On a tight budget? Come to Taitung and see its incredible beauty for free. Pay Taitung a visit and learn the philosophy of downshifting. You'll find Beinan Dazhen Water Conservancy Park and Guanshan Waterfront Park great destinations for a bike ride. Take in the beauty of the mountains, lakes and blue sky along the path before visiting the unique geological landscape of Liji Moon World, and witness how water flows upwards. If you're a keen photographer, be sure to visit Sakuragi Railroad Crossing, check in at the painted murals of Wuzhou Theatre, and then head to Pisirian Jimmy Park for a treasure hunt.

    Known as the most beautiful train station in Taiwan, Duoliang Station is a must-visit for railway enthusiasts. Don’t forget to visit some well-known buildings while you're here. There's the amazing National Taitung University Library. Echoing the hills and the surrounding landscape, this award-winning building is an iconic architectural landmark. Taitung's White House, a property that tells of the love of a father for his son, is also well worth a visit.

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    Tour at National Taitung University Library

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    Taitung now has a world-famous building – National Taitung University Library. Since its opening, it has featured on numerous international websites and become a must-see tourist attraction. Landscape architecture was employed in the design of building, which is shaped like a mountain or a pyramid. Its slanted roof is covered with grass, allowing the building to cleverly blend in with its surroundings. Constructed with architectural concrete, this green building also features eye-catching irregular-shaped windows.

    National Taitung University Library was named as one of the top 10 must-visit libraries in Taiwan. On the renowned international architecture website Architizer.com, it was selected as one of the 8 most unique libraries in the world. In 2019, it won the FIABCI World Prix d'Excellence Award. Situated on Zhiben campus, the library is about a 10-minute drive from Zhiben Railway Station. In addition to admiring its beauty, don't miss the opportunity to "reach the summit" of the library. There are stairs leading to the roof on both sides, providing a bird's eye view of the entire campus and its surroundings.

    Location: No. 369, Sec. 2, University Road, Taitung City, Taitung County, Taiwan 950309

    Open: Monday–Friday from 8 am to 10 pm, Saturday from 9 am to 5 pm, Sunday from 2 pm to 10 pm

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    Jimmy Park in Pisirian

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    On the north coast of Sanxiantai, there's an Amis tribal village with a unique rustic charm. This village has a beautiful name, Pisirian, and is otherwise known as Pisirian Jimmy Park. In the Amis language, "Pisirian" means "grazing pasture", but as times have changed, the locals no longer rear livestock. Faced with rural flight, the residents decided to collaborate with Jimmy Liao in the hope of giving the village a new lease of life. You'll now find Jimmy's work everywhere in Pisirian, including goats made of driftwood. The most eye-catching of all is the giant goat standing on the shoreline, gazing across at Sanxiantai.

    As local artist Rahic Talif once said, "It's important for the residents to remember the past and for the young to remember where they're from." Follow in the footsteps of the little girl in "One More Day With You", or discover the 11 beautiful murals hidden throughout the tribal village.

    Location: No. 141, Bailian Rd., Chenggong Township, Taitung County, Taiwan 961001

    Open: 24/7

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    Beinan Dazhen Water Conservancy Park

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    Beinan Dazhen was the result of the biggest water conservancy project in Taitung. Built during Japanese rule, this comb-shaped 5.6-mile (9 km) canal underwent major renovations. The source of Beinan Dazhen comes from Beinan River, which then irrigates the entire Taitung Plain. The water conservancy project covered a vast area. Weeds grew everywhere before the land on both sides was redeveloped. Since being reconstructed by the Taiwan Taitung Irrigation Association, this riverside park now serves as a flood prevention device, an irrigation canal and one of the attractions along the Taitung Ocean/Mountain Bikeway.

    The park is only 0.62 miles (1 km) away from the famous geological landscape "Liji Badlands". From the park you can see the desolate badlands that have been washed and eroded by rainwater. On the other side, you'll find the magnificent cliff landscape "Little Huangshan". The park also has features such as water wheel landscaping, ecosystem pond and stone trail, making this destination a great place for a relaxing afternoon stroll or a bike ride.

    Location: Riverside across from Taitung Station, Taitung City, Taitung County, Taiwan

    Open: 24/7

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    Liji Moon World

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    Liji Moon World, also known as Liji Badlands, is located next to Beinan River and is a famous landscape on the east coast. Liji Moon World is a mudstone layer created by plate movements. Together with rocks and clay minerals, the stratum forms the unique "Liji Mélange". Owing to the plate movements, orogeny, weathering and rain erosion, the badlands gave birth to rills and gullies where no plants can survive.

    Liji Moon World's desolate landscape and Tianliao Moon World in Kaohsiung are two important assets in Eastern Taiwan. This incredible terrain is about 1.2 miles (2 km) wide and 0.62 miles (1 km) deep and is top of many people's bucket lists, so be sure to include this attraction in your itinerary and come witness its wonder in person. You'll find pavilions, a boardwalk and signs that tell you more about the park. If you want to view Liji Moon World from a distance, head to the observatory in Beinan Dazhen Water Conservancy Park or Liji Bridge.

    Location: Liji Village, Beinan Township, Taitung County, Taiwan

    Open: 24/7

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    Guanshan Waterfront Park

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    Guanshan is known for its Town Circle Bicycle Path, the first town bike path in Taiwan. This 7.4-mile (12 km) path begins at Guanshan Waterfront Park and consists of water and mountain sections. You'll encounter verdant rice paddies along the way, and as the seasons change the fields turn from green to dazzling gold. Next, follow the path lined with areca palms before visiting the Sun Moon Viewing Pavilion at the highest point, where you'll get an amazing panoramic view of Guanshan Township.

