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Shitoushan /Shihshan Recreation Area/ Lion’s Head Mountain

Shitoushan /Shihshan Recreation Area/ Lion’s Head Mountain/ Taiwan/ Recommendation
When the flowers of You Tong blossom... ....
When the flowers of You Tong blossom... ....
Chinese: 獅頭山風景區
Attraction :
1. Various types of temples built in caves
2. Forest of camphor trees having thrived for more than 200 years
3. Rich resources in flora and fauna activating in broad leave forests, especially ferns and vines
4. In April to May, You Tong trees blooms fully, forming romantic snowing-liked sceneries.
Services for non-Chinese speakers: None, but useful detail maps of trail systems in English are available in Shishan Visitor Center.
Opening Hour: 24 hours, all year round
Admission: Free
Phone: +886-3-580-9296
Email: trimtnsa@mail.trimt-nsa.gov.tw
Address of Shishan visitor center: (新竹縣峨眉鄉七星村六寮60-8號)
No.60-8, Liuliao, Emei Township, Hsinchu County 31541, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
Official site: http://www.trimt-nsa.gov.tw/eng/subSite.aspx?sid=9
Perfect time to visit: Spring and autumn
Brief Introduction:
Temple built into caves
Temple built into caves
Around 24,221 acres consists of enchanting landscapes, dense broadleaf forests, lush bamboo forests, distinctive biological resources and various temples built into caves dedicated to Taoism, Buddhism, Confucianism or all. Eight cozy hiking trails contain its uniqueness and charms, available to discover when weather is fine. When passing through streams, hikers may witness Common Kingfishers catching fishes or Plumbeous Water Redstarts standing on rocks. While climbing through lush forests, hikers might hear chirpings of Muller’s Barbet or Yellow-throated Miniven, catch glimpse of Formosan Blue Magpie and look for Serpent Eagle on the crystal blue sky. Not only rich in ecosystem but also culture heritages, Shihshan Recreation Area is well-known for hallowed ground in Taiwan. It is a must-see attraction that temples were followed the rules of topography and built in caves successfully without serious natural damages.
Hiking Trails:
Abundant plants thriving along hiking trails
Abundant plants thriving along hiking trails
1. Shishan Historical Trail includes numerous temples, pagodas, and stone face inscription. This popular but quite steep trail is about 2,500 meters long and rise 300 meters in elevation, taking about 90 minutes in one way.
2. Kaishan Temple Trail includes several temples and great spot to appreciate sunrise.
3. Liouliao Trail is 5.5 km long, rising from H170 to H340. Along this historical trail, hikers could climb through Cising Tree, an ancient camphor tree, wild stream, Hakka settlement, and abandoned coal mines.
4. Tengping Trail is a comfortable trail, thriving more than 50 varieties of vine and over 80 species of fern. The 1000-meter path is also a great spot for bird-watching lovers, taking 30 minutes in one way.
5. Shueilian Bridge Trail is note for Shueilian Cave, the biggest cave among scenic area, “thread of sky” gorge and a trestle bridge called “Sticky Rice Bridge.”
6. Tea Pavilion Trail is highly recommended to visit while flowers of You Tong blossom. Visit from several tourists means unspoiled white flowers spreading on the paths.
7. Yuanshan Trail, around 3 km in length, leads through large expense of moso bamboo forests, abandoned coal mine, and rusty-leaf mucuna.
Food & Accommodation& Recommendation&Attention:
Poems carved on cliffs
Poems carved on cliffs
Around Shihshan Recreation Area, only Cyuanhua Temple could hikers get service of accommodation and vegetarian meals. Make a reservation ahead of trip in case of runout because of vital scared festivals.

One-day trip:
Arrive at Old Lion’s Head Mountain Entry Arch near to Cyuanhua Temple and hike through Shihshan Historical Trail and Kaishan Temple Trail. And make return at Jingang Temple. Do remember bring your lunch boxes.

Two-day trip:
Arrive at Old Lion’s Head Mountain Entry Arch near to Cyuanhua Temple , leave your heavy backings in temple, choose above trails you like and disappear in the forest. Do remember bring your lunch boxes.

Shihshan Trail is note hiking trail, meaning rather safe path with several hiking-lovers you may encounter. Sadly, several temples will be closed in weekdays but luckily, except Cyuanhua temples and Yuanguang Temple(Shihuan Cave).
Famous Cyuanhua Temple
Famous Cyuanhua Temple
Near Chuanhua Temple: (Train online system)
Miao-li(苗栗) Country and then get off at Zhunan(竹南) station. Find Miao-li Bus Station(苗栗客運) and jump into bus ahead to Nanchuang (南庄) passing through “Shitoushan” or “Lion’s head Mountain.”(獅頭山) Remember to make sure the bus will drive through your destination.
Where to take bus?
As you pass the entrance of Zhunan(竹南) station, turn right, go down and come across the road. Turn left and walk to the third store from the corner to buy a ticket.
Bus schedule:
7:00, 8:10, 9:10, 10:10, 11:10, 14:10, 15:10, 16:10,17:10, and18:10.

Near Lion’s Head Mountain Visitor Center:
Take train to Hsingchu(新竹) Train Station and then bus ahead to Zhutong (竹東). Then transfer bus head to Shishan (獅山) at Zhutong (竹東) transition bus stop.
Bus schedule:
From Hsingchu(新竹) to Zhutong (竹東), the first bus run at 6:10am and the last one at 10:35pm. Around 10 to 20 minutes, there is a bus ready heading to Zhutong (竹東).
From Zhutong (竹東) to Shishan (獅山), bus leave at 7:30, 9:00, 12:20, 14:00, 16:45 and it takes 45 minutes to destination.

Near Lion’s Head Mountain Visitor Center:
Exit the freeway No. 1 at the Toufen(頭份) Interchange, travel along County Expressway No. 124, connect to Provincial Expressway No.3, and travel northbound past Ermei. Turn left at 86.5km and follow County Road No.41 to Shishan Visitor Center (at 4~5 km).
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