Continuing from where we left off, after settling your accommodation with either Song Xue Lou Hotel or Ski Villa, the next step to your Hehuan adventure is to apply for the required permits. This post aims to guide you along with the application process.
Peaks and permits
Of all the peaks that you can conquer, hiking the Mt. Hehuan Main Peak, East Peak, Hehuanjian (Hehuan Peak) and Mt. Shimen doesn’t require any permits because these are relatively shorter hikes. There isn’t a need for guides as well, so you’re allowed to conquer these peaks by yourself.
The Hehuan North and West Peak, are relatively long hikes, so they both requires the mountain permit. There are 2 ways that you can get the permits. Firstly, the easier and more convenient way to get the permit is to apply to through the National Police Agency online portal. Unfortunately again, the website is also all in traditional Chinese, but rest assure, I’ll bring you through the process later on. The second method to get the permits is to apply it physically at the either Cuifeng precinct Nantou County Police Bureau or Xincheng precinct Hualien County Police Bureau. Please apply for the permits 5 days to a month prior to your visit! Though these are longer hikes, they do not require hiring of guides as well.
Applying for the permit
Upon clicking the link I’ve provided above, you’ll be directed to Main page. Click on the button that I’ve pointed out and you’ll arrive at the “Login page”.
Unlike the Hehuan accommodation booking, you don’t need to register for an account to apply for the permits. Fill up the respective fields above and click on the green button to proceed. You’ll be brought to the page shown below. You’ll need to provide them with the particulars they require.
A point to note here. In order to have a higher chance to get your permit approved, you need to provide Taiwan addresses and contact numbers, especially for the emergency contacts. My application was rejected when I 1st applied because I provided them with Singapore numbers. If you don’t have any friends or families residing in Taiwan, you can try asking your hotel/hostel/AirBNB host to help you with the numbers.
For the trip plan, I believe they’ll require a Chinese version of it. Here’s the direct translation for the trip plan I gave as example above: “Day 1: 松雪楼 – 合歡北峰 – 合歡山西峰 – 合歡北峰 – 松雪楼”. Just copy and paste this if you’re following our plan!
Once you’ve entered all the particulars on this page, click on the orange button to add the list of hikers going on the trip.
After every entry, click on the blue button to add another person’s particulars. When you’re done adding all the names of the hikers for the trip, click on the black cross and the records will be automatically added to your permit application. When you’re back on the “Particulars page”, check through the entered information and click on “送出申請” right at the bottom of the page to send in your application.
At this point, all you have do now is to wait for the e-mail that indicates if your permit has been approved. If your application fails, read through the e-mail because they will most probably indicate the reason for not approving the application. Keep trying and you’ll eventually get it! With accommodation and permit settled, we’re almost there to make our Hehuan adventure happen! We’ll stop here for now, stay tune for the next post about getting up Hehuanshan via Bus 6506!
(Date written: Feb 2017)