The Top Things to Do in Taitung, Taiwan

Photo by jemmy999/Shutterstock

The Top Things to Do in Taitung, Taiwan

Tucked away in the southeast corner of Taiwan, Taitung is one of the least visited areas of the island amongst foreign tourists. With beautiful beaches in the shadow of dramatic mountains, Taitung offers some of the best scenery around Taiwan. Despite its stigma as a rural area, there are plenty of incredible attractions and things to do in Taitung to make a perfect trip to Taiwan.

table of contents

[x] close

The Top Things to Do in Taitung, Taiwan

Cycling along the East Rift Valley

East Rift Valley in Taitung Taiwan

Photo by Tom Wang/Shutterstock

The East Rift Valley in Taitung is one of the best places for cycling in Taiwan. The combination of the valley's flat land along with dedicated cycling paths and roads with little traffic makes cycling there a breeze. Ride past picturesque rice paddies and flower fields with dramatic mountains rising up in the background, the East Rift Valley has some of Taiwan's most beautiful scenery. A number of trains that travel through the valley from Taitung to Hualien even have dedicated train carriages to store bicycles, meaning you can easily hop on a train if you're feeling tired.

Green Island

Green Island in Taitung Taiwan

Photo by Richie Chan/Shutterstock

A short journey from Taitung, Green Island is a popular day trip from Taiwan's east coast, famous for its hot springs, lush green mountains and beautiful coral around the coast.

Zhaori Hot Springs at the southern tip of the island offers the perfect chance to relax and soak away the tiredness while taking in the beautiful ocean views from the outside baths. It's also a popular spot for bathing while watching the sunset or sunrise, the latter being more famous due to its eastern facing location.

Sanxiantai Bridge

Popular sunrise spot in Taitung

Green Island in Taitung Taiwan

Photo by Top Photo Corporation/Shutterstock

One of Taitung's most famous attractions, this uniquely-shaped bridge was made in the form of a sea dragon, to connect the mainland with the jagged island of Sanxiantai. Translated as 'the three immortals' Sanxiantai is the source of a legend where three of China's Eight Immortals landed there, creating the three large rocks of Sanxiantai. The scenery around the island is beautiful but is incredible during the sunrise as the light rises up against the rocky island and its iconic bridge.

To get to Sanxiantai from Taitung Station, take the East Coast Line 8101 bus and get off at Sanxiantai bus stop. It takes about an hour and a half in total, but passes by some beautiful scenery such as Jinzun Beach and Dulan Forest along the way.

Luye Highlands

Taitung Balloon Festival

Hot Air Balloon Festival Taitung

Photo by Top Photo Corporation/Shutterstock

An elevated highland area above the East Rift Valley, Luye is known for its beautiful mountain scenery and the annual Taitung Balloon Festival that takes places there. The hot air balloon festival in Taitung is held in the summer normally for just under two months and is an incredible sight to witness. The hot air balloons are all different shapes and characters, often with colorful designs. For the ultimate experience you can book a hot air balloon tour and see Taitung from above.

Even if you're not visiting during the balloon festival, the stunning scenery here makes it well worth making the trip.

Orchid Island

Orchid Island in Taitung Taiwan

Photo by kanguyen/Shutterstock

Another of Taitung's offshore islands, Orchid Island offers similar untouched nature and beautiful snorkeling spots around its coastline. The island is named after a kind of endangered orchid flower (Phalaenopsis equestris) which is native there.

Orchid Island is a fascinating place to see Taiwanese aboriginal culture, the Tao people (also known as Yami) have lived there for hundreds of years. The beaches on Orchid Island are lined with beautifully decorated canoes known as Tatala used by the Taiwanese aboriginals on the island. The Tao are also well known for various celebrations throughout the Flying Fish Festival, which lasts around nine months during the year when different kinds of flying fish visit the waters near the island.

Taimali Beach

Taimali Beach in Taitung Taiwan

Photo by chungphoto/Shutterstock

Located further south down the coast than Taitung City, Taimali Beach is a long stretch of beachfront next to a laid-back aboriginal town. Taimali is popular among surfers for often having some impressive waves and currents from the Pacific Ocean. Note that swimming is not allowed on the beach due to the strong currents, but Taimali is all about the beautiful scenery rather than lounging around on the beach.

For other beautiful beaches on the east coast and the best beaches in Taiwan see here.

Mr Brown Avenue

Mr Brown Avenue rice paddies in Taitung Taiwan

Photo by jemmy999/Shutterstock

Vast expanses of yellow and green fields stretching up until the dramatic Hai'an Mountain Range in the distance, Mr Brown Avenue or Chishang Town is one of the best places to get a feel for Taitung's beautiful scenery.

It's also another famous tourist spot in Taitung for cycling around due to the flat plains and long straight roads. There are a number of shops in the area that offer bicycles to rent either from the avenue itself or in Chishang Town near the railway station.

Zhiben Hot Springs

Zhiben Hot Spring Taitung Taiwan

Photo by FenlioQ/Shutterstock

A short journey from Taitung City, Zhiben Hot Spring encompasses the banks of the Zhiben River, sourced from the nearby mountains that tower over the quaint resort town. Despite being in a rural location, at the foot of the mountains away from Taitung City, there are many high-end hotels and resorts with private hot springs to stay at. It's a great area to stay in Taitung if you're looking for some well-deserved down time.

See here for some of the best hot springs to visit while in Taiwan.

How to Get to from Taipei to Taitung

The easiest way to get from Taipei to Taitung is to fly from Songshan Airport to Taitung Airport which is located just outside of Taitung City (about ten minutes drive).

There are also trains that leave from Taipei Main Station to Taitung, taking about four hours. If you're planning to take the train from Taipei to Taitung or Hualien during national holidays or at the weekend, make sure to book as soon as possible. Train tickets on the faster trains usually get booked up almost immediately for popular times.

The Best Time to Visit Taitung

Unlike North Taiwan which can get a little cold during the winter months, Taitung stays at a comfortable temperature. Summer can be brutally hot like all over Taiwan, however less extreme than along the west coast, the sea breeze tends to help cool things down.

It generally rains a lot in summer from July to September (much of which is brought by typhoons) but summer also has more sunny days usually. For the most comfortable temperature and weather we'd recommend going to Taitung in March, April or November when it's not too hot or too cool.