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Mt. Dahun and Mt. Lidong: Dancing Lights, Cedar Trees, and A Bloodshed Past

Posted by: Anusha Lee
Published date: May 5, 2022
The trail from Mt. Danun to Mt. Lidong in Hsinchu Taiwan, is a hike with history and stunning scenery. The tranquility in the Japanese Cedar trees, the blood and tears hidden inside Lidong Mountain Fort, and the mountains silently witnessing everything make this hike even more special.
dahun-lidong-28-stunning-sunset-2
Stunning sunset from this hike
This post is the first part of my two-day hike, but you can arrange this as a one-day hike.

Table of Contents:

Trail Information

Trail Name: Mt. Dahun and Mt. Lidong Trail 大混山, 李棟山
Distance: 10.6 km (6.6 miles)
Route type: Out and back
Days/Hours Needed: 7-10 hours
Total Ascent/Descent: 789m/798m
Best Time to Go: All year round, but it can be very hot in summer
Permits: Not required
Difficulty Level:
Peaks to Reach:
  1. Mt. Lidong 李崠山 (李棟山), 1,914 meters (6,280 feet) above sea level. There is a Class 1 Triangulation Stone on the peak. Mt. Lidong Fort is also on the peak. Although it’s a Class 1 mountain, there’s nothing much to see because trees surround it.
  2. Mt. Dahun 大混山, 1,541 meters (5,056 feet) above sea level. There is a Class 3 Triangulation Stone on the peak. Not much to see on the peak, either.

Personal Enjoyment

Things I Enjoy:

  1. I liked this trail already, even before we started our hike. Although the weather was gray when we arrived at Linkong Corridor, the views were still great. I could see the layers of mountains and the villages in the valley. Some tourists come here just for the stunning landscape without hiking.
  2. If you go hiking regularly, this trail isn’t too tricky, and the trail is in good condition. There are several steep slopes in the Japanese Cedar forest, but the mystic woods and fog floating in the trees will be a great distraction to make you in awe.
  3. It is said that we can see Mt. Dabajian (link, 3,492 meters), Xueshan (3,886 meters), Holy Ridgeline, and Mt. Nanhu (3,742 meters) from Lidong Mountain Fort. I didn’t get to see those fantastic 100 Peaks, but it’s a unique experience to reach a peak with such a vast space. There are also many stories behind this fort.
Dahun Mountain and Lidong Mountain in Hsinchu
Checking out the mountains I saw at Linkong Corridor.

Map/GPX Data

Date of Hike: Group hike with on January 15, 2022

Route map for 2022-01-08 Pingyan Mountain And Doujiatun Mountain by Anusha Lee on plotaroute.com

Click Menu in the map to download, print or share the map.
You can see more options after clicking Play button.
Click timer to change the speed to meet your condition.

How to Get There

There is no public transport to get close to the trailhead. You’ll need to hire a car or ride a scooter to do this hike.

