【Explore】Guide to Hehuanshan (合欢山) Part 3: Transport via 6506

After much awaited anticipation, the day when you’re actually travelling up to Hehuanshan is finally here! There are 2 ways that you can opt for to travel up the mountain. Firstly, you can make prior arrangements for private hires that can drive you directly up to Song Xue Lou or Ski Villa. This method needless to say, is convenient but at the same time very costly. Alternatively, for the budget travelers (like us), there is a legendary public bus that goes up Hehuanshan daily (thank god). Well, for the sake of the thrifty travelers out there, this post will be focusing about getting up Hehuanshan via the public transport alternative. Here it goes!

Bus 6506

Although ‘豐原客運6506‘ is just a small 12-seater minibus, it holds the title of being ‘the bus that goes up the highest altitude‘ in Taiwan. This Nantou bus goes up Hehuanshan and terminates at Lishan daily without fail, unless there is extreme weather condition. There is only 1 bus going up and coming down daily, so if you were to miss the only bus on that particular day, you just have to wait til the next day for the next bus service! Here’s a short Taiwanese news report featuring the ‘mighty’ bus.

Where to board

If you’re heading up the mountains, you can board the bus at ‘豐原汽車客運股份有限公司’. This bus terminal is located within Fengyuan District, a small district just a lil’ bit north of Taichung City.

The bus heading towards the mountains leave at 09:10 a.m. sharp (timing as of Dec 2016). Be sure to head to the bus terminal earlier, because the bus waits for no one. It’s gonna be a long ride up to Hehuanshan, so our advice to y’all  is to head to the bus terminal earlier, queue up and secure a seat on the bus. Upon getting up the bus, please inform the bus driver that you’ll be dropping at Hehuanshan or else you’ll be transported straight to Lishan!

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For travelers who’re coming back down from Hehuanshan to Fengyuan, you can board the bus at the bus stop indicated in the map below:

The bus will arrive there at about 08:00 a.m. daily, but double check with the hotel reception the day before just to be sure with the timings.

The journey

The journey up Hehuanshan is indeed a long one. Although some online sources wrote that the bus ride will only take 3 hours, but I’d say that the the traveling time varies taking into consideration road and weather conditions. Our journey was 4 hours long, inclusive of a short break in the middle of the journey.

Throughout the 1st half of the journey, the view is pretty boring with nothing much you can expect. However, once the bus hits the mountain ranges, the scenery is breathtaking, especially during days with clear weather! That’s something to look forward to!

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Additional notes

Before the day of departure, do call up Song Xue Lou’s hotline to ask if the weather condition is favorable for the trip! I was told by them that Bus 6506 will not operate if it’s snowing up on the mountains because of safety issues.

In the event where you missed the only bus for the day, your best bet to get up the mountains is to hire a cab, but it’ll not be easy to hire anyone who’s willing to drive up into the mountains. If you do not have a strict itinerary to follow, I suggest that you just spend the day loitering around Taichung and catch the bus up on the next morning.

That’s all I have to provide for the transportation up to Hehuanshan. I’m not sure if I’ve missed out any important information, but if you have any queries, please feel free to leave us a comment down below! Thanks for reading and supporting! Until next time!

-TheHumbleExplorer
(Date written: Feb 2017)

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