Taiwan self drive round the island – day 3 – Taitung (18 Oct 2016)
Day 3 – Itinerary
- Hualien/花莲 – Taitung/台东
- Taitung Brown’s Road / 伯朗大道 (120km)
- 台东伯朗大道 – 小野柳地形景观区 (60km)
- Water Flow Uphill -mysterious phenomenon
- F Hotel Chipen 21.8km
Ola Hotel has a Hawaiian theme, especially you can see it in the restaurant where we had the breakfast. There were not too many choices of food but all tasted very much warm cosy home cook breakfast.
There are free bikes provided by the hotel. You can explore the mountain view which is at the back of the hotel and sea view front of the hotel. Ola Hotel was very pleasant and relaxing to stay in.
We parked our rental car outside Ola hotel as there is no car park inside the hotel. However, there are many spaces outside the hotel for you to do the side packing. Below picture is mountain view behind the Ola hotel.
- Hualien/花莲 – Taitung/台东
Driving from Hualien to Taitung is 172km, roughly 3 hrs but we stopped over at the Brown’s Road /伯朗大道 (120km).
There were quite many cyclists in big groups but also some solo cyclist, cycling along the highway. It looked dangerous to me at first but then later I noticed these groups of cyclists were well organized and their cycling tour definitely interesting and fun. I am sure the island of Taiwan offers an incredibly unique and safe cycling experience for cyclists.
Stop by a beautiful spot to take this picture with little red bridge behind me. Good thing about self driving is you can stop anywhere you want.
- Taitung Brown’s Road / 伯朗大道
What is Mr Brown’s Road?
It is a small county avenue in Chihshang/池上 of Taitung, it becomes widely popular due to a commercial few years ago.
The road was first made famous by Takeshi Kaneshiro (金城 武) in a series of commercials on Eva Air. Soon after mainly local tourists rush to this place to enjoy the beautiful nature and country lifestyle.
Tourists can rent bicycles to explore the area. There are many type of bicycles, 2 wheel, 3 wheels, 4 wheels auto with engine or 4 wheels self paddle. We rented a 4 wheels auto with engine because we were lazy to paddle.
I saw this place in the commercial before I went and I was very attracted to this “non boundary” paddy fields.
This place has breathtaking paddy field and mountain scenery -undoubtedly one must go to! Unlike other paddy field, it get distracted by other tall building or houses. We went in month of October and we could still enjoy the golden greenish paddy field. I think the paddy should get harvested very soon.
This place is also known as “The road leads to Heaven”. I noticed there is not a single lamp post along the route, which made it so unique and boundless feeling.
We were lucky to go there in October, before the paddy get harvested, else we can only see brown soil. So choosing the right time and right season to go is very important and to avoid all disappointment.
Giant Tree in Brown’s Road
There is a huge giant tree in the Brown Road. This tree is also another highlight in Brown Road simply because Kaneshiro Takeshi /金城武 was sitting there in the advertisement. People called it “Kaneshiro Takeshi tree”.
I was trying to imitate how Kaneshiro Takeshi sit and the picture was taken before I was ready with Kaneshiro pose. It turned out ok.
Beautiful landscape, highly recommended to spend few hours cycling and exploring the wonderful paddy scenery.
We had Chishang bento for lunch after our bike rides in Brown’s Road. Chishang is famous for its little wooden box bento. Quite a fair bit of variety in this little wooden bento, some pork, some chicken, some green vegetable, small pieces of radish /daikon, half an egg, some fish cakes, some pickles of bamboo shoots and the bottom are rice.
Taiwan is famous for its betel nuts/”pinang”, we saw this lady cutting the leaves into half and packing in each small plastic bag to be sold to customers.
Along the streets and highways in Taiwan, I saw neon-lit booths with young ladies in sexy outfit “betel nut beauties” /檳榔西施 serve customers who pull up in their cars or trucks. Too bad the picture I captured here was an old lady. We had our Chishang bento in her small shop.
After our lunch we headed to xiaoyeliu. Xiaoyeliu offers a rich variety of fascinating rock formations similar to those found at Yeliu on Taiwan’s North Shore.
Nature has taken its course in shaping the rocks formation. The lookout to the ocean makes you feel refreshing. There is no entrance fees to this place. There was this little black dog following us throughout the whole journey. Interestingly, the black dog welcome us when we arrived at the car park and he even showed us the trail to Xiaoyeliu. I wonder how this dog knew where we wanted to see as the park is quite big. In the picture, you can see this little black beauty standing beside me but not facing the camera.
He even ran to the other side of the exist car park to bid us goodbye when we left the park. I still miss him.
- Water Running Uphill -mysterious phenomenon
Next we visited “water running uphill” which is only 15 mins drive from XiaoYeliu. When we arrived we were quite curious about the “”Water Running Up.” But the water really goes up. This place has nothing much, except few stalls selling their stuff. Since we have our own car rental and it was on our way so we did not mind to have a little stopover to view this mysterious phenomenon.
- F Hotel Chipen 21.8KM from Xiaoyeliu
We drove another half an hour and arrived at F Hotel Chipen, the hotel is famous for its hot spring. We were offered some free snacks at hotel cafe once we arrived at the hotel. This little gesture came as a surprise as most hotel we visited normally do not has such offer.
We brought along our swimming suits as we knew one must wear swim suit in order to go in the hot spring in Taiwan, unlike in Japan, only allow to get in all naked. However we were stopped by the staff there because we did not have the swimming cap. Luckily there is a shop in the hotel selling swimming cap with very low price.
There are about 4 to 5 hot spring with different temperature, some are cold hot spring and some are really high temperature hot spring. I would rather consider it to be more like spa than hot spring. Unlike hot spring in Japan, the Chipen Hotel hot spring tasted very strong chlorine smell.
Our dinner was at the local stall nearby the Hotel. We had Taitung local beef with thick noodles. Many locals queue for it and we were right, the beef noodles tasted awesome!