On Taiwan’s southeastern coast, the alluring, snail-shaped county of Taitung is Taiwan’s wonderful secret. Taitung escapes mass tourism, despite having some of the island’s most stunning geography and being a hub for its deeply rooted cultural traditions. Taitung’s mountainous landscape is margined by the Pacific Ocean, its streets abound in history and it is home to the biggest indigenous population on the island. All that, plus the very laid back vibe here make Taitung a fantastic place to spend time away from the jostling crowds. Balloons galore Come summer, Taitung also has the most enchanting skies in Taiwan as hot air ballooners congregate for the Taiwan International Balloon Fiesta. Every July and August, colourful and outrageous balloons float above the grassy and placid Luye Plateau, a half-hour drive from Taitung town. Fabulously,the festival is totally free, although if you want a bob about in a basket you’ll have to buy a ticket (NT$500 for a tethered ride or NT$9,000 for a 45-minute trip). Make sure to catch one of the night-time ‘glow shows’ when tethered balloons, lit from within, dance to music like fireworks in giant bubbles. Pacific coast The East Coast of Taiwan offers some of the most spectacular coastline in Asia, as the crystal blue Pacific Ocean spreads … Continue reading Balloons, beaches and fiery festivals in Taitung, Taiwan’s secret destination

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