City and Country Tour
Town of Culture
The most famous attraction in East Rift Valley is Taroko National Park. However, Tomong, near Liyu Lake in Shoufeng, is the secret back garden for local people and its primitive terrain makes it a forgotten Shangri-la.
The Mukumugi near Tomong is known as the "Little Taroko." The canyon terrain has beautiful jagged rocks featuring grotesque shapes. As the little creek runs through the white marble rocks and black-green mountain shade stretches to Qilai Mountain, the strong color contrast gives people a visual challenge and they cannot help but admire the wonder of nature.
In addition, Xiulin Township has a rich aboriginal culture and humanistic features. The Tomong curved knife, used for decoration and mountain climbing, and the Taroko handmade fabric, are the must-have souvenirs to bring home.
Town of history
In the early days, many Amis people lived in Jian, which was also called "Cikasuan." The Han people called the area “Qi Jiao Chuan." During Japanese rule of Taiwan, they established an immigrant village, called Yoshino-mura, which is why Jian is also known as Yoshino (Jiye).
In Jian township, a well-known attraction is the tranquil and clean Chinxiu Temple with a Zen style garden. The stone statue of Fudo Myoo and Baidu stone, used as markers for hundred-time worship, are preserved. Abiding Japanese religious ceremonies, there is also a chōzuya, a water ablution pavilion for guests to perform ceremonial purification rites. Since the temple has undergone shifts of times, it has its historical vicissitudes. Nevertheless, the quaint architecture and Zen style garden are very popular among tourists.
The Cikasuan Forest Park and the maple tree trail where visitors can overlook Jian Township are great places for local people to go on the weekends. With its cultural value and natural ecology, Jian is indeed the back garden of Hualien City.
Town of Golden Clam
During the Japanese occupation period, Shoufeng was called Shouyi Farm. Because its location is towards the end of Liyu Mountain, it is also called the "Tail of Liyu." Shoufeng Township is a vast territory, with the Pacific Ocean on the east and the Central Mountains Range on the west. There are also streams like the Mugua River and Lao River running through the area, which are great places to play in the water to cool off in summer.
Besides playing water in the summer in Shoufeng, tourists can see fish swimming in the ditch next to the fields. The water is crystal clear and pollution-free, which makes it an excellent environment for raising high-quality freshwater clam. Therefore, Shoufeng has become a home of the famous Gold Clam.
Liyu Lake, the largest inland lake in Hualien, is located in Shoufeng Township. Every summer, fireflies twinkle here at night during their mating season. Under the long exposure of the camera, a strip of fireflies become a beautiful fluorescent ribbon! It is quite an amazing site!
Located in the middle of Hualien County, Fenglin is the first town in Taiwan to become a member of Cittaslow International. The area has lavish forests and many rivers running through it. In addition to crystal clear water, Fenglin has very rich tourist resources, such as its historical culture and landscape. Tourists can come at ease, walk on the county roads and enjoy the scenery of the fields and greenery of the mountains.
Fenglin is a famous small Hakka town. Besides visiting the Fenglin Hakka Relics Museum to experience the Hakka's pioneering spirit, and Principal's Dream Factory that promotes the simple and studious social climate of Fenglin where produces the most school heads in Taiwan, do not forget to taste the most famous Hakka cuisine, such as salty crispy peanuts, healthy black soy milk, Yulan mugwort steamed cake and Hakka rice noodles, etc.
Town of Sweetness
Close to the Coastal Mountains Range, Guangfu has a typical alluvial fan plain and fertile soil, which was used to grow sugar cane. In 1921, the Guangfu Sugar Factory was established and now has been transformed into a tourist sugar factory. The sugar factory is famous for its various flavored ice cream products. Long queues are often seen during its business hours.
Across from the Guangfu Sugar Factory, there is a natural marsh wetland at the foot of the valley, called “Mataian Wetland Ecological Park.” The blooming lotus in the summer always attracts many tourists to come. Mataian Bangcha Humanities Studio nearby offers natural eco-tours, woodcarving art workshops, traditional performances and hostels. They can also show you the last preserved Amis ecological fishing method in the whole of Taiwan, “Palakaw”. It will sure be an eye-opening experience!
Town of Strong Aroma
Ruisui Township is believed to be the most beautiful township on the Tropic of Cancer. The town has well-developed agriculture. The honey scented black tea produced in the Wuhe Terrace and the shaddock pomelos cultivated in Hegang are two representative agricultural products in Ruisui.
Every hot summer, it is a season for rafting. As each rubber raft rushes through, young people's laughter also echoes on the creek. When tired, visitors can go to the nearby ranch to feed the cattle and taste set meals made of milk. Or you can take pictures before the prehistoric remains of stone pillars, the Saoba Stone Pillars. Have a cup of Wuhe tea or coffee and gaze at the endless stretch of the Central Mountains Range. Just soak yourself in this beautiful view of mountains and waters.
