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Entries tagged with “Tourismus”.

Cat Content aus Taiwan

Sind Taiwans Katzen besonders fotogen, oder liegt es an ihrer Umgebung, dass sie so gute Fotomotive abgeben?

Katze in Taiwan

Reden wir mal über Mao. Nicht über den chinesischen Revolutionsführer, dessen Nachname (毛) übersetzt übrigens „Haar“ bedeutet, sondern über andere haarige Zeitgenossen.

„Mao“ (貓) heißt auf Chinesisch nämlich auch „Katze“ – anderes Schriftzeichen, anders betont. (mehr …)

Weniger Chinesen, trotzdem mehr Besucher

Taiwan ist ein angesagtes Reiseziel – aber nicht bei Europäern. Woher kommen die vielen Touristen, die letztes Jahr für eine Rekordzahl sorgten?

Vielleicht lag dieser Prospekt kürzlich auch in Ihrer Nähe im Supermarkt: Bei Lidl konnten Sie eine Taiwanreise buchen. Sieben Nächte, 1600 Euro. Lohnt sich das? Ich habe mir das Programm angesehen und war wenig überrascht. Es ist eine der Standard-Rundreisen, die viele Anbieter im Programm haben. Bei Aldi gab es vor einigen Jahren ein ähnliches Angebot.

Lidl Taiwan Reise

Was also würde Sie erwarten, wenn Sie so eine Reise buchen? (mehr …)

Taiwan und der Islam: Mehr als Touristen und Gastarbeiter

Nicht nur im Schatten der Weltpolitik liegt Taiwan, sondern auch abseits internationaler Flüchtlingsrouten. Syrien und der Nahe Osten sind von hier aus der Ferne Westen. Ist der Islam in Taiwan also ein Fremdkörper? So einfach ist es nicht.

Islamisches Grab Friedhof

Frauen mit bunten Kopftüchern, Läden mit dem Koran in der Auslage, exotisches Essen: Auch das ist Taipeh. Die allermeisten Menschen hier wissen aber nichts davon. (mehr …)

Trinken und tanzen mit den Tsou

Das arme Schwein musste zuerst dran glauben. Mit Speeren abgestochen von den Kriegern des Stammes, über dem Feuer geröstet und gemeinsam verzehrt. In der Ecke hing ein Korb, in dem früher die Köpfe der Feinde gesammelt wurden. Und dann wurde die ganze Nacht durch getanzt und getrunken.

Nanu, wo war ich denn hier gelandet?

Taiwan ist ja als modernes Land bekannt – und nun solche archaischen Riten? Da hatte ich mal wieder eine ganz neue Seite kennen gelernt, als Gast beim jährlichen Stammesfest der Tsou.

Tsou Zeremonie

Die Fahrt ging hoch hinauf in die Berge Zentraltaiwans, über Serpentinen und Schotterpisten. (mehr …)

Willkommen im wilden Osten von Taiwan

Da lebe ich schon seit Jahren in Taiwan, und doch habe ich neulich zum ersten Mal eine Gegend bereist, die nicht ohne Grund als eine der schönsten gilt: Die Ostküste. Als Freunde aus Deutschland mich besucht haben, gab es keine Ausreden mehr. Wir haben einen Wagen gemietet und uns auf den Weg gemacht.

Sanxiantai Sanhsiantai Taiwan

200 Kilometer liegen zwischen den Kreisstädten Taitung im Süden und Hualien im Norden. Es sind die beiden einzigen größeren Städte an der Taiwans Ostküste, und wenn Sie in Deutschland noch nie von ihnen gehört haben, ist das kein Wunder (mehr …)

Taiwan east coast in four days: Suggestions for itinerary, rental car, accomodation

Explore Taiwan! East coast including Taroko Gorge and the East Rift Valley in four days, starting from Taipei. How to get there, where to find an English-speaking rental car agency, where to stay.

Taiwan East Coast Trip

The blue Pacific, rugged coastlines, lush valleys, mud volcanoes, hot springs, artists‘ colonies and even live ostriches – for less than US$200 per person! It’s possible at Taiwan’s east coast.

Four of us recently set out to finally see the east coast of Taiwan. This is where we went, how we worked out transportation and accomodation, and what it cost us. It may not be the perfect itinerary for everybdy, but it worked out pretty well for us.

(Because a lot of places have more than one romanized spelling (Taitung vs. Taidong), I’ve included several versions in the text for all you Google aficinados out there.)

Planning the Taiwan east coast trip

With four people, some of them neither in possession of a driver’s license nor the will to do some serious biking, we settled on renting a car right away. However, we did not want to spend a lot of time and nerves driving from Taipei to Hualien (and probably back as well) via the Suhua highway, notorious for its winding road, steep cliffs and crazy gravel truck drivers.

So we figured out that it might be a good idea to:

  • take a train from Taipei all the way down to Taitung
  • rent a car there
  • leisurely drive up the Taiwan east coast to Hualien
  • return the car there and go back to Taipei by train again

Spoiler alert: It worked out. This was our route (click to enlarge):

Taiwan East Coast Trip Map

We figured that if we spend four days (three nights) for the whole trip, we would not have to rush too much. Setting off on a Wednesday and returning to Taipei on Saturday, we avoided the weekend tourist crowds.

Taiwan East Coast Pacific

Buying train tickets

Travelling by train in Taiwan is cheap, convenient and reliable. That goes for the standard TRA (Taiwan Railway Administration) trains as well as for the High Speed Rail. Just be sure to book your TRA tickets for the Taiwan east coast as early as possible, because there’s a lot of demand by locals as well as tourists (remember that inconvenient Suhua Highway?).

