Taitung top attractions for families

Taitung top attractions, we list some of our favourite things to do in Taitung 台東, and of course food.

This is also the last blog post from our Taiwan Cycling trip 🙂
You may read our adventures (blog and YouTube) at the end of page.

Mention Taitung and many will ask, where? Most folks are familiar with the West Coast (Kaohsiung and Taichung) , and North/East Taipei and Hualien.

Taitung is not a small county, but most of the activities are conveniently located in the “small” town area.

Located near the South East corner of Taiwan, Taitung is a little bit out of the way. East Coast comprise of only three counties Yilan, Hualien and Taitung (宜蘭,花蓮,台東)

But when you mention the hot air balloon, seawater hot spring (Green Island) or Mr Brown avenue ( 池上 Chisang), Taitung will ring a bell (Top 10 Taitung attractions).

We continue with our cycling journey covering 250km from Hualien to Taitung (Blog itinerary). And this is the last stretch for 4D3N.

23+ km more to Taitung. We are going to cycle Southwards along the coast. You should read our newbie surfing experience in Dulan Donghe too, kids love the waves!

Not many families will consider surfing as one of Taitung top attractions, but backpackers claim Taitung has one of the most happening surf scenes.

Our Relive video, checkout the coastal views.

 

Youtube (clip), cycling Highway 30,11 Yuli to Taitung

 

Sample Itinerary and GPS from our Taiwan itinerary (G drive link). Do take note Column E distance is relative to Norden Ruder (our stay).

加路蘭海岸 Jialulan, one of the best spot to see stars and milky way in Eastern Taiwan! It is also popular with visitors during the day.

Pose with the art decorations, enjoy the coastal view and breeze.

As we cycle from Highway 11, we will reach 台東森林公園活水湖 in Taitung. This is a scenic park with a lake, popular with joggers and pet dogs.

If you are cycling from Highway 9, you will return the bikes before exploring the rest of Taitung.

There are two Giant outlets in Taitung, you should return the bike to new Taitung train station.

Do take note Taitung Center is around the old Taitung train station, and this is 6 km from the new train station. Taitung center is where all the happening stuff and good food are bunched together.

So ensure you book your accommodation at the right spot 🙂
You will notice all the good food are bunched together and within walking distance.

Refer to our custom Google Map above. Once we entered Taitung, we cycled 20km clockwise to eat and shop before returning our bikes (follow the yellow bicycle icons).

Due to lack of time, we had to skip a few.

We were hunting for 琵琶湖觀景臺 (Pipahu Lookout), but it seems like the whole piece of land was blocked! We could only cycle the circumference.

Taitung is one of the most bike friendly cities in Taiwan. We witnessed many folk (not only tourists) exploring the city on two wheels.

The sea view route was both windy and packed with family activities, some buskings too.

Taitung top attractions
Taitung top attractions

Landmarks, example 台東生命之樹 and 台東濱海公園大相框 Photo frame.

黄记葱油饼 (Taitung spring onion pancake). I felt bad about missing this, but kids absolutely hate spring onion :p

Besides, I was nursing a swollen elbow due to an earlier fall.We had to skip a few other points along the way.

Image credit Google

楊記家傳地瓜 Yang Potatoes is a popular souvenir from Taitung. Take note of the opening hours, the chips are sold exclusively at shop (not airport).

客來吃樂 大腸蚵仔麵 (Taitung Chang oyster noodle), delicious bowl of goodness. Some say better than 西門町 Xi Men Ding’s Ah Zhong Mee Sua.:)

Enjoy the last 10km ride. This route is built over old railway tracks, and is part of the 21km “Taitung Mountain/Ocean Bicycle Trail”.

More biking trails here -> Taitung Link

Feels just like our park connector, but slightly more scenic and well maintained. No PMD menace here.

And the end point, 捷安特 台東站 Giant Taitung 🙂

Take note return time must be before 1600, otherwise billing for one more day. There are two Giant outlets in Taitung, do not return to the wrong outlet!

Map below will indicate the trains from Hualien to Taitung, running along Highway 9 (Left) or Highway 11 (Right)

While the kids were de-kitting our bikes,  I walked 300m to Taitung train station for our luggage and Taitung-Kaohsiung train tickets.

You may read about our train tickets booking and collection tips on this blog post. In Taiwan, you can drop your luggage in one train station, have it delivered to your destination. This is cool! (Tips and cost shared at
Hualien post)

After dropping our bike and picking up our luggage, we headed to 路得行旅  Norden Ruder for the night.

Taitung hostel recommendation
Taitung hostel recommendation

Boutique hostel which looks modern and yet contemporary. Love the center area with lush greenery and view of the “open” roof.

