🏞 Hualien & Taitung | NT$500/1000 Travel Subsidies

Yesterday I learned that there is a government subsidy program for lodging in Hualian and Taidong. Basically, it provides 1000 TWD (weekday) and 500 TWD (weekend) cash subsidy to travelers. It is not even for one night, but can be applied to every night of the stay.

I only noticed this because some Minsu started advertising that it would be possible to stay with them for 0 TWD a night (original price being less than 1000 TWD).

Here is the link to the official information.

There is also a link to apply for the subsidy, looks like it needs either Taiwanese Identity card or NHI card.

Just read the Q&A more carefully. They explicitly exclude foreign nationals for using this. Kind of a bummer as it is part of “Taiwan Waves of Wonder” apparently. The wonder continues :wink:


So confirmed: ARC and APRC holders are excluded from this promotion?


I thought the whole point of Waves of Wonder (an internationally marketed event) was the tourism ministry trying to promote international tourism

One has to wonder where the funding for this event came from


Question #1-3 specifically states: 非本國國民不適用 (Not applicable to non-nationals)

However, the application says to upload a photo of one’s national ID card or health insurance card. I should try with my health insurance card (which has my Chinese name for some reason) and see what happens. I have a feeling it’ll get rejected because of the dirty foreigner ID number format.

Exactly. Here, straight from the website…

“Encourage more international tourists to visit Taiwan.”


Also curious, this seems weird as media reports stated the gov said (not a real source, and the media is always questionable, I get that) that chartered planes would also recieve up to xx 100s of thousands of dollars if over xx number of passengers. Thinking about it, I doubt many planes flying into hualien and especially taitung airports are really bringing that many international numbers in. Kinda seems a bit phishy.

I have. Afew friends traveling there that are getting their 1000 bucks though. All taiwanese. When we go there next I plan to use my aprc number to apply rather than my taiwanese wifes’ to test it next month. It seems like an almost nothing scheme to get attention.

Maybe the international tourists are supposed to bring their eligible Taiwanese friends along with them, or vice versa?

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Maybe the target audience is kids of Taiwanese nationals born abroad who haven’t picked up their passports yet, and now they have a better reason to stop by Taiwan for some tourism while increasing the national population

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Target is jsut to get people to go. A small meaningless bribe for someone to spend much much more in the area to stimulate the economy.

Honestly, few are affected by this. Mostly just accommodation and retail prepared food. Some eco stuff. If I remember right, the hualien one ended to be for hotels or accommodation. I forgot the details. You can’t use it to buy food or some such thungs there. Theyvwant you to stay a night. Which directly equates to spending mkeny being there. Some friends have gone, all got paid (hualien). When we head there next time, I will try my APRC and see if us lesser folk are worthy of hotel welfare promotions :slight_smile:

also, curious if any of the not so legal places are allowed :thinking: that will be interesting to note

Uhm, yes. Covid and now the earthquakes have really sucked the local economy down the pooper.

Would you rather the owners just go out of business and really make the local food and service provides suffer?

There do seem to be a fair number of visitors around in the places I frequented on the east coast lately. I don’t have numbers, but this did not look like a deserted abandoned place to me.

Caveat: I did not spend time in Hualien City or around the brutally affected areas in and around Taroko National Park. Taitung City seems to be doing well and just about everyone I spoke to was upbeat about the direction of that town. Now if they could actually get youbike to set up there—I heard talks are underway—we’d be doing great!


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Up the coast, most smaller restaurants are closed half the week.

I have heard that the bnbs are booked up in August. So that’s good. :+1:

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It feels like it’s been like that in that area since I moved to Taiwan. I remember @Mucha_Man complaining about it back in his awesome Lonely Planet days.

Meanwhile, professional outfits like Louisa Coffee have moved out of a smaller retail space into a wonderful spacious three story store (two stories open when I visited), still on Zhonghua Road, Taitung City’s main commercial street. Build it AND make sure it’s open and they will come, at least based on what I saw.


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That’s kind of the style, no? There are loads of tourists in the east. Just not when roads are broken and access is denied. I would far rather see train systems have better infrastructure and sensors than handouts to a largely corrupt industry (construction/zoning). But we all have different ways of fixing problems :slight_smile:

Summer vacation is always full taitung has hot air balloon. It’s funny they even bothered with handouts to taitung, which has no issues with earthquakes this time other than car drivers from yilan north. They also delayed the taitung handouts compared to hualien. Conveniently coincides with the balloon festival and summer vacation :innocent:

To each their own. Taiwan is rich. Meanwhile, we still have very serious water/food security issues in these exact areas.