    Guanshan Waterfront Park is also the country’s first eco-friendly park. It's worth spending a bit of time here and further exploring the water play areas, fountains, pavilions, stargazing platforms and birdwatching point. On a clear day, be sure to take a walk around the lake and admire the mountains, the blue sky and the clouds. If you're looking to experience life at a slower pace, a leisurely trip to Guanshan ticks all the boxes.

    Location: No. 1, Longsheng Rd., Guanshan Township, Taitung County, Taiwan 956001

    Open: Daily from 7 am to 5.30 pm

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    Sea and mountain views at Duoliang Station

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    Though Duoliang Station, hailed as "the most beautiful train station in Taiwan", is no longer in service due to low passenger numbers, its breathtaking scenery still attracts crowds of tourists from far and wide. From the elevated observation deck you get an expansive view of the blue Pacific Ocean sparkling in the sunlight and the white waves set against the rusty red railings and verdant forests. As the train slowly emerges from the tunnel, you're struck by the intertwining of the natural and man-made landscapes here. This magnificent scenery has brought a new stream of tourism revenue to this long-abandoned station.

    Since being redeveloped, Duoliang Station is equipped with more milestones between stations, railway tracks, gravel, the "I Love Duoliang" art installation and a better traffic flow. The authority plans to work with local tribes in the future to help promote community development. It's certainly worth coming here for a visit and exploring the brand-new Duoliang Station.

    Location: No. 8-1, Longsi Rd., Duoliang Village, Taimali Township, Taitung County, Taiwan 963006

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 7 pm

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    Sakuragi Railroad Crossing

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    Every fan of the Japanese anime series "Slam Dunk" must remember the scene where Sakuragi Hanamichi and Akagi Haruko wave to each other at the level crossing in the title sequence. The series made Kamakurakokomae Station in Japan a popular attraction, attracting huge numbers of fans every year. But did you know there's a similar place near Taimali Station in Taitung? Taimali is the first station in Taiwan to welcome the sunrise as well as a popular check-in spot in Taitung, and is also known by the nickname "Sakuragi Railroad Crossing".

    On holidays, you'll see crowds of tourists arriving here to take pictures. You can see people try to reproduce the classic scenes from the anime series, such as the characters waving to each other or the moment the train passes by. So, if you're in the area, why not join in the fun and capture this beautiful view of the sparkling sea and clear blue sky?

    Location: East 63 Rural Highway (near Taimali Station), Taimali Township, Taitung County, Taiwan

    Open: 24/7

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    A visit to Taitung's White House

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    Having survived over 50 summers and winters, the small white house on Zhongzheng Road in Taitung City is an old building with many stories to tell. It has gained fame since being featured in an article by Professor Juan Wei-ming from the architecture department of Tunghai University in 2015. It's now dubbed by locals as the "shabby White House" and "Taiwan's Moving Castle" after the anime film "Howl's Moving Castle".

    This one-of-a-kind house is not made of steel beams or high-quality building materials, but of waste materials and recycled items scavenged by Mr. Lee Wen-Chang, a military veteran who came from China's Guangxi Province. He built it brick by brick himself over the years so as to fulfil his wish of building a warm home for his son. Professor Juan Wei-ming likened the self-taught Mr. Lee to Tolstoy’s "Ivan the Fool", who would throw himself into a single task whole-heartedly -- in this case building his own home. Despite the damage caused by Typhoon Nepartak in 2017, particularly on the second floor and above, the four-storey building now attracts more visitors than ever on account of its battered appearance.

    Location: No. 1, Zhongzheng Rd (near Seashore Park), Taitung City, Taitung County, Taiwan 950

    Open: 24/7

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    Water Running Upwards in Donghe

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    On Highway 11 you can often see crowds of tourists marvelling at a famous geographic wonder known as "Water Running Upwards". It's a stream in an irrigation ditch that flows upwards instead of downwards to the farmland nearby. Tourists gaze at this amazing spectacle in awe, and queue up to photograph it alongside its inscribed stone landmark.

    But is the water really flowing upwards? This wonder of gravity-defying water is, in fact, an optical illusion caused by the difference in slope angles. The road is going downhill while the ditch itself is a small uphill slope. Together with the surrounding landmarks, it creates the illusion that water is flowing upwards. Apart from this phenomenal scene, you can also visit the nearby recreation area and browse the market stalls where you'll find Dulan tribal handicrafts, local agricultural products and occasional aboriginal performances.

    Location: Near the 92-mile (148 km) mark on Provincial Highway 11, Donghe Township, Taitung County, Taiwan 959

    Open: 24/7

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    Painted murals of Wuzhou Theatre

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    Wuzhou Theatre was a popular entertainment venue from 1960s to 1980s. Besides screening films, it also hosted puppet shows, Taiwanese operas and singing and dancing troupes. Boosted by the arrival of large numbers of migrant workers, Chishang Township had three theatres in its heyday. Built in 1965, Wuzhou Theatre is now best-preserved of the three. The theatre was designed to accommodate 400 guests seated and 450 standing.

    Sadly, as times changed, the theatre aged, fell into disrepair and eventually closed its doors in 1982. Battered by years of sun and rain, Wuzhou Theatre has become dilapidated. In the hope of renovating and revitalising the theatre, the local residents in Fuyuan village commissioned veteran movie poster artist Wei Qizhang to paint murals featuring the famous "The Story of a Small Town" and "Eight Hundred Heroes" posters. However, the limited funding allowed only the exterior of the theatre’s entrance to be brought back to life. The roof inside has collapsed and reconstruction will be time-consuming and costly. Wuzhou Theatre still carries the stories of times past. If you're a fan of nostalgia, it's well worth a visit.

    Location: No. 20, Zhonghua Rd., Chishang Township, Taitung County, Taiwan 958

    Open: 24/7

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