The breakfast is filling but not happening 🙂

Totally casual. After all the cycling , we just want to be in our most comfortable attire. Image wise, Taiwanese are well-dressed, even when they visit night market 🙂

哈拉麵. This was actually our second visit. Shop was closed when we visited in the afternoon. You will be surprised at the variety of Japanese food in Taitung. (I had highlighted only 4 in my Itinerary.)

Taitung best ramen
Taitung best ramen

Friendly boss, superb Ramen. We asked whether flip-flops customers are welcomed haha, the friendly boss quickly found a table for us 🙂

Our No1 recommendation is Blue Dragonfly. Everyone in Taitung know 藍蜻蜓! Crispy and juicy, I will choose Blue Dragonfly over KFC any other day!

Yummy Blue Dragonfly chicken!
Yummy Blue Dragonfly chicken!

It is popular with locals and tourists, but serving is fast.

Nightlife in Taitung. Streets are still abuzz with cars and scooters late into the night.

海山寺 temple (bak bai). We needed to say a prayer, and thank you to our guardian for keeping us safe all the way from Hualien to Taitung.

台東夜市
台東夜市

There are at least 3 night markets in Taitung. And they are open on different days!  Example 台東觀光夜市 and 四維夜市.

After one night in Taitung, we are ready to take the train to Kaohsiung for our flight home.

Our cab from hostel to Taitung Train station pass by a popular baseball stadium too. Baseball is popular with Taiwanese.

Although you can get a train from Zhiben (知本站) or Kangle station (康樂站), we would recommend first timers to stick to Taitung Station. Unless you intend to stay one night at Zhiben. (Besides, most train might not stop at Kangle station)

Train journey from Taitung to Kaohsiung would be 3 to 4 hours easily.
Take a nap or just relax 🙂

Did last round of shopping, souvenirs and sports gear, before we took the transit to airport. We have listed more shop and eat options in itinerary but we did not have time to explore.

Kaohsiung Train station
Kaohsiung Train station

Our trip was short and memorable, and we will definitely re-visit the South with family again. Kaohsiung, Tainan, Kenting and Taitung wait for us 🙂

Meanwhile, you can get more Taitung updates via their website
->https://tour.taitung.gov.tw

Stay tune for more adventures and photos.
Do follow our IG Story too #sengkangbabiesTaiwan #SengkangBabies花東

You may reference our Taiwan cycling posts at this tag SengkangBabies花東 : *Google Sheet itinerary (GPS inclusive)

*4D3N Cycling itinerary and summary
-Day 1a-Hualien-Taiwan Railway Online booking
-Day 1b-Hualien-Taiwan Giant bicycle rental and Hualien attractions
-Day 2-Cycling Hualien to Ruisui
-Day 3-Cycling Ruisui to Yuli, route 193 is SO beautiful!
-Day 4-Antong to Donghe (Attractions along Highway 11)
-Day 4/5 – Surfing at Dulan
-Day 5 – Taitung top attractions, Kaohsiung, Home

ps.. Do follow our Cycling adventures on Instagram hashtag #Cycling

Video: Cycling Hualian to Ruisui

Video: Cycling Ruisui to Yuli (so pretty!)

 

 

Day 4 – Taiwan Surfing at Dulan 都蘭

冲浪 Surfing at Dulan 都蘭 (Donghe town 東河, Taitung) was super cool! The waves crafted plenty of memories and FUN for us.

The highlight for our latest Taiwan trip was the amazing 250km biking trip from 花蓮 Hualien to 台東 Taitung.

But if you ask the kids, their favourite activity was Surfing at 都蘭 (Dulan)!

Repeat after me, Du 1 Lan2. It is not the Hokkien expletive :p

YouTube Video:Cool Surfing at Dulan Donghe 🙂

You can checkout WaGaLiGong’s expert videos too.

The kids did not even know that Surf was up, as it was meant as a surprise. Secondly, wind and wave conditions are never predictable. Infact, our surf was only confirmed on the morning itself.

金樽遊憩區
金樽遊憩區

Surfs and strong waves all along the East Coast (Highway 11). The first target when we reach Dulan was to 吃冰 (literally Eat Ice).

台澢號  Taitung Tea House is the only shop to offer the cool Surfing dessert. Hey, their fish & chips rocks too 🙂

Dulan famous dessert
Dulan famous dessert

Friendly cafe, offering a resting stop for travellers. At this point, we had already cycled 200km from Hualien! (4D3N itinerary here)

Checkin to our Hostel, WaGaLiGong.
Weird name, maybe direct translation from dialect 我跟你讲 ?

哇軋力共
哇軋力共

WaGaLiGong is managed by Mark (our surf coach too) and partner. He used to teach in South Africa but somehow found Surf and Love in Taiwan 🙂

Dulan surf house
Dulan surf house

WaGaLiGong provides both shelter and surf classes. Travellers mingle to share their life journey.

Quaint and unique architecture. The interior looks totally different from the quiet streets. I would say Hippy too.

You can learn SUP (Standup paddling), and many more water sports too.