In the winter, you can come for the hot springs here to wash away your fatigue and relieve stiff muscles. Enjoy your leisure holiday!
Town of Colors
In Wanrong, because of its hilly terrains, steep valleys and interlocked plains, residents are scattered around the area. Since the area is not over-exploited, tourists can find diverse trees and the most primitive aspects of nature in the mountains.
Wanrong Township has many hot springs. Among them, Hongye Hot Spring, Ruisui Hot Spring, and Antong Hot Spring are known as the three famous hot spring areas of the East Rift Valley. Wanrong Hot Spring is the only carbonate spring in Taiwan. Erzi Mountain Hot Springs, close to the river, is believed that it has formed a 300-meter-long hot spring river, which is a rare phenomenon!
Qicai Lake is the highest lake in Taiwan. When the sun shines on the lake, the surface of the lake reflects beautiful and colorful light. Because the magnificent scenery of the lake shifts as the season changes, numerous mountain climbers enjoy coming here.
Town of Flower-Seas
The most fascinating scenery in Yuli is the sea of orange daylilies. Every year, orange daylily's flower season goes from the beginning of August to the end of September. The Chike Mountain winding around the Coastal Mountains Range will be carpeted and decorated with thousands of orange daylilies. Even when it is not the flower season, it is still very pleasant to see the green landscape of the field.
In addition to the flower sea of orange daylilies, there are many attractions nearby, such as the Kecheng Bridge, which has different scenery in the four seasons, the Tiefen Waterfalls in the hot summer and the century-old Antong Hot Spring in the winter.
Coming here, don't forget to try Yuli noodles, stinky tofu and other local snacks! You will not want to miss the area's famous specialty, yokan (Yangeng, a Chinese Gelatin snack), which is smooth and tender, and sweet but not greasy. The yokan that comes in various flavors is a must-buy gift!
Town of Golden Color
Fuli is the southernmost township in Hualien County. It is a typical countryside, and rice is grown all around. Therefore, during the spring time, the field is all green and in autumn, it is all golden. As the waves of rice rise and fall with the wind, it is quite a beautiful sight!
Once visiting this place, you will want to settle down here. The flower sea of orange daylilies in Liushishi Mountain, the scenery of boundless rice waves, the fun of farming and the scene of diligent farming all attract homegrown young people to come back to Yuli to host the Fuli Harvest Music Festival. Through music, they want to show more people the beauty of their hometown Fuli.
Don't forget to try the Five Treasures of Fuli: orange daylilies, basswood mushrooms, mountain range chickens, Fuli plums, and Fuli rice. They can be made into all kinds of delicacies that you will not want to miss!
Town of Tranquility
Zhuoxi is the highest mountainous township in Hualien County. Mountains high and low scatter around in the area. The transportation is very inconvenient and only small roads are built to connect each village.
Yushan National Park is located in Zhuoxi Township and there is a Nanan Visitor Center located in Nanan. Visitors can walk inwards to see the 50-meter-high Nanshan Waterfall. The waterfall rushes down on a stone wall like a thin silky way. The green plants on the stone wall and the water steam in the air forms a rainbow in the lake when the sun shines. The scenery is like a breathtaking never-never land!
Walking inside more, you will arrive at the Walami Trail, which runs along the Lakulaku River and looks like a belt wrapped around the steep mountain wall of the Dalisian Mountain. This is also the beginning of the Batongguan Historic Trail. With quiet and beautiful scenery along the relaxing trail, not only is it suitable for the whole family and hikers to hike on but also for mountain climbers to hike on.
Town of Rice
Chishang is an important attraction on the East Rift Valley tourist route. Because of its flat terrain, fertile soil and abundant rainfall, most residents live on growing rice. Due to the influence of the climate, the rice granules are larger, the texture is better and the overall quality of taste is very superior. It was once the tribute rice to the Japanese Emperor. Also, due to its flavorful rice and quality side dishes, Chishang lunchboxes have become very famous.
The most enjoyable trip in Chishang is to ride a bike in the fields and around the Dapo Pond to enjoy the scenery of mountain ranges and boundless rice fields. The Chishang Lunchbox Museum tells the story of how it came to be. Enjoy a Chishang lunchbox and experience its rice culture in action.
Besides trying the Chishang rice, tourists can also visit the HAKKA In Chishang Story House. You'll know that Chishang is situated along one of the rare active faults of the world and phenomena like slow displacement and deformation are happening every year. What an interesting geological tour it will be!
Town of Biking
Nicknamed as "Little Switzerland," Guanshan has become one of the famous places in the East Rift Valley because it is the first township in Taiwan to have a complete bicycle trail that goes around the whole town. From mountain side to waterside, you can enjoy the green rural scenery in the summer, foggy mist in autumn and large golden rapeseed fields in the late winter and early summer. The whole trail runs 15.2 km and it has diverse and pleasant scenery.
