Just to the south of Hualien is a crossroads, giving a choice of two routes south to Taitung running either side of the Coastal Mountain Range. Provincial Highway 11 hugs the Pacific through the heart of the East Coast National Scenic Area (東部海岸國家風景區; dōngbù hǎiàn guójiā fēngjǐngqū), prime aboriginal territory, scattered with idyllic fishing villages, rice paddies, herds of water buffalo and some of the best surf breaks in Taiwan. Buses ply the highway, and with careful planning (and pick-ups from your accommodation) you can visit the main spots on public transport, but to make the most of the area you need your own transport. If you’re visiting in late summer and hope to witness some of the many aboriginal festivals held each July and August, private transport is essential – indeed, one of the joys of coming at this time is whipping from one festival to another on a scooter, soaking up the boundless seascapes along the way.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Taiwan features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Cool Taipei: 8 tips for exploring the city

Cool Taipei: 8 tips for exploring the city

As the only democracy in the Chinese speaking world and the most progressive city for LGBTQ+ rights in Asia, a legacy of artists and activists have worked to ma…

19 Oct 2016 • Colt St. George insert_drive_file Article
10 street foods you need to try in Taiwan

10 street foods you need to try in Taiwan

Taiwanese xiǎochī, or “small eats”, are justly famed, and no trip would be complete without several street food feasts. Night markets are among the best …

11 Nov 2015 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
The best of the world's smallest countries

The best of the world's smallest countries

Qatar Jutting northwards into the Persian Gulf, Qatar is one of the world’s smaller nations (about the size of Yorkshire, England), but it is also the world…

29 Oct 2014 • Greg Dickinson camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right

Weekly newsletter

Sign up now for travel inspiration, discounts and competitions

Sign up now and get 20% off any ebook