Road Trip Taiwan: Into Hsinchu's Aboriginal Mountain Villages

Although Hsinchu (新竹) city is better known for its high-tech semiconductor industry, it also has a very rural mountainous area at the city's east. Historically, the east side of the city flourished with timber and mining industries. Now it becomes famous for mountain towns, hot springs and camping.

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The great HsinChu's east mountain valleys, absolutely not a trace of high-tech.

One of the major roads to eastern Hsinchu's beautiful mountains is Route 60 (竹60). The route features a Hakka historical district, great valleys & gorges, a vista point and mountainside aboriginal villages. 

HsinChu Route 60 on Ride With GPS

Neiwan Old Street & Hot Springs 內灣老街和溫泉

Around the beginning of Route 60 is the Neiwan Old Street (內灣老街), an old street with an abundance of Hakka restaurants. Some Hakka food examples are Lei-Cha (擂茶), wild ginger flower zongzi (野薑花肉粽) and dishes below: 

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"Grandma's house-dishes."
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Some classic Hakka dishes. 10 o'clock: mountain chicken with orange sauce (土雞+桔醬). 8 o'clock: Hakka salty pork (客家鹹豬肉). 6: stewed bamboo (燜筍). 4: Hakka stir fry (celery, squid, pork and tofu 客家小炒 ). 12 o'clock: Hakka kimchi pork soup (福菜肉片湯).

Also less known even to Taiwanese people: there are hot springs in this area. The hot springs are great for resting after a long road trip.

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Resort's suspension bridge.
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Suspension bridge at night.
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Someone was catching shrimps in the river at night!

Great Valleys & Gorges 山谷和峽谷

Along Route 60 there are many beautiful valleys and gorges. Some are beautiful wide V-shaped valleys and some are narrow gorges with impressive cliffs. Most notable is the 4760-feet-high Urao vista point (宇老觀景台) overseeing the great east side mountains. 

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Great V-shaped valley.
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Giant cliff.
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West view from Urao. If you see closer you could see the crowded Hsinchu City at the far side out of the valley.

 

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 Urao Vista Point viewing Hsinchu's eastern valley. 
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Fierce creek carved out a gorge below.
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Mountainside Aboriginal Villages 山中原住民部落

On Route 60 you will travel through many mountainside aboriginal villages. 

 

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Jinping (錦屏) Village church.
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Naluo (那羅) whole village view.
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Tabaho Village (田埔部落) 
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The two Tabaho villages look like mountain fortresses seen in medieval movies. 
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Smangus Village (新光部落) gate
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Cinsbu Village (鎮西堡) Church 

Want to see more? Check out my full ride report [Mountain Firecrackers!] Cycling HsinChu Route Sixty to Cinsbu 竹60鎮西堡 on my site Modern Black Hand!

Are you a cyclist? Check out my Taiwan Bike Routes Map for many great route information and photos!

 

 

 

 

 


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