Dulan is a quiet coastal town just 20 km north of Taitung City. It has become a major surfing destination as well, especially for foreigners. Some would even say that it is the coolest beach hangout in Taiwan! There is no public transportation to Dulan other than by bus, so do not expect large crowds. It is for sure one of Taiwan's most beautiful and uncrowded seas side destinations.
Dulan is a village of the Amis Aboriginie Tribe (阿美族) which have lived there since at least 1500 BC, and most of the people that live there now are Taiwan Aborigines. The area is still a center for Amis rituals and traditional ceremonies, as well as aboriginal culture.
How to get there:
By Car/Scooter: We recommend taking highway 11 from Taitung north 30km to the town. Feel free to stop and enjoy the scenery along the way.
By Bus: You can take bus 8102 or 8103 from Taitung, but according to Google this will take about 3 hours.
Map: Please see the map below:
On the way to Dulan, we stopped along the way at Little Yeliu Geopark 小野柳地質公園 (see our blog about it here) and Jialulan (加路蘭, pictured above) which is just a small beach park on the side of the road, but it seemed like every tour bus had to stop here and unload everyone. The views are nice though. Also we stopped at Water Running Up 水往上流 (see our blog about it here)， which is right at the outskirts of Dulan.
A few miles later, we made it to Dulan, which compared to the rest of Taiwan is just a small sleepy town.
Not far in, I noticed quite a few people walking down the street in swimwear, which is rare in Taiwan. Also all these people were foreigners. And we came across a sign for surfing lessons.
Across the street was "A Moro Pizza," a surf board rental shop which also served "real Italian pizza." Hmmm, foreigner paradise?
The scenery along the Dulan coast according to my wife was very similar to Hawaii, except that the water was dirty. Apparently the water is usually clear, but the day before we went it rained really hard which muddied up the sea water.
More of the beautiful coastline neat Dulan.
This is the main beach at Dulan. It doesn't appear to have the best sand, but the waves looked good for surfing.
A surfers paradise. Not long after this photo was taken, a white guy riding a scooter with no helmet, dreadlocks, not shirt, and a body full of tattoos rode past us. That's just a sign you are in a foreigner surfing paradise.
Also along highway 11 you will come across Meili Bay Resort (美麗灣度假村), which is unfinished and abandoned. Apparently they bit off more than they could chew, made the place too big, and pissed of the local aborigines. For more information about this place read this news article.
Another ruin along the East Coast near Dulan is the Jiamuzi Bay Minsu 加母子灣民宿, for more information on this unfinished hostel, read this article by Alexander Synaptic. There are tons of abandoned housing projects along this road.
Also, don't forget that the main delicacy of this region is custard apples (釋迦). If you have Taiwanese relatives or even just friends, you can make a good impression by giving them a box of these.
If you keep going north, you'll come to the Donghe, another small town on the coast. This place is famous for its steamed bun shop: Donghe Baozi (東和包子). The buns are huge, delicious, and reasonably priced.
For another informative blog post about Dulan, you can check out this guide to Dulan by Nick Kembel.
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We are US Expats that have extensive experience living, working, and travelling in Taiwan. In our day, we had to learn many things about Taiwan the hard way. But we have come to learn that Taiwan is one of the best places in the world for Foreigners to live. Our blog does not represent the opinions of every foreigner in Taiwan. We are just trying to help others learn more about this beautiful country.