On the final day (day 3) of our Taitung private tour, we had originally planned for the dolphin cruise in the morning, after which our driver guide A-Wei drive us to the scenic spots along the East Coast National Scenic Area to eventually arrive at Hualien City. However, due to unexpected bad weather conditions, the dolphin cruise was cancelled. So instead of only picking us up in the afternoon, we started the tour in the morning like the first 2 days. After a short but fun time at Fushan Fish Recovery Area feeding the fishes, we proceeded up north to Chenggong Township.
Located in the northeastern part of Taitung County, Chenggong is a coastal urban township facing the Pacific Ocean, home to the largest fishery port in Taitung. Originally an Amis settlement, it was known as Shinkō Town during Japanese rule (which means Xingang – “new harbour” in Chinese). After 1945, to avoid confusion with Chiayi County’s Xingang Township, it was renamed to Chenggong.
Our first stop in Chenggong was a scenic spot near the Shi Yusan Scenic Area (literal translation: stone umbrella). As it was pouring quite heavily, A-Wei didn’t want to bring us right to the 1-km long coastal region where we could get up close to the natural rock formations, as it would be quite slippery & dangerous. Nonetheless, the view from a distance was pretty amazing:
If you look closely at the above collage, you can see the “stone umbrella” rock formations, although tiny, in the top left pic. Somehow, I am always in awe when I see the amazing works of Mother Nature. A pity we couldn’t get up close to these natural wonders, but while there weren’t any natural stone umbrellas to marvel at, we got a pic taken of the man-made umbrellas we were holding onto while admiring the coastal scenery in the rain. 😉
Thereafter, we drove to a picturesque beach with hardly any tourists – Duli Beach. I accidentally discovered this beach when researching for Taitung hidden scenic spots online & decided it’s too awesome to give it a miss. Even when A-Wei already told us that we might have to miss some planned destinations today due to wet weather at the beginning of the tour, I told him I definitely wouldn’t want to miss Duli Beach.
然后，我们开车前往一个迷人但鲜少游客知晓的海域 —— 都歷沙滩。我是在机缘巧合下在网上看到都歷沙滩这处台东私房景点而被它深深吸引。在出发前，阿伟就已经提醒我们当天天气不佳，我们无法所有预订行程都走完，但我还是告诉他我一定不要错过都歷沙滩。
A-Wei mentioned the sand here is extremely soft & fine, & encouraged us to remove our footwear to feel it for ourselves. I’m usually not the “adventurous” type, but decided to give it a go anyway. So glad I heeded his advice. Unlike other beaches that I had been to, the sand at Duli Beach was really fine & didn’t stick to the feet, so nice to walk on it barefooted! Despite the sky being overcast & we didn’t witness the different hues of blue of the ocean, the entire atmosphere was simply fantastic.
We walked a little further away from the beach entrance towards the forest, & also found the sight in front of us mesmerizing. Not only does Duli Beach have a fine sandy beach, crystal clear water with soothing sounds of the waves, the lush green forest & misty Coastal Mountain Range in the background also adds to its exquisite charm. So happy I insisted on visiting Duli the hidden gem! 😀
Enroute to Chenggong Fishing Port, A-Wei made a slight detour from Provincial Highway 11 into a small road right next to the Pacific Ocean. He mentioned that this was another hidden gem that even locals might not know so we could take some quick shots of the magnificent scenery.
Indeed, for the short period we were there, there was no other car except ours. We could even pose for quirky shots in the middle of the road. It felt as if it were a road built solely for us! Hehe
Shortly after, we arrived at downtown of Chenggong, where we stopped for some silky smooth beancurd made from non-GMO soy beans. At Chenggong Soybean Shop, this homely dessert place sells any soybean desserts you could think of, be it in the form of beancurd, with barley or in shaved ice. From November to April every year, customers can also request for a bowl of hot beancurd instead of the usual cold dessert.
I chose to add speckled kidney beans to my bowl of bean curd (30 TWD, ~S$1.40) as it was a summer special edition. It was my first time trying speckled kidney beans, but I thought it tasted similar to red bean, just that you could find speckles on the bean, hence the name. The bean curd was silky smooth & texture was somewhat like Lao Ban Soya Beancurd in Singapore. Nice healthy snack before pigging out at Chenggong Fishing Port. 😉
Located just a short walking distance from Chenggong Soybean Shop is Taitung’s largest fishing port – Chenggong Fishing Port. The port is blessed with abundant marine resources as it faces the Pacific Ocean with Oyashio and Kuroshio currents. Thus, the town’s economic structure is largely based on fishery.
Before we settled down for lunch, we took a short tour of the fish market by the port, where the fishermen were laying out their fresh catches that day for the auction at 2 pm. At Chenggong, the star catch is swordfish, although customers could also find other common catches such as skipjack tuna, dolphinfish, red snapper & tuna.
After that, we sat down for lunch at Tao Jie Eatery, with “grandstand seats” as it was right behind the auction area, so we could witness the ongoing auction while waiting for our meal to be served. Who needs to wake up super early (or rather, have hardly any shut-eye time) to grab a ticket to the famed Tsukiji Fish Market tuna auction when you can actually enjoy the auction in comfort while having a sumptuous seafood lunch? 😅 It was interesting to witness the auction live in Hokkien, so one definitely wouldn’t forget one’s in Taiwan. 😛
Soon, dishes for our 5-course lunch were served one after another, starting with (clockwise from top left) dried fish rice, fish soup, seasonal stir-fried vegetables, assorted sashimi & pan-fried fish. I couldn’t remember what fish were used for each dish, all I remembered was they were really fresh & tasty, given that they were fresh catches of the day. Guess how much this scrumptious lunch for 3 costed? 700 TWD (~S$32.65), including the thick 14 slices of sashimi where a plate costed only 100 TWD (~S$4.65)! Not only did it taste truly fresh & delicious, it was a real value deal! 😉
We left Chenggong Fishing Port, stomachs fully contented haha. Although I was disappointed with the cancellation of the dolphin cruise that morning, it was a blessing in disguise as we still managed to visit the port to check out its beautiful scenery, learn about the various types of fishes found here as well as enjoy a local seafood lunch. Ending this post with a photo of the unique port building in the shape of a ship. 🙂