Natalie Pang travels to Taitung, where she experiences the lush greenery, blue seas and vast skies all in four days.
Taitung isn’t on many people’s “mustvisit” list when they’re planning a trip to Taiwan. But my four days there were so jam-packed with activities that not only did I get an enviable beach tan, I also managed to take scenic pictures that upped my Instagram cred by quite a bit. So the next time you’re in Taiwan, consider skipping the eating and shopping sprees and indulge in the slow life of Taitung. Need more convincing? Here are three reasons why Taitung’s worth checking out.
#1 It has a tree named after Takeshi Kaneshiro
Taiwan’s very proud of this half-Japanese, half-Taiwanese heartthrob. And when EVA Air filmed a commercial with Takeshi sitting pensively by a tree surrounded by lush paddy fields and majestic mountains, fans set out to fid the exact location. While its association with Takeshi is largely the reason why the tree has gained so much popularity, the breathtaking location at Brown Avenue in the Chishang Township also played a part. Whether you’re taking a leisurely walk or cruising down the road on a rented bike, you’ll get to see townsfolk harvesting the endless fields under a perfect blue sky.
Don’t worry about getting lost – there are tons of huge signs that literally say “Takeshi Kaneshiro Tree”, so you won’t have any trouble finding it.
#2 There’s more than one way to get a panoramic view of Taitung
Besides hiking up one of Taitung’s many mountains to get a good view of the county, you can also run off one! Thanks to its flat lands and strong, predictable winds, paragliding is a great way to get a stunning bird’s-eye view of Taitung. For a less daunting way to get the same view, you only have to wake up early. We’re talking 4am, but that’s a small price to pay to catch the sunrise from a hot air balloon.
Whether it’s paragliding or hot air ballooning, Luye Gaotai is the place to be to get a taste of the “high life”.
#3 The oceans are perfect for surfing (and sightseeing)
People usually think of Hawaii and Australia when it comes to surfing, but Taitung’s quiet, tourist-free beaches are the perfect destination if you want to learn how to surf – because there’s just no graceful way to fall when you’re learning how to just stand on the surfboard. Taitung faces the Pacific Ocean, so the county gets great waves that swell up to an impressive 3m – something you don’t get to see in Singapore.
And speaking of things rarely seen, there’s also plenty of beautiful, bronzed eye-candy along the beaches and surf shops (ahem). And, no, they’re not just casual surfers hoping to catch a tan – they’re the flips-in-thewater kind of experts. No one can accuse you of ogling when you’re just picking up tips, right?
Surfing classes are available at Taitung Surf Shop and Hostel (No. 182 South Donghe, Donghe Village, Taitung).
Travelling to Taiwan KAWAII-STYLE
There’s no better way to travel than the Hello Kitty way.
When the EVA Air Hello Kitty flight from Singapore to Taipei was announced, we were curious what the fuss was all about. I mean, it’s just a normal plane with a Hello Kitty design on the exterior, right? Well, we were pleasantly surprised to find out it’s a lot more than that. Just about everything about the plane has been given the Hello Kitty treatment – from the seat cushions and toilet paper to the utensils and meals! Hello Kitty fan? This is one experience you won’t want to miss.
The EVA Air Hello Kitty flights from Singapore to Taipei only run on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Head to evaair.com.sg for more information.