Eastern Taiwan is home to about eight indigenous tribes, more than any other part of the country.
The Kavalan are a small pingpu (flatland) tribe found mainly in Xinshe Village in Fengbin Township, Hualien County. The tribe’s main ceremony is the Sea God Ceremony in March and April. Sakizaya live mainly in Hualien City and are best known for Palamal (the Fire God Ceremony). The Truku were originally grouped with the Sediq, however the two tribes are distinguished by cultural and language differences. In Xiulin Township, Hualien County, the Truku have established educational and historical workshops to teach tribal members traditional carving and weaving arts.
The Amis have a strict seniority-based society, and men of the same rank live, work and study together. The tribe's many ceremonies include the Fish Harvest Festival in June to August and the Harvest Festival from mid-July to early September. Tafalong (Taibalang) and Fataan (Matai'an) in Guangfu Township, Hualien County, and A’tolan (Dulan) and A'lapawan (Taiyuan) in Donghe Township, Taitung County, are the main Amis villages. Puyuma males undergo Spartan-like training from the age of 20. The tribe's main ceremonies are Sodaan (Harvest Festival) in mid-July and the New Year celebration from late December to early January. The Rukai are known for their love of lilies, which may only be worn by accomplished hunters and chaste women. The tribe's main ceremony is Homeyaya (Millet Harvest Festival) in August. The Yami (Tao) live on Orchid Island and live from fishing. This dependence on the sea is also reflected in the tribe's main annual festivals and ceremonies.
Taroko Gorge is one of nature's great accomplishments. This area is well suited for both walking and bicycling, with plenty of scenic attractions to enjoy on the way: Swallow Grotto, Zhuilu Cliff , Liufang Bridge, Tunnel of Nine Turns, Cimu Bridge, Lushui-Heliu Trail, Tianxiang and Baiyang Waterfall Trail to name a few.
Tmunan (Wenlan) Village
Add: Around the intersection of Provincial Highway 9C and Provincial Highway 14
Situated at the mid to upper reaches of the Mugua River, these two villages are surrounded by the scenic beauty of nature. The tribes are known for their blacksmith skills, including the making of the "Tongmen Knife."
Stone Handicraft Street
Add: Intersection of Bo'ai St., Hualien City and Chongqing Road
The rich quarries of eastern Taiwan have given rise to a vibrant stone art culture in Hualien. "Stone Handicraft Street" is a good place to enjoy the beauty of these lithic creations. Indigenous dance performances are also held here.
Add:No. 510, Sec. 1, Zhongshan Rd., Hualien City
In addition to selling mulberry products made from its own orchard fruit, the Kiraya Winery introduces the Kiraya culture and wine-making process at its first floor exhibition area. Visitors can also sample the various spirits on sale here.
Fataan (Matai'an) Village
The Fataan Wetlands are a rich source of fish and shrimp for the Amis people. The tribe traditionally fishes with a "palakaw” trap and also erects tri-level structures for the fish to spawn. Qingren Bridge offers a good view of the palakaw ecosystem.
Tafalong (Taibalang) Village
Tafalong is the traditional homeland of the Amis, a fact memorialized in a village monument and watch tower. Visitors can also learn about Amis architecture and other aspects of Amis culture at the Chou Kuang-hui Cultural Museum.
Add: From downtown Hualien, follow Provincial Highway 9 past Fataan, turn left at the Zhiqiang prison and follow the road signs
This topiary maze stretches about 300 to 350 meters and is shaped in an Amis warrior design. The theme park also has a dune buggy race track and areas for family fun.
Baqi Observation Tower
Add: 31-km point on Provincial Highway 11
The Baqi Observation Tower commands one of the few high points on the Coastal Highway. The tower offers a spectacular view of the rocky bay.
Add: No. 52, Shitiping, Gangkou Village, Fengbin Township, Hualien County
The erosive powers of the sea have sculpted the rocky coasts of Shitiping into a myriad of eye-opening formations, from sea trenches and cliff s to kettle holes. The one-kilometer-long sea terrace here is another rare sight.
A'tolan (Dulan) Village
Add: 146-km point on Provincial Highway 11
Nestled in the coastal hills, this Amis village has preserved the tribe's traditional ways of life, and in recent years, has actively promoted Amis culture.
Dulan Brown Sugar Cultural Art Museum
Add: No. 61, Dulan Village, Donghe Township, Taitung County
This former brown sugar factory has been converted into an indigenous art and performance space. Visitors can also see cultural artifacts and art works of the Amis tribe here.
A'lapawan (Taiyuan) Village
Add: Provincial Highway 23
Situated at the other end of the Taiyuan Valley, this mountainous village is known for its pomelo orchards and vineyards. There is also a tourist orchard here.
Bunun Leisure Farm
Add: No. 191, Neighborhood 11, Taoyuan Village, Yanping Township, Taitung County
Bunun culture, art, music and cuisine come together at this tribe-operated resort farm. Performances of the Bunun pasibutbut (octophonic chorus) are also presented here.
Bunun Cultural Museum
Add: No. 56, Neighborhood 2, Shanping, Haiduan Village, Haiduan Township, Taitung County
Handicrafts and historic photographs are among the exhibits here offering insight into the culture of the Bunun people. Visitors can also experience the tribe's traditional culture and food at the museum's cultural park.
Bul bul (Wulu) Village
Add: Enter from the path on the left side of Provincial Highway 20 at the 187.5-km point
This village is located at the end of Wulu Gorge. The villagers here live mainly from farming. A viewing platform at the village park offers an excellent view of the surrounding peaks.
Lidtu (Lidao) Village
Add: Enter from the intersection at the 177-km point on Provincial Highway 20.
This hillside community is easy to spot with its red roofed and white walled homes rising with the slope amidst the greenery and tranquility of the forest.
Add: Tai'an Village, Beinan Township, Taitung County
The Damalagaw and Rikavon sub-tribes co-habit in this Puyuma village, situated behind Shoudong Temple. The village annually hosts traditional ceremonial events that are frequently joined by the well-known local singer Chang Hui-mei (A-Mei).
Add: Dongxing Village, Beinan Township, Taitung County
This Rukai village is located at the confluence of the Danan South River and Danan North River. The village was rebuilt after a major fi re in 1969.
Likavung (Lujiawang) Village
Add: Lijia Village, Beinan Township, Taitung County
This is the third-largest Puyuma sub-tribe after the Puyuma and Katatipul (Jhibin). Among the attractions here is a traditional trakuban (meeting place).
Puyuma (Nanwang) Village
Add: Nanwang Village, Taitung City
This major Puyuma sub-tribe holds an annual four-day hunting festival to mark the end of the year.
National Museum of Prehistory
Add: No. 1, Museum Rd., Taitung City
Time: Tues~Sun 09:00~17:00
This museum was built to save and preserve a Puyuma archeological site. There are 14 permanent display areas here introducing the natural history, prehistory and indigenous peoples of Taiwan.
Beinan Cultural Park
Add: No. 200, Wenhua Gongyuan Rd., Taitung City
This park is built at a Puyuma archeological site and is the only park focusing on the prehistory of Taiwan. Visitors can see Puyuma stone coffins, watch outdoor performances and observe archeological sites here.
This is the largest indigenous community on Orchid Island. Beautiful traditional boats can be seen at Langdao Bay, and there are many souvenir shops here selling Tao handicrafts and food.
Ivalino (Yeyin) Village
This is the only village in Taiwan that has preserved the traditional semi-underground homes of the Tao. These dwellings served as homes, workshops and places for fish-drying, ceremonies and recreation. Many of the homes are still used by the tribal elders today.