The Xuhai Grassland offers some of the most breathtaking coastal views along all of Taiwan’s rugged east coast. I love this place so much, there are very few tourists (even on weekends) and it’s just 20 minutes away from my house! 🙂
I think it’s one of the coolest spot on the island, and you should definitely plan a side trip here if you’re in the Kenting National Park area – it’s really not that far and the road leading there is also one of the most scenic in the country. (So many superlatives!)
At Xuhai, you can walk in the path of the Paiwan aborigines on very easy hiking trails that will take you from the road at sea-level to a series of pavilions and lookouts at an altitude of around 300 meters. Did I mention that the views are amazing at the top?
You have two options to get to the pavilions and lookouts:
- Drive all the way to the parking lot, then walk pass what seems to be a visitor center (closed most of the time), up some sketchy wooden steps (watch out for snakes – they like to hide under stairs), traverse a flat grassy plateau, then you’ve arrived in less than 5 minutes unless you were snapping pictures every 5 second like I always do.
- Hiking: Park at the trailhead at the bottom of the mountain, just after the police station. Head up the wide path all the way to the pavilions. The hike takes about 1 hour round-trip, a little more if you take your time to enjoy the gorgeous ocean views from the top. You can also walk back down the road to make a loop, which takes about an hour and half.
Where is Xuhai Grassland?
The Xuhai Grassland 旭海大草原 is located in Mudan Township 牡丹鄉, in Pingtung County 屏東縣, in the southeastern part of Taiwan, at the junction of Provincial Highway 26 and country road 199甲.
Alangyi Old Trail
The trailhead for the highly popular Alangyi Old Trail is at Xuhai. This trail is probably the most amazing hike you can do along the East Coast of Taiwan. The coastal views it offers are breathtaking at every turn.
It is located in a protected area so you must apply for a permit at least 8 days in advance on the Pingtung County official website. The permit is 3000NT$ per group, and it includes a trekking guide. Most people complete the 12km trail in around 6 hours
Xuhai Hot Spring 旭海溫泉
Xuhai is also quite famous for its hot spring. I’m not a huge fan of that place because the pools are not very attractive, the water doesn’t smell like eggs (I like that), and I don’t feel particularly rested at the end of a long hot spring “session” like I would usually feel at other resorts around Taiwan. That being said, it’s still somewhat enjoyable especially if the weather is cold or if you just finished a long day of hiking or surfing.
Monday to Friday 13:30 – 21:30
Saturday: 12:30 – 21:30
Sunday: 9:00 – 19:30
There are three campgrounds in the area. You can find them on road 199甲, between the ocean and the hot spring. Check the map below to see my favorite one. The old lady who works at that big campground (on the left as you are heading west toward Mudan) is extremely friendly. That camping site has beautiful spots to pitch your tent, nice trees, toilets, showers, and electricity to recharge your phone. Price per site is 250NT$ per night.
Map of Xuhai Grassland
Other places to visit near Xuhai:
Manzhou: waterfalls, hiking trails, beaches, road trips, ancient architecture, surf
Kenting: night market street, snorkeling, beaches, restaurants, shopping, nightlife