I don’t get it.
My feet were aching to soak in the Pacific Ocean, to feel the sand of Taiwan’s East Coast brushing against my toes. There were dozens of deserted beaches with very few people around (sometimes none), a far cry from the hustle and bustle of over-commercialized destinations like Phuket.
But the bus simply drove pass them… never giving us the chance to enjoy our private beach.
East Coast: A Beautiful Misadventure
We stopped only once. Took a few pictures like the one below and that was it. End of roap trip. And we didn’t even get to see the best of the East Coast. For whatsoever reason, our tour bus had chosen to skip the geological marvels like this and this.
Instead, all we got is plain sea. Needless to say, all the dreams I had in mind when I listed East Coast as one of the 3 things I couldn’t wait to do in Taiwan were shattered.
Nonetheless, any ocean with three different shades of blue is badass.
Here’s a tip: Visit the East Coast only if you get to travel at your own pace. Stop at all the highlights and enjoy the luxury of your private beach, don’t get shortchanged.
Taitung Hot Springs
We finally reached Taitung and dropped at Hotel Royal Chihpen. We had an exclusive personal hot spring in our room!
In Taiwan, due to hygiene reasons, people go to hot springs completely naked (unless it’s a mixed-gender hot springs). This may come as a cultural shock for some, so if you’re a little shy you can use the personal hot springs or the mixed-gender one.
Hotel Royal Chihpen has a lot of hot springs! Indoor. Outdoor. Personal. Nude. Mixed gender. We came as a family so we went for the open-air mixed-gender one. There are lots of pools there: cold, warm, hot, water, green tea, lavender, etc.
I had great fun and it certainly redeemed my whole Taiwan experience after a couple of recent disappointments (the East Coast and the Sun Moon Lake incidents). We also watched a few performances by the Taiwanese aborigines and they were so adorable.
Their traditional music is great too. It’s like a little bit of cool indie stuff crossed with world music elements. There were even some parts that sounded like alternative country! I really enjoyed their dancing and singing too. They made me happy and I was smiling all throughout their performances.
Taitung is a simple destination. It may not have exciting night markets or marvelous natural attractions, but it feels very homely and that’s enough to make me happy.
What do you like best about Taitung? What had I miss during my East Coast road trip?
Next post: The marvelous Taroko National Park, a the definite highlight of my trip.