Treat Yourself to a Taitung Zhiben Five-Senses Journey

The year is coming to an end. This year, you may have encountered numerous obstacles and challenges. To wash away the weariness of this past year, take a Five-Senses journey to Taitung’s Zhiben, recharging yourself and embracing the arrival of the new year with boundless positive energy. Allow yourself to escape the urban clamor, revel in a healing environment, and relish the tranquil and relaxing sensations it brings.

Day 1

Itinerary: Zhiben Forest Recreation Area → Monkey Kitchen Hot Spring Egg Restaurant (Wild greens and mountain goods) → Zhiben Forest Road Waterfall → Taitung Light Festival → Accommodation

知本森林 圖片來源:ig @lilli.ankuo

Stop 1: Zhiben Forest Recreation Area

Embark on a sensory journey, beginning with a visit to the Zhiben Forest Recreation Area. This is a gem on your journey through Taitung that you won’t want to miss. Nestled on the outskirts of Taitung City, the area spans approximately 110.8 hectares, with elevations ranging from 110 to 650 meters. A diverse range of flora and fauna thrives in this climate, creating a true ecological classroom. The park boasts several forest trails, offering not only a visual feast of lush greenery, but also engaging your auditory, olfactory, and tactile senses, allowing you to intimately experience the purifying essence of nature. Explore the Zhiben Herbal Garden, featuring over 50 varieties of herbs and waterside plants. Traverse the Monsoon Forest Zone and indulge in the sensory pleasure of a forest foot massage along the water’s edge. This is a tranquil haven for forest bathing, a true sanctuary for relaxation. (Photo Credit: IG @lilli.ankuo )

  • Address: No. 290 Longquan Rd., Hot Spring Village, Beinan Township, Taitung County

  • Phone Number: 08-9510961

  • Hours of Operation: 07:30-17:00 Mon-Sun

  • Website: official website

猴區 圖片來源:ig@gillleehom

Stop 2: Monkey Kitchen Hot Spring Egg Restaurant (Wild greens and mountain goods)

Following your exploration of the Zhiben Forest Recreation Area, at the entrance to the Taitung Zhiben National Forest Recreation Area, you’ll find the “Monkey Kitchen Hot Spring Egg Restaurant”. They offer delicious fusion dishes and also provide visitors with the service of cooking hot spring eggs. Last year, the establishment had the honor of being featured and recommended by the renowned food program “Super Taste”, making it a must-visit culinary gem in Zhiben, Taitung.

Explore your sense of taste and relish in the delightful flavors of your journey here. The restaurant’s signature dish, “Wild Vegetables from Untainted Mountains,” features foraged mountain greens, offering a crisp and refreshing taste. The garlic-marinated mountain pork combines authentic Taitung mountain pork with fresh sauces for a truly satisfying experience. The boiled chicken showcases locally-raised chickens from Taitung, known for their firm and delectably sweet meat. Lastly, the “Golden Needle Pork Soup” uses local Taitung daylilies, resulting in a tender and pleasantly savory broth. The restaurant also offers their homemade spicy pickled radishes and back-mountain chili sauce, perfect for personal use or gifting. (Photo Credit: IG@gillleehom )

  • Address: No. 268 Longquan Rd., Beinan Township, Taitung County

  • Phone Number: 08-9516011

  • Hours of Operation:  10:00-17:30 Mon-Sun

  • Website: Fanpage

林道瀑布 圖片來源: Fb 陳緁翎

Stop 3: Zhiben Forest Road Waterfall

Located above the Zhiben Forest Road in the Zhiben Forest Recreation Area is the most accessible waterfall in all of Taiwan, aptly named the “Zhiben Forest Road Waterfall.” This unique waterfall is situated conveniently by the roadside, making it the most accessible waterfall in Taiwan. As a result, it consistently draws both locals and visitors from afar to come and relax, especially on weekends and holidays.

