As our base in Taitung County was Taitung City, & Beinan Township is neighbour to the county’s capital, we made several stops in the rural township throughout our 3-day private tour. You may remember that we had visited a number of charming spots in the township on the first day of our road trip. We also visited 2 other sights on the following 2 days, which I will write more below:
1. Dingyanwan-Sige Mountain 顶岩湾四格山
After a half-day tour to several lovely sights in Taimali Township in the southeastern part of the county, it was still pretty early to call it a day. Mr Wang had initially thought of bringing us to Beinan Cultural Park before we head back to hotel. But we weren’t too keen, so he decided to drive us to Dingyanwan-Sige Mountain, where we would take a leisurely climb up for panoramic views of Taitung.
Sige Mountain stands at an altitude of 410 metres tall, not exactly high compared to many other mountains in Taiwan. Nonetheless, it stands out amongst its towering siblings because it is one of the rare independent summits that allows visitors to view Taitung from all angles, i.e. 360 degrees. However, it is not frequented by tourists as large tour coaches will have difficulty getting through the narrow agricultural roads to the start of the mountain trail. Sige Mountain was designated as a military base during the Japanese Occupation.
To ascend to the summit, visitors need to climb about 240 steps of wooden trail, as seen in photo above. Mr Wang mentioned that the path up the mountain was made much easier because of the construction of this trail, which would bring visitors up the slightly steep terrain. City dwellers like us ascended with difficulty, & by the time we reached the summit, we were almost breathless. 😛 However, the view we got after a tiring climb (for our knees) was certainly a rewarding one! See some of the photos I took below. 😉
The sky was getting a little overcast as we arrived at the summit, but the views up here were still so cool. It was said that on bright clear days, one would be able to see as far as the Green Island & Lanyu Island. Despite not being able to see so far out, we were still happy with the impressive 360-degree views of the beautiful county surrounded by Rift Valley plain, Dulan mountain, Beinan River & even the Pacific Ocean. NB: don’t forget your insect repellent before climbing up to the mountain summit, especially during hot summer days!
其实，抵达山顶时，天空已开始乌云密布，但也丝毫掩盖不了台东360度风景宜人的景观。听说在晴天时，访客甚至能远眺台东县外岛 —— 绿岛及兰屿。纵使我们无法看到这么远的景色，还是很高兴能欣赏到台东平原、都兰山、卑南溪和太平洋的无敌壮丽美景。
2. Fushan Fish Recovery Area 富山復魚區
Located in Beinan Township’s Shanyuan beach, Fushan Fish Recovery Area is Taitung’s one & only manmade beach open for swimming. In the past, Fushan sea was home to abundant supply of seafood, but marine life was severely disrupted due to excessive fishing. This not only affected the livelihoods of the fishermen, but also reduced the recreational value in the region. Because of this, fishing was banned in the Fushan Fish Recovery Area since 2005. Initially, conservation efforts created some inconvenience for the fishermen at Fushan, but overtime, the marine life population began to thrive outside of Fushan. In addition, the area also attracted lots of tourists from different parts of the world, boasting tourism figures & thereby the income of locals. Sounds like a win-win situation for everyone through establishing the Fushan Fish Recovery Area to help sustain the marine ecological community. 🙂
We were brought to this fish reserve on the third day of our private tour. Much as we dreaded, it was another rainy wet day as we set out to the various coastal attractions along the east coast. We bought a huge long bun (can’t remember exact price but I think it was about 25 TWD, ~S$1.15) from the friendly lady boss to feed the fishes in the fish reserve. Initially, the lady boss thought we wanted to buy 1 bun each to feed the fishes. But our driver guide for the day – Ah Wei, told her we would share 1 as we wouldn’t have time to stay here too long, plus the fishes were already too fat, so better not let them eat so much haha.
The minute we went near the sea holding the bun, we could see many fishes swimming towards us. Indeed they were quite plump (if you can see from the photo above) haha. It was quite fun seeing the fishes fighting over the bits of bun we threw into the sea. Spotted a young father with his little son in tow having fun feeding the fishes too. Bet this is a family-friendly activity for those with little ones in tow to consider!
Although we had visited a total of 5 Beinan Township sights for the entire 3-day tour in Taitung, there are still many more notable attractions such as Zhiben Hot Springs & Liji Badlands that we didn’t have time to check out in the southeastern region of Taiwan. The township comprises 13 villages & we had merely touched the “tip of the iceberg”. Hence, I certainly will love to return again & get to know the hometown of A-mei even better!