The East Coast National Scenic Area, known as ” Taiwan’s last unspoiled land” stretches 170 kilometres down the east coast of the island from the mouth of the Hualien River in the north to Shiauyeliou in the south. To the east the park is bounded by the Pacific Ocean while to the west is the Coastal Mountain Range. The land here consists of volcanic rock, rock from deep beneath the sea and shale that has raised and is still being pushed upward-by tectonic action. Weathering, erosion and accumulation have produced a wide range of landforms here inducing coastal terraces, sand and pebble beaches, shoreline reefs and caves. This varied topography provides habitats for a rich diversity of flora and fauna.
The East Coast is the primary homeland of the Ami aboriginal tribe. Ami villages dot the coastline. The harvest festivals that they hold in July and August every year offer visitors an opportunity to gain insights into the culture of this unique people. Before the Ami settled here there were prehistoric peoples who came and went. They left a rich store of artefacts and ancient sites that can still be seen today. Among the more modern cultural features of the coastline are enchanting temples, churches and quaint fishing villages. This rich store of natural and cultural assets prompted the Tourism Bureau to establish the East Coast National Scenic Area in 1988 and to engage in the active development of the area’s leisure resources.
How to get there:
- Railway: North Link Railway: the Taipei-Hualien/ Taitung route has fourteen daily departures via Tzchang and Chunkuang trains.
South Link Railway: the Kaohsiung-Taitung New Station route has six daily departures via Tzchiang and Chukuang trains.
Railway Station Telephones: Taipei Station, (02) 2371-3558; Hualien Station, (03) 835-5941; Taitung Station, (089) 229-687; Kaohsiung Station, (07) 237-1507
- Public Transportation: The most convenient way to tour the East Coast National Scenic Area is to drive beginning at either Hualien or Taitung. The Hualien Bus Co. provides public transportation in the area and the Dingdung Bus Co. The Dingdung Bus Co. operates tour round-trips a day between Taitung and Hualien. The Hualien Bus Co. operates seven daily trips between Hualien and Taitung and six trips between Hualien and Chenggung. As well there is a service between Hualien and Jingpu that stops at all the scenic spots along the coast. As departures are infrequent it’s necessary to pay close attention to departure times.
Hualien Bus C., Tel: (03) 832-3485; Dingdung Bus Co, Tel: (089) 333-443
- Taxi: Taxis in Hualien and Taitung do not charge by their meters; prices are negotiated. Airport to downtown fares are approximately NT$220 while taxi trips within the cities cost about NT$70 to NT$100.