Taitung Travel Guide
Taitung is the third largest county on Taiwan Island. The economy here lags behind all the other counties of Taiwan. It focuses on agriculture and has only a few factories. But this makes it an unspoiled land where people live a slower and more peaceful life.
Location: in the southeastern region of Taiwan Island
Area: 1,357 square miles (3,515 square kilometers)
Population: about 230,000, making it the least populated county on the island
Mr. Brown Avenue: This is a straight rural highway without a single telegraph pole on either side. A broad field is divided into two parts by the road which is called “Green Paradise Road”. Riding a bike here can completely relax you. The best time to visit is from late April to October when the rice paddies are yellow golden.
Sanhsientai: It became an offshore island due to continuous sea water erosion, and you can stroll along the road around the island. Here, you can find kettle holes, sea caves, and rare strand plants.
Small Yehliu: It is famous for its marine-abrasion topography. It is a good place to camp, play in the water and catch crabs. You can also learn about the mystery of the marine terrain at the Geological Exhibition Hall.
Water to the Upper is an irrigation ditch, around which the ground on both sides tilts a little, making it appear as if the water flows upward. It is a well-known wonder in Taiwan.
Green Island: On the offshore island, you can go diving to see the beautiful coral and fish. There is also an ocean hot spring, something seldom seen in the world. In addition, a prison once used to lock up political offenders is located here. Today it is used only for major criminal offenders. It is famous because it houses some once-prominent gang members. You can fly to Green Island from Taitung in 15 minutes. Because the plane is small, you need to book a ticket in advance. You can also take a passenger ship from Fugang Wharf in Taitung to Green Island. The travel time is about 50 minutes and the ticket price is TWD 920 round trip. Try to arrive at the Fugang Wharf forty minutes ahead of schedule because there are usually many people buying tickets.
Orchid Island: It is another offshore island, which has beautiful tropical scenery. You can not only see the blue sky, vast sea, and volcanic rocks, but also get a feel for the ethnic Tao people’s lives. Today, they still live a primitive life and make a living by fishing. From April to June, when the sea abounds in flying fish, men will go out to fish in canoes wearing only a T-back. Most of the Tao people live in caves which can protect them from typhoons and are cool in the summer. The locals are kind and their lives are simple and peaceful. Living on the island is like living in Arcadia. You can go to Orchid Island from Taitung by plane or ship. The plane takes about 30 minutes and you need to book in advance. The ship departs from Fugang Wharf and costs TWD 2,000 for a one-way trip that takes about 2.5 hours.
Prehistoric Cultural Sites
Peinan Cultural Park is the largest site of prehistoric settlements in Taiwan and has many ancient cultural relics.
The National Museum of Prehistory consists of a museum, historical sites and a natural ecological park. You can learn about Taiwanese prehistory and the culture of the aborigines.
Eight Fairies Cave has more than ten sea caves in which many people worship. It is also a prehistoric site where a considerable amount of Old Stone Age (3 million-10 thousand years ago) was found.
Customs and Festivals
Taitung is home to many aborigines who occupy one-third of the total population. They mainly consist of six ethnic groups including Amis, Puyuma, Bunun, Tao, Paiwan, and Rukai, among which the Amis is in the majority. The Amis are organized as a matriarchy and women hold more power than men. The Amis hold some ceremonies every year. From June to August, you can watch their Fishing Ceremony and from mid-July to early September, a Harvest Ceremony is held at Peinan Township.
Setting Firecrackers by Handan God is a special folk activity in Taitung. Every Chinese Lantern Festival, the god of wealth, Handan, played by a person, circulates among the people as they set firecrackers off around him to remove disasters and bring wealth.
Tiehuacun Cultural Park is the best place to enjoy music and art. You can drink coffee on the lawn and chat with the local artists. The best time to come here is early evening.
Other attractions: Lu Yeh High Land, Chulu Ranch, Taimali Kinchen Mountain, Taitung Seashore Park, Hot Spring of Chihpen, and Duoliang Station.
See more about Taiwan Train
To visit the scenic spots, taking the passenger transport bus or shuttle bus is a good choice. You can also hire a private car which costs TWD 5,000-6,000 for a day.