EXPLORING HUALIEN: TAROKO GORGE

One of the most majestic places you can visit in Taiwan is the Taroko Gorge. As one of the nine national parks across Taiwan, this park is so large that it spans over various counties including Taichung, Nantou and Hualien.

For this trip, my friends and I decided to engage a driver via KLOOK and were surprised that we were upgraded from the five-seater vehicle to a nine-seater van. For just the four of us, this van was a real treat!

But back to the locations we visited across this national park. We started at Qingshui Cliff, followed by visits to the Shakadang Trail, Changuang Temple, the Swallow Grotto Yanzikou Trail, and Tunnel of Nine Turns.

Qingshui Cliff

One of the tallest peaks in this area is the Qingshui Cliff where it stands at 1,000m high. Its sharp drop into the sea makes the area picturesque as the clear blue water crashes into the shore. 

Shakadang Trail

Previously known as the “Mysterious Valley Trail”, this trail brings you through a clear path towards the majestic valley feel of the Taroko area. The path also has rocks on the side that show the rustic side to the area. It looks over a river that looks like pure jade. You can walk along the path that eventually leads to a small food area that sells wonderful Taiwanese sausages.

Changuang Temple

Our driver brought us to an area that led to the Changuang Temple but the 12 minute hike was a bit too much for me hence only two friends went up. This area is very quiet and if you enjoy visiting temples, this temple allows you to ring the bell as you say your wishes. It’s a nice walk past a suspension bridge so be sure to conquer your fear of heights!

Swallow Grotto Yanzikou Trail

This area is the most popular area as it cuts through the gorge and brings about many different views. It’d be good to borrow a helmet as this area is known to have some falling rocks! When walking through this trail, couldn’t help but marvel at how majestic this area is.  Our talented driver helped take the photo on the extreme right (it shows the shape of the island!).

Tunnel of Nine Turns

The Tunnel of Nine Turns is a scenic spot that’s very family-friendly. It has wide paths and is well-renovated. This area got its name not because it has nine turns but because it looks like the character ‘九’ which has a lot of turns – pretty unique name to me! This spot is great for a different view of the mountains too.

My friends and I spent about six hours in this area, and our driver brought us to a rest-stop for lunch mid-day.

Even if you’re not a fan of nature, I’d highly recommend visiting this place if you’re in Taiwan. Over here, you can’t help but see the beauty in nature.

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