HIKES IN THE KAOHSIUNG AREA:
Wei Liao Mountain (Mt. Weiliao or Wei Liao Shan) (尾寮山) is located about 50 km east of Kaohsiung City and 30km from Ping Tung City.
Wei Liao is dubbed a "little 100 peak" 小百岳 by the locals due to its long distance straight up climbing. The total round trip distance is 19km and although the height is only 1400m, hikers are basically starting from sea level. Therefore, you are covering almost 1,400m in elevation. It's a great hike to get into shape to do the big peaks in Taiwan. We took 5 hours to get to the top with light packs and just over 2.5 hours to return. If you're not in hiking shape, it could take you a bit longer.
The trail is laid out and easy to follow. Hikers climb mostly "up" with the exception of a few places that level off. There are several stopping points along the way and the regular hikers can be found there cooking up lunch and brewing tea while enjoying the cool temperatures and leafy surroundings.
Parking for Wei Liao Mountain is on the side of the road (rt. 185) The trail head is clearly marked and starts out as a paved road.
Hikers begin their trek up Weiliao on a paved road. It's not paved for long. There are a few maps at the lower levels to help you get your bearings.
The trail up Wei Liao is clearly marked. It would be very difficult to get lost. The trail takes on a few widths and conditions. We didn't have time, but there is also a 20 minute trek to Da Jin Waterfall. Follow the signs to get there.
Here are a few more shots of the types of trail on Wei Liao Mountain. The mountain is thick with green foliage. It's a nice respite from the city.
About 6km up the trail, hikers will arrive at the Guan Jing Ting 觀景亭. This is roughly translated as "Viewing Scenery Pavilion". It's a small platform that has a nice view of the valley below. (We had all clouds on the day we went so no photos.) It's just a rest stop to have a quick snack, drink some water, rest, and prepare for the final peak assault.
Just around the 9km marker, hikers will arrive at the 1150 meter Guan Yun Tai 觀芸臺 or "Cloud Viewing Platform." This is a rectangular space among trees and can fit 5-6 groups of hikers. Usually, there will be many poeple here, hanging out, cooking lunch, chatting, and brewing tea. Many of the regulars will spend an hour or 2 here and then head down. The peak is still about .5km or 30 minutes away. We stopped here and had a small lunch before heading off to the peak.
We found the hikers here to be very friendly and quite knowledgeable about the mountain and area. On the lower parts, we did come across one water source that is used by the regulars. The water needs to be boiled. We brought up our own for drinking and cooking.
Hikers on Wei Liao enjoy hanging out and cooking up lunch and oolong tea. Above is the 9km marker close to the peak.
At the 9.5 marker, is the peak of Wei Liao Mountain at 1427meters. There is a small area to hang out, eat lunch, rest, and chat. The peak of Wei Liao is a triangulation point which is described on the sign and is seen by the stone cube sticking out from the ground.
The weather is quite cool on Wei Liao in the winter months. The difference between bottom and top was jacket vs. no jacket, so bring one along. In the summer months, the air is cooler on the peak, but there will be more rain and plenty of mosquitos.
The easiest way to Wei Liao is by car or scooter. From Kaohsiung the trip takes about 1 hour depending on traffic. An early start is recommended.