Eastern Taiwan is known for its gorgeous coastline, friendly indigenous people and the stunning Taroko Gorge. However, to experience just these highlights is to merely scratch the surface of what Taiwan’s east has to offer. We invite you to travel deeper and indulge in a more intimate and slightly more hidden taste of Hualien, Taitung and eastern Taiwan. (Read more: Beauty in the east: five days on Taiwan’s east coast)
Arrive in Hualien and start your tour at Fish Bar (洄遊吧) and find out how Taiwan’s delicious seafood goes from the ocean to your plate. Learn about different types of fish and fishing practices before having the chance to cook your own fish as part of a delicious seafood biandang (lunchbox) lunch.
Next, stop off at Yuciren Happy Waffle & Café (魚刺人雞蛋糕咖啡) for coffee and tea and to sample their famous egg waffles that come in basic flavors such as cheese, custard and assam tea, as well as more adventurous tastes, including ice cream banana custard, condensed milk red bean matcha, and sated egg yolk creamy custard. If you’re lucky, you’ll also get to see the sharks and stingray in their outhouse, that they saved from being tangled in the nets of local fishermen. Not your usual café experience, by any means…
In the evening, head up the winding roads to Terrace Resort (梯田山民宿), a wonderful, secluded BnB where you’ll enjoy an indigenous DIY experience before indulging in a decadent farm-to-table dinner prepared by the award-winning husband and wife team from Wang’s Home-Cooking (王群翔慢食家宴), accompanied by live music from a local musician.
Finally, you’ll spend the night at the nationally-renowned Yun Shan Shui Villa Home (雲山水), a resort made up of several villa properties with a classy country club vibe.
What should you bring?
Sun screen and bug spray are always a must in Taiwan, arguably all year round. There isn’t too much walking required today, so any footwear will suffice. We recommend comfortable, breathable clothing, as the farm-to-table dinner experience will take place outside.
Head towards Taitung and your first stop 部落皇后藝術咖啡廳, a wonderful coffee shop full of incredible colorful artworks by UK-based Taiwanese artist Yosifu (優席夫). Known in English as Tribal Queen Art & Café, the shop backs onto a stunning backdrop of rice fields and sprawling hills that make for a perfect photo opportunity. Then, upon reaching Taitung, you’ll stop off at another gorgeous scenic area to marvel at the area’s incredible landscape.
For lunch, you’ll arrive in Luye township (鹿野) and be treated to a wonderful spread of delicious local flavors and ingredients. Next, you’ll make your own pineapple jam using locally grown fruits, before having the rare opportunity to get out into the fields and pick a pineapple for yourself. Not too shabby of a souvenir, if you ask us.
Later in the afternoon, for your final stop of the tour, you’ll go to Teihua Music Village (鐵花音樂村), an area known for its cafes, restaurants, artworks and live musical performances. Grab an ice cream, or a drink and wander round to your heart’s content to wind down your tour and your authentic taste of eastern Taiwan.
What should you bring?
We’d recommend the same as day one, but also maybe some long pants for the pineapple farm visit. Let’s just say, we don’t recommend walking through a field of pineapples while wearing shorts…