Taitung 2 Tainan travel


#1

Can anyone recommend interesting sites and places to visit in Taitung and along the southern cross island highway to Tainan?
Like,
camping places,
B & Bs
nature parks,
hikes,
places to visit
amusement parks (heard there’s one near Tainan, but don’t exactly where, or name)
waterfalls,
beaches,
hotsprings (not the expensive Chihpen)
etc.
Would love to hear from those who’ve discovered some unique and/or beautiful locales down there. Planning weeklong travel and will drive.
Thanks!


#2

I’ve cycled a lot in that area but I’m not good at remembering names. Still, a few places:

North of Taitung on the coast road there’s a funky cafe run by a couple of Osho Baghneesh followers. Down on the beach; you can camp there, hang out with them. They serve terrible ice coffee, be warned. Where is it? Well at some point the road is right by the beach. It’s there, sign by the road, palm trees behind, Orchid Island further behind on a clear day.

Further up, on the inland road (don’t know how far up you plan on traveling), the hills where they grow day lilies (jinzhen hua, what you see floating in soup) are very beautiful, like nowhere I know in Taiwan. Two areas: Chikeshan赤柯山and Liushishishan which is further south.
You climb 900m above the rift valley to get to them. Up there are rolling meadows, irregular fields of lilies and tea, scattered trees. View down the rift valley. An idyll. The lilies flower and are picked September to November, but the scenery is worth the trip at any time. You can easily find places to stay in the farm/guest houses.

There are two hot springs called “Hung-yeh” (red leaves) along the rift valley, both not over-developed. The more well-known one is near the village of Hung-yeh just north of the turn off for the cross island highway, which has a small museum to its little league world baseball championship winning team. (the other is in Hualien County near the Juisui hot springs)
From there there is a forestry track into the mountains that goes all the way over to Kaohsiung. It’s guarded by a solitary police officer and his dog to prevent criminal walking activities but they let you pass if you say you’ll be back in a minute.

Nearby also, just outside Luyeh鹿野is a grand Chinese folly to stay in. Again, I’ve no recollection of a name. But it’s the only walled palace on that road. They don’t let coach parties in, so don’t have many guests. Four buildings of wood and tiles, lattice windows, green wooden balconies and successive circling roofs in a terracotta red. Inside all paneled fragrant wood. Outdoor swimming pool, ponds, winding pathways, moss-covered rocks, ferns out of control in the shrubbery.

I’ve camped in elementary school grounds along the cross island highway; that was outside term time though. You could try asking anyway. And just below the crest of the highway is a hostel which is a starting point for many hikes up the nearby mountains.

and there were threads about this area before, you could try a search.


#3

You say that there is a forestry track all
the way from Red Leaves to Kaohsiang? Is it
cyclable?

I am planning a trip from Hualien
to Taitung along the inside road… I suppose
I can do it in two days and fly back Sunday
night? I’ve also cycled up and down the
east coastal areas… Very lovely in places,
at least before they rebuilt the highway
just south of Hualien… I’ve even done the
Suao to Hualien route, very wonderful, and
excellent practice if you plan to become
a stuntman…

I camp wherever, like on beaches or in the
hills… But the sad thing is, I only know
of one really nice campground in Taiwan, at
Fulung… Have you found any others?

pppoooooppppoo


#4

the part of that track I wandered along was certainly mountain bikeable. Further on I don’t know. If you’re thinking of going all the way you’d probably need a good map to spec out water sources.
Hualien to Taitung in 2 days is pushing it unless you want to be in the saddle all day. But you’re never far from the train line - you could turn back at, say, Yuli. Nearer the top of the valley, there’s several hot springs around Ruisui.