Nanfang'ao is the third-largest fishing harbor in Taiwan and is an important part of the local economy. Just above the harbor along the Suhua highway is an amazing lookout that gives a 180-degree view of southern Yilan, Su'ao, and the surrounding area. It is definitely worth a stop on your next trip to the east coast of Taiwan.
The first path between Su'ao and Hualien was a trail built in the Qing Dynasty that was completed in 1876, for the Qing to better control aboriginal peoples on the east coast. Later after Japan took control of Taiwan, they widened the path and built 9 bridges and 14 tunnels along the way, making it drivable for cars (one way only) by 1932. Because much of the road was next to cliffs that underwent constant landslides, it was considered one of the most dangerous roads in the world at the time. In the 1980s the ROC government further widened the road, and the two-lane highway was completed in 1990. In 2020, the section of road between Su'ao and Dong'ao was bypassed by a tunnel.
Nanfang'ao is the third-largest fishing harbor in Taiwan and is an important part of the local economy. There is a popular fish and seafood market there that is open from 3 PM to 5 PM every day at the harbor if you a fan of fresh seafood.
Tours and Activities:
You can purchase tours and tickets for many activities in Yilan such as Su'ao Crayon Castle, Taipingshan, Turtle Island, Lanyang Museum, Toucheng Leisure Farm, Zhang Mei Ama Capybura Farm, Bambi Land, Yinong Ranch, National Center for Traditional Arts, Taxi Museum, Glamping, Camping, ATV / 4-wheeling experience, SUP / paddle boarding, Ximeng Forest Theater, Surfing, Kayaking, Horse Riding, River Tracing, River Rafting, River Tubing, Pack Rafting, Water Biking, Snorkeling, Canoeing, Shrimping and many others through Klook here or KKday here.
Looking for a hotel? We recommend booking through Agoda here, which provides the best quality selection of accommodation on the islands.
We have stayed at and recommend Ying Shih Guest House, a resort in Datong Township near Taipingshan and Fan Fan Hot Spring (you can book on Agoda here or Booking.com here), and Jiaosi Hotspring Hotel, a hotel with hot springs in each room (you can book on Agoda here, Booking.com here, Hotels.com here, Expedia here, or Trip.com here). We have also stayed at Toucheng Leisure Farm, a recreational farm and experience center in Toucheng (you can book on Agoda here, Booking.com here, Hotels.com here, Expedia here, or Trip.com here).
You can also book Wifi and SIM cards for Taiwan on Gigago here.
Need travel insurance? Compare prices on Insubuy here.
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You can click here to receive $5 USD on your first Klook purchase.
How to get there:
By Car/Scooter: From Su'ao or Dong'ao, take Highway 9 east along the coast. You will have to take a dangerous U-turn or left turn across double yellow lines if you come from Su'ao, so it is better to come from Dong'ao. Looking for scooter rental in Yilan? You can search Klook here or KKday here to look for options. You can also check out our scooter rental guide here.
If you are looking for car rentals in Yilan, you can also search Klook here or KKDay here. You can also check out our car rental guide here.
By Bus: Take the Nanfang'ao Blue line to Nanjian Shopping Center (南建購物中心) then walk up the Nanfang'ao Lookout trail about 15 minutes to the lookout. You can book tickets to travel to Yilan via inter-city bus on Klook here. You can book tickets to Yialn via high speed rail (HSR) on Klook here or KKDay here. Book tickets via the normal train (TRA) on Klook here.
Bicycle rental: Cycling is the best way to enjoy Taiwan's landscapes if you have the time and energy. Looking for bicycle rentals in Taiwan? You can search on KKday here and search for tours on Klook here. You can also check out our Taiwan cycling guide here.
Please see below:
I have been to the Nanfang'ao lookout only one time. I first went on our round island trip in 2014, and then again before the improved Suhua highway was built. I went for the final time a few weeks ago when the tunnel to Su'ao was blocked due to an accident. The sad part about that tunnel from Su'ao to Dong'ao is that you miss out on one of the most scenic and beautiful lookouts on the highway here.
There is a small parking lot, next to which are some bathrooms and the lookout.
The lookout over Su'Ao is a big wooden platform overlooking the fishing harbor. See above for a panoramic view.
View north looking at Su'Ao.
View of the fishing harbor.
View of Su'ao Neipi Beach.
Another view of the beach.
View looking south toward the sea cliffs.
View of downtown Nanfang'ao.
The Nanfang'Ao bridge collapsed in 2019, killing six people. The new bridge was completed in September 2022, and you can see the complete bridge in this photo.
Boat sailing into Nanfang'ao Harbor.
Fishing boats heading out to sea.
Boats parked in town.
Waves crashing against the sea cliffs.
Another view of boats parked in the harbor.
View of Su'Ao beach.
People walking along the beach.
View of the end of the beach.
Shipping docks at Su'ao.
More photos in the gallery above.
Su'Ao's Neipi Beach in the Nanfangao area (Yilan County) is perhaps the most beautiful beach in northeast Taiwan. It is known for its romantic atmosphere and large waves, which attract surfers from all around. Popular activities here include surfing, kite surfing, kayaking, scuba diving, hiking, and watching the sunrise. For our full blog on this beach, click here.
You can purchase tours and tickets for many activities in Yilan such as surfing, kayaking, horse riding, river tracing, river rafting, river tubing, pack rafting, water biking, snorkeling, canoeing, and many others through Klook here or KKday here.
You can see our full guide to Yilan here.
Check out our full guide to Taiwan's Northern Coast here and our full guide Taiwan's East Coast here.
You can also check out our full travel guide to Taiwan here.
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.