One of East Taiwan’s major attractions is fully reopening to the public today (February 5, 2024) following more than a year of inspections and repairs that were made necessary by the earthquake which shook the region near the end of 2022.
The distinctive eight-arch footbridge at Sanxiantai (‘Terraces of the Three Immortals’, a name with Taoist connotations) links Taiwan proper with a spectacularly rocky islet. Millennia ago, this was the promontory of a little peninsula, but eventually strong grit-bearing gales and crashing waves wore it down to below sea level. The islet is said to resemble a dragon frollicking in the Pacific Ocean.
Long a favourite stop for those driving between Hualien and Taitung at a leisurely pace, Sanxiantai offers rugged beauty, expansive ocean views, and more fresh air than you’ll ever need. Swimming and water sports aren’t possible here; the sea is just too violent. There’s no admission charge but if you park a car or motorcycle, you’ll have to pay a small fee. It’s very easy to spend well over an hour here.
Sanxiantai’s visitors centre (open 8.30am to 5pm daily) can help with bus schedules and other travel information. If it’s exceptionally windy when you get here, you might want to ask at the centre if the bridge is actually open, as in such conditions the authorities occasionally decide to close it for safety’s sake.
On the main road near the entrance to Sanxiantai, the Taitung County Natural History Education Centre introduces numerous shellfish species plus various rocks, semi-precious stones, and minerals found in this part of Taiwan. A short drive to the south, Chenggong is a fishing town where fresh seafood can be enjoyed at restaurants overlooking the harbour.
Self-driving visitors — and those enjoying the flexibility of a Life of Taiwan private tour with a professional driver-guide — may want to approach the coast via Highway 23 or Highway 30. The former is the more scenic of the two, but also longer and more twisting. The central stretch of Highway 23 lacks petrol stations, convenience stores, or eateries, so make sure you’re travelling with a full tank, drinking water, and some snacks if you plan on taking it slowly. By contrast, Highway 30 offers straightforward if less memorable driving.
For more information about the breathtaking destination that is Taiwan, please spend some time looking at the Places To Go section of our website. To begin planning your luxury tour or family tour of Taiwan, we invite you to contact our team today. See you in Taiwan!