Taiwan is a country full of surprises, from exciting destinations to paradisal journeys. If you want a break from the whiz and neon blur in the city, a paradise to explore is Hualien, Taiwan’s largest county.
Hualien keeps attracting tourists because of its natural environment. Nestled in the east coast of Taiwan, the serene county has one of the lowest populations in the country, with most of its residents living in Huadong Valley, which is surrounded by the Central and Hai’an mountain ranges.
If you have only one day to experience the soothing, mystical vibe of Hualien, here are the spots to include on your itinerary:
Taroko National Park
Taroko National Park, named after the Taroko Gorge, stretches across Hualien County, should be the focal point of your Hualien trip. Its size of 92,000 hectares makes it a perfect place to see various natural resources, flora and fauna, mountain ranges, and geological sites. Stretching across Taichung Municipality, and Nantou County, Taroko National Park is a perfect haven for nature lovers and adventurers. You can trek along Liwu River at Taroko Gorge or marvel at the Taroko Swallow Grotto.
East Entrance Arch Gate
Before entering the Taroko National Park, snap photos against the East Entrance Arch Gate. Located along the road, the gate is already an iconic landmark and gives you a glimpse of the mountainous landscape inside the park. The gate is also near hawker carts and shops where you can find snacks and refreshments.
Swallow Grotto or Yan Zi Dong refers to the area where caves on the walls of the river become the nesting places of spring swallow birds. As you walk along, you can spot the Indian Chieftain’s Profile Rock, and the trail can lead you to the Jinheng Park and Jinheng Bridge. From the bridge, you may notice that the east side of the grotto seems flat, with brownish metamorphic gneiss rock, and the west side is steeper and mainly built with greyish marble rock.
If you are arriving in Taipei Songshan Airport, you can start your adventure and see the Swallow Grotto or the Qingshui Cliff right away by booking a Taroko Gorge Day Tour from Taipei.
Eternal Spring Shrine
Lay your eyes on the Eternal Spring Shrine, a lovely temple on top of a natural spring that cascades into a waterfall. This shrine was built to commemorate the memory of 212 veterans who died while constructing the Central Cross-Island Highway. The shrine was destroyed by landslides in the past, but it has been rebuilt twice. The last reconstruction happened in 1989. Here, you can gaze at more natural wonders and one of the main memorials for veterans.
The 700-meter Jiuqudong trail will give you views of the mountains and the Liwu River. You may see folds, faults, and marble walls of the George Canyon along the way. The entrance of the trail is called “Tunnel of Nine Turns.” It took six years to have the trail renovated, and its renovation has resulted in a water landscape trail, and open-cut tunnel, and public toilets.
Cimu Bridge, also called Motherly Devotion Bridge, is an H-Shape hanging bridge decked with marble lotus stones and marble stone lions. The frog-like rock beneath the Cimu Bridge is made of black layer of schist and white marble.
The Qixingtan Beach, also known as Chihsingtan Beach, is known for its half moon-like shape and natural landscape. Near the beach is the Chihsing Tan Katsuo Museum.
If you want to see all these beautiful destinations in Hualien in one day, book Taroko Gorge & Hualien Private Half-Day or Day Tour now.
*Featured image sourced from Taiwan Tourism Bureau