Sanxiantai is one of the most beautiful spots on the East Coast, an area full of beautiful geology and natural scenery. It is known for its iconic arching footbridge that leads to the island of the three immortals (Sanxiantai, literally three immortals platform). The ocean views and unique rock formations make it an ideal place to take a stroll and enjoy nature's beauty.
Sanxiantai island is mostly made of coral and volcanic rocks. The wind and waves over time have turned the rocks into unique shapes, including tunnels, holes, and crevasses. According to Amis tribal legend, a sea dragon once lived here. According to Han Chinese legend, three of the eight immortals (Toaist Deities having power over life and evil) rested on the island, leaving three pairs of footprints.
How to get there: From Taipei, take national highway 5 down to Yilan, then travel from Highway 9 to Hualien, then take highway 11 south along the coast. It will be on the left.
Also available by bus from Hualien or Taitung, though this may take a few hours.
Price: Free, but parking is 50-60 NT for cars and around 15-20 NT for scooters.
Hours: 24 hours a day.
Map: Please see below:
I've been to Sanxiantai twice, once in the winter of 2015 and once in 2018. In 2015 the weather was crappy, but that's when I did the most photo taking. Once you leave the parking lot, the entrance to the bridge is about 100 meters walk.
View of the sloping dragon-like foot bridge across the channel to Sanxiantai.
The waves next to Sanxiantai are always pretty big, and the beach is rock, so its not a great place for swimming.
Here is some drone footage:
Now to share the photos of my 2015 trip when the weather was bad.
Clam covered sun screen bottle I found on the beach.
When we were there it was pretty empty. By the way, this bridge is neither wheel chair or child friendly.
Once you get across the bridge, you can see the island is covered in short shrubs.
One of many tide pools along the beach.
A view of the bridge looking from Sanxiantai.
One of the volcanic formations sticking out of the island. Apparently this place was a volcano at one time.
There is a boardwalk and trail that goes around the whole island.
A sea cave not far from the trail.
There's probably a better way to photograph this thing, but I'll just leave that to all the instagrammers.
Waves hitting the Sanxiantai coast.
Local fisherman having the time of their lives on one of the most scenic places in Taiwan.
Waves crashing into a small cove.
You can also walk up to the top of one of the volcanic rock stacks to a lighthouse.
The lighthouse isn't really a sight of its own, but there are nice views from the top.
Wave crashing into the side of Sanxiantai.
Even though it rained all day, tons of people still came during the Chinese New Year holiday.
One last look at the island before we left.
If you drive up the coast to highway 30, you can get another amazing view of Sanxiatai and Lanyu!
The mountains surrounding the East Coast are incredible beautiful. If you can, just stop and enjoy the scenery for as long as possible.
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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.