Whales and dolphins can be seen all year round off the coast of tropical Taitung, with June to August the best time for visitors because the waves are smaller.Climate :
The summer temperature mainly ranges from 17 to 29C, while in winter it is 16 to 20C. In summer temperatures can reach over 35C, so be sure to take precautions against the sun and keep hydrated. Summer is the typhoon season; whale watching operations are suspended when the weather is affected by a typhoon.
The oceans cover 70% of the earth and nurture a multitude of marine creatures. Humans have always been fascinated by the oceans, however, we have over-exploited the ocean’s treasures, leading to the survival of some species being threatened; the temperature of the oceans is warming along with global warming, the earth’s climate is becoming unstable and the fishing catch is falling. Climatic change has shown people that peacefully coexisting with nature is the only sustainable way.
Surrounded by sea and ocean, life in Taiwan has always been closely connected to the ocean. The east coast faces the world’s biggest ocean, the Pacific;along the coast the Pacific current –the Kuroshio or black current- –carries warm water all year round from the Philippines north along the east coast of Taiwan, bringing with it large numbers of migratory fish, which also attracts the whales and dolphins that feed on them, making the east coast the best place in Taiwan to see whales and dolphins. Whale watching is a family activity that can be engaged in all year round that introduces children to marine creatures and teaches children that respecting nature is the only way to have a sustainable environment.
One of the special things about whale watching on the east coast is that there is chance of seeing medium sized or large whales. If you are lucky you might see a humpback whale in spring or even the beaked whale, a species that spends much of its time deep under water. As spring turns to summer, sperm whales, killer whales and pilot whales can be seen. June-August when the sea is calm is the best time for whale watching. In recent years, whale watching has become a very popular activity in Taitung and now many fishing harbors have companies running whale watching boat trips.
The Risso's dolphin (Grampus griseus) is the most common dolphin seen off the east coast;it is closely related to the killer whale;the marks on its body comes from injuries sustained when hunting, fighting or when attacked; when the wound heals it becomes a lighter colored mark. The longer the animals live the more wounds they receive and so the veterans can be almost completely white. The biggest difference between the Risso's dolphin and other dolphins is that its snout is flat, its body thicker and its find are black. They live in groups of 25 to several hundred and even one group of 4000 was recorded. They mainly eat octopus and shellfish, live in temperate and tropical waters and can be seen in both continental shelf waters and deep water. Whales and dolphin communicate by sonar as well as various kinds of physical language, with the specialty of the Risso's dolphin turning on its side and hitting the water.
Chenggong Fishing Harbor is in the northern tip of Taitung County and is the largest and best equipped fishing harbor in Taitung. Scenic spots such as Sanxiantai, Stone Umbrella and Eight Immortals Cave are nearby. The yacht wharf is one of the main wharfs for whale watching. The first sailing is at 7am, then every two hours, with three sailings a day. After around 30 minutes you have a good chance of seeing dolphins playing in the waves made by the bow of your boat or spotting a large whale moving slowly but majestically through the water, magical natural sights that you will remember for a long time.
↘Self-drive: Provincial Highway 11 to around the 116 K point and will reach Chenggong fishing harbor.
↘Public transport: Taipei a Dingdong Bus Co bus from Taidong heading for Hualien, Chenggong or Jingpu, alight at Chenggong Market and then walk to the fishing harbor.
Types of whale and dolphin
Risso’s dolphin, bottlenose dolphin, short-snouted spinner dolphin , long-snouted spinner dolphin, short-beaked common dolphin, pantropical spotted dolphin, Fraser's dolphin,pygmy killer whale,killer whale, pygmy sperm whale, sperm whale, pilot whale
Jinling No.1-5, Gangbian Rd., Chenggong Township, Taitung County +886-89-851-408
Things to note when watching whales and dolphins
．Sleep well, eat and drink normally before setting out; don’t drink too much alcohol before going whalewatching.
．Carry your ID, for inspection when leaving the harbor
．Wear light long sleeved shirt and trousers and anti-slip flat shoes
．The sun is fierce summer, so a sun hat, sunglasses and sun cream are essential.
．If you suffer from motion sickness take some motion sickness pills
．Wear a lifejacket according the rules and follow the instructions of the crew and interpreter regarding safety regulations.
．Don’t feed the whales and dolphins or throw rubbish into the ocean
．Carry a whale and dolphin illustrated handbook and whale guide leaflet to help you identify whales.