Best place for a trip (this weekend) in Taiwan?

Hi, I need some weekend travel help. Thiscoming w’end is IMHO likely to be the last one of the year that has moderate weather. Yeah, yeah, that’s what happens when you live in the northern parts of Oz for too long (goin’ troppo’s another thing).

Any advice on places to go this Sat/Sun/Mon (Oct 26-28) would be appreciated. Gotta be back in Taipei by Mon nightfall (being a full moon and all).

I was thinking maybe Green Island, ‘coz 3 days is too long to stay at the pub, and it probably won’t be too crowded now summer’s gone. Plus I can fly there to make better use of the weekend. Is there a direct flight from Taipei (tried the airlines’ websites but there’s not much English content…)? And what of the hotels?


The Big Babou

Okay, so I guess Green Island’s off the list…

What about Matsu (plenty of potent rice wine there)?


If you’re looking for nature rather than beaches, we went to Taroko George last weekend and loved it: Steep hills, turquoise rivers, not too many people (I think you can always find trails without a horde of tourists following you). As we had a car, we left the gorge on the cross-island highway (is that the name?) towards the east. It was great, we even managed to get high enough to be standing over the clouds. I could have stayed there longer. Alas, the call of my office was stronger :frowning:

Really nice place!


Three days? You could go to Taroko and also go rafting a little bit further south if you follow the east coast highway, if that’s your bag. That’s what I’m doing next week. I’m also taking a chopper over to Orchid Island for a day or two.

Whoa! Chopper to Orchid?

What’s the damage?


NT$2,000 or something like that, but that’s only according to hearsay. I’d take the boat if I could, but I heard it only sails on a Monday, which is no good to me.

Besides, a chopper’d be way cooler. I wonder if they’ll let me hang by one arm from the skid, or maybe hanging from a rope ladder?

Thanks for the tour advice Iris and Sandman.

Iris, I need to be near a beach, and Hualien sounds great, but I recently went there not too long ago, and then to a beautiful place just south, called Huting. It’s a reservation on the beach, run by the Amei people. It’s a little hard to find, so if you’re interested, I’ll post the website address (if I can find it…).

Whitewater rafting sounds good, too. I also thought of scuba-diving at Green Island, but at $6,000 a trip, plus the airfare and accommodation, well, I’d rather spend it on a trip to Thailand.

So, it could be a journey to Matsu or Kinmen for the long weekend. I’d like to check out Matsu because nobody else will, and because I don’t know much about it. I’m actually quite keen for the change of pace and a chance to see some traditional areas which has no Mormons doing the rounds (unlike Penghu).

Anyway, getting outa Taipei for a few days is the simple aim. I still think it will be worthwhile (bugger it, I know I’ll have fun, wherever I go)! Sandman, please be sure to tell us about the helicopter trip; maybe you could post a few pictures for us to cop a gander?


The Big Babou

What is the character for huting? I couldn’t find it on google.

anton xie

The Big Babou

Green Island will be good this time of year, less windy and cooler. I haven’t gotten a chance to go over there yet, the last time I was in Taidong they told us it was too windy to go. Stay there over night and see the sun rise and sunset I’ve heard it’s pretty good. Taidong has a few decent beaches but you may need a car to get to them. Or you can just take a cab.

Matsu and Kinmen, I am going to “camp” there for 2-3 month soon. :frowning:

Been there before but I don’t think it’s attractive - too much military presence and no nice beaches.
Kinmen is a kind of big (well, compared to Matsu at least) and they even do have 7-11 there, a couple of smaller townships and perhaps some historical sights to visit. The tunnel system which can house several boats dug a few centuries ago is quite impressive and interesting. You can buy a lot of cheap Mainland China products there in one of the many shops.

In Matsu I recommend you limit yourself to NanKan and Peikan. There is really nothing in HsiJue and DongYin to see.
The airport is in Peikan and you might go straight to Chien-Be town from there before setting over to Nankan. Got a nice cafe in Chien-Be.
If you intend to stay on Nankan island I recommend the “Coast of the Dawn” hotel. (Search “Segue” for the website link I posted earlier, can’t recall it …)
That said there is IMHO nothing much to see in Nankan, as well the weather now might not be that good. Expect flights to be delayed.

Hey everyone, thanks for your help!!

Okay, so it’s Matsu tomorrow. Thanks Rascal, I’ve booked in at that place (Coast of the Dawn Hotel) - the pics on the website were great! My travel plans are simple, I’ll just don the walking shoes and explore what’s still open and not likely to get me shot by all those uncool soldiers.

Probably too cold for a swim, but I’m gonna do it anyway (might need the floaties in case it gets too cold…).

I’ll have to take a few supplies with me, by the sound of things - got a bit of Vegemite (albeit a small jar, so it’s only enough for a few days of carefully rationed usage) and some TimTams. This arvo I’m off to Wellcome for some Coopers Draught, and then I’ll be as happy as a fly at a butcher’s picnic.

Cheers everyone,

The Big Babou.

Let us know how it went and if you stepped on a landmine or two … :laughing:

Okay, so I’m back, and I survived a GREAT trip to Matsu! Thanks everyone for the advice, especially “Rascal”, whose tips were spot-on.

