Friday, October 9, 2015

Trip To Taiwan 台湾: Taitung 台东 - Terrace of The Three Immortals / Sanxiantai 三仙台风景区

Photo By: Elin Chow
Address: No. 74, Jihui Rd, Sanxian Village, Chenggong Township, Taitung Country 台东县成功镇三仙里基翚路74号

Leaving Taitung Little Yeliu / Xiaoyeliu 台东小野柳, we got in the car and set off for our next destination of the day - Terrace of The Three Immortals / Sanxiantai 三仙台风景区.

Terrace of Three Immortals 三仙台风景区

Located 3km northeast of Chenggong Township in Taitung Country, Terrace of Three Immortals ( also known as Sanxiantai or Sansiantai) is one of the most famous scenic spot in the east coast of Taiwan.

Sansiantai is a small offshore land composed of volcanic rock. The island was once connected to the mainland by a neck of land to the rest of Taiwan. However, gradual erosion had cut the neck that connected the island to the mainland, and thus becomes offshore island.

The island is named after the legend that tells three famous immortals - Lu Tung Pin, Iron Crutch Li and He Xiangu, who once came to take a rest in this area, leaving three footprints behind . The three gigantic rocks found on the offshore island are said to represent the footprints left behind by the three immortals.

Admission Fee

Admission to the attraction is free, but you will be required to pay for car parking. Daily parking fees are as per below.

Type of Vehicle
Weekends & Public Holidays
TWD 40
TWD 50
TWD 15
TWD 20

There are plenty of parking spaces available, so you would not need to worry about where to park your car if you are driving your way there. 

Located next to the parking area, you will find the Sanxiantai Visitor Center. The visitor center features an exhibition hall where visitors will get to learn more about the island. This might be a a good place to start before you head off exploring the scenic area.

There are also plenty of shops selling food, drinks and some usual tourist souvenirs around the visitor center.

Near the entrance, we were attracted by an aboriginal man singing some of the popular Chinese and Taiwanese songs. I wanted to approach the aboriginal man to ask him to take a photograph with me. But unfortunately, I was too shy to do that.

We headed onto a stone-paved pathway leading to the Pebble Beach. Unlike the usual sandy beaches, the Pebble Beach is a beach made entirely out of stone pebbles of varying size instead of sand.

The beach stretches 10 km in length and the size of the pebbles vary from pint-sized to fist sized. It was not easy to walk across the beach without having our feet digging into the pebbles. However, the good thing is that we do not have to worry about getting sand in our shoes.

Most of the pebbles have a very smooth and rounded appearance, which makes the walk down to the pebbly coast a little less painful.  Please wear comfortable walking shoes when you visit the beach. Visiting in slippers or heels is definitely not recommended.

Sansiantai welcomes about a million visitors every year. However, the law prohibits visitors from taking any of the pebbles at Sansiantai. Just imagine what will happen if each one of them took a pebble away. If that really happens, I believe the scenic beach would just vanish in a few years!

So, remember to take nothing with you but pictures. I believe everyone of us have a part to play in protecting and preserving the beauty of our nature environment.

Walking further in, we arrived at a stretch of pebbly coast facing the Pacific Ocean. However, the area around the coastline is unfortunately, not accessible by wheelchair or baby stroller. So it might be impossible for people with disabilities to visit or explore the coast area.

From the beach, you will be able to see the Sanxiantai island in the distance. The three gigantic rocks are the most prominent feature of the island, with the highest standing at 77 meters in height.

It was a gloomy day when we visited. We were unable to see the mountains from afar as they were shrouded in thick layers of clouds and mist.

The uninhabited Sanxiantai island is connected to the rest of Taiwan by a 320 metres long eight cross-sea arch bridge. In the past, visitors without a boat wishing to visit the island would have to wait till low tide to wade over. To improve accessibility to the island, the bridge is built and completed in 1987 to connect the offshore island with the mainland.

Designed in the shape of the waves, which resembles a prostrate sea dragon, the visually striking bridge is currently one of the most famous landmark on the East Coast of Taiwan.

Unlike Xiaoyeliu, Sianxiantai was much more crowded with tourists, mainly from mainland China.

However, being remotely situated in Taitung, the place was never overwhelmed with visitors. I doubt it will ever be crowded given its remote location.

The beach is seemingly clean and almost litter-free, which was very appealing. So, please remember to bring all your trash with you before you leave this place. 

The unspoiled beach provides plenty of photo opportunities against the stunning backdrop of the rocky coast.We enjoyed uninterrupted time taking plenty of photos around the area.

Leaving the pebble filled beach, we followed a stone-paved pathway leading to the eight arch bridge.

Visitors have to cross the bridge in order to reach the uninhabited and isolated Sanxiantai island.

From the top of the bridge, we get to enjoy a spectacular panoramic view of the rocky coast with awe-inspiring mountains and cliff sides in the background. A truly breathtaking sight!

We stood silently on the bridge, admiring the endless ocean view while the strong and cooling ocean wind blows our hair wildly in every direction. It felt so peaceful listening to the sound of waves crashing against the rocky coastline.

Of course, this was also a fantastic spot for us to snap some tourist photos. 

Due to lack of human disturbance, the island is surrounded by spectacular coral reefs, which boasts an abundance of marine life. There is a wooden boardwalk that goes around the island. At leisurely pace, island trail takes about 2 hours to complete.

The bridge has many arches, making it tiring and challenging to climb. It was a pity that we did not climb our way to the end of the bridge. No matter how much I wanted to, my husband and his family were not interested in visiting the island. Since none of them was interested, I had to drop the idea of exploring the island too.

Instead, we spent most of our time taking photos and admiring the spectacular view from the top of the bridge before making our way back to the parking lot.

Sanxiantai is declared as a nature reserve by the Taiwanese government. Most of the area around Sanxiantai remains quiet, uncrowded and unspoiled, perfect to unwind and relax.

We spent about 2 hours walking, exploring and taking photos around the area. I would recommend anyone to set aside at least 4 hours if you wish to explore Sanxiantai Island.

If you are interested to know more about our trip, you may want to check out our 11D10N round island tour itinerary for the list of attractions that we had visited during our 11 days in Taiwan. Be sure to follow me on Facebook or Twitter  for the latest updates on my 11 days adventures in Taiwan!

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