Located approximately 4.5 kilometers along the Zhiben Forest Road, reaching the Zhiben Forest Road Waterfall entails navigating a winding mountain road. After about 3 kilometers along the road, you may encounter various butterflies, insects, and local wildlife like the red-bellied squirrel and Formosan macaque. Listen to the soothing sound of cascading water, and find serenity to alleviate your stress, anxiety, and tension. The lush green surroundings of the waterfall also purify the air, providing a refreshing ambiance that invigorates you. Here, you can quietly enjoy the refreshing atmosphere, savoring the experiences of sight, sound, scent, and touch, thereby deepening the memories of your journey. It is important to note that there are signs prohibiting swimming here, and the water levels may change with the seasons, so please be mindful of your safety. (Photo Credit: FB 陳緁翎 )

  • Address: Zhiben Forest Road., Beinan Township, Taitung County

  • Phone Number: 08-9324121 (Taitung Forest District Office)

  • Hours of Operation: open 24 hours a day

  • 台東光祭 圖片來源:ig@m089571 大
  • 台東光祭 圖片來源:ig@uxustudio 有用主張uxu Studio

Stop 4: Taitung Light Festival

Autumn is the perfect time to begin your journey to Zhiben in Taitung as it aligns perfectly with the 2023 Taitung Light Festival. During the day, you can bask in the beauty of nature, and come evening, immerse yourself in the “Taitung Light Festival,” centered around the fusion of sound and light art! This grand art exhibition, featuring the works of 12 renowned artists including the esteemed Japanese artist Morioka Koji, will run from now until November 19th. It promises a seasonally limited event that dazzles both day and night. This event is particularly themed around “Returning to Zhiben,” employing contemporary artistic techniques to showcase local elements such as the indigenous culture of the Katratripulr tribe, the vibrant butterfly ecology, and the lush and fertile rice paddies. With the stunning backdrop of Zhiben’s natural beauty, strolling through the festival is an opportunity to experience the unique allure of Zhiben’s hot springs at night. (Photo Credit: IG@m089571、IG@uxustudio 有用主張UxU Studio )

  • Address: No. 18, Ally 376, Hot Spring Rd., Beinan Township, Taitung County and Zhiben Canal Riverside Park

  • Exhibition Period: From now until Nov. 19th (45 days total)

  • Website:Fanpage

Day 2

Itinerary: Beinan Tribe (Kadibu Tribal Village) → Wood Sculpture Art Village → Leading Coffee → Zhiben Hot Spring Festival → Accommodation

卡大地布部落 圖片來源:ig@pinuyumayan Ndhu

Stop 5: Beinan Tribe (Kadibu Tribal Village)

When visiting Zhiben in Taitung, don’t forget to step into the local tribes and immerse yourself in the indigenous culture. It’s an essential part of the journey! The Kadibu Tribal Traditional Culture Park is located not far from Zhiben Train Station. “Kadibu” is one of the four major tribes of the Paiwan people. The park preserves the traditional culture and distinctive architecture of the tribe. Within the park, you’ll find traditional structures like the watchtower and the Barakan. However, as these traditional buildings continue to serve as important venues for community gatherings of the Paiwan people, tourist access is restricted.

If you wish to gain a deeper understanding of the Kadibu Tribe, the Multi-functional Activity Center showcases indigenous artifacts and provides a historical overview. Interested visitors can make a reservation for guided tours and participate in hands-on DIY experiences. Delve into the history and culture of the Paiwan people with experienced guides. This immersive experience allows you to explore and appreciate indigenous life through your eyes and heart, leaving you with vivid memories of your journey. (Photo Credit: IG@pinuyumayan_ndhu )

  • Address: No. 116 Kangding St., Zhiben Neighborhood, Taitung City

  • Phone Number: 08-9511015

  • Hours of Operation:  open 24 hours a day

  • Website : Fanpage
木雕藝術村 圖片來源:ig@christina Yihsuan

Stop 6: Wood Sculpture Art Village

Nestled in the Jianhe community in Taitung County, “Kasavakan,” renowned for its exquisite wood carving art, is often hailed as the “Most Stunning Village of Wood Carving.” This community, predominantly inhabited by the Paiwan tribe, initially embarked on a journey of community development. Through the medium of wood carving, the village gradually earned its reputation and recognition.