The vast Guanshan Water Park is divided into two parts: a dynamic water zone and a static ecological zone. Tourists can come here to ride bikes in the wind through the fields, lotus and duck pond and enjoy the sweet memories of childhood.
In addition to its famous Guanshan rice, there are still beautiful farms and pastoral areas developed by the ancestors. Many history and cultural relics have been left behind, which recorded the difficult years of how the immigrants developed the east coast of Taiwan. These are the area's precious assets which promote tourism.
Town of Natural Resources
Haiduan Township, located on the Southern Cross-Island Provincial Highway, is the largest township in Taitung County. The Bunun tribe is the dominant aboriginal group here and the area produces high mountain vegetables, millet and peaches. Haiduan has many primitive landscapes of high mountains, green valleys, beautiful rivers and hot springs, etc., without much human destruction. In the ecological protected area self-governed by Bunun tribe, there are precious rare wild animals like the "Varicorhinus alticorpus"(fish). Visitors can come and have a tour of the area's ecology and conservation.
The Yakuo Scenic Area in Haiduan is the highest point of the Southern Cross-Island Provincial Highway and is a great place to look at the clouds. In addition, the Jiaming Lake, known as the "Angel's tear," is not only a favorite place for mountain climbers, but also the largest lake among the southern section of the Central Mountains Range. It is also believed that it is the only mountain lake in Taiwan that was formed due to meteoric impact.
Town of Soaring
Luye has high mountains, hills, highlands and plains. The most distinct and largest of them all is the terraced field. Because of sufficient sunshine, non-polluted air, abundant and clean water, Luye has rich agricultural and natural tourist resources. Every year, Luye Highland Tourist Tea Farm and paragliding activities attract more than 100,000 visitors, making Luye a popular tourist area for domestic traveling.
When the south wind starts to blow, it is the best time to come to Luye for paragliding. Luye Highland is not only a great place to visit but also the best place for flying experts. In addition to exciting sports like paragliding, the splendid and amazing Taiwan International Balloon Festival is held here, which attracts many tourists to celebrate and experience the feeling of soaring.
Town of Red Leaves
Along the Luye River, hot springs are everywhere. The simple life style of mountain tribes gives people a sense of ease and tranquility. The natural outdoor hot springs along the river are great places to enjoy the natural scenery and experience some rustic fun.
Yanping Township with a total of five villages is dominated by the Bunun tribe. Among them, the most famous village is Hongye, because the baseball team from Hongye won the Little League World Series Baseball Championship in 1986. Therefore, tourists can visit the Hongye Little League Museum to see the old photos and the trophy, reminiscing in the glory days, or have a wild hot spring bath at Hongye to sooth their tired muscles.
In addition to looking at the beautiful scenery of Luming River, the Bunun Tribe Cultural Park also offers an opportunity to experience aboriginal life and culture. Visitors can see various wood sculpture and slate artwork by aboriginal artists. You can also try the Bunun's specialty, millet wine. Visiting during the weekends, you can also watch Bunun's world-famous "Pasibutbut" (8 vocal combination tones) singing performance.
Town of Abundance
Famous for sugar apples and Beinan rice, Beinan is also rich in ecology and historical culture. At Chulu Ranch, not only can you experience feeding the cows, but also guzzle down some fresh milk. Looking at the herds of cows strolling on the pasture, it is soothing and relaxing.
Zhiben, not over-developed, has a beautiful view of surrounding mountains and a natural primitive ecological area. This makes Zhiben the most famous point of interest for tourists. Visitors can come for hot springs and sightseeing all year round.
After constant rain scouring the mountains for a long period of time, rain erosion made it impossible to grow any vegetation, and the Liji Badlands was formed. This unique and beautiful scenery, like outer space, is very rare in Taiwan. Visitors can overlook this geological wonder from the Beinan Bridge or the Liji Bridge. At the "Little Huangshan," tall rocks tower and create beautiful and elegant scenery. These are all wonders that cannot be missed!
Town of Art
Located in the core area of Taitung County, Taitung City used to be called "Bao Sang Zhuang" and is currently the gathering place for art and culture in Taitung. The lively urban area still retains traces of its early days. The long and old railway witnesses to Taitung City's past, which makes people reminisce about the city's glory days. Although nowadays the old railway is not in use anymore, it has become a village of emerging arts that sparkles with old and new creativity.
The night in Taitung City is not lonely. Come to Tiehua Music Village and sit with everyone on the meadow to listen to aboriginal singers' new songs. What an enjoyment to listen to the voice that is birthed out of this mountain and sea!
After the show, you may want to take a walk around the town and night market. Try the stinky tofu, thick rice noodles and other delicious local snacks to experience Taitung's food culture!