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The waters off the Hualien-Taitung coast present some of the best opportunities in the world for viewing whales and dolphins, which migrate through the area or come to mate. This is the cradle of whale- and dolphin-watching in Taiwan, with pods of dolphins leaping and cavorting in the water, bringing delight to boat-loads of tourists. Large and medium-sized whales are sometimes seen here as well; their appearance is uncertain, but March and April is the best time to look for them.
Whale-watching boats depart mainly from Shitiping in Hualien county and Chenggong in Taitung county, and the best time to go is the early morning or late afternoon. The whales and dolphins attracted to the waters off Shitiping by the Japan Current include the striped dolphin, pantropical spotted dolphin, and sperm whale. In addition to viewing marine mammals, the Chenggong area also offers water activities such as snorkeling and rafting. In total, about 14 species of whales and dolphins can be spotted along the coast of Taitung, especially the beaked whale along with the Risso's dolphin and spinner dolphin. The commercial whale-watching boats along the coast generally offer detailed explanations of the animals they are seeking. A whale-watching trip takes about three hours.
In addition to the delights of watching cavorting marine mammals, the Hualien-Taitung coastline also offers spectacular scenery and aborigine culture which make the trip an exciting experience.
Taroko National Park is best known for its awesome marble-walled gorge as well as its majestic mountain scenery, Eternal Spring Shrine, Swallows' Grottos, Tunnel of Nine Turns, and other incomparable sights. Its spectacular geologic features also encompass such spectacles as the Baiyang Waterfall just above the gorge, and the precipitous Quingshui Cliffs just below it.
The East Coast National Scenic Area offers richly varied topography with stepped seaside platforms, sand and pebble beaches, coral shores, offshore islands, capes, sea-eroded platforms, channels, and caves. The coast is also the home of the Amis tribal people. The Amis villages hold their harvest festivals one after another in July and August, providing visitors with an outstanding opportunity to enjoy a personal experience of indigenous culture.