What to see and eat in Taidong with the family?

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What to see and eat in Taidong with the family?

Postby kjmillig » 13 Aug 2011, 07:01

I'll be in Taidong for 3 days/2 nights next week with the wife and 2 teenage dughters. On the list so far is the beach (of course), forest park, museum of history, aboriginal cultre center.
What should we see/do? Pleae no bar/club suggestions or hot springs. Is there a night market? If so, what nights does it open? Night shopping street for snacks, etc? Good suveneir shops? Is there a movie theater?
What is there good to eat? I read somewhere about a Pasadena Tex-Mex. Is that still around? Other good western food places?
Thanks.
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Re: What to see and eat in Taidong with the family?

Postby GuyInTaiwan » 13 Aug 2011, 07:53

I don't actually go into Taidong that often, but it's always been Deadsville after dark when I've been there. As far as I know, there's no cinema. Whilst (perhaps because) I'm not into restaurants and eating, Taidong strikes me as being a bit of a disappointment in this respect. The street with the fruit is laughable, though the fruit is not. If there is a night market there, it's sufficiently small and not very well known enough that my wife hasn't heard of it and we haven't stumbled upon it.

I'd recommend getting out of the city for sure. It's another Taiwanese city, albeit not nearly as hard to handle as most, but definitely lacking in stuff to do. Who goes to Taidong for the city anyway? Zhiben/Jhiben has a forest recreational place that's quite nice. Luye (my neck of the woods) has Gaotai where people do hang gliding, and you can also do some nice bike rides around there (you can rent bikes). Guanshan is also another area for cycling and it's supposedly famous for rice balls or something. Which little town isn't supposedly famous for some dish in Taiwan though? Unless you buy into that bullshit, it's all going to be more of the same. There are plenty of hiking trails in the whole county, though you often just have to look for them, and you're likely to be the only people on them.
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Re: What to see and eat in Taidong with the family?

Postby Super Hans » 14 Aug 2011, 00:29

You should really go to the Aboriginal Culture Center or museum thingy...it's well worth a visit and probably the most informative museum in Taiwan, beating the National Palace museum hands down in my book.

There is a night market. One is quite small and held on the street outside Carrefour on a Saturday evening. The other is bigger and is held on a Sunday evening, but I can't remember the name of the street it is held on, although it is a big road with white and yellow lines painted on it and I believe there are some traffic lights stationed along it somewhere. It's not too bad as far as night markets go. I'll get back to you with the name of the street.
There is an American style diner called Hokie Diner which sells food that originated in Germany, like hamburgers. The food is really not that bad. It is run by an ex US marine and his wife, who are both very decent indeed. I'll get the address for you also soon.
Then there is an American style Pizza place which sells food that originated in Italy, like Pizzas. These are really nice and the owner, who I believe is from Tennessee, can play the banjo very authentically. It's a shame he can't sing. A really nice guy - his name is Pete.
And then there is the Indian restaurant, which sells food which originated in India, like curry. Kasi, the owner from Pakistan, is very amicable if I may say so myself. His food is wonderful and pretty much what you would expect to find in a restaurant in Birmingham, UK. I can't recommend it highly enough.
Kasa is a restaurant and coffee shop which is half indoors and half outdoors. Interesting when it rains, but the whole atmosphere is pleasant with ambient lighting. The food is pretty good and so is the chit-chat with the various guests that turn up. Well worth a visit.

For things to do in the city, Taidong old train station is quite interesting if you want to have a wonder around. Kids always like trains, and there is an old train and turntable as well as some old Japanese yard sheds and signals you can have a look at and waste half an hour with. If you like cycling, you can rent some bicycles and ride along the old railway track for several kilometers through the city and into the countryside - the old track is now a cycle path and is peppered with quite a few coffee shops.

You can drive north of Taidong to Dulan if you like. This is a place where flaky foreigners hang out to paint and compose poetry, while wearing sandals and occasionally going surfing. There is an old sugar factory there and it is interesting to go in and have a look at all the old machines that are still in there, left in situation. Within the compounds of the factory, there are some coffee shops and art outlets selling paintings and postcards and handicrafts like driftwood furniture. It's an interesting enough place to spend an hour or two. Also in Dulan are two historic sites, clearly signposted, which date back to the days of Stonehenge, if you are interested in that kind of thing.