My Itinerary

Brief itinerary: Linkong Corridor (1,220m) ➔ Mt. Dahun (1,541m) ➔ Mt. Lidong (1,914m) ➔ Linkong Corridor
GPS coordinates of: 24.698008, 121.263489
This hike was led by our two fabulous guides, VP He 何復忠 and Amy Chen 陳素惠. They shared a great deal of knowledge of the history of Lidong Mountain Fort and the defense line.
Dahun Mountain and Lidong Mountain in Hsinchu
Our two awesome hiking guides: Amy and VP
Moreover, Amy is also a dentist and speaks fluent English. In fact, we had two doctors on this hike. How cool is that to hike with two doctors on the trail?
Dahun Mountain and Lidong Mountain: doctors and hiking guide
We got two doctors on this trip.
07:00 Left Taipei Train Station.
09:49 Arrived at Linkong Corridor and prepared for the hike.
Dahun Mountain and Lidong Mountain in Hsinchu
Dahun Mountain and Lidong Mountain in Hsinchu
It's easy to find the trailhead to Mt. Lidong.
10:07 Started hiking. Soon, we went through the tall, beautiful bamboo woods.
Dahun Mountain and Lidong Mountain in Hsinchu
I saw Japanese Ophiorrhiza 蛇根草 near the trailhead. There were many of them around here. You can see my Flowers on the Trails page to see the details.
Dahun Mountain and Lidong Mountain in Hsinchu
Dahun Mountain and Lidong Mountain in Hsinchu
More climbing
11:03 Arrived at the junction to Mt. Dahun/Mt. Lidong (大混山/李棟山), and to Mt. Niulankeng/Mt. Daoshia (牛攔坑山/道下山).
Dahun Mountain and Lidong Mountain in Hsinchu
11:11 Arrived at another junction to Mt. Dahun and Mt. Lidong. We headed to Mt. Dahun first.
Dahun Mountain and Lidong Mountain in Hsinchu
We turned right to Mt. Dahun.
11:15 We reached our first peak, Mt. Dahun, 1,541 meters (5,056 feet). No views on this peak. We took a break here.
Dahun Mountain and Lidong Mountain in Hsinchu
This is my favorite group photo, because I hid perfectly.
11:36 We saw the embankment of the first border guard detachment. Our guide, VP, explained the history during the Japanese Occupation of Taiwan.
Dahun Mountain and Lidong Mountain in Hsinchu
The weather was still gloomy, but the fog made this place look like a fairyland.
Dahun Mountain and Lidong Mountain in Hsinchu
12:27 We arrived at Bawu Outpost 八五駐在所. Bawu Outpost was very spacious, and the embankments were much larger. We took a break here. I've lost count of how many of those embankments I'd seen on this trail.
Dahun Mountain and Lidong Mountain in Hsinchu
Bawu Outpost
Dahun Mountain and Lidong Mountain: Bawu Outpost
Bawu Outpost looked like a great camping site.
12:58 I thought the rest of the day would be foggy and gloomy, but I started seeing sunlight seeping through the trees.
Dahun Mountain and Lidong Mountain in Hsinchu
13:17 Our guide VP stopped near the junction and pointed out a stone post. It turned out to be a grave of a Japanese patrol officer who lost his life during conflicts with the Indigenous people, the Grave of Watanabe 渡邊要之墓. Our hiking mates put some snacks as the offering.
Dahun Mountain and Lidong Mountain in Hsinchu
Dahun Mountain and Lidong Mountain in Hsinchu
The Grave of Watanabe
13:47 Reached Lidong Fort/Mt. Lidong 1,914 meters (6,280 feet). There is a Class A Triangulation Stone on the peak.
Dahun Mountain and Lidong Mountain in Hsinchu
The entrance of Lidong Fort. The stone banner is missing.
This fort is enormous and can be reached via another trailhead. The distance from the trailhead to Lidong Fort is only 2km, and it's an easy hike. But I've never been there, nor Lidong Mansion.
Dahun Mountain and Lidong Mountain in Hsinchu
We took a lunch break at Lidong Fort. The sky had become crystal clear with a beautiful blue shade by now, making it hard to believe it was dusky when we started the hike.
Dahun Mountain and Lidong Mountain in Hsinchu
We took group photos with the Class 1 Triangulation Stone.
I checked out the corners of this fort and saw several embrasures on the walls.
Dahun Mountain and Lidong Mountain in Hsinchu
Dahun Mountain and Lidong Mountain in Hsinchu
14:38 We resumed the hike and took the same route back to the trailhead.
Dahun Mountain and Lidong Mountain in Hsinchu
There's another trailhead to Lidong Mountain Fort, but we took the trail on the left.
15:36 While the weather was getting better, I could see mountains in the distance through the trees. With the help of an app, PeakFinder, I saw Mt. Neiniaozui 內鳥嘴山 (Post coming soon), the mountain we were going to visit the next day.
Dahun Mountain and Lidong Mountain in Hsinchu
The peak on the left is Mt. Neiniaozui, 1,748 meters.
Soon, we were back to the Japanese Cedar forests and Bawu Outpost.
Dahun Mountain and Lidong Mountain in Hsinchu
The lights in the woods were perfect.
Now, there were several tents pitched up by a group of hikers at Bawu Outpost. I wonder where they found the water. Or they carried all the way up, but I didn't ask.
Dahun Mountain and Lidong Mountain in Hsinchu
Dahun Mountain and Lidong Mountain: Bawu Outpost
The sunlight gave Bawu Outpost a vibrant look compared to what we saw earlier.
15:45 We were back to the long embankment. I saw some broken pieces of ceramics and bottles left from the old days.
Dahun Mountain and Lidong Mountain in Hsinchu
Those things are also common on the trails if you hike to Syakaro Historic Trail and Zhuilu Old Trail, where the Japanese Occupation had greatly influenced.
Zhuilu Old Trail in Taroko Gorge, Hualien
Zhuilu Old Trail
16:35 Back to the junction to Lingkong Corridor, Mt. Lidong, and Mt. Dahun.
17:15 The sun started setting. The sunlight was dancing in the woods and playing magic with the trees and leaves.
Dahun Mountain and Lidong Mountain in Hsinchu
Dahun Mountain and Lidong Mountain in Hsinchu
While I was grumbling silently about the lost opportunity of seeing gorgeous sunset, shrieks suddenly erupted from my hiking mates ahead of me. It took me a few seconds to make out what they talked about.
Dahun Mountain and Lidong Mountain in Hsinchu
My heart exploded with joy when I saw this stunning view.
It turned out that Mother Nature decided to give us one of the most significant rewards, and this was what we saw through the trees.
Dahun Mountain and Lidong Mountain in Hsinchu
No need to use filters to edit those images. Those were taken by my phone.
17:49 We arrived at the trailhead. Our hired vans were already there waiting to send us to the B&B.
Dahun Mountain and Lidong Mountain in Hsinchu
Those yummy dishes prepared by our B&B were devoured within minutes.

