Two Day South Link Ocean and Mountain Tour – Experience Tribal Culture
The Taitung South Link Line not only boasts breathtaking views but is also filled with a rich cultural atmosphere. Come on a South Link Cultural trip and visit tribes in the four villages of the South Link (Daren, Jinfeng, Dawu, Taimali). Experience the traditional tribal delicacies, handicrafts, and experience the charismatic ocean and mountains along with the magnificent cultural atmosphere.
Day 1: Millet School → Lunch → Shaoniyao Handmade Baked Goods → Photo Op at Duoliang Station → Dawu Rainbow Village + Dawu Seaview Trail → Dinner at Alanyi Kitchen → Check-in at Tjubal House
Day 2: Breakfast at LI.KA CAFE → “Weaving House” Handicrafts → Lunch at Jiangmimi → YuanAi Workshop → Sapulju Tribe Eight Chieftains Tour → Check-in and Dinner at Machawu Homestay
1st Stop: Introduction to the traditional tribal main food source
When speaking of the grain ‘millet’, you might think of millet porridge or the aboriginal delicacy a-bai. Millet is traditionally the main food source of the Taitung villages. There are roughly 200 hectares of millet fields in the South Link area, accounting for approximately 70% of the nation’s millet production! Therefore, on the first stop of the South Link tour, we will visit the Millet School located in the Liqiu Village of Jinfeng Township. Let’s get to know this precious food source, and gain a better understanding of the tribal culture and beliefs through the millet grain.
The Millet School was refurbished from an abandoned elementary school. This is the first exhibition venue in Taiwan to have a Story Hall, display and grocery shop, manufacturing area, and other multipurpose halls. A guide will teach us the basics about the Millet grain, including how it is gathered and the tools used to de-husk the grain. We will also learn about traditional Paiwan tribe culture, and the different viewpoints villagers have on the development of the tribe. This rich knowledge will surely help you feel deep connections to the tribe.
After the guided tour, you can even enjoy Paiwan flavors right here. Experience the three treasures of Jinfeng Township: dishes made from millet, red quinoa, and roselle. Don’t miss out on the millet DIY course where you can make a nice charm accessory out of millet. It will be well worth your efforts!
Address: No. 42-2 3rd Neighborhood, Liqiu, Jinfeng Township, Taitung County
Contact number: 089-772-240
Operating hours: 09:00-17:00 (Closed on Mondays)
Suggested touring duration: 2 hours
2nd Stop: Bakery in the mountains
Shaoniyao Handmade Baked Goods
Hike into the mountain trails to enjoy a special afternoon tea. Fragrant and sweet smells of baked goods are drifting out of a village surrounded by mountains. That’s exactly where Shaoniyao Handmade Baked Goods is located!
The owner, Shaoniyao (YuXuan Lee) is a young Paiwanese who returned to her hometown to start a business. She created “Shaoniyao Handmade Baked Goods” four years ago with the mission to introduce traditional tribal ingredients to the public. Shaoniyao makes unique baked goods based on which ingredients are in season, sourcing locally grown produce including millet, red quinoa, prickly ash, and roselle. The red quinoa is even grown by her granduncle, giving her food that extra homey taste.
Popular dessert pastries sold at Shaoniyao Handmade Baked Goods include the pigeon bean lemon tart, millet wine brownies, millet red quinoa cookies, among many others, all of which can only be found at this bakery. Shaoniyao is also constantly developing new products such as prickly ash grilled meat focaccia, making each visit to the bakery a surprise in itself. Visitors interested in baking can also make a reservation with Shaoniyao to take baking classes. You’ll be able to experience the incorporation of local produce into baked goods.
