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Taitung

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Up, Up and Away in Taitung

Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s…not Superman? Nope, even better, because while the caped Kryptonian flies solo, the hot air balloons flying the friendly skies of Taitung county are carrying people. And they’ll carry you, too, for a view of Taiwan’s magnificent East Rift Valley Scenic Area that you’ll never forget. Though hot air ballooning came late to Taiwan (our first recreational flight only occurred in 2011) we’ve taken to the sport enthusiastically! Less than a decade after our first hot air balloon flight and Taiwan is considered a major destination for international ballooning aficionados, with Taitung county’s Luye Township being the epicenter of Taiwan’s ballooning balloon culture. Flying happens year-round over the valley (weather permitting, of course), but the event that draws close to a million hot air balloon enthusiasts annually is the Taiwan International Balloon Festival, a 38-day long event that runs…

3 Ideas For Family, Couples, and Friends To Travel Around Taiwan

For those who never been to Taiwan or just spent a short stay in Taiwan, we’d love to tell  you there’re a lot more than your expectation that this small island can give you. We specially designed 3 different ways for you to explore around Taiwan. Whoever you travel with, family, friends, or lovers, you can always find there’s so much to see from one end of the island to the other and hope to back here again! For FAMILY : Taiwan is small, but with abundant natural resources, including mountains and beaches. Here are our top suggestions for family trips in Taiwan. National Palace Museum and Yehliu Geopark are both incredible masterpieces separately from human beings and natural world. If you’re in Tainan, definitely can’t miss Anping Tree House. It’s an amazing reminder of how nature works and prevail. Travel to eastern part of Taiwan, a stop in National Museum of Prehistory to get to know the…

The Taiwan International Balloon Fiesta – Colorful Balloons Paint the East Rift Valley

For more than two months each summer the Luye Highland (鹿野高台) north of Taitung City, is the venue for a marvelous event featuring colorful hot-air balloons, some of which have amazingly creative shapes. Text: Owain Mckimm Photos: Maggie Song It’s five in the morning, and the sun is just coming up over Taitung County’s Luye Highland, in Taiwan’s mesmerizing East Rift Valley (花東縱谷). With the Central Mountain Range (中央山脈) to the west and the Coastal Mountain Range (海岸山脈) to the east, the tableland provides stunning views along the Beinan River (卑南溪) system, the river’s many tributaries giving rise to a patchwork of river terraces laid out in lush fruit fields and tea plantations. At over 350 meters above sea level, the Luye Highland has, for many years, been a popular destination for paragliders, who come to the expansive grassy meadow with its sloping south-facing hillside to pursue their passion. Since…

The East Rift Valley

Text: Rick Charette Photos: Chen Cheng-kuo The east coast is often described as “isolated,” kept locked away from the rest of the island by the soaring, rugged, thick central mountains. But this is meant in a decidedly positive sense, and in a relative sense – the west and north are busy and densely populated, the east coast virginal and unspoiled, sparsely populated, laid-back, even sleepy. And it’s easy to get to. Hop on a plane at downtown Taipei Songshan Airport and you’re there in about 35 minutes (Hualien) or one hour (Taitung). And on a sunny day a few weeks back I met up with the usual members in my rat-pack Travel in Taiwan gang at downtown Taipei Railway Station at 9:30am, before 10 was on a sleek Puyuma Express train smelling sweetly of spanking-newness, and was sitting in a car rented right outside Hualien Railway Station at 12:15. We…

Pedaling Along -The Green, Smart Way to Move About and Get to Know Taiwan

Text: Nick Kembel Photos: Betty Fan Bicycling has become one of the most popular leisure activities in Taiwan over the past decade or so, and because of this popularity, riding has become increasingly convenient for both local residents and foreign visitors. From about 2005 to 2009, Taiwan was rife with bike fever. What had once been a niche recreational activity suddenly exploded into the mainstream. Developing in parallel to the burgeoning popularity of cycling was a proliferation of bike paths and dedicated bike lanes. And just when the trend seemed to be subsiding, Kaohsiung, Taipei, Taichung, and even smaller centers such as Changhua introduced public bike-rental systems, spawning a new generation of urban cycling enthusiasts. Below we will explore the rise of Taiwan’s love for cycling, give visitors the necessary info to tap into it, and lastly step into an up-and-coming bicycle shop to see what’s out there for cyclists…