About Mt. Lidong and Lidong Mountain Fort

Mt. Lidong used to be the transport hub for the indigenous Atayal people. Atayal people called this place Tapung, meaning a place with accumulating snow. In Taiwan, Mt. Lidong is listed as Xiao Beiyue 小百岳, Little 100 Peaks.
There are 2 trailheads to Mt. Lidong. An army veteran built a house near one of the trailheads (not the one we took), and this place became famous among hikers. Here's the old photo of the fort entrance.
During the Japanese Occupation, the Japanese Government built a defense line of frontier guard 隘勇線 to contain 26 Atayal tribes around here.
Dahun Mountain and Lidong Mountain: Bawu Outpost
In 1910, the Japanese Government built Lidong Mountain Fort as a command post to deploy cannons to reinforce their control over the local Indigenous people.
The fort was about 28 meters in length and 22 meters in width. The walls had embrasures with baroque architecture style, which was very new.
dahun-lidong-20-lidong-fort-entrance
There was a stone banner on the entrance of the fort carved with 慎守其一, meaning carefully guarding the only one. Unfortunately, the stone banner is missing. You can click here to see what the old banner looks like.
In March 2003, Hsinchu County Government listed Lidong Mountain Fort as a county historic site and named it Tapung Fort. But the public still calls it Lidong Mountain Fort.

The Defense Line of Frontier Guard between Mt. Dahun and Mt. Lidong 隘勇線

While hiking in the woods, you'll see some old embankments. Those were from the defense line built between Mt. Dahun and Mt. Lidong by the Japanese Government.
dahun-lidong-25-guard-detachment
It is said that the Japanese Government built 5 frontier police guard detachments (or border guard detachments) along this defense line. You can click here to see the locations of those old detachments.

Linkong Corridor 凌空廊道

Meiyuan Connecting Road 煤源聯絡道 is the main road between Naluo 那羅 and Meiyuan 煤源 in Jianshi Township 尖石鄉.
To promote tourism, Jianshi Township selected the highest point on this connecting road and set up Linkong Corridor in 2015. This place has great views and easy access.
Dahun Mountain and Lidong Mountain in Hsinchu
View from Linkong Corridor

Last but not Least...

If you are interested in Taiwan's old photos and history, you can check out Taiwan Memory Exhibition: A Project of Online Curation for details.
More links about Mt. Lidong and the history: Institute of Taiwan History, Academia Sinica, , 蕃社坑水力發電所, Tapung(Lidonsan) Castle. I'd like to thank our guide, VP, for sending me those links.

Related Posts:

On Taiwan Hikes

Syakaro Historic Trail
Zhuilu Old Trail
Mt. Liushun and Qicai Lake

English Posts

LIDONG SHAN AND TAPUNG CASTLE VIA DAHUN SHAN (大混山/李棟山)
Off the Beaten Track: Mount Lidong Fort

Posts in Chinese Only

Hiking Biji: Mt. Lidong and Mt. Dahun 李崠山、大混山連走
Tony Huang: Lidong Fort in Jianshi Hsinchu [新竹尖石].李崠山古堡
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