Taiwan Day 3 – Taitung, East Coast Ocean Road
Breakfast at 早點大王, Jhihben Recreation Park, National Museum of Prehistory, Seafood Lunch at 漁港小吃部(富岡), Xiao Yeliu, rock pool exploring, Water Running Upwards, Dulan Sugar Factory,纏記舊街東河包子, Sanxiantai, Oyster mee sua, Tiehua Music Village
Local Breakfast at 早點大王
Super crowded, but go inside and you may be able to find seats. We tried the red bean bun, omelette roll and soya bean milk.
Must-go: 3.5/5, it’s not bad but there are other breakfast places you can visit
Jhihben Recreation Park
Closed due to typhoon damage. No clear signs of closure. Wasted half an hour driving there.
Jhihben hot springs? Couldn’t find a public pool, be prepared to pay for a room.
National Museum of Prehistory
Good for families, short and sweet exhibits on L2, there was an interactive exhibition on water with hands-on activities, riveting videos at many spots, informative history of evolution of Taiwanese aboriginal culture on L1.
We spent 3 hours there. Inexpensive.
Keep the tickets if you plan to go to the museum at Beinan Cultural Park as there’s a discount or something (I can’t find the exact Google maps location, but it’s around here.
Must-go: 4/5, bring your family along
Seafood Lunch at 漁港小吃部(富岡)
Try the 17 thick slices of sashimi or 生鱼 at NT150.
Must-go: 3.5/5, only if you’re around the area.
Bring young children at your peril to climb rocks. Very hot during summer. We didn’t stay longer than an hour, but you can really kill time here.
Rehydrate at the café and shops selling drinks. There’s an air-conditioned visitor centre you can hide at. Parking fees of NT60/car apply.
Must-go: 4/5 if you plan to climb rocks, 1/5 if you don’t.
Drive further up and park at a temple. This is a more kid-friendly area to explore sea creatures. We saw crabs and even a water snake.
Must-go: 4.5/5, bring bread and watch out for water snakes
Try to figure out why the water runs up the hill.
Must-go: 2/5 only if you have time
Dulan Sugar Factory
No Saturday music festival as mentioned online, bummer.
Buns at 纏記舊街東河包子
Try their peanut buns, heaty but yummy.
Must-go: 3.5/5 if you happen to be in the area
Beautiful place. Come here at 5pm during summer when it’s less hot and crowded.
It takes 2 hours to walk past the pebble beach to the 8-arch bridge, along a boardwalk on Sanxiantai island, clamber over rocks (just head over the stairs at the far end of the island), climb up steep stairs to the lighthouse and make it back to the carpark with the last bits of sunlight left. Wear shoes to avoid stubbing your feet.
Must-go: 5/5. Even if you have young kids, you can just hang out at pebble beach and enjoy the view.
Tip: park here (see picture below for entrance to open air carpark), there’s lots of space and it’s within walking distance to Taitung Night Market and Tiehua Music Village
Enjoy some good mee sua and dessert at Tatung Chang.
Must-go: 3.5/5 only if you’re around the area. The night market is nearby somewhere behind the restaurant. Tiehua Music Village is just across the street.
A hippie night market. Go if you have cash to spend on fancy jewellery, “handmade” soap and other arty-farty stuff. There’s a band playing Chinese soft rock when we visited. If you need your coffee fix, Starbucks is across the street.
Must-go: 3/5 just to enjoy the chill vibes after dinner.
Bring sunblock and lots of water.
Self-drive to save time and plan your itinerary to ensure you don’t reach Sanxiantai too early when it’s too hot and crowded.
Give yourself 2 hours before sunset to enjoy the trek.
Also published on Medium.