Strolling along the community pathways, one can readily encounter home enclosures and large-scale wood carvings crafted from driftwood. Among them, walls adorned with traditional Chinese red bricks contribute to the distinctive charm of the Jianhe community. If fortune favors, you may even chance upon indigenous artisans sculpting wood carvings on-site. In addition to admiring the woodwork, indulge in a hands-on experience of crafting indigenous flower wreaths. Moreover, be sure to savor the local “tribal grassland bento” featuring seasonal wild vegetables complemented by the exclusive traditional-cured salted pork, all wrapped in fragrant Shell Ginger leaves—a culinary experience that is bound to tantalize your taste buds. (Photo Credit: IG@christina_yihsuan )

  • Address: Jianhe 2nd St., Taitung City, Taitung County

  • Phone Number: 08-9511578

  • Hours of Operation: open 24 hours a day

圖片來源:fb 林道咖啡烘豆工作室 Leading Coffee

Stop 7: Leading Coffee

When in Taitung, it is imperative to savor the leisurely pace of the city. Amidst your travels in Taitung, allocate some time to indulge in a cup of coffee—a moment of tranquility and relaxation. Following the winding path alongside Zhiben Forest Road, you will soon encounter Leading Coffee. Nestled against the coastal mountain range, this coffee workshop offers an expansive view of Green Island and the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean, transforming your coffee-drinking experience here into an exquisite pleasure.

Leading Coffee specializes in offering its own meticulously roasted single-origin coffee beans from various estates around the world. The owner invests great care in the process of bean selection and roasting to ensure each cup preserves its purest and exceptional flavor. Among them, the “San Jose” variety, with its subtle hint of lime liquor aroma, is a must-try. If it captures your palate, consider bringing some back home. By engaging your sense of smell and imprinting the fragrance of coffee into your memory, these recollections, once summoned, will transport you from your mundane daily tasks straight back to those wonderful moments of your journey. (Photo Credit: FB 林道咖啡烘豆工作室 Leading Coffee)

  • Address: No. 36-8 Zhenle, Hot Spring Village, Beinan Township, Taitung County

  • Phone Number: 0910-607661

  • Hours of Operation: 13:00 ~ 17:00 on weekdays (Closed on Tuesdays) 9:00~11:30; 13:00~17:00 on weekends

  • Website: Fan page
溫泉季 圖片來源:fb 白玉湯屋

Stop 8: Zhiben Hot Spring Festival

Traveling to Taitung’s Zhiben in autumn, indulging in a hot spring experience is something you must try in your lifetime. The 2023 Zhiben Hot Spring Festival is now open, running from today until January 1, 2024. For three consecutive months, a weekend market will be held at the Zhiben Zhongyi Hall Square, featuring a “Warm Market,” live music performances, and four major photo-worthy lighting installations, all designed to keep you warm throughout the winter. In addition, hot spring operators are joining in the festivities by offering “Hot Spring Market Vouchers.” During the event period, spending at designated hotels may grant you a voucher, which can be used at market stalls. Moreover, for every NT$500 spent in the Zhiben area, you can redeem small gifts and enter a lucky draw with a valid receipt. Some fortunate individuals might even take home an iPhone 15. (Photo Credit: FB 白玉湯屋)

  • Address: Zhiben Zhongyi Hall Square

  • Exhibition Period: Oct. 7-Jan. 1 on Saturday and Sunday from 18:00-22:00

  • Website: Fan page

Day 3

Itinerary: Guoben Farm (Local Taitung Culture) → Jiugelang Aboriginal Cuisine → Shanyuan Chen’s Mochi (Gifts) → Home Sweet Home

  • 國本農場 圖片來源:ig@domingo Chiu (1)
  • 國本農場 圖片來源:ig@domingo Chiu (2)

Stop 9: Guoben Farm (Local Taitung Culture)