As Guy in Taiwan noted, Luye is great for families. The raised terrace area has some pleasant coffee and tea shops, and there is a nice view which expands across a valley where you can watch the para-gliders launching, sometimes unsuccessfully. On the weekend at the moment, there are tethered balloon flights. Aside from being $500NT each for a 3 or 4 minute "flight," I wouldn't recommend getting in any of the baskets. As an ex-balloon pilot myself, how they are running the operation at the moment seems very un-professional and slightly dangerous, so stay away from the balloons. However, they are a pleasure to see and photograph, and there are stalls selling food there and other things to for tourists to do if you are so inclined.
Alternatively, you can go down to the landing area in LuYe and watch the para-gliders land and pack up their gear. On a weekend though, hoards of bicyclists come round and park up their bicycles. Then, inexplicably, they all lie down and look at the sky while a tour guide with a loud speaker shouts at them and informs them they are looking at some clouds. You can enroll on one of these bike tours yourself if you so wish, and I suppose they are good activities for families as long as you don't mind the relative tranquility of the area being turned by a megaphone into what sounds like the immediate vicinity of a busy Watson's, on a Saturday afternoon.

I could continue, but perhaps you could tell me if you have your own transport or not.

SH


Edit:

Hokie Diner: 141 Fu Jian Road 0987 959301
Uncle Pete's Pizza: Section 1, Lin Hai Road, #143. 0952 179165
Indian restaurant: Outside Watson's in Taidong City. Just find Watson's (there's only one) and cross the road. It's there.
Good Thai Restaurant: 732, Xinsheng Road. 089 239489 (No English)
Kasa coffee: 102 Heping St., Taidong City, Taidong 0970 839354
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Re: What to see and eat in Taidong with the family?

Postby GuyInTaiwan » 14 Aug 2011, 07:20

Super Hans: Great! I'm waiting on some of that info also. That's a night market outside Carrefour?! That's the fruit street I mentioned. I thought I'd been there on a Saturday night, but maybe not.

Two other things. Water Running Up and the Tropic of Cancer marker. Neither is really worth visiting in my opinion, especially as they're a fair way out from Taidong City. The latter is simply a giant obelisk. The former is an optical illusion whereby water appears to run uphill along a little channel.
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Re: What to see and eat in Taidong with the family?

Postby kjmillig » 14 Aug 2011, 07:44

We'll be going mid-week as to avoid weekend crowds. And we are driving our own car. Offers more freedom of travel than bus or train.
Thanks for getting that info. Anything you can offer is helpful.
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Re: What to see and eat in Taidong with the family?

Postby Super Hans » 14 Aug 2011, 10:44

I've edited my post above with some contact details and addresses of some of the places you can eat around Taidong.

GuyinTaiwan - yes, there is a night market in the fruit street outside Careffour, and that is held on Saturday evenings. But there is also another, bigger night market which opens on a Sunday. This is situated to the north of Taidong as you come in off the bridge the first 7-11 on the left. This junction - an intersection between the main road in Taidong and the wide peripheral relief road which runs from the train station - this is where the night market gathers in Taidong on Sunday.

As you mentioned, Water Running Up is just a drain which looks like the water is running ever-so-slightly upwards. It's amusing for about 2 minutes. Kids might like it.
What is not amusing are all the tour buses and Chinese tourists.
The tropic of Cancer is also swamped in tourists and very crowded, and in any case, is a bit of a trek up north - worth stopping only if you are passing by.
kjmillig, I don't know if you have driven to Taidong from KHH before, but the views along the coast are stunning. The drive north is also breathtaking with rugged coastline interspersed with small aboriginal villages. I recommend driving up to Cheng Gong, which takes about 45 minutes. There is a fishing harbor there and you can watch them bringing in lots of interesting fish on the boats and preparing them for market, if you catch it just right.
Also, there is San Shien Tai, very slighty to the north of Cheng Gong. On weekdays, I doubt there will be that many tourists, but don't forget it is the summer vacation.

