What's cool in Taitung

My friend and I are thinking of traveling down the east coast to Taitung. Does anyone know of some really interesting places there? i.e. beaches, teahouses etc…


Use the search function and do a search for ‘Taidong’. You will find.


Interesting things such as beaches and teahouses? Zorba Garden Is a funky Italian restaurant on Shuiyuan beach about 10 minutes north of Taitung. I’m sure they’d provide you with tea.

Click on this and scroll down to the fourth article titled ‘Hidden Taitung Gorge’. This place is the shit. If you don’t feel like camping there’s a very reasonable hotel (there are several expensive ones) right in the Chihpen Hot Spring Valley called Ming Chuan Hotel, which is located on the side of the mountain directly across from the Chihpen National Forest Park, not mentioned in this article.


The number for the Ming Chuan Hotel in Chihpen is (089) 513996. Does that number seem strange? I don’t know, reading it off their business card. Price is 1,000 NT per night on weekdays, and 1,200 NT on weekends. One further note -I mentioned in the news article that beyond some closed gates (en route to the bottom of a trail which leads into the canyon) that it is NOT private property. Actually, it is, but the people who own the plateau and path are very friendly and will allow you to pass through. I just got back from a trip to Taitung two days ago and met them down there.

Whilst most of you were freezing your butts off up north, I traded the cold for a few days in Taidong. It was, by a county mile, the best holiday I’ve ever taken in Taiwan. I’m always impressed by Taiwan’s beauty and the coastal plain to Taidong’s north made Australia’s famous Great Ocean Road drive look like the view over a soccer pitch. Added to this was the drive across HaiShan to the rice paddies of Zhishang and Fuli. Jagged volcanic peaks, jutting into the heavens, bathed in clouds reflecting in the clear tranquil waters of freshly planted rice fields- mezmerizing, headshaking beauty-take another puff.

I spent my time in a guest house ran by an American refugee from the rat race who was a great host and wealth of information on the local aboriginal cultures and the best vantage points to drink in the views.

His guest house was on about an acre and a half of land, set back off the coast with a menagerie of pets, and a pretty tropical garden and lawns.

Whilst downing my fresh duck egg omelet on toast, the plug hole of fate was sucking together a small clutch of western humanity who were to participate and bear witness to an hilarious, slapstick attempt at an endeavour that ought be totally devoid of both-paragliding.

My childhood friend, who has been living in Taiwan for some seven years, by happenstance was also holidaying in Taidong. He popped by my guesthouse at the very same time Taidong’s resident paraglider was dropping by to share tales of Taidong with mon host. Brief introductions and pleasantires followed mostly filled with the need to develop Taidong’s tourism in a way that didn’t develop it in a way that would attract too many Taiwanese who would destroy the region. Yes, I was scratching my head too, until they pointed to Zhiben, and Kenting at which point I was left nodding knowingly.

The conversation circled around adventure tourism at which point the paraglider produced his business card replete with scissor marks on green kindergarten artboard from which it had been cut. A hand drawn picture of a paraglider, that might have been drawn by my left foot, made for the introduction to Taidong’s fledgling foray into the head spinning, adreneline packed thrills and spills of X -extreme sports.

One thing led to another and soon an offer was made for a tandom flight from paraglider’s favorite jump spot over the plains to the ocean below. No sooner was the deal struck, and we were piling into vehicles and making our way up the mountains to the launch area. With in minutes the canopy was extended to its full length of some 6 or 7 meters and the lines layed out. My friend was briefed on how to use what looked to me like a brand new tandom flyer’s seat. An orientation that must have taken all of 40 seconds followed, and included such enlightening instructions as hold on tight, and run towards the edge.

Whilst the 40 second training session was taking place, I observed in the middle of the runway a tall bamboo pole with an old 7/11 plastic bag stuck to the top of it - the wind sock. However my attention was soon snapped back to the mission as I was instructed to pick up the canopy and hold it in such a manner so as to catch the wind, soon I was hopelessly tangled in the lines and then just as soon back in position. Holding the chute just so I contiued to stare not at my life long friend in awe of his courage, nor at the mad man who not 30 minutes earlier had existed only in my id, but at this improbable bamboo pole that seemed to stand as clearly between take off and flight as a concrete barrier on a Ching Kai Shek runway and a Singapore Airliner.

“Right, are you ready? OK guys pull the canopy tight. Hold it up a fraction. That’s it. We’ve got the wind. OK, start running, go, good, go, go, go … Watch out! Stop!”

“I can’t… I can’t”