiking and camping, and refuel your car or motorbike.
Where is Dayuling?
Dayuling is where highway 8 and 14 meet in the middle of the mountains. From this point, you can go to the following destinations.
North: Lishan – Wuling Farm – Snow Mountain – Ilan (Yilan)
Pay attention to the road signs if you drive at night or in foggy conditions. One time, back in 2000, I was riding around the northern part of Taiwan, and when I went through the tunnel at Dayuling, I followed what seemed to be the only road and ended up going down the wrong side of the island, heading East. When I realised my mistake, I was already deep into Taroko Gorge, at a small hamlet called Luoshao. I was so exhausted and cold from the ride that I decided to spend the night in my sleeping bag right outside the small police station there.
There are 2 restaurants in Dayuling and I usually go to the one on the left. The best dish you can get here is definitely the wild mountain mushroom soup.
The restaurants in Dayuling can get pretty packed on weekends and they sometimes run out of supply and food in winter when the roads get closed due to snowfall.
Dayuling is a good place to buy dried fruits and vegetables. I recommend you give a try to the dried mangoes. They are much better than the ones you can find at 7-11 or Carefour. Another good deal is the package of dried cabbage and carrot – it makes a very healthy meal in the backcountry and it’s light to pack.
High-mountain, wild mushrooms are also quite popular in the area and you can get them at a fraction of the price you’d need to pay in the city.
From Dayuling, you can head north toward Fushoushan Farm near Lishan and Shei-Pa National Park for Snow Mountain. You can also head east on road #8 to get to Taroko National Park, Tiansiang, and Hualien.
Heading west along highway 14 takes you to Hehuanshan, Wushe, Puli, and Taichung City.
As you ride or drive in this beautiful part of Taiwan, you’ll want to be careful with blue trucks. These trucks carry huge loads of cabbage from Lishan all the way down the mountains and they seem to have very little care for other vehicles on the road. Keep a safe distance if you want to pass one and be sure to stay in your lane in corners. Blue truck drivers are usually high on beetle nuts, day and night, and they really drive like maniacs!
Accommodation in Dayuling
One of the only places available to spend the night in Dayuling, or actually in the whole region, is to the left of the restaurants and vegetables sellers, near the tunnel. I remember that I only paid 500NT for a space in a room with tatamis. The room was really basic but clean. You can call this hostel at this phone number: 04-2599-1006
The nearest places where you can find hotels, guest houses, and bed and breakfasts are Ching Jing Farm and Lishan.