You can order two weeks in advance via the TRA website and pick them up the next day at any train station or convenience store, paying at the counter. Don’t wait until the day after tomorrow, or your reservation will be cancelled. If you immediately pay by credit card while on the website, you don’t have to worry about this and can pick up the tickets at the train station until 30 minutes before departure.

We booked these connections:

  • Wednesday: 8:00 a.m. Taipei, 12:40 p.m. Taitung, NT$742 p.P.
  • Saturday: 4:40 p.m. Hualien, 7:16 p.m. Taipei, NT$418 p.P.

Renting a car in Taiwan

Most international car rental agencies do not have a presence in Taiwan. The one exception seems to be Avis, but they were not up and running by the time of our trip.

There are a few local companies willing to rent to foreigners (who tend to only have funny international driver’s licenses, and who knows if those can be trusted), and (in case no one in your group speaks Chinese) offer English service.

Taiwanese rental car agencies: Easyrent, Car Plus, Formosa Car Rentals

For our trip, we specifically needed a company with agencies in both Taitung and Hualien that offers one-way rental. We found just such a company with Easyrent.

Another comparable company is Car Plus.

And in the comments, an employee mentioned Formosa Car Rentals.

We rented this Toyota Yaris for NT$5775 Wed-Sat, including insurance:

Rental Car Taiwan

We had to fill up the tank once during the trip, which set us back NT$1240.

Day 1: Taipei – Taitung (Taidong) – Dulan

After arriving in Taitung, we picked up our car at the rental agency right next to the station and set out north on the Highway No. 11, which is going directly along the Pacific coast all the way to Hualien.

Seafood in Fugang (富岡)

Shortly after leaving Hualien, we stopped for some terrific seafood at a the 美娥 (Mei-e) restaurant in the fishing village of Fugang, just on the right side of the highway. Think NTD 250 p.P. if you really indulge yourself with the finest sashimi, shrimps etc. Full and happy, we checked out the picturesque fishing boats in Fugang’s harbor.

Xiao Yehliu (小野柳)

Next stop was the scenic area of Xiaoyeliu (Little Yehliu), which like its bigger brother on the north coast features some of the weirdest rock formations you will ever come across, as well as beautifully rugged coastline. Explore away!

Xiaoyeliu Taiwan

Entry is free except for a parking fee of NT$40.

Water Running Uphill (水往上流)

Next stop was Water Running Upward, a nicely landscaped little park on a hillside with a ditch where the water is actually going uphill. You’ll have to walk all the way up until you can figure out how it works. There is no electric pump involved.

Another visitor took this video:

Entrance is free. This place is very popular with Chinese tour busses, so it’s probably best to arrive in the late afternoon to avoid the crowds.

Dulan (都蘭)

We spent the evening in Dulan, a town with a strongly Aboriginal vibe to it that has over the last few years involved into an artists colony and a place to listen to live music. The center of the action is the former sugar factory that has been turned into a cultural center. Since it was not Saturday, there was no concert and we just had some street food.

Dulan Sugar Factory

B&B: Wind Guesthouse (風格民宿)

We spent the night at the Wind guesthouse, a really special place. To get there, you’ll have to return to Water Running Upward and head into the hills.

The cottages at Wind are designed to be as eco-friendly as possible, but also stylish in a down-to-earth kind of way. There is no air condition; cooling is provided by a gentle breeze. The double-layer roof prevent the buildings from heating up too much.

Wind Guesthouse Taitung Taiwan

There is abundant plant life all around the cottages. At night, you have to find your way around outside with the help of flashlights that luckily are attached to the keychains. Staying here really makes you feel that you are in the middle of nowhere surrounded by nothing but nature.

Taipei Times report about Dulan and the Wind hostel

We spent NT$4000 to rent two cottages, but the four of us could also have easily fit into just one (NT$2000). One sleeping area is probably big enough for up to six people.

Day 2: Dulan – East Rift Valley (花東縱谷)

We started the day by checking out the Dulan Sugar Factory (都蘭糖廠) with its interesting mixture of decaying industrial remnants, Aboriginal art and little designer shops. There’s also a cafe where you might get breakfast.

Dulan Sugar Factory Taiwan 2

Continuing north on Highway 11, we felt like going down to the beach and wet our toes in the waters of the Pacific. Shortly after Duli (都歷), we found a path that crossed some rice paddies and led to a wonderfully deserted black pebble beach that we had all for ourselves.

Pacific Coast Taiwan Beach

Sanxiantai (三仙台)

Next stop was Sansiantai, the Terrace of the Three Immortals. With its picturesque arched bridges, this is definitely a prime photo location.

Sanxiantai Sanhsiantai Taiwan

A little further north, we left the coastal Highway 11 and took Road No. 30, heading westward into the mountains. Our destination was the East Rift Valley on the other side of this mountain range that separates Taiwan’s east coast into two distinct areas.

So when we arrived in Taiwan’s lush East Rift Valley…

Do you want to know more?

Click here to read the complete guide to the perfect Taiwan east coast trip.

There are two and a half days left for you to explore!

You will learn about…

  • The lake that’s more beautiful than Sun Moon Lake
  • A farm with delicious fresh milk… and live ostriches
  • An old Japanese lumberjack village hidden deep in the mountains
  • Taiwan’s mud volcanoes
  • An inexpensive hostel right really close to the entrance to Taroko Gorge (perfect for that early morning start)
  • The final travel budget (amazing how little you need to pay for a trip like this!)
  • …and much more.

Download my complete East Coast Travel Guide now!

I hope you’ll enjoy your trip as much as we did.

Taiwan is waiting!