In Taipei we rented a car and drove down Taiwan's East coast. This side of Taiwan is the least populated and also said to be the most beautiful. From my trip last year where we did the coast by train I knew that this coastline is absolutely breathtaking! So I was super excited to go by car and be able to drive even closer to the sea as well as do as many (coffee) stops as we wanted.
We visited the the old mining town Jiufen which literally is located in the middle of a beautiful lush mountainous landscape. The town went into sharp decline when mining was discontinued which might be why the Jiufen we found was almost like a ghost town. According to the official tourism Jiufen never really turned into a real ghost town as some had feared only because of its charming streets, tea houses and stunning views of the Pacific Ocean which make it a popular visit for both Taiwanese and foreign tourists like us.
From here we stopped at Bitou Cape's paved footpath which gives access to the most picturesque views of the Taiwanese sea and sky. After a beautiful walk we stopped for a swim at Fulong Beach, found a seafood place to eat lunch (sashimi is big in Taiwan, probably due to the Japanese influence on the country's history and it is so fresh & yummy).
We spent the evening in a small beach town where we visited another night market (must-do in Taiwan) and found our beds not too late. Hualien & the famous Taroko National Park also known as Tarok Gorge.