Extending between Hualien and Taitung, the East Rift Valley is an area of rugged mountains, emerald rice paddies and rushing rivers in eastern Taiwan. It is often referred to as the “Land of Milk Honey” and has long been home to several of the island’s indigenous tribes.
Stretch your legs on the hiking trail that rings Liyu Lake or coincide your visit with the firefly mating season when the night sky is illuminated. A short drive south is Mataian Wetland Ecological Park, where you can try your hand at Palakaw ecological fishing before feasting on salt-baked tilapia.
If you’re interested in the region’s cultural heritage, visit the Satokoay Historical Site, which preserves relics of the 3,000-year-old Quilin Culture. No trip to the East Rift Valley is complete without a soak in the Ruisui Hot Springs, which were established by the Japanese in 1917.
Hualien Airport is the main aviation gateway to the East Rift Valley and has flights to destinations across Taiwan. Trains connect to stations throughout the East Rift Valley, from where you can walk or cycle to many of the area’s attractions. Buses also travel from Hualien to the Danongdafu Forestry Park.