If you're looking for that weekend escape
but can't seem to get the time to leave town,
BiTan is the answer. Whether you've got a
few hours, or the whole day, this riverside
boardwalk provides a wealth of recreational
activities and relaxation in a natural setting.
Any sunny weekend you can join the crowd riding
the MRT to XinDian, at the end of the Green
Line, to visit BiTan.
Follow XinDian Road (at the back of the station)
two blocks and you're at BiTan's signature
feature a pedestrian suspension bridge over
the river. All the usual snacks are available
at the bustling food market here, along with
some not-so-common ones. One stall sells an
I-lan specialty with sweet crushed peanuts,
tarot ice cream and cilantro in a wrap (NT$35).
Don't miss Athula's Sri Lankan rotti (NT$50)
which features a curry sauce that brings many
back for seconds.
Dozens of seafood restaurants and cafes line
both sides of the river, offering a way to
relax and have a meal while watching the paddle
boats on the river. The paddle boats are a
great way to work up an appetite and enjoy
the scenery. Some of the restaurants have
karaoke but, if that's not your thing, keep
an eye out for BiTan's harmonica wizard, an
old man with a small amplifier delighting
crowds along the river. David Chen and the
Muddy Basin Ramblers occasionally play a jam
session in the evenings, too.
For the more adventurous there are plenty
of hiking trails across the river. Follow
the trail next to the river and you'll find
a diving board installed by local diving enthusiasts.
This loose-knit diving club brings applause
from the paddle boaters with swan dives and
flips from the diving board and cliffs.
No matter whether you come to get wet, or
just watch the river roll by, BiTan is just
a short trip away.