Time flies when we are enjoying ourselves. The same theory applies to day 3 of our Taitung private tour. Before we realised, it was almost 4 pm when we arrived in the northernmost township in Taitung County – Changbin Township. Situated midway between Taitung City & Hualien City, Changbin is blessed with a long scenic coast in the east, as well as a temperate & humid climate ideal for rice plantations. Thus the township’s main economic structure depends on fishery and agriculture.
Most first-time visitors to Taitung would probably not have listed this rural township in their itinerary, as the 6-village township does not have many well-known tourist sights to boast of. However, my research online to find recommended Taitung sights off the beaten tourist path in Chinese language led me to discover this long stretch of road that looks like Chishang’s Mr Brown Avenue, but without the throngs of tourists. Thus, I made it very clear to A-Wei that we must visit this road, known as King Kong Avenue, by hook or by crook 😁. By now, you must be wondering, “what’s so special about this road?”
What you see in above photo, was the sight I saw taken by many Taiwanese bloggers, which drew me to put this destination on my must-visit list. Despite an overcast sky & rainy weather, I was very happy that the place still looked so surreal when we visited. Similar to Mr Brown Avenue, King Kong Avenue is actually a stretch of road surrounded by vast paddy fields. However, unlike Mr Brown Avenue that is situated inland lying beside the mountains, King Kong Avenue faces the Pacific Ocean & King Kong Mountain behind. A little pity it was not an ultra clear day, otherwise we would be able to see the distinct shades of blue of the picturesque ocean ahead of us where the clouds were in above photo.
In addition, as King Kong Avenue is not along the typical tourist route in Taitung yet, it is visited mainly by locals & not big tour groups. There was only 1 other small private group that we saw during our time there, i.e. 2 cars on the entire stretch! If not for the rainy day, I would be tempted to even lie on the road to take more photos of the enchanting view here. It was also so much easier to take photos along King Kong Avenue without having to fight for space with other tourists. Too bad, we couldn’t catch a full view of King Kong Mountain given the mist that day.
After soaking in the fabulous view at King Kong Avenue, we drove further up north to Jhangyuan Village, about 15 min drive away. In this small tribal village, nearby the left of Provincial Highway 11’s 75 km mark, a towering Noah’s Ark can be found on land – Jhangyuan Presbyterian Church.
接着，我们继续北上往长滨乡最北方的樟原村行驶，离金刚大道只是大概15分钟的车程。在这个纯朴的小部落里，临近台1线75公里处的左方，有一座特别的”诺亚方舟“在岸上 —— 樟原基督教长老教会。
The 3-storey tall church serves as a gathering place for the Amei indigenous tribe in the village. It is only open to the public for viewing on Sundays so we could only marvel at the interesting piece of architecture from outside. The original church building didn’t look like this prior to being destroyed by typhoon in 1979. Instead of restoring the church back to its original structure, the Amei folks decided to turn it into the shape of a Noah’s Ark in the Genesis.
To complete the look, Jhangyuan villagers added walls on the 2 sides of the structure, symbolising that the vessel is entering Jhangyuan Harbour to protect its people. Bright red-bricked totems were also installed around the church to signify the traditional tribal spirit would be passed down for many generations to come.
It is not hard to know why Jhangyuan Presbysterian Church is considered as the landmark of Changbin Township with its majestically beautiful architecture. In fact, it is also known as Taiwan’s most beautiful church in the shape of the Noah’s Ark. I wonder why such a beautiful spot is not high on the tourist list of must-visit attractions? Nonetheless, I am also glad it isn’t so we didn’t have to fight for the best photo-taking spot with many others haha.
Leaving Jhangyuan Presbysterian Church also meant it was the end of our awesome adventure in Taitung County as we moved towards Hualian County for the next leg of the trip. Goodbye Taitung, I will definitely be back again to check out the charming county!
告别樟原基督教长老教会也代表我们在台东的奇妙之旅就此告一段落，继续启程前往我们的下一站 —— 花莲了。再见了台东，我一定会再回去探访你更多迷人的景色的！