After touring the Neiwan Scenic Area make sure to visit the Houshan (rear mountain) area. The front part of Jianshi follows the crystal clear waters of the Naluo River into a rugged landscape populated by unusual rock formations; while the rear part crosses the mountain saddle to the Hou Montain (Houshan) area, where the magnificent views of the surrounding peaks await. You can also continue on to the Xiuluan Hot Springs and see the divine trees of Jianshi Township's most remote aboriginal villages; Simakusi and Zhenxibao.
Towering about 50 meters high from its perch on the bank of the Youluo River, Jianshi Rock resembles a forefinger pointing to the sky. The locals say the rock was connected to another large boulder on the other bank of the river, but the two sides were separated during a flood. The bigger of the two is called "Father Jianshi" and the smaller one "Mother Jianshi." At the base of Jianshi Rock is a small shrine dedicated to Jianshiye, a widely revered god in these parts.
Simakusi Divine Trees
Known as the "Black Village," Simakusi is situated in a misty mountain area about 1,600 meters above sea level on Taiwan's Northeast Coast. Although the area around the village is quite developed, a two-hour walk takes one away from civilization and into an old-growth forest. There are several giant Formosan red false cypress trees here, the largest of which ranks among the ten largest recorded in Taiwan. This arboreal giant is known as the "Grandfather Tree" by the people of Simakusi. Resembling the Chinese character for "person" (「人」), the divine tree measure 20.5 meters in circumference, rises 35 meters and is about 2,500 years old.
Simakusi Historic Trail
The 40-kilometer-long Simakusi Historic Trail follows an undulating course over mountainous terrain through a landscape of steep cliffs and dense forests, making for an exciting and challenging hike.
Zhenxibao Divine Trees
Zhenxibao is an Atayal village located at the end of the Xiuluan Road in Jianshi Township. The peach trees growing along the area from the village to the entrance of the Divine Trees blossom with brilliant pink flowers in March and April.
The Zhenxibao Divine Trees are the biggest old-growth Formosan false red cypresses in Taiwan. Towering high in an area of about 50 square kilometers, the giant old cypresses are covered in moss and ferns. You can also continue up to an elevation of about 2,375 meters to the diminutive and often mist-enshrouded Dulong Lake deep within the forest.
Note: This area can only be reached by car. Mountain entry permits are required.