This elliptical lake (120 meters long, 80 meters wide and 10 meters deep) is in the crater formed some 4–10 thousand years ago by a meteor strike (making it possibly the youngest meteor lake on Earth - even more remarkable as only about 100 meteor pits have been found around the world, and this one is on such a young island). Located high in (3310 m) the mountains near where Kaohsiung and Hualien counties meet (yes, they do meet, not many people realize that) and on the edge of Yushan National Park.
It is possible to hike there and back in two days, we recommend three.Starting at Shang-yang on the Southern-Cross Island Highway the route takes us over/past Hsiang-yang and San-cha Mountains to an area where several prominent peaks (Cloud, Hsin-kang and Kuan) are in full view. This hike is the initial southern part of the “Southern Second section Traverse” (sounds better in Chinese!).
Day 1: Leave Tainan City late evening, travel eastwards by van, and camp at either a hot-spring 100 km along, or at the 150 km mark where East meets West (proving Rudyard Kipling wrong), sleep ready for a stunning sunrise.
Day 2: After breakfast, travel to Hsiang-yang checkpoint with permits in hand, and start ascending on foot. Climb/skirt around Hsiang-yang Mountain. By late afternoon/evening arrive at Chai-ming mountain hut, sleep!
Day 3: Hsiang-yang north peak, San-cha main peak and early afternoon arrive and wild-camp at Chai-ming lake. Spend the afternoon swimming, or exploring nearby for views of grazing Sambar and Sika deer in the valleys.
Day 4: Hike back to trail head, exploring whatever missed on way in, be back in Tainan City by late evening/night.
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Asia Taiwan Outdoor: Land Rambler Hiking & Trekking