The Top 9 Things to Do in Pingtung, Taiwan

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The Top 9 Things to Do in Pingtung, Taiwan

Pingtung County is located right at the southern tip of Taiwan, wedged between Kaohsiung and Taitung. Here you'll find some of the best weather in Taiwan, even during the winter months which can be much more uncomfortable in the north such as in Taipei. Pingtung has some of the best beaches along its stunning coastline but also stretches to a vast mountainous region in the center with plenty of incredible hikes and breathtaking mountain views.

While Pingtung is mostly famous for Kenting National Park, an expanse of beautiful beaches and rocky coastline at the southern tip of the island, there's much more to see in this county. Kenting only forms a small part of Pingtung, here are some worthy tourist spots and things to do in Pingtung that are much more underrated.

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The Top 9 Things to Do in Pingtung, Taiwan

Maolin National Scenic Area

Maolin on the border of Pingtung County

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Spanning the border of Pingtung and neighboring Kaohsiung, Maolin National Scenic Area is an expanse of beautiful mountain scenery and lush forests that Taiwan's central region is famous for. Like much of Taiwan's mountain areas, Maolin is home to a number of Taiwanese aboriginal villages, dotted around the landscape. There's plenty of hiking trails and waterfalls to explore around the park.

Xiao Liu Qiu Island

Xiaoliuqiu or Lambai Island in Pingtung Taiwan

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Off the coast of Pingtung, Xiaoliuqiu Island or also called Lambai Island and Little Ryukyu is one of the most beautiful islands in Taiwan, famous for its crystal-clear ocean that surrounds the island's coastline. Xiaoliuqiu is full of some incredibly unique rock formations along with a few beautiful beaches that have become popular among domestic tourists in recent years. The island is still fairly unknown outside of Taiwan however, meaning that it's hardly ever crowded unlike similar places in Kenting. The island's nickname of Little Ryukyu comes from its similarity to the beautiful island scenery of Okinawa, once known as the Ryukyu Kingdom.


Wutai village in Pingtung Taiwan

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Deep in the mountains of Pingtung County, Wutai is a beautiful remote village populated by the Rukai people, a group of Taiwanese aboriginals. A typical feature of the Rukai people, Wutai features some beautiful slate houses and architecture along with artistic carvings and crafts.

Despite its remote location in the mountains, Wutai can be easily reached by car from Pingtung City. It's about an hour to drive there from Pingtung City, or you can take the shuttle bus service from Pingtung Station to Wutai.

Wutai Presbyterian Church

Wutai Presbyterian Church in Pingtung Taiwan

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A beautifully unique church in the aboriginal village of Wutai, checking out this building is a must if visiting the region. In keeping with the rest of Wutai, the church is built with slate and stones from the surrounding mountains and decorated with various aboriginal designs and patterns.

Taiwan Indigenous Peoples Cultural Park

Taiwan Indigenous Peoples Cultural Park in Pingtung Taiwan

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Another fascinating place to learn about Taiwanese aboriginal culture, Taiwan Indigenous Peoples Cultural Park is one of the largest and oldest cultural parks and museums on the indigenous people. The park is full of aboriginal artwork, murals and traditional architecture along with extensive exhibits detailing the life and culture of Taiwan's different indigenous groups.

Try Pingtung Coffee and Chocolate

Coffee beans grown in Pingtung County Taiwan

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Apart from being famous for growing some of Taiwan's most delicious pineapples, mangos and other tropical fruit, Pingtung has recently gained recognition for growing coffee beans and cacao plants.

While Taiwan has always been famous for its tea plantations especially the high mountain oolong tea that's cultivated all across the central mountainous region, the island has a history of growing coffee too. First planted by the Dutch during their colonial rule of southern Taiwan, coffee beans are grown all over the mountainous region of Pingtung. Taiwan's history producing cacao is much shorter but with some local producers winning awards in recent years, is starting to make its impact.

You'll find local brands of chocolate and coffee beans sold at various shops and convenience stores in Pingtung, but for the ultimate experience head to A-Shin Choco Farm where you can pick cocoa fruit, learn more about the production process and even make your own chocolate.

Gaoshi Shrine

Gaoshi Shrine Pingtung County Taiwan

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A lasting throwback to the era of Japanese rule in Taiwan, Gaoshi Shrine is a Shinto shrine built in 1939, in the mountains of Pingtung. In front of the shrine is a white torii gate which is a popular spot for photographers due to the beautiful scenic view of the surrounding mountains.

The shrine was rebuilt in 2015 after being ruined by a typhoon just seven years after its completion, to serve as a memorial for the Paiwan people who have died in various wars.

Gaoshi Shrine is located a short journey from the Paiwan village of Gaoshi, there's no bus stop there so you'll need to drive to the village.

Kenting National Park

Kenting National Park, Pingtung Taiwan

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Pingtung's most famous holiday destination, Kenting is full of beachside resorts, laid-back guesthouses and stunning white-sand beaches.

While it's mainly famous as one of Taiwan's best beach getaways, there's also plenty of other things to do in Kenting. The park is also full of forest and coastal hiking trails, caves and waterfalls to explore for those looking to do more than just lounging on the beach. There's also plenty of beautiful diving and snorkeling spots around the coast of Kenting, heightened by the abundance of colorful coral reef.

Being one of Taiwan's most popular summer destinations, getting to Kenting is fairly easy. Buses leave from various places in Kaohsiung such as Zuoying HSR Station, Kaohsiung Station and Kaohsiung Airport.

Cape Eluanbi

Southernmost point in Taiwan, Pingtung County

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Cape Eluanbi is the southernmost point in Taiwan, with stunning views along the coast and across to the main town and beaches of Kenting. Along with a viewing point and monument marking the area, the cape is also home to Eluanbi Lighthouse, built in 1883 during the Qing Dynasty.

Cape Eluanbi is easiest to reach if you're visiting Kenting, from which it's a short ten minute drive to the southernmost point and Eluanbi Lighthouse.

How to Get to Pingtung

To get from Taipei to Pingtung, the quickest and easiest way is to take the high-speed rail (HSR) to Zuoying Station and then transfer to a local TRA train to Pingtung Station. The total journey takes about two and a half hours.

The HSR line in Taiwan currently ends at Zuoying Station in neighboring Kaohsiung, however eventually the high speed rail will be connected to Pingtung.

When to visit Pingtung

Due to Pingtung's location in the far south of Taiwan, it stays relatively hot all year round with mild winters. Tyhpoons are frequent throughout the summer, but the neighboring coastal regions of Taitung and Hualien usually see the brunt of them.

Temperatures during winter rarely go lower than 20 degrees C during the day so visiting Pingtung during the winter months can be a great idea.