If you have an opportunity, ask the locals about the story behind bus-on-the-roof.

Dulan is actually a little known town. The main highlight in this town could be ex Hualien Sugar Factory. It is now filled with music and arts, as in many 文創(Cultural) establishments.

Maybe you can explore 都蘭鼻 (more cliffs and shore).

Dinner was next door eatery. Simple fare, but delicious 🙂
Be prepared to wait as the chefs really put in a lot of passion in their food.

Comfortable rest before we embark on the next adventure. 

Day 5 6am, we were ready for our surf class.

But the waves and wind was a bit strong for newbies Surfing at Dulan.

In the end, we proceeded as we did not want to miss the opportunity of another Fun adventure.

Class proper and safety instructions first.

Mark shared why surfers encounter more dangers as they always search for new spots and breaks. We need to understand the sea condition and currents (especially rip tides) before we surf.

*If you encounter a rip tide, do not try to swim against the current towards shore. Instead, swim left or right (and get out of the rip)

** Try to be calm during any emergency. Panic will make things worse.
If in doubt, just float and tread water, catch your breath and energy and THINK.  (would be tough to remember when we are struggling in the water)

Hey, we learn about geography and wind too.

Example, wind will generate waves. Reef,sandbank, river mouth(eg donghe) will create a bump for the surf.

The wind should be far from shore, just push the waves towards surfers. If the wind is near shore, then the waves would be unpredictable.

Look at the endless Pacific Ocean waves. Intimidating and Exhausting!

Very often, we move forward two steps only to fall back one step.

The board is hard to wield and the wind kept blowing our board around. But Kids never GAVE UP!

My arms and core was weakened after 45minutes.
Found an excuse to be the camera man haha.

Kids nailed their “training” session, despite the less than optimal wave conditions (too windy and choppy)

Three steps to remember: Our coach will shout these commands 1,2,3 to us.
1-Prone (lift your chest up)
2-Squat (one leg lift infront between hands)
3-Stand (and hopefully balance)

Surfing at Dulan
Surfing at Dulan

Verdict: Surfing the waves is more Fun than Surfing internet!

Kids pickup a new skill. They exhibited their fearless and adventurous attitude. We were all tired but they kept running back into the waves!

We got bruises, cuts, even our nipples and chest got abrasion rash from the board too! Yet the kids proclaimed their Love for SURFING!

I was just PROUD that the kids took up a challenge and owned the Moment.

Our coach Mark (L) and Steve(R).

台湾都蘭冲浪
台湾都蘭冲浪

After a tiring morning, we enjoyed some chill breakfast moment at 逗留豆遊.
Google Map has give them a Good review.

Niche cafe with two friendly bosses. But they emphasised that the real boss is their 4-legged mascot 🙂

By the way, we are publishing Surfing at Dulan post first, because a huge Surf event is coming up!

台湾台东国际冲浪赛 (Taiwan Open Surfing) surfs from 23Nov to 07Dec website) and many international folks will be barreling at Donghe.

WaGaLiGong surf class starts from NTD 1400 (2 pax) to NTD 1200 (4 pax, about $50Sgd). I would say the money was well spent as it bought us unforgettable memories in Dulan!

Experience is priceless 🙂

We would like to shout Thank You to team WaGaLiGong for the surfing adventure! Mark is recommending that we should extend our Surf class to a week next time :p

Do contact WaGaLiGong :
-Phone +886 89 530 373
-Email wagaligongdulan@gmail.com
-Social media Facebook/Instagram
-Website http://www.wagaligongtaiwan.com

Let’s Go! On to the last stage of our cycling milestone.
Only 9km to Taitung town, and 30 km before we end our 花東 cycling .

Goodbye 都蘭 Dulan, Hello 台東 Taitung!

Stay tune for more adventures and photos.
Do follow our IG Story too #sengkangbabiesTaiwan #SengkangBabies花東

You may reference our Taiwan cycling posts at this tag SengkangBabies花東 : *Google Sheet itinerary (GPS inclusive)

*4D3N Cycling itinerary and summary
-Day 1a-Hualien-Taiwan Railway Online booking
-Day 1b-Hualien-Taiwan Giant bicycle rental and Hualien attractions
-Day 2-Cycling Hualien to Ruisui
-Day 3-Cycling Ruisui to Yuli, route 193 is SO beautiful!
-Day 4-Antong to Donghe (Attractions along Highway 11)
-Day 4/5 – Surfing at Dulan
-Day 5 – Taitung top attractions, Kaohsiung, Home

Video: Cycling Hualian to Ruisui

Video: Cycling Ruisui to Yuli (so pretty!)

Cycling Highway 30,11 Yuli to Taitung

ps.. Do follow our Cycling adventures on Instagram hashtag #Cycling

We enjoyed some discounts from WaGaLiGong. The surfing photos credit WaGaLiGong.