The Suhua Highway Monument (蘇花公路安魂碑) and nearby Kailu Xianfengye Temple (開路先鋒爺廟) commemorate the 13 workers who died building the road from Su'ao to Hualien from 1932 to the present. It sits on one of the most scenic viewpoints of the highway between Su'ao and Dong'ao, overlooking Dong'ao Bay. 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, in order 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.
Kailu Xianfengye Temple was erected in 1994 near the Suhua Highway Monument to honor the thirteen lives that were lost during the construction of the Su'hua highway (two during the Japanese era and 11 during the ROC era). It is believed that the ghosts of these men had protected further construction along the highway.
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.
By Bus: No way to get there by public transport!
Please see below:
I have been to the Suhua Highway Monument lookout about four times. 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.
The first lookout you will see on the drive up from Dong'ao is at the Kailu Xianfengye Temple
The Kailu Xianfengye Temple (開路先鋒爺廟) was erected in 1994 near the Suhua Highway Monument to honor the thirteen lives that were lost during the construction of the Su'hua highway (two during the Japanese era and 11 during the ROC era). It is believed that the ghosts of these men had protected further construction along the highway. Repair workers also visit this shrine annually.
View from near the shrine.
It is a direct drop-off from this point.
About 1 KM up the road you will find the Suhua Highway Monument, which also pays respect to the 13 workers that died during construction.
There is also an old ROC bunker here.
View from the Suhua Highway monument.
Birds flying over Dong'ao bay.
View of Fennialin Fishing Port in Dong'ao bay.
View looking north.
Fishing nets in the water below.
View looking east.
Another view looking east.
Another view from the monument on a cloudy day.
See more of our photos in the gallery above.
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.