Sprawling across rugged mountains and scenic river valleys, Datong Township occupies the southwestern part of Yilan County. It’s traditionally been home to the Atayal people, an indigenous Taiwanese tribe who occupy the township’s villages, many of which live in the Lanyang River valley.
Things to do in Datong Township
If you’re interested in Datong Township’s cultural history, pay a visit to the Atayal Life Museum, which explores the lifestyle and traditions of the Atayal tribe. In addition to artefacts and everyday items belonging to the Atayal, the museum highlights the tribe’s reputation as weavers and their use of symbolism in geometric textile designs. You can try on traditional Atayal costumes before purchasing handicrafts at the gift shop.
Datong Township’s historic Tuchang Railway Station has been transformed into an open-air museum detailing the railway and timber industries that once impacted the region. Admire the vintage locomotive on display and the now-abandoned station building before hiking along one of the nature trails that lead through the Taipingshan National Forest Recreation Area.
Also nearby is the Jiuzhize Hot Springs where you can bathe in a series of open-air pools surrounded by lush vegetation. Its odourless spring water is high in calcium carbonate and leaves the skin feeling silky smooth. While relaxing in the baths, keep an eye out for the native birds that frequent the area. Nearby is the Tengu Creek Fountain, a riverside geyser that erupts at regular intervals.
Getting around Datong Township
Datong Township is around an hour’s drive from the centre of Yilan and just under two hours from Taipei Songshan Airport, which has flights to destinations across Asia. The larger Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport is 2.5 hours away. Having your own vehicle is the most convenient way of getting to and around Datong Township.