Danong Dafu Forest Park


in East Rift Valley

If you turn east off Hwy 9 at Km254.8, a photogenically die-straight lane fires itself towards a serrated green ridge, crossing through a regenerated woodland on the site of former sugar-cane fields. In the middle, a grassy clearing has a small info centre, an 'I Love Taiwan' selfie spot and a mass of totem-like poles. To make the most of the extensive woodland trails, rent a bicycle (per two hours NT$150), available from the orange container box-shop in the northwest corner of the car park.

From Guangfu station, Tourist Shuttle bus 303 takes 13 minutes (NT$27, seven times daily) via Hualien Sugar Factory. By road, you can access the area from Hwy 9 or off quieter Rte 193 driving from Guangfu through some pretty, rural villages with assorted indigenous landmarks. Continuing south on Rte 193, 600m from the forest park turn there's a series of curious topiary creations opposite the penitentiary.