If you are visiting Taiwan when you can, here’s a brand new attraction that we are recommending to you for your Taiwan tour! Located in Yilan’s Jiaoxi Township, Sacred Mother Mountain has gone viral since 2019. A Japanese photographer, Kengo Kobayashi, photographed this hidden gem and named it “Matcha Mountain” in his book. Though it became Instagram check-in hotspot or say, “instagrammable” tourist attraction, if you assume that Matcha Mountain is easy to climb then you are so wrong!!!
Matcha Mountain’s altitude is about 1000 meter; the distance of the entire hiking duration is 11.2 kilometer for return trip. Normally, it took approximately 7 hours to finish the whole trip, 3 hours climb to the top, 1-hour rest on the top and 3 hours downhill. It is definitely not an easy-hike like Xiangshan in Taipei City and Chingshan Waterfall Trail in New Taipei City, Matcha Mountain is quite exhausting but rewarding. The spectacular green on the top of Matcha Mountain is just as Laomei during March to May.
There are so much to see in this journey and all the hike starts at the Wufengqi Waterfall Scenic Area car park. To see this 3-tiered waterfall, you can choose to walk up the signposted stairs just few steps away to the iconic Catholic church: Catholic Sanctuary of Our Lady of Wufengqi. If not, you can keep following the main path uphill straight ahead.
Before you reach the starting point of Shengmu Hiking Trail (Marian Hiking Trail), there are two brief stop station that you can rest a bit. Noted that the trip is extremely exhausting and you will need tons of water, make sure you bring enough of them. The hike starts getting difficult from here all the way up to the top, however, relatively, the view is getting more and more breathtaking.
After a long hike, you will finally reach a flat ground (not the top yet!) which called Marian Hut. Before becoming a tourists’ attraction in Taiwan, this is actually a pilgrimage route for Catholic. In this place you can see several statues, such as Br. Luigi Pavan, Mary and Jesus.
The Marian Hut was built in 1977 by an Italian monk, Br. Luigi Pavan, who worked for 20 years in Yilan’s Camillian Saint Mary’s Hospital Luodong. The hut itself is a handy shelter during bad weather, a place with running water, toilets, and even benches. Legend has it that in 1980, a group of five hikers met bad weather on the way to Mt. Sanjiaolun, and took shelter in the hut. They saw the image of a woman in a long white robe on their way down, then confirmed to have been an apparition of Mary herself.
Just above the Marian Hut, is the highlight of the entire trip. The matcha-like slopes which have been sweeping away Taiwanese social medias – Mt. Sanjiaolun. Although the weather was cloudy at the photos shooting day, you can still see the Lanyang Plain from here, the summit.
Overall, the Matcha Moutain is pretty demanding for normal hikers. If you are just here to take photos, maybe this isn’t the best choice. Wearing hiking shoe, at least sneakers is primary. You will be sweat a lot as well, comfy clothes with perspiration function is also essential. Secondly, there isn’t any trash can (even in the washing room!) along the way due to the reason of keeping mountain free from pollution. If you are going to litter, please prepare a bag to carry the garbage you create. Last but not least, the hike will last around 7 hours, please bring foods and enough WATER!
Good luck to your adventure! See you there!