The Dulan style hippy happy crowd has expanded. It’s becoming a thing nationwide. Not all bad. But… Outside of the constant Taitung County government project “incentives” (which is quite a thing!!!), I don’t know how many survive without actually working for it.

Seems like an attempt to gain political points with the Hualian and Taidong locals. As foreign nationals cannot vote, …


We still want our east coast HSR :joy:

And attendance is way down.

Yea, there may be a full dozen of them now!

Hualien is not doing enough

The Hualien County Government is seeking to revitalize eastern Taiwan’s economy after the April 3 earthquake by offering tourism-focused measures. However, the distribution of stipends has only just started and is no match for the deluges that caused landslides and collapsed roads, with the measures beating the already dead horse of tourism.

Natural disasters speak to Hualien’s sorrows, but transportation should not be politicized. The county should try more appropriate plans.

Safer travel is not only what Hualien needs, but something all Taiwanese hope for. It is clear that industrial development needs improvement. Hualien does not need to rehash failed methods that do not treat underlying issues.

Local tourism statistics show that about 274,000 people visited the county in May. Compared with the about 281,000 who visited in April after the quake, that is only a difference of about 7,000 people. The total fell 2.49 percent. Obviously this is a narrow time frame, but night market vouchers have not stymied the tourist slump.

Hualien’s development depends on industry and tourism, yet the county invested loads of money into tourism. Each year, it holds the Muscovy Duck Fun Summer Vacation at Liyu Lake (鯉魚潭) and the Hualien Summer Festival. The county changes the names every year, but never the substance. This raises questions about what exactly Hualien is known for.

Taroko National Park was severely damaged in April’s earthquake, and is to remain closed for at least one year. Without this national park, what can Hualien rely on to resurrect tourism?

It has already issued night market and farm tour vouchers, and homestay stipends to revive tourism. These are one-time measures, but with the massive muck-up of even reaching the county, tourism there is a pie-in-the-sky industry with little near-term hope of salvation.

Hualien should do all it can to create a major transition plan that solves underlying problems.

For example, the Hualien County Culture Affairs Bureau’s YouTube channel, with nearly 600 videos uploaded, does not even have 1,500 followers. Most of its videos have not even broken 1,000 views.

The county’s manga program provides artists with space for working on their craft, helping raise talented creators, and yet, its official Facebook page has remained stagnant, gathering digital dust for a long time.

The county seems to have made no progress, let alone breathed new life into its cultural industry over the past few years.

The General’s House, a Japanese-era military officer neighborhood built in 1936 next to the Meilun River (美崙溪), has many small eateries and souvenir shops nearby, but the focus is on high-end cuisine — there is no trace of Hualien fare to be found, no sign of the county’s character.

The greatest problem facing the county government’s cultural promotion efforts is that it has not figured out what showcases the county. It lacks cohesive planning. Even the official county Web site is lackluster.

Hualien is blessed with beautiful mountains, the ocean and vistas. It is home to National Dong Hwa University and Tzu Chi University, and is a talent-incubation area. The core issue is whether the county government can forge a first-rate development plan.

Industrial transition is not only an antidote to unstable tourism, but also an opportunity for job growth and attracting talent, softening the aging population problem. The county should not remain asleep at the wheel.

Lin Tung-chieh

Hualien County

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Just wandering around Hualien last couple of days, lots military jets flying by, I’d say near constant sonic boom the last hour for example. Lots of military trucks driving around too. Looks like the place I booked is smack next to a base :sweat_smile: Went to the pool and there is a bunch of kids pointing and shouting waiguoren. Scenery is nice though.

Edit: Now theres gunfire sounds, this is getting weird.


Dozen townships lol. Many have moved, many more areas are getting into the groove, as it were.

Given that its premier attraction, and Taiwan’s best national park, is out of commission for a while, it’s understandable that numbers are down in northern Hualien.

What’s less understandable is how they keep electing the same gangster / crooks to run the show. It’s plain as day that the parts of Taiwan which basically NEVER change parties end up being the shittiest places. There has to be a threat to kick these guys out if they don’t up their game. And in Hualien this switch up never seems to happen.


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