Address: No. 29 2nd Neighborhood, Liqiu, Jinfeng Township, Taitung County
Contact number: 0988-896-059
Operating hours: 14:00-19:00 (Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays)
Suggested touring duration: 2-3 hours
4th Stop: Entering an iridescent seaside town
Dawu Rainbow Village + Dawu Seaview Trail
Cruising along the South Link Highway, you’ll feel as if you’ve entered a fairytale kingdom the moment you pass by Dawu! The houses are painted in vibrant colors, standing out like lego towers from a distance. The bright color scheme fills this neighborhood with life, making Dawu the hottest Instagram-worthy photo spot in Taitung!
The Dawu neighborhood has been collaborating with international paint brands in recent years. Around two dozen families have painted various murals on their houses. Since many Dawu residents are Paiwanese, some murals even feature aboriginal totems. The traditional vibe paired with bold and passionate color combinations will surely awe you and make you stop to appreciate the art!
Next, you can stroll down to the Dawu Coastal Park. Walk along the coastline and let the waves wash all your troubles away. Come enjoy a stroll in “Dawu’s secret garden” to reward yourself after a long week of hard work! This 1 km long path is easy to walk and has very few inclines. Refresh yourselves on this nice walk that overlooks the vast Pacific Ocean.
Address: No.10 Dawu Street, Dawu Township, Taitung County
Suggested touring duration: 1 hour
6th Stop: Experience the beauty of tribal culture
Come enjoy a night’s stay in the villages. The Tjubal House provides more than just bed and breakfast, visitors will be able to experience all aspects of Paiwan culture in this one-stop-shop.
The Tjubal House owner, Ms. Yaxuan Wu, is a Paiwanese from Tjubal Village. To promote their cultural heritage, Ms. Wu reached out and collaborated with the youth in the village to design a special trip that would incorporate the local produce, provide light meals, teach traditional handicrafts, and include guided tours and presentations. They hope to allow visitors to enjoy an in-depth cultural experience of the Tjubal tribe at the Tjubal House.
The Tjubal House is a three-story tall house, the walls are painted with beautiful and unique totems. The restaurant is located on the spacious first floor. With Ms. Wu’s superb kitchen skills, the dishes are sure to make you come back for more! The rooms on the second floor are clean and boast great lighting. You can stay in the rooms to read or just lounge around. The Houses are surrounded by good air, good mountains, and good waters; the environment is quiet and away from the hustle and bustle of the cities.
Address: No.48-9 Tjubal Village, Daren Township, Taitung County
Contact number: 0926-261-311
1st Stop: Breakfast by the sea
Enjoying a delicious slow-paced breakfast along with the beautiful sunrise by the tranquil beach, that’s what true living is all about! LI.KA CAFE is right around the corner of one of the most beautiful trails in Taitung, Jinlun Beach, and is a unique seaside cafe with tribal specialties.
The name “LI.KA CAFE” comes from the former name of Jinlun, “Kanalung,” which means “Land of Strength.” The meals, stories, and environment here will fill travelers up with energy. The owner, Sam, is working hard to realize the “Farm to Table” mentality, using locally sourced produce in his decadent desserts and pastries, including sea salt prickly ash pound cake, rice wine tiramisu, maqaw mountain pepper latte, and more. These healthy and unique treats are all-natural and organic, without any added artificial flavorings. Sam hopes to introduce a different side of tribal cooking to travelers through LI.KA CAFE. He also wishes to promote being eco-friendly to protect his beautiful hometown, thus the restaurant does not provide single-use tableware, nor does it provide takeout services.
Kind reminder: If you would like to bring your meal out to Jinlun Beach, please notify and gain permission from the CAFE, and remember to return your tableware!
Address: No. 210 Jinlun Rd, Taimali Township, Taitung County
Contact number: 089-772-056
Operating hours: 09:00 – 20:00 (Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays)
Suggested touring duration: 2 hours
2nd Stop: Learn about the Paiwanese weaving handicraft
“Weaving House” Handicraft Experience
If you visit the Jinlun Village, make sure you don’t miss the chance to experience ram’s horn indigenous weaving. You will get to learn about traditional Paiwan weaving techniques and make precious memories all at the same time.
