Bitoujiao Trail is an easy hiking trail on the mountain ridges of a major cape on the Northeastern coast of Taiwan. Most people visit the Bitoujiao Scenic Area and hike this short trail to see lush green mountains, rocky coast, and sparkling blue water.
Plus, you don’t need a full day to explore Bitoujiao (which literall means “tip of your nose”). If you are coming from Taipei or Yilan County, you can spend a few hours hiking the scenic trail and explore other parts of Northeast Taiwan.
In this post, I will show you exactly how to get to Bitoujiao and hike the scenic Bitoujiao Trail on your own.
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What you need to know before hiking Bitoujiao Trail
Before starting on the Bitoujiao hike, take a look at my post on everything you need to know before going to Taiwan. I included a lot of information like how to get around Taiwan, getting a Taiwan SIM card and other travel tips.
Here are a few additional details that you may find useful for hiking Bitoujiao Scenic Area:
- Trail length: 2.5km
- Duration: 2 hours
- Difficulty: easy (but lots of stairs)
- Best time to go: all seasons
- There are three toilets along the trail
- Bitoujiao Trail is suitable for everyone, even if you are a beginner.
- The hike is short, so you can either do that in the morning or afternoon. Then, explore other parts of Northeastern Taiwan for the rest of the day. I have some suggestions at the bottom of the post.
What to bring for hiking the Bitoujiao Trail
The actual Bitoujiao Trail is pretty easy, so you don’t need a lot of technical equipment. The most important thing is to bring enough water for a few hours, sun protection and proper footwear (if you hike along the shore – more on that later).
Here is what I would suggest bringing for the half-day hike at Bitoujiao:
- Comfortable shoes like Birkenstock or sneakers.
- Sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat, as most of the trail is exposed to the sun.
- Water for the trail (pick up drinks at Fulong Station or 7-11 across the harbour).
- Bathing suit and towel for the beach if you decide to visit Fulong Beach after.
- EasyCard or iPass for taking the train and bus.
How to get to the start of Bitoujiao Trail
The easiest way to get to the start of the Bitoujiao hiking trail is by taking the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) train (from Taipei or Yilan County) to Fulong Train Station. Then walk two minutes to the Fulong bus stop on Xinglong Street and wait for bus 791. After about 30 minutes, alight at Bitoujiao (Bitou Service Area) bus stop.
- Bus 791: from Fulong bus stop to Bitoujiao (Bitou Service Area) bus stop (see route)
- Time: 30 minutes (about one bus every 30 to 60 minutes)
- Cost: NT$15 (use EasyCard or iPass)
- Check: Keelung Bus Company route info for bus 791 or Google Maps for bus info
How to hike Bitoujiao Scenic Area
Essentially, the Bitoujiao Trail is a loop that starts and ends at the same location. It starts with the Bitou Cape Trail, which goes through the mountain range. Then it continues on the Bitou Area Path, the flat path around Bitou Fishing Habour.
You can hike in either direction. But I prefer to hike counterclockwise because I like to hike the hardest part first and see all the views and then finish the hike closer to all the food places.
I also think this way is easier because there is a long flight of stairs at the end of the trail (if you are hiking counterclockwise). It is easier to walk down the stairs than walk up.
Here is a map highlighting the Bitoujiao hiking trail:
Bitoujiao Trail: hiking counterclockwise
1. Start from the Bitoujiao bus stop on Bitoujiao Road
Once you alight from bus 791, walk up Bitou Road, the hilly road on the same side as the bus stop. Continue on the hilly road and walk up stairs on the left.
At the top of the stairs is Bitou Elementary School. Turn left to continue on Bitou Cape Trail. The trail starts with a flight of stairs going up and back down.
2. Explore areas off Bitou Cape Trail and continue up the mountain
There are two opportunities to detour from Bitou Cape Trail, the main hiking path.
Both times, stone stairways lead you closer to the edge of the coast. You can get close to the water but have to walk down the steep slope. I saw some people hanging out on the plateau.
When you return to Bitou Cape Trail, you will approach a fork of the road. Walk up the flight of stairs on the left. The right road goes to Bitou Cape Lighthouse, which is closed to the public.
3. See the colourful Tingtao Cafe, a former marine base
At the top of the stairway, you can see a sign for Tingtao Cafe and the colourful camouflaged building at the bottom of a long stairway. This was a former marine base, but it was left unused for over 20 years. It has been converted to a modern cafe serving coffee, tea, snacks and desserts.
And when you walk down to the cafe, you can see a set of rainbow-coloured stairs. You can see the colours on the vertical part of the stairs in my photo below.
4. Continue hiking on the mountain ridge
When you continue on Bitou Cape Trail, the path is paved on the mountain ridges of the Bitoujiao Scenic Area. You are literally walking on the ridges of the mountains and seeing panoramic views of the mountain range and the sea. Pretty amazing views!
Not far away is the first pagoda where you can rest, hide from the sun and enjoy the view of the Bitoujiao Scenic Area.
5. Follow the path to the second pagoda
Continue forward by following the paved path and stairway. It goes up and down through the ridges of the mountain.
And in no time, you will reach the second pagoda. At this spot, you can see the boats in Bitou Fishing Harbour, the coastline, and the mountains in the distance. I don’t know the names of all the mountains, but I know the rounded cone-shaped one on the right is Keelung Mountain, and Teapot Mountain is the one next to it, and it has a sharp tip.
