East Coast/Rift Valley (w/o Car or Bike)

Hi folks,

Just after some quick ideas. I’m planning to do the East Coast this weekend with a friend (last minute planned trip :aiyo: ). However, as the title implies, we are don’t have valid licenses for car/motorbike/scooter travel in Taiwan, and we aren’t too keen on riding between towns/cities (especially with the forecasted rain).

Besides Taroko (obviously), could anyone suggest possible locations that are accessible by train from Hualien or Taidong that can be done as day trips? Or anywhere rurally where we could base ourselves for the weekend with places reasonably nearby to go see/do (hikes, beaches etc). We don’t mind getting to a place & hiring a cycle (or taking one with us on the train from Hualien/Taidong).

Totally understand that this isn’t the optimal way to really experience the East Coast, but it’s all we have for now.

Many Thanks,

EDIT:: Done a little reading online & considering to base ourselves somewhere like Yuli for the time we’re there. I understand the Walami Trail is nearby. Are the any other possible places to go from there? Is it possible to ride along County Rd 193 to Rueisui for example (back in one day)?

I did the East Coast by train a few years ago and would highly recommend it. We spent a couple days each in Taidong, Hualien and Tianxiang (Taroko), we also stayed at hot spring hotels/inns in Zhiben, Yuli and Ruisui. Plenty of hiking opportunities in these areas. Rented bikes at the train station in Ruisui. You can also usually arrange for the place you are staying to pick you up and take you back to the station. Plenty of taxis to get you where you need to go as well.
There was a free shuttle bus (太魯閣線) from the Hualien station and the Xincheng station to Tianxiang running once an hour on the weekdays and every 30 minutes on the weekends between 6:50 am and 6 pm (later on the weekends) but I’m not sure if it is still in operation.

I’m not sure if you are saying you don’t want to do Taroko, or it is an option. If you only have a weekend then just do Taroko. If you have more time then Yuli or Guanshan or Luye are all splendid places to base yourself. Both Yuli and Guanshan have bike rental offices, as do Ruisui. You can also rent scooters outside Ruisui train station with an international drivers permit.

Taitung is the least appealing place along the coast. However, you could take a train there and rent a bike and ride to Dulan, which is a funky little arty village with a number of hostels, some decent food, a bar, studios where you can see local art on display (the wood carving is excellent), Saturday night live music scene, a beach, and some of the best coastal mountain scenery as you head inland. Dulan feels and looks like you’ve been transplanted to a tropical island (I know that sounds funny as of course you are already on a tropical island).

Yuli is a boring place but the walami trail is great. You could camp at Luoshan campground and there is a waterfall near that campsite. Another place to visit is Fuyuan Butterfly Valley. there is a resort there but I’m sure that it’s expensive and booked for the holiday weekend. It looks like you get off at Fuyuan train station and you might be able to get a taxi or ride your own bike. taiwanswaterfalls.com/waterfall- … at-fuyuan/

Luoshan campground is near this waterfall just off of Hwy 9 - taiwanswaterfalls.com/waterfall- … waterfall/

dulan is nice if you want to relax and you will go past some interesting coastal areas - Siaoyeliu and Jialulan. They will be packed on the holiday weekend but so will everything. You also better make reservations for anywhere that you want to stay.

Thanks guys. Fuyuan looks like a good day trip, and it’s not to far from Ruisui either which makes hiring a bicycle & doing a round trip possible (weather permitting). I also read in the Lonely Planet that there should be a short route between Yuli & Andong which we could also ride.

Dulan sounds very cool & will definitely be on the list of places to visit on our next adventure down the East Coast. Out of interest, do the coastal villages along the East Coast get especially crowded in the summer months, or do people tend to head to other parts of the island?

Fuyuan is about NT6000-8000 a night. But the hot springs are just a few hundred. Incredible beautiful countryside around there. I would take the train to Ruisui and rent a bike. It’s not far to Fuyuan and there is a marked route. You can also rent scooters outside the Ruisui train station with an IDP.

Yes, there still is a short ride between Yuli and Antong.

I’m too cheap for most places but I didn’t even consider asking at Fuyuan. I didn’t think there was anywhere to rent a scooter or bike in Fuyuan but forgot that Ruisui was that close.

tbh you can just ride your bike up any random rural road and you might find something awesome. or you might find a small pack of insane dogs at a rural farm house… There’s a lot of great stuff that isn’t well known and many beautiful places that locals dismiss. Isn’t this time of year good for the iconic field of flowers shots in Taiwan? I saw a couple of fields near Kending last weekend but didn’t get any photos.

Thanks guys. Did the Ruisui to Fuyuan thing & then also Yuli to Antong (and beyond). Got a little wet on the way back to Yuli, but the beautiful thing about the area is there’s a fair few Hot Spring places where one can stop to unwind.

Cheers for the tips.