Welcome to Luye
The East Rift Valley closes its attractive southern end around Luye (鹿野; Lùyě), a name meaning 'wild deer' for the herds that were once hunted by Amis and Puyuma peoples. Today, the area around Luye train station is a forgettable strip town but Gaotai – a large, flat-topped hill that rises steeply to the east – comes alive in July and early August with dozens of hot-air balloons in a wide range of fanciful shapes. Getting a ride in one is a bit of a lottery given unreliable weather and considerable crowds, but the sight and atmosphere are worth experiencing. Outside the balloon season, it's still possible to do tandem paragliding jumps here, but otherwise the Luye Plateau becomes a rather over-touristed viewpoint from which to overlook a lovely valleyscape.