I love Taitung a lot! Each year I’ll go back at least once. I even create a Spotify list for Taitung. ( from aboriginal singers and some Taiwan, independent music singers)
I have been spent two years in Taitung during my college time. It’s a beautiful and cozy place. From the main street only take you 10 min to see the ocean. Not too crowded、 super quiet and far away from the busy cities. They also have some bookstore、nice restaurant and everything you need. For me, the most valuable part of our culture is that we have a lot of aboriginal and most of their home town is in east side Taiwan therefor you can experience their culture and food here. Their culture and language are unique, and I love their personality (most of them enjoy alcohol and super friendly). You can try their special “rice wine” and dishes. The spot I recommend will be in my shared map. You can drive through the sea line or mountain line to see a different side of Taitung.
More information about Taitung you can visit here.
Some other island near Taitung
(By ferry — around 1 hr)
I have been here once. Love it a lot! You can see a lot of fly fish on your way to it. They have a hot spring that very close to the sea so during the sunrise time you can enjoy your hot spring and sunrise at the same time.
(By ferry — around 2 hr)
(By flight — around 1hr)
I didn’t have a chance to visit Lan yu. But I want to go!!!! They have a lot of Aboriginal live there therefor some area should be avoided to respecting their tradition. Beside this here’s a place that still keeps a lot of original nature of Taiwan.
From Taitung go North, you’ll visit “Hualien.”
From Hualien, you can go to “Taroko Gorge National Park” （By bus or Taxi ) the Liwu River flows past gigantic marble boulders to create the most amazing and beautiful trail.
More information about Hualien you can visit here.
You can easily travel the whole west side of Taiwan through “Taiwan high-speed railway(THSR)”(highly recommend! Super clean、fast、never delay、comfortable seat and air-condition (Sorry Deutsche Bahn) (From Taipei to Kaohsiung direct train in 50 mins). Or a cheaper option is “Taiwan Railways” (From Taipei to Kaohsiung in 3~5 hr) or Bus (From Taipei to Kaohsiung in 5 hr). And THSR and Taiwan Railways have stations in almost every city in west-side Taiwan. I won’t recommend driving a car because we have serious scooter issue in our city center and always got traffic jam during the weekend or rush hour.
To visit the east side of Taiwan, you can only book a ticket from “Taiwan Railways,” and the ticket always sold out during the weekend or vacation season. (If you plan to go to the east side of Taiwan better book your ticket first.) Once you arrived at the east side, you can rent a car because it’s easier to find a parking space here and you’ll have a chance to experience the whole east coastline. (Make sure you can handle mountain road. If you drive from Taipei to the east side the mountain road is quite dangerous but beautiful)
We have MRT in those two cities :
Taipei and Kaohsiung
to visit other cities’ city center we have busses everywhere. (Also Taxi and Uber are very cheap and easy to find in Taiwan)
I guess that’s it! Wish I have more time to polish this article and fix the picture issue. I have a lot of pictures want to show you, but maybe you should see it by yourself, and you will know what I’m talking about. Hope you enjoy your vacation in Taiwan and feel free to ask me anything :)