【Light Travel】Enter God’s Tribe, and Explore the Mysterious Smangus 2017-10-16
【Light Travel】Enter God’s Tribe, and Explore the Mysterious Smangus
 

Smangus is located on the mountains, 1500 meters above sea level. Until 1979, there was no electricity. As a result, it was therefore known as the “Darkness Tribe”. Smangus’ contact with the outside world has been limited, with less tourists, less over-development, and less external damage. The natural ecology and cultural landscape here are all very original. This is a communist tribe hidden away in the mountains; entering the tribe is like walking into another time and space. Feel the isolation of this wonderland, explore the mysterious tribe, and follow their simple and original style of life.
 
 
To reach Smangus, you must depart Xinzhu and head in the direction towards Jinping while entering deep into the mountains. Smangus is the most mountainous tribe in Taiwan, and cannot be reached by public transportation. So travelers must drive on their own, although many operators also provide minibus tours to enter the tribe. Another thing to watch out for is the narrow roads heading towards Smangus. For the safety of the public, one may only go up and down the mountain during certain times, with specific sessions planned (consult the follow website for more information: http://www.smangus.org/travelguide.html.) It is recommended that you depart as early as possible in order to make it on time for the morning session. Arrive at Smangus by noon, while passing by many worthwhile places along the way.
 
Visitors traveling to Smangus can stop for a rest at the Jinping Bridge. There are 100 statues placed on the railings of the bridge, and all are related to local aboriginal life, history, and culture. Those who are interested in aboriginal culture definitely need to make a stop at Jinping Bridge. The bridge is surrounded by lush vegetation and mountains, the valley located downwards is also a beautiful scene. Take a break here and regain your energy before you continue deeper into the mountains and forests.
 
 
Not far from Jinping Bridge is Naluo Creek. Many river tracing enthusiasts like to come here. The primitive landscape and cool, refreshing creek water make it a popular location for river tracing during the intensely hot summer. Travelers passing by can stop and spend some time admiring the valley scenery. There’s also the famed Frog Stone, a natural rock shaped like a giant frog and praised by many as a sign of nature’s power.

 
 
After finishing your break, continue heading towards Smangus. Before entering the tribe, it is suggested that you stop along the way and go for a walk at Xinguang Elementary School. Xinguang Elementary School is an elementary located in the mountain forests and full of indigenous style. The campus is small and adorable, and you can see many aboriginal-styled buildings. You may also happen to see the local children and experience their enthusiasm and innocence. Leaving Xinguang Elementary School, you can now directly head to Smangus!
 
 
The Smangus Tribe isn’t actually all that large, however there are many trails in the vicinity. Coming to such a hidden tribe, you can experience for yourself their simple and uncomplicated lifestyles. Every weekend evening, the tribe will also host a welcoming party for guests, where tribe culture can be experienced. After the end of the event, there’s no need to rush. Find a place in the tribe to relax leisurely! At nightfall there’s no light pollution, so you can see the skies brimming full of twinkling stars. If the weather is good, you may even get to see the Milky Way! Take the time and enjoy the sight of the night~
 
On the second day, it is advised to wake up early. The early morning atmosphere in the tribe is especially cool and relaxing. Also it’s better to wake earlier so that you may get an early start as you depart towards the giant tree area. Located close to the Smangus Tribe is the Silifu Waterfall; the water splashing from a high speed above is quite spectacular. In addition, there’s also the stunning giant tree area. Taiwan’s second and third largest and tallest divine trees can be found here. One of the largest red cypress trees requires ten people to hold hands in order to fully encircle one. The giant tree area will take around 5 hours to tour. So before departing, be sure to stock up on foodstuffs so that you don’t become hungry while on the road!

 

 
After you finish viewing the giant trees and return to the tribe, it’s time to pack up and leave. Remember, to leave you need to pay close attention to the traffic control times, so that you don’t miss the departing session! There are also many stops of interest along the way back such as the Yulao Observation Area, Battleship Rock, and others. If there’s extra time, you can visit the Xiuluan Hot Springs, located in a creek close to Xiuluan Elementary School. Soak in the hot springs to regain your vitality, before setting off. Give your body and mind to the natural world: listen to the sound of running water, feel the tranquility of the forest, and enjoy the most wonderful part of your journey! 
 
 


Tips for Travelers:
 Recommended mode of travel: Driving
 Scenery Route: Day One- Jinping Bridge→Naluo Creek and Frog Stone→Xinguang Elementary School→Smangus Tribe// Day Two- Smangus (Silifu Waterfall    +Giant Tree Area)→Yulao Observation Area→Battleship Rock→Xiulan Hot Springs 
 

 
Those who don’t want to drive or new travelers are also welcome to check out Xtreme Taiwan’s selection of one day travel packages: all the essential scenic spots and locations are already all prepared for you! All you have to do is let the experts guide you! → Click here for detailed travel content