Dali Datong: 10 things you need to know before your hike

So you have booked a trip to Dali Datong Villages with us (or am planning to head there yourself), now what?

What do I bring? What’s the weather like? How do I prepare for my trip? What’s the accommodation like?

Hiking in a foreign country, and to a remote area no less, can be a little unsettling. But not to worry, we’ve got you covered 🙂  Here are some tips for you to prepare for your trip to this oasis cut away from civilisation.

1. What is Dali Datong?

Nestled in a valley within the mountains of Taroko National Park, the indigenous villages of Dali and Datong are inhabited by the Truku (Taroko) tribe, and are the last remaining settlements of the Truku aboriginals. The 2 villages have a tiny population of less than 50, most of which are the elder generation that enjoy their traditional way of life, and choose not to relocate to the nearby towns.

In an effort to preserve the culture and heritage , the trails leading to, and the villages, are listed as protected areas under the Taroko National Park authorities.


2. Since the area is protected, would we need special permission to hike to these villages?

Yes, hikers must register for a mountain entry permit with the National Police Agency before heading to Dali and Datong villages. We will apply for the permits for all our travelers, so don’t worry, you won’t be trespassing!


3. How far do I have to hike?

The hike to Dali Datong is a challenge. Each day covers a distance of 10 – 15km, and an ascent/descent of 800 – 1,000m. On top of that, you would need to factor in the weight from your overnight pack: usually another 5 – 10kg.

Our guide/s will adjust the pace and routes according to your group’s fitness level.


4. What terrain will we be hiking through? Do I need special hiking equipment?

The trails to Dali and Datong are mostly on rocky trails through forested areas. Special equipment is not required, but hiking shoes/trail running shoes are strongly recommended as it will be slippery if it rains.


5. What do I need to pack?


  • 1L – 2L of water

  • Snacks/Tidbits (nuts, biscuits, sweets)

  • Personal medication (Please notify us in advance if you have any pre-existing condition that our guide/s need to be aware of)

  • Towel

  • Poncho or Waterproof Jacket

  • Moisture wicking clothes

  • Sunscreen

If you are not experienced in hiking with the weight of an overnight pack, do try to pack as light as possible.


6. Will I be able to refill my water along the way?

There won’t be any place to refill water on the hike up to Dali and Datong villages. However, you will be able to do so once your reach Datong village.

Typically, most people will need 1L during winter, and 1L  – 2L during summer.


7. What about our meals?

There will be no place to purchase any food once you start the hike. Some of the accommodations in Datong village offer dinner, but always remember to book in advance.

If you have booked a tour with us, our guides will bring along your lunch/dinner for Day 1, and breakfast for Day 2. You simply need to prepare your own snacks 🙂


8. What is the weather like at the village?

Hualien has a sub-tropical climate, with a humidity of 65% – 85%. Temperatures range between 10’C in winter to 38’C in summer.

Temperatures in Datong village are about 5’C lower than the city


9. What is the accommodation like? Do I need to bring my own sleeping bag?

As the aboriginal homes are in a remote village, amenities are basic. Here’s what will be provided:

  • Mattresses and blankets. The room is a large space that is shared among all guests staying at the home.

  • Hot Shower. Toilets/Showers are shared between all guests.

  • Potable Water

  • Soap/Shampoo

10. Is there any mobile coverage/WiFi at the village?

No. As this is a remote area, most mobile signals do not reach Datong Village. You might get mobile signal intermittently during your hike up to Dali and Datong village, but will most likely be completely cut off once you reach Datong Village.

If you are hiking without a guide, we recommend you take your own safety precautions (e.g. Satellite phone, First Aid Kid).


And lastly, remember to get a good rest the night before and have a hearty breakfast.

Happy Hiking!



12 thoughts on “Dali Datong: 10 things you need to know before your hike

  1. Rafie

    How do I book a guided tour for two? Also how much would it cost. I plan to be visit taroko on the 21st of August 2018.


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