6. Take in the last aerial view from Bitoujiao Trail
This is the last opportunity to see aerial views from the mountains. It is truly amazing that you can see the coast so vividly on such a short and easy hike.
When ready, follow the paved path and descend a long flight of stairs. Along the way, there is one more resting pagoda if you want to take a break. When you see the yellow dot at the bottom of the stairs, you have finished hiking the Bitou Cape Trail.
7. Explore Bitou Seashore Park
Once you are back on flat land, explore the fishing village by walking on Bitou Area Path, the flat path around Bitou Fishing Habour.
At the far end of the trail, an open area is part of the Bitou Seashore Park. Beyond the park is the rocky coastline, which you could explore. And I did see some people walk beyond the park. Since I wasn’t wearing proper hiking shoes that day, I didn’t continue forward. But it looks like you can keep going but becareful!
8. Roam around Bitou Fishing Harbour
And finally, spend the rest of your time romaing around Bitou Fishing Harbour.
This ara is quite interesting. There are little stores and cafes selling drinks and food. And there are seafood restaurants (but not really ideal for solo travellers). There’s even a coffee shop near the seashore park.
9. See Bitoujiao from the other side of the harbour
If you didn’t find any food places you want to eat, you can always walk over to the other side of Bitou Fishing Harbour. There is a 7-Eleven where you can get Taiwanese food.
Near the parking lot, there is a small food court with two food vendors. One of them sell only drinks and I bought 石花凍, which is a seaweed jelly drink. I’ve seen this drink all over the coast. It is crisp and refreshing and thirst-quenching.
Before heading back to the bus stop, check out 五聖宮 (Five Holy Temple) and the view of Bitoujiao from the other side of the harbour. Pretty amazing that you just hiked the ridge of that mountain!
Other things to see around Bitoujiao Scenic Area
The Bitoujiao trail is definitely the highlight of Bitoujiao Scenic Area. But there are other trails that are not really promoted or advertised.
Here are two hiking trails I noticed while I was there:
- 鼻頭角地質步道 (Bitoujiao Geological Trail) – I believe this is a trail that loops around the perimeter of the peninsula where you can see the lighthouse. This is not a paved path, and many parts are steep. I’m not even sure where the trail entrance is, but I saw some hikers near the bottom of the mountains while standing from the first pagoda.
- Coastal trail from the Bitou Seashore Park – as I mentioned, there seems to be a rocky coastal trail that starts from the seashore park. I read from other bloggers that you have to physically climb up rocks. Paths are narrow and slippery. But you could see sea caves and unusual rock formations.
I want to highlight that these two trails are dangerous as there were incidents that happened in the past. I’m all for exploring new places and discovering new trails, but I would not attempt these especially if you are hiking on your own.
If you attempt these hikes, take extreme caution, wear good hiking shoes and bring proper gears.
Other places to visit after hiking Bitoujiao Trail
Bitoujiao Scenic Area is relatively small, and the Bitoujiao hiking trail is actually quite short. So this means you will have the rest of the day to explore other parts of Northeastern Taiwan.
Here are some suggestions on what you can do after hiking the Bitoujiao Trail:
- Fulong Beach – take bus 791 back to Fulong Station and spend the rest of the day on the golden sands of Fulong Beach.
- Caoling Historic Trail – if you feel super ambitious and want to do another hike, Caoling Historic Trail starts at Fulong Station and finishes at Dali Station. The 10km ancient trail is relatively easy, but it may be challenging as the second hike of the day.
- Keelung – explore the port city and visit one of the best night markets. Bus 791 continues to Keelung.
- Jiufen – eat traditional food on Jiufen Old Street, drink oolong tea at one of the teahouses or hike Teapot Mountain or Keelung Mountain. Take bus 856, which goes to Ruifang via Jiufen.
Are you going to hike the Bitoujiao Trail?
I hope so because it is such an easy trail, and the spectacular views. And getting to the start of the trail from Taipei or anywhere from Yilan County is super easy. I am really impressed with public transportation in Taiwan!
Let me know in the comments if you have any questions about hiking the Bitoujiao trail.
Thank you for reading my Bitoujiao Trail post
You might also like these other posts on solo travel in Taiwan:
Introduction to Taiwan
- Things to know before visiting Taiwan
- How and where to buy a Taiwan prepaid SIM card
- How to spend 3 weeks in Taiwan
- 22 must-eat food in Taiwan
- Top 10 must-try Taiwan 7-11 Food
Northern Taiwan posts
- Things to do alone in Taipei Taiwan
- Where to stay in Taipei for solo travellers
- Dadaocheng Taipei: what to do, buy and eat on Dihua Street
- 9 Places to eat breakfast in Taipei
- Top 21 food to try in Ximending in Taipei
- 7 Best day trips from Taipei
- A complete beginner’s guide to Beitou Hot Spring
- How to travel from Taipei to Jiufen
- Monka Hotel: affordable Taipei boutique hotel
- Kimpton Da’an Hotel: best luxury boutique hotel in Taipei
Eastern Taiwan posts
- 46 Best things to do in Yilan Taiwan
- Caoling Historic Trail: day trip from Yilan County or Taipei
- Things to do alone in Hualien Taiwan