Nick Kembel, long-term Taiwan resident and regular contributor to our magazine, Travel in Taiwan, just finished the second part of his informative blog about traveling down Taiwan’s east coast.
“Part 1 of my Guide to the Stunning East Coast of Taiwan is by far the most shared blog post I have ever written, so it only makes sense that I follow it up with a Part 2, covering the southern half of Taiwan’s most scenically dramatic coastline. For a more general introduction to the entire East Coast of Taiwan and why it is so beautiful, refer to Part 1. For those who have asked when I was going to write this, I’m sorry that it has taken me more than six months! Most of my free time is spent with my kids these days.
In this post, I would like to continue our southward journey from Hualien City along the Hualien (花蓮) and Taitung (台東) County coasts, including both of the parallel highways #9 and #11, as well as a lesser-known alternative route, Green and Orchid Islands, and finally terminating in idyllic Kenting National Park, which occupies the southernmost tip of Taiwan.
I fully realize how ambitious it is too cram all this into one post, but this is meant to be a general overview for those planning a trip to this part of Taiwan and wondering how to tackle it. If you are looking for more detailed information about specific places, then there are many blogs out there, but I still hope you’ll at least scroll through and see my pictures! I’d strongly recommend the brand new two-part Taiwan 101 by Richard Saunders and the 2014 edition of Bradt Taiwan by Steven Crook for far more detailed descriptions of most of the places described here.
The information and photos in this post are based on multiple trips over the last decade. Most recently I made this entire trip by scooter in spring 2016 with a friend to attend Spring Scream, and my wife, two kids, and sister from Canada tagged along by train.
As I mentioned in Part 1, I often rely on various editions of Lonely Planet Taiwan in my travels, so some of the information I provide inevitably echoes information found in that book. However, whenever possible, I mention new finds, alternative route options, and I also hope that my pictures can provide more inspiration than the general descriptions found in guidebooks.”