Image

If you like small, aborigine villages in the mountains where you can look around for locally made food or crafts, let me know and I will recommend some.

SH
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Re: What to see and eat in Taidong with the family?

Postby GuyInTaiwan » 14 Aug 2011, 11:42

Oh yeah, I forgot about that place with the funny bridge.
And you coming in to scold us all like some kind of sour-puss kindie assistant who favors olive cardigans and lemon drinks without sugar. -- Muzha Man

One sometimes gets the impression that the mere words "Socialism" and "Communism" draw towards them with magnetic force every fruit-juice drinker, nudist, sandal-wearer, sex-maniac, Quaker, "Nature Cure" quack, pacifist, and feminist in England. -- George Orwell
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Re: What to see and eat in Taidong with the family?

Postby cfimages » 14 Aug 2011, 11:56

What about Dihua (T-I-H-U-A) Village in the middle of Taidong city? I was there a few months ago and saw.heard some incredible music.
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Re: What to see and eat in Taidong with the family?

Postby Fox » 14 Aug 2011, 12:01

If you go to Dulan, you can drive up to the Moonlight Inn. That also takes you past a couple of neolithic finds of some stonewalls and a sarcophagus. The view from the Moonlight Inn is superb and the building itself is very beautiful, designed as a two story traditional wooden home. It was the set of some once famous movie. There is usually an art or photo exhibition on the ground floor and the second story is full of antiques. Take the turn up into the mountains right next to the 7/11 in Dulan and just keep driving up hill. It's sign posted.

Another must do is to see the giant limestone boulders in the river at Donghe. You can walk down to the river's edge. There are two places for seeing the boulders -- the mundane and the stunning. The route to the mundane view is simply to take the path by the old highway bridge, which is now a foot and bike bridge. The old bridge is readily visible from the main road; however, the best way and this is truly a must do thing, is to take the first turn after the main (new) bridge in Donghe toward the mountains and drive past the first tourist stop and toilet block and you will see a small rotunda on the left hand side. If you go a little past that maybe 30 meters or a little more you will see a cable going over the river, a little past that is a path down to the river (just meters past it). It isn't a marked path, it's just a narrow trail down to the river. The boulders are awesome.

If you follow this road further around you will get to the monkey feeding area. There is a large congress of macaques governing the trees there. It is also worth driving further inland through the rice fields of the rift valley and townships for a browse around as well.

Donghe baozhi's (steamed buns) are excellent and famed Taiwan wide. The main store is across from the 7/11 and it is usually packed with tourists. However, this business is the story of two brothers, a famous steam bun recipe and family feud. Just down the road from the main store is where the other brother has set up. I prefer his shop because the buns are just the same and the ambiance is nicer and less frenetic.

In Cheng-Gong, you can go to the fish markets down by the port. It is fascinating to see them unload the marlin and tuna catches. They typically have some unusual fish lined up for sale as well. It can be a little gruesome, but it's very interesting. There is also an aquarium which houses one of the largest (if not the largest) collections of Nemo (clown) fish in the world. I didn't know there were so many varieties until I visited. They also have a main tank which is fairly interesting. (Someone told me the other day that down south there somewhere is an aquarium which you can camp in and have the fish swim above your head -- a bit like Davy Jones' Locker).
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Re: What to see and eat in Taidong with the family?

Postby Super Hans » 14 Aug 2011, 21:15

Fox wrote:There is also an aquarium which houses one of the largest (if not the largest) collections of Nemo (clown) fish in the world. I didn't know there were so many varieties until I visited. They also have a main tank which is fairly interesting.


Yeah, but I think that has closed down now though, although I may be wrong. Last time I checked it was empty.

CF Images wrote:What about Dihua (T-I-H-U-A) Village in the middle of Taidong city? I was there a few months ago and saw.heard some incredible music.


Near Eslite? This is still going on and is still pretty cool.
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