Once very isolated and home to a substantial portion of Taiwan's aborigine population, Hualien is now a popular tourist destination, though there are many off-the-beaten-path treasures to discover. It will take at least three days to see some of the best sights Hualien has to offer. When I used to visit, I would stay at the artsy and friendly Formosa Backpackers Hostel, located near the Hualien Train Station. The hostel owners speak English and provide ample suggestions for what to do. There are also numerous maps available.
Best Time To Visit Hualien
How To Reach Hualien
Book Hualien Tour Package
Taroko National Park
One of the most beautiful places in Taiwan, Taroko National Gorge is also rich in aborigine history. Taroko National Park is one of the eight national parks in Taiwan and was named after the Taroko Gorge, the landmark gorge of the park. The park spans three counties including Hualien County. The park was originally established in 1937, was shut down in 1945, and opened again in 1986. It features a plethora of geographic wonders, including crystal clear-rivers, plummeting marble gorges, and climbing, steep cliffs. Special permits are required for people wishing to hike deep into the Taroko Gorge wilderness, but there are plenty of fantastic stop off-points for visitors who want to stick to the main tour route.
Qingshui Cliff, located on the section of the Suao-Hualien Highway that stretches between Heping and Chongde stations, is one of the most spectacular sights on Taiwan's Pacific coast. The cliff is more than 1,000 meters high and drops almost vertically into the sea. The highway snakes along its curving face more than 20 kilometers, with the sheer cliff rising on one side and a sheer drop to the ocean on the other.
My first stop in Taiwan was Taroko Gorge, where marble cliffs reached dizzingly up towards the sky and rushing rivers ran beneath. Here was our opportunity to hike and walk one of the trails, visiting: Swallow GrottoThe Tunnel of Nine Turns Eternal Spring shrine Trekking opportunities are both plentiful and exciting here, and range from short picturesque nature walks to longer, more rugged paths for the more adventure-seeking. In just a half-day self-guided tour, we hiked past lofty mountains, deep canyons, head spinning precipices, elegant waterfalls and wild rapids.