Early Saturday morning I took a short flight to BeiGan ($1850, and I think it’s about one hour away from Taipei, but I can’t be sure ‘coz I was snoozin’ after about 2 minutes on the plane). There wasn’t much to see around the airport, so I took a taxi to the other side of the island and sailed off to NanKan.

From the boat, the view around the islands was quite beautiful, and it was a short trip (20 minutes) so there wasn’t much chance for “Ol’ Salty” to get seasick. At NanKan I was picked up by one of the staff from the “Coast of the Dawn” hotel who drove me to the other side of the island (gratis, since I’d made the booking) to the hotel. Now this place is quite special - very modern and beautiful beach views. Good value too, at $2100/night. Check it out at

From the hotel it’s a short walk down the road to the underground / underwater military tunnels that are open - at low tide(!) - for public view. It’s quite amazing; a huge tunnel system designed for ships to sneak in and dock, while being protected by the mountain above. Apparently it took more than 3 years to build, using dynamite and hand tools… and it’s huge; takes about 40 minutes to walk all the way around, though I couldn’t quite make it 'coz I was about to get flooded by the rising tide.

Nearby too was the Matsu GaoLiang (rice wine) Distillery, where I picked up half a dozen bottles of the bad stuff. I was able to get some “drug wine” - a man’s bottle and a woman’s bottle, which apparently has a medicinal value… I’m still a little scared to taste it.

On the island there’s some amazing views. I rented a motorbike ($500/day, with a free taxi pickup) and drove around most of NanKan. From many areas of you can actually view the beaches on your left AND right sides. The sad thing is that they’re nearly all the exclusive domain of the military. Come to think of it, it’s hardly any different than when on the main island of Taiwan, as all the best beaches are privately owned, anyway… So you have to be careful when you’re driving around. I tend to get a little carefree and curious, so that when I see a little track running through a forest (and especially when I’m on a rental bike), I like to race down it. Problem is that in Matsu, they ALL lead to army bases… Nevermind, all the soldiers I met were quite friendly!

There’s also a couple of good lookouts and temples worth seeing, and plenty of walking can be done. I copped a view of China from the top of a hill, farted in their general direction, and then ran back down the hill to the temple to pray for forgiveness…

Okay, so that was how I killed a day on Nankan. I’ll drop a story on BeiGan (it’s a little more interesting) as well as a couple of pictures later in the week, if I can work out how to do it…


Babou. :wink:

[quote=“The Big Babou”]I copped a view of China from the top of a hill, farted in their general direction, and then ran back down the hill to the temple to pray for forgiveness…

Did you also shout: “Your mother was a hampster; your father smelled of elderberries!!!”?

Thanks for the travelogue. You inspired me to see the outer islands, and to make sure I enjoy a few cruciferous vegetables before I go.


I really recommend a weekend “getaway on Lanyu”. Ummmm - that reminds me of a few thinks to post on the whackiest in Taiwan thread!

I have been looking through the posts here to see if there is any “perfect” weekend place for our group (10-15 pers incl. kids from toddlers to teenagers).

  1. We prefer not to travel for longer than 3-4 hours from starting at home in Taipei area (any given Friday evening/afternoon).
  2. Car, train, bus or plane is OK, but we prefer car to bring bicycles and other kind of “kit”.
  3. Villas, cabins, hotels etc is OK, as long as they are clean and not too expensive.

We have a few requirements to the place and surrounding area:

  1. Swimmingpool or at least kids-pool (access to beach would be great, but not required)
  2. Playgound for the kids, and open space to play ball/frisbee etc. (area for riding bicycles and/or in-line skates would also be appreciated).
  3. Hiking Trails.
  4. Decent food, either on location or nearby (please recommend).
  5. A place for the “big kids” to have a couple of cold ones during day and night. A bar/pub would be great, but -naah - that’s too much to expect.

-Those cabins, near by Zorba Restaurant, outside Taidong, do they have swimmingpool, playgound for the kids and or hiking trails?
-Anyone got the contact data or where to find more information?

-Any places on the islands around that come close to our wishes?

I have been to Peikong Creek Villa ( in Nantou, and that was not too bad. The only few things we missed there was service :shock: :?: , good food and a natural meeting point for sharing a few beers. The kids had a great time though, and there was a few places just outside the gates that seemed to have the potential to serve some decent food, and let you hang out with some beers afterward.

I mentioned the Peikong Creek Villa for your reference, and now I hope all of you can come up with some places that are even better.

I am looking forward to receive your good travel tips :sunglasses:
Contact data to the place(es) you recommend are highly welcome. :smiley:

The motels near Xin Guang San Ye Department store in Taichung are great - The Jaccuzi - Oh baby!!!
Rooms are beautiful and spacious.
The service is not bad.

Hi Boss,
I did not mention it, but we are looking for a place with some nature, away from the city-life, but thanks anyway.


Anyone know about a good but reasonably-priced hotel in Ilan? I want to go riding there tomorrow… And search out some swimmable rivers/creeks in the hills between there and Taipei…

I suppose it will be impossible to find a room, just going there Friday afternoon? Any names and numbers would be appreciated…


The little town you come to just before Ilan is full of small hotspring hotels. I’m sure you can find something there without a reservation.

And there are some lovely swimming creeks out past Pinglin (which is on your route) but you’ll have to leave the main road to find them. And watch out for the traffic on that taipei-Ilan road – it can be an absolute bitch!