Donggang is definitely not the most exciting place in Taiwan. It’s a pretty uninspiring and chaotic city, and as is expected of port towns, it’s quite rough around the edges. But it is a REALLY popular place you still may want to visit.
So why is Donggang so popular and why does it keep coming up in travel magazines, blogs, and guidebooks? 2 reasons: seafood and its proximity to Xiao Liuqiu Island. Dongang is also one of Taiwan’s main harbors which has gained popularity around the world for being one of the places that sells the most blue fin tuna – one of the most prized delicacies for seafood lovers.
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Donggang Fish Market
Some people say that Donggang has the best fish and seafood market in Taiwan, and I think I agree with that claim. Every time I go to Little Liuqiu Island, I make a quick stop to that market to eat some of the freshest sushi. I also always grab a few bags of fresh (and huge) shrimp and squid, put them on ice, and bring that back home to cook a seafood feast to Ruby – her absolute favorite!
In Mandarin Chinese, the fish market is called 東港漁港漁產品直銷中心 or simply 華僑市場.
It’s hard to find better quality. Fish, clams, shrimp, squid, octopus, and all the sea critters you can think of, small or big, raw or cooked, can be found here, ready to be enjoyed on the spot, or packed on ice for you to take away.
Gateway to Little Liuqiu Island
Donggang is where you can catch a ferry to Little Liuqiu Island (also called Xiao Liuqiu or Lamay Island). The ferry pier is called Dongliu Ferry Terminal.
You can buy tickets and get on a fast boat to Little Liuqiu at the pier next to the fish market. When facing the port, look to your right and you will see the boat companies and their ticket booth. A round-trip ticket to Xiao Liuqiu costs 420NT$. The schedules are posted on the windows at each boat companies. The ride takes about 30 minutes and can be a bit uncomfortable in windy weather.
Wang Yeh Boat Festival
Once every three years, there is a traditional ceremony in Donggang where a massive Chinese ship is burned down in front of a massive crowd of locals and curious tourists. The spectacular ritual lasts for a total of 8 days, during which, many interesting and baffling religious practices take place. The only practical advice I can give you is to bring a pollution mask to filter all the smoke that arises from all the burning (of ghost money) that’s going on throughout all the events.
Accommodation in Donggang
Hotels, BnB, guesthouses and hostels are far and between in this part of Taiwan, so do your research and book in advance! I highly recommend the following hotel:
Superb accommodation in Donggang, the Fu Wan Cafe Villa has clean and comfortable villas that are close to the Dapeng Bay National Scenic Area.
Getting to Donggang in Pingtung County
From Taipei, Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Miaoli, Taichung, Tainan, or any other city along the West Coast of Taiwan, you could take the HSR High Speed Rail or normal TRA train all the way to Kaohsiung, then take a bus to Donggang.
Kaohsiung to Donggang
Buses from Kaohsiung to Donggang take only cost 115NT$ and the journey takes around 1 hour, depending on traffic conditions. Buses leave every 30 minute.
Pingtung to Donggang
If you’ve taken the normal train from the TRA, and your end destination was Pingtung City (Pingdong), know that the bus from the bus station next to the train station cost 85NT$ and only takes 40 minutes. Buses leave every hour.
Map of Donggang
Other areas of interest near Donggang
Check out these other cool places and attractions in Southern Taiwan…