To unearth the distinctive beauty of Taitung, pay a visit to the “Guoben Farm” where you can delve into the unique cuisine, products, and culture of the indigenous people. Explore the historical traces from prehistoric culture to the modern era of immigration and cultivation, offering a visual feast for the eyes. Guoben Farm serves as a platform to showcase indigenous culture, allowing travelers to participate in half-day tours, immersing themselves in the local tribal way of life. Established in 1941, Guoben Farm boasts a classic Sanheyuan-style building with a blend of Hokkien and Japanese architectural influences, making it the only one of its kind in East Taiwan. It is also the best-preserved traditional residence in Taitung County, showcasing the county’s efforts in sustainable tourism and cultural preservation under the SDG framework. Guoben Farm currently operates on a reservation basis, accommodating groups of 15 or more. It offers themed experiences in different time slots, including guided tours, DIY activities, tea breaks, or afternoon tea, allowing you to savor the temporal memories within the old residence. (Photo Credit: IG@domingo_chiu )

  • Address: No. 161, Ally 596, Gengsheng North Rd., Taitung City

  • Phone Number: 08-922 5181

  • Hours of Operation: 09:00-17:00 (Closed on Mondays, by reservation only, open for groups of 15 people or more)

  • Website: Fan page
九格浪 圖片來源:ig@rr Travelcuisine

Stop 10: Jiugelang Aboriginal Cuisine

Indulging in indigenous cuisine is a precious and distinctive highlight of Taitung, adding to the enchantment of traveling in the region. The flavors of Taitung’s indigenous cuisine are a testament to the natural bounty of the land. “Jiugelang Aboriginal Cuisine,” located near Taitung Train Station, specializes in serving a variety of seafood and unique indigenous dishes. One standout is the Indigenous Millet Dumpling, wrapped in two layers of leaves, with the outer layer being Shell Ginger leaves, and an inner layer of Lubii`lu leaves. Using millet instead of glutinous rice not only aids digestion but also enhances its nutritional value. Another highly recommended dish is the “Egg within an Egg,” where fish roe is enveloped within a baked egg, complemented by a subtle hint of scallion fragrance. The firm texture of the baked egg provides a deeply satisfying feeling of contentment. Through the comforting embrace of these culinary creations, travelers forge a deeper connection with Taitung’s indigenous heritage. (Photo Credit: IG@rr_travelcuisine)

  • Address: No. 57 Wenchang Rd., Taitung City

  • Phone Number: 0987 426 418

  • Hours of Operation: 10:00–14:00; 17:00–22:00 Closed on Wednesdays

  • Website: Fan page
陳家麻糬 圖片來源:ig@lydiachen030

Stop 11: Shanyuan Chen’s Mochi (Gifts)

When concluding your journey in Taitung, do not forget to bring back a souvenir and some gifts! With nearly 80 years of local heritage, now passed down to the third generation, “ShanYuan Chen’s Mochi” is highly recommended among Taitung’s top ten souvenirs. Breaking away from traditional flavors, this brand utilizes premium local rice, nurtured by Taitung’s pristine mountains and waters, to craft the outer layer of the mochi. Combined with distinctive Taiwanese ingredients, they produce a variety of popular and bestselling mochi treats.

The signature Fresh Milk Mochi is made using milk sourced from Chulu Ranch, delivering the untainted taste of Taitung’s “Good Mountains” through pollution-free fresh milk. Additionally, there are unique flavors like swordfish and hibiscus, nurtured by Taitung’s “Good Waters”. Don’t miss out on the exclusive Custard Apple flavor, a delight unique to Taitung! It’s these distinct conditions of Taitung that enable the creation of the most natural, healthy, and traditionally-made Taitung mochi. Undoubtedly, it’s the finest choice for a souvenir! Still craving for more? Then go ahead and schedule your next visit right now! (Photo Credit: IG@lydiachen030 )

  • Address: No. 146, Gengsheng North Rd., Taitung City

  • Phone Number: 089-232521

  • Hours of Operation: 06:30~18:00

  • Website: Fan page