“Ram’s horn weaving” is just as its name suggests. In the past, real ram’s horns were used for this type of weaving. Today, metal hooks are used in their place. The owner, Tomi, noticed that the art so many Paiwan elders were masters in, was about to become lost. The youth in the tribes were unfamiliar and unskilled in this unique handicraft. She created the “Weaving House” as a platform to promote ram’s horn weaving, providing a “3-day 2-night learning course” and a “1-hour crash course.” Tomi’s one-on-one teaching will help you pick up ram’s horn weaving techniques, and understand the value of this precious handicraft.
The ram’s horn weaving technique is time-consuming and difficult, but “good things take time,” the bag that is created is sturdy and durable, reflecting the wisdom of this traditional art. For those who come to weave and knit, on top of learning this new skill, you will be able to enjoy a nice beverage and listen to Tomi share stories of Jinlun and the Paiwan people.
Address: No. 7, 1st Neighborhood, Taimali Township, Taitung County
Contact number: 0912-700-058
Operating hours: 09:00 – 18:00 (Reservations must be made in advance for the crafts courses)
Suggested touring duration: 2 hours
4th Stop: Bring home a warm and memorable handicraft
Do you want to buy a special and memorable souvenir when you come to the South Link Villages? The hand-crafted pieces at YuanAi Workshop are not like the average items. They are classy and cultured while also full of a connection to the villages.
The name “YuanAi Workshop” means “original love, love from the aboriginal people.” The former principal of Xinxing Elementary School, Mr. Cheng Hanwen, saw that there were many aboriginal parents in the village who were forced to leave their children behind and find work in the cities, and their youth were faced with little employment in their hometowns. He founded the “YuanAi Workshop” to provide a sales platform and local job opportunities, encouraging the aboriginal residents to use elements they were familiar with to create businesses. Fathers would make stunning wooden tables, chairs and other furniture out of driftwood, while mothers would weave intricate Paiwanese designs onto bookbags, pencil holders, and totes. Families would no longer be forced to be separated because of their work. The people’s unity also helps with passing on the culture and traditions of the tribe.
Come visit YuanAi Workshop and purchase some handmade, beautifully decorated, and warm aboriginal-made handicrafts!
Address: No. 13-1 Senchuan Rd. Beili Village, Taimali Township, Taitung County
Contact number: 089-780-253
Operating hours: 08:30–12:00, 13:30–17:00 (Closed on Saturdays and Sundays)
Suggested touring duration: 1 hour
6th Stop: Highly rated tribal homestay
Don’t be misled by the name “Macha Wu” and think that it is Japanese! The name comes from the Paiwan Language “macaque,” meaning “superb, great.” When you check in to the Macha Wu, you’ll also be full of praise!
Macha Wu is situated on the mountainside of Taimali’s Sapulju Village. It is in close vicinity of many famous attractions. You can overlook the horizon line of the beautiful Pacific ocean, gaze into the endless starry night sky, and watch the sunrise over the ocean from the homestay’s rooftop observatory. This homestay is surrounded by mountains and ocean, you can choose from mountain view double bedrooms, ocean view family rooms, Japanese styled 4 person rooms, and family suites. You’ll be able to take in all of Taitung South Link’s stunning sights. The rooms are equipped with full amenities, they are clean, comfortable, and quiet. A night’s stay will help you relax and recuperate from your busy life. The owner couple is friendly and hospitable, providing free tours of the village, introducing Sapulju culture, making you feel welcomed and at home.
The Macha Wu meals are a hidden gem of Taitung’s good eats. They collaborate with a tribal private kitchen to provide delectable specialty dishes. The coffee is even more astounding. Homegrown and hand-roasted beans are used, bringing you the best quality and rich flavors leaving you longing for more. You can even reserve a coffee roasting experience right here!
Address: No. 64 Jinfeng Township, Taitung County
Contact number: 0918-590-006
Operating hours: 08:00–22:00 (by reservation only)