See a unique side of Taiwan with this week-long itinerary. You'll meet many of Taiwan's indigenous ethnic groups and get to try your hand at some traditional craft-making and sample regional cuisine. The natural scenery won't be neglected either, with stops for clifftop views, dramatic rock features, and sprawling rice paddies, ending at Taroko Gorge, considered by some to be Taiwan's Grand Canyon.

Highlights

  • Learn traditional indigenous crafting styles
  • Take in views of the Pacific from atop Qingshui Cliffs
  • Stroll through an open-air tree museum
  • Hike through the marble Taroko Gorge

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Taipei to Yilan Yilan
Day 2 Yilan to Hualien Hualien
Day 3 Hualien to Taidong Taidong
Day 4 Explore Taitung Taidong
Day 5 Taitung to Chisang Hualien
Day 6 Chisang to Hualien Hualien
Day 7 Hualien to Taroko Gorge to Taipei Taipei

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Taipei to Yilan

Houtong railway station on the Yilan Line

Welcome to Taiwan! From your arrival in Taipei, you'll get on the road to Yilan, where you'll visit the National Center for Traditional Arts and can try out traditional crafts for yourself, including hand-dyeing fabric, woodcraft, and oil paper umbrellas. You'll also experience the area's cold springs, along with the Nanfangao fishing port and lookout.

Day 2: Yilan to Hualien

Works in progress

Continue to Hualien, passing by the scenic coastal Suhua highway. You'll meet members of the indigenous Nanao tribe, taking in a traditional house tour, cloth dyeing practices, and machi making. Visit Chongde Bay to take in the views across the Pacific from Qingshui Cliff, then enjoy a Nanao-style dinner along the ocean.

Day 3: Hualien to Taidong

Along the coast

Your first stop today is the coastal fishing town of Shihtiping, known for its natural stone steps and distinct geological features. Next, visit Ca'wi, home of the Amis tribe. Your guide will lead you on activities that may include rubber rafting along the Xiuguluan River, setting shrimp traps or casting nets, and an eco-tour of Hippa Ovali.

Afterward, continue to the town of Dulan, known for its tribal artists, surfing scene, and laid-back vibe, along with a quick stop at the town's sugar factory, then end your day in Tehua village.

Day 4: Explore Taitung

Banyan trees in the wild

Visit a most unusual museum today, one made not of brick and glass, but of interconnected trees, part of a forest preserve maintained and protected by members of the local Bunun tribe. You’ll learn about the lives and cultures of Southeast Taiwan’s indigenous peoples at the Luan-Shan Forest Museum, enjoy tribal cuisine, and even do a bit of tree climbing.

After you've experienced the museum, take a cycling or walking tour through Longtien Village and its surrounding tea farms.

Day 5: Taitung to Chisang

Rice fields

Take a leisurely drive up the Rift Valley today to the Guanshan rice school, where you'll enjoy a handmade rice activity. Chisang is the rice town of Taiwan, and you may even be able to participate in a seasonal picking activity with the Amis tribe.

Day 6: Chisang to Hualien

Countryside near Fengbin

Keep driving across the Central Way to Hualien. You'll stop at Fengbin for an open-water activity with a local guide for approximately five hours, then finish up in Hualien city.

Day 7: Hualien to Taroko Gorge to Taipei

Inside the gorge

Spend a day adventuring in Taroko National Park, one of Taiwan's must-see attractions and home to one of the world's largest marble canyons. This full-day tour takes you down the gorge's scenic road accompanied by your guide's stories of local history and legends. Hike along the Shakadang trail, then break for lunch. Spend the afternoon visiting Swallow Grotto, Lushui Trail, and Buluowan, three scenic areas offering different vantage points of the raging river below and majestic cliffs above.

You'll return to Hualien for a visit to the Dongdamen night market, followed by a transfer back to Taipei.

Map

Map of Off the Beaten Path in Eastern Taiwan - 7 Days
Map of Off the Beaten Path in Eastern Taiwan - 7 Days