:: Letter from the Magistrate
Taitung is home to abundant natural surroundings. It's the third largest county on the island, nestled in the mountains and, facing the sea. Tall, cool peaks, fertile valleys, flat agricultural plains, and the ever-present tide arching back and forth along the water's edge make Taitung a reflective place, an area in which you can relax and admire the scenery.
But things weren't always so tranquil here; the county rests on a fault line, the meeting point of the Philippines' plate and Eurasian plate. Millions of years ago, the plates pushed against each other, battling for space until they were eventually forced upwards, inevitably creating mountains with multi-fault zones. As rivers and waterfalls eroded the rock and the ocean's waves crept further onto land, an unpredictable and fascinating geological environment was formed--a rendezvous between the cliffs and the sea.
Today, there are 16 towns within Taitung County. Some sit in the mountains, some by sea, and some are located next to little fingers of a river. Each town has its own look and history, not to mention the history of seven aboriginal tribes that have lived in the area for centuries, plus immigrants from the southern part of China's Fukien Province. Taitung County, which has the largest aboriginal population in Taiwan, is a virtual smorgasbord of cultures and diversity.
Here, visitors can enjoy of host of eco-tourism activities. Hiking through the valleys, relaxing by the coast, taking a boat out to go whale-watching, touring the outskirts of the island, soaking in hot springs, bike rides, savoring local seafood and wild vegetables--Taitung has it all. It is a beautiful place for enjoying the outdoors.
If you turn the Taitung map on the right, you'll see that its shape resembles the so-called "Legend of the Leaping Lion". However, when you hold it straight up, it looks like "The Glowing Swallowtail", and what they refer to as "Taitung's Number One". These places are a testimony for the beauty of the natural world. Here's a little bit about them:
The Legend of the Leaping Lion: Much like an enormous lion leaning against the Pacific Ocean, the Leaping Lion stretches to the north. Its body seems ready to leap forward at any time, just like Taitung itself, ready to take off and filled with invigorating energy.
The Glowing Swallowtail: This one looks like a swallowtail which can only be seen on Lanyu Island. The formation is a bird in profile, resting its wings on the coast of the Pacific; its head looks north, waiting for an opportunity to take off once more.
Taitung's Number One: Everyone knows that "thumbs-up" is a sign of good things, but what they might not know is that Taitung itself actually has the shape of a "thumbs up", with its "thumb" pointing west. This also geologically suggests positive, fun things.
The locals here call their home "Taiwan's backyard" and "the last pure land in Taiwan" and, with all the natural beauty, it's no wonder. With open hands and an abundance of outdoor activities, I personally invite you to Taitung and encourage you to come out and enjoy all that this area has to offer.
Magistrate of Taitung
Five Reasons to visit the East Coast
From rocky coasts to fertile plains, Taitung has it all
Hot springs in Taitung & nearby area
On the outskirts of Taitung
Hakka & Southern Fukien cultures
Prehistoric cultural relics
Taitung County Tourism & Farm Specialties Map