Preparing a trip to the Yushan National Park can seem like a daunting task due to the lack of information in English. After writing our experience on this blog sharing how we hiked Yushan, I received numerous questions about accommodation and where to sleep.
I hope this article will be sufficiently clear for anyone willing to visit the Yushan National Park. It’s a gorgeous area, and you should not let the slightly complicated process deter you!
Yes, be aware that you’re going to need a permit if you want to hike in the Yushan National Park area. You need to apply at least 5 days in advance. If you don’t plan on sleeping within the national park, then the whole process would become easier.
I also explain everything concerning the permit and the required steps on the Hiking Yushan article that you shouldn’t miss!
Note: If you make purchases through one of the links in this post, we get a small commission at no extra costs for you. This will help us to keep the website running and carry on our journey around the world so we can write more useful articles like this one.
Your Options to Sleep in the Yushan National Park
The situation is rather simple: You want to hike within the Yushan National Park? You need a permit. You want to sleep within the Yushan National Park? You need to apply for a cabin or a campground when you apply for the aforementioned permit.
Do you like hiking? Don’t miss our list of 6 amazing hikes in Taiwan!
It is not allowed to just drop by and sleep. All the cabins and campgrounds are owned by the government and managed through the Yushan National Park headquarters.
As far as I know, only one of all these cabins and campgrounds is not free. The Paiyun Lodge, where a night costs 480NTD per night (~16US$).
You need to apply at least one month in advance to sleep in the Paiyun Lodge, the Yuanfong Cabin/Campground and the Walami Cabin/Campground. For the other cabins and campgrounds, at least 7 days in advance is fine.
Check out the complete list of cabins & campgrounds.
As you can see, there are two options: Sleeping in a cabin, or a campground. Some of them are both a cabin and a campground, such as the Yuanfong cabin / campground.
Remember that all these cabins and campgrounds are rather basic. There might not be any bathroom and surely no electricity.
If you’re planning to stay over in a cabin, you will need to bring your own accommodation gear and sleeping bag. The utmost majority of these cabins don’t provide any gear. However, the Paiyun Lodge can provide these for a fee.
A campground is basically nothing more than a flat space to pitch your tent. You need to bring your own tent and your sleeping gear if you’re planning to sleep at a campground.
Don’t have high expectations about what you will find in terms of comfort. This is primarily destined to provide shelters for hikers.
Water is usually available at nearby waterfalls, streams or rivers.
Where are the cabins and campgrounds located?
The best map I could find in English is available on this link.
The Paiyun Lodge
The Paiyun Lodge is the most popular accommodation within the Yushan National Park. It’s also by far the biggest with 116 beds. One simple reason for that: The lodge is the only accommodation located on the main trail to the Yushan mountain and is just 2.4 kilometers away from the summit!
Many locals apply to sleep at the lodge, but as a foreigner, you can have priority access if you apply to stay over between Sunday and Thursday night. There are 24 spots reserved for foreigners for the weeknights.
You can apply to stay at the lodge between 35 days to 4 months in advance.
The price is 480NT$ per night.
The Paiyun Lodge provides hot water only between 1:30 am and 2:30 am, 7 am and 9 am and 2 pm and 5 pm at the site for visitors. Electricity is available from 6 to 8 pm.
Your Options to Sleep Near the Yushan National Park
The closest option to the Yushan trail to sleep is the Dongpu Villa Hostel (also known as the Dongpu Lodge). It’s the only accommodation within the Yushan National Park where you don’t need to get a permit. Yes, technically it is within the boundaries of the park. It’s just a 5-minute-walk away from the start of the Yushan trail. It’s also cost-effective at just 300NTD a person a night (~10$). However, I must warn you it is not the best in terms of comfort. You’ll be sleeping in a dorm shared by 19 other trekkers and facilities are quite limited, although they provide dinner & breakfast for a fee.
You can’t book online, and as the staff doesn’t speak English, it is best to ask a Chinese-speaking friend to make a phone call and book beforehand.
Sleeping in Alishan
Why sleeping in Alishan?
Sleeping in Alishan is the best option in terms of comfort, while still being relatively close to the Yushan National Park. From Alishan, you’re just 20 kilometers away from the start of the Yushan trail. The Alishan National Forest Recreation Area is one of the most beautiful areas of Taiwan and shouldn’t be missed.
Getting to Alishan shouldn’t be a problem, as it is well connected with Chiayi and the rest of Taiwan. However the lack of public transportation between Alishan and the Yushan National Park is a major downside. If you happen to miss one of the few buses available, you will definitely manage to find a local taxi to bring you up, or hitchhiking is another option.
Where to sleep in Alishan?
The Best Choice: The 4-star Alishan Hotel
The Best Homestay: Alishan Tea Homestay
The Quietest Option: The 3-star Alishan Youth Activity Center
Sleeping in Chiayi
Why sleeping in Chiayi?
Chiayi is well-connected with all the West Coast of Taiwan thanks to its two stations, the Chiayi Railway Station and the Chiayi HSR Station. The high-speed train between Taipei and Chiayi only takes slightly more than an hour! It’s also just a stone’s throw away from other popular touristic hubs such as Tainan, Kaohsiung or Taichung, and you can easily take a bus to Alishan the next day, or even saving yourself a headache by taking a taxi directly to the Yushan National Park for about 100US$ (3000NTD)
Another advantage of staying in Chiayi is the amount of choice you’ll have to spend the night, ranging from backpackers hostels to 5-star hotels. It could be a great way to treat yourself, before, or even after, submitting the Yushan mountain!
Where to sleep in Chiayi?
There are plenty of great hostels and hotels in the city. I found the prices to be cheaper than the rest of Taiwan, as you can stay in a 5-star hotel for less than 100$ a night for a double room! Here’s my selection.
The Best Hostel: KM Hostel
The Most Famous Franchise: Holiday Inn Express Chiayi
The Best 3-Star Hotel: Chiayi King Hotel
The Quietest Option: 五柳園民宿 (no English name yet, but worth checking it out!)
Sleeping in Xinyi
Where is Xinyi?
Why staying in Xinyi?
Xinyi, located about 40 kilometers from the start of the Yushan trail, is home to the Bunun indigenous tribe. Staying in Xinyi will offer you majestic views of the Yushan Mountain and an authentic experience of an aboriginal village.
Nestled in nature, Xinyi is also the start of several hiking trails going to the Yushan National Park, and is very close to the Dongpu hot spring.
If coming from Taipei or Taichung with your own mean of transportation, you’ll certainly pass by the village. However, public transportation is even scarcer on this side of the mountain. There are two buses a day coming from the Sun Moon Lake and going to the entrance of the Yushan trail that you might be able to catch. Hitchhiking is still a solid option as my wife did, while I cycled this very same road.
Do you like to go off-the-beaten tracks? Xinyi is where you want to spend time!
And if you need some cycling inspiration, check out how I cycled the highest road in Taiwan and reached 3.275m in just a day!
Where to sleep in Xinyi?
The Highest Rated: Tabakai
Cheapest Option for a dorm: GO Bill B&B
The Best Hostel: Umas Hostel
The Best View of Yushan: Lorna Resort
The Cheapest Double Room: Manaskal (Very friendly hosts! But there are 10 cats living on the property so you should be fine with that)
The Closest Hotel to the Hot Spring: Dongpo Ti Lun Hotel (3-star)
Apply for a permit for the Yushan National Park (use the same link to apply for accommodation)
Map of the Yushan National Park (include every cabin and campground)
Feel free to share with us your experience in the Yushan National Park, and don’t hesitate to ask questions if you need help to plan your trip!