Taiwan travels: east coast highway

Richard Brown
2 min readFeb 7, 2024

Time to head back home to Taipei for Lunar New Year celebrations after an enjoyable trip around the island.

If I had to pick a favourite place, I would opt for Taroko Gorge near Hualien with its towering cliffs and pristine rivers and streams carving out the mountainsides and valleys. We were very lucky that there were not many other visitors yesterday. The gorge gets packed with tourist buses and cars during the weekends and holidays, and traffic can easily come to a standstill along the narrow and winding mountain roads.

On the way up to Hualien from Taitung along the magnificent east coast highway, I particularly enjoyed our stop at Sanxiantai. This islet is believed to have once been visited by three Daoist immortals and features three small crags representing them. It is connected to the mainland by an eight-arch bridge that is said to resemble the curves of a dragon’s tail.

With the sea winds buffeting your face as you make your way across the bridge, the walk to the islet is bracing. There is a short trail around the islet at the end of it with great views of the crags, the surrounding ocean, and the Taiwan coastline. I would definitely recommend stopping there if you visit Taitung.

While touring the east coast of Taiwan is all about enjoying the stunning natural scenery, visiting the old capital of Tainan allows you to explore the island’s rich historical and cultural heritage. I will write about that in a future entry after I return to Taipei. Meanwhile, it’s just about time to set off for the fishing port of Suao and then across to Yilan and Taipei. Here’s hoping we don’t get caught up in an pre-lunar new year traffic on the way.

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Richard Brown

I live in Taiwan and am interested in exploring what ancient Chinese philosophy can tell us about technology and the rise of modern China.