Taiwan for Nature Lovers

For lovers of nature, Taiwan offers a shocking wealth of unique natural beauty and landscapes. From soaring green mountains to sprawling beaches, spectacular rivers to bizarre geologic wonders, there are countless adventures to keep you busy in the great outdoors. Here are just a few of the must-see destinations for nature lovers in Taiwan.

 

1. Taroko Gorge: 1-3 days

The number-one item on anyone’s Taiwan nature agenda has to be Taroko Gorge National Park. Easily visited from Hualien City on Taiwan’s green East Coast, here you will have your choice of beautiful nature hikes amidst the largest marble canyon in the world. Towering cliffs, gushing waterfalls, turquoise rivers, and hundreds of species of butterflies, birds, insects, reptiles and mammals make this one of the most abundant natural areas in Asia. While there you can add a day to hike the famed Zhuilu Old Trail,  a, former tribal hunting path carved into a cliff 700 meters above the gorge, and/or drive up 3,000 spectacular meters to the Hehuanshan Mountains to see rolling hills of pygmy bamboo high above the tree line. The massive Taroko Gorge National Park can’t be missed!

Swallow Grotto, Taroko Gorge National Park


10 Tips When Visiting Taroko Gorge National Park

 

1. Go Early

By 10am, most of the walking paths throughout Taroko begin to fill with large tour groups. Many of their guides even bring megaphones to yell information to their groups. So when trying to enjoy the serene grandiosity of Taroko and the sounds of nature, this can be quite distracting. Also, who likes having to wait in line to get to that perfect photo location and then having twenty people in your shot! For these and many other reasons we suggest getting to Taroko as early as possible. Island Life Taiwan (the Early Birds of Taroko!) offers Taroko Gorge Tours that leave Hualien at 7:30am making their guests among the first few people in the park, often having many trails all to themselves to start the day and having a much better chance of seeing wildlife in the park.


The Walami Trail

Take a Walk Through Central Taiwan

 

Welcome to the Walami Trail

Walami Trail Tour TaitungPlunge into a beautiful tropical jungle and immerse yourself in the lush world of Taiwan’s great outdoors! Taiwan’s famous Walami Trail winds deep into the heart of the jungle, where the air is filled with the perfume of warm greenery and the song of nature’s soundtrack.

If you’re looking for something special to do in Taiwan, this is one of your best opportunities to get out and see all that Taiwan’s natural world has to offer.

The East Rift Valley

Taiwan’s Green Countryside

 

Welcome to the East Rift Valley

East Rift Valley Tour Hualien TourNestled between the Chungyang (Central) Mountain Range and the Haian (Coastal) Mountain Range in Eastern Taiwan, the East Rift Valley is an emerald treasure in the heart of Taiwan’s most beautiful locale. Driving Highway 9 or Route 193 south through the valley, one can gaze out on the most verdant agricultural vistas in the country.

The jutting mountains on either side give way to a green plane patch-worked with vegetable fields and rice paddies. Snaking curls of river cut through the earth, festooning the green landscape with ribbons of blue.

Here, you will discover a Taiwan you hardly imagined could exist—a sleepy, rural world of delicious isolation and virgin beauty.

Niushan Huting

The Hidden Cove of Hualien

 

Welcome to Cow Mountain

Cow Mountain East Coast Tour Niushan HutingThere are few places in the world like Niushan Huting. This hidden beach cove and recreational area along Taiwan’s scenic East Coast could be one of the more memorable things you can experience during your visit to Hualien County. If you appreciate the little charms in life and enjoy getting off the beaten path, Niushan Huting just might be one of  your favorite things to do in Taiwan.

So come, answer the call of the wind and sea. Surround yourself with natural beauty and rustic simplicity. Peace and tranquility will never be a stranger when you take a visit to Niushan Huting.

Shihtiping

Taiwan’s Coastal Spectacular

 

Take a Walk at a True Geologic Wonder

At first glance, the word Shihtiping (Shi-tee-ping) may invoke chuckles from those English speakers among us, and yet in the language of the locals, the name perfectly describes the spectacular landscape of this stretch of mesmerizing Eastern Taiwan coastline. Meaning “stone steps” in Mandarin, millions of years of natural erosion and massive tectonic upheaval along the seacoast have created exactly that. A stunning natural stone staircase, rising to the sky and descending down into the azure sea below.

In this magical place where nature has created such amazing scenery, life thrives. Both in the abundant sea creatures in Shihtiping’s tidal pools and coral reefs, but also in the Amis tribespeople who live a traditional Taiwanese lifestyle in rustic villages along this enchanting shoreline. This is Shihtiping.

The Qingshui Cliffs 

Awe Inspiring Wonder of Eastern Taiwan

 

Where the Mountains Meet the Sea

Along the Eastern seashore of Taiwan lies an awe inspiring testament to the sheer power of Earth plate tectonics. Massive cliffs of stone seem to defy reason in their precipitous plummet from Taiwan’s Central Mountain Range into the azure turquoise waters  of the Pacific Ocean far below.

If you’re looking for something literally awesome to do in Taiwan, put a visit to the Qingshui Cliffs near the top of your list. Come take a look with us as we explore Taroko Gorge National Park’s very own, Qingshui Cliffs.

The Zhuilu Old Trail

On the Edge of Insanity

 

The Zhuilu Old Trail (aka Jhuilu Old Trail)

High in the mountains above Taroko Gorge National Park near Hualien, Taiwan lies a trail unlike any most people ever see or experience in their lives. Carved into the flat face of a massive cliff of solid marble, the Zhuilu Old Trail sits perilously more than 700 meters above the canyon floor below.

With limited (often no) guardrail or fencing along the trails edge, one can stare down past their toes at the great Liwu river winding like a little creek over half a mile down. As if that wasn’t enough, the 500-meter-long cliffside portion at the top is only 90cm wide!

This…is the Zhuilu Old Trail…

Hualien Itinerary

The 10 Best Things to Do in Hualien, Taiwan

Here at Island Life Taiwan, we love showing people around the Hualien area. One of the most scenic and naturally beautiful areas in Taiwan, Hualien County sits like a green jewel nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the grandiose Central Mountain Range. Home to some of the most stunning locations in Taiwan with a rich, unique combination of traditional cultures, Hualien has become a must see region for travelers looking to get away from the urban centers while in Taiwan.

From dramatic marble gorges and towering green mountains, to idyllic sandy beaches and turquoise waterfalls and swimming holes. Hualien has something special to offer everyone, and it is sure to take your breath away… likely more than once.


 

1. Taroko Gorge National Park Taroko Tour Zhuilu Old Trail Tour

The undisputed king of Taiwan’s National Parks, Taroko Gorge is the quintessential must experience destination on Taiwan’s east coast. Towering marble valleys, thundering waterfalls, forest hikes and mountain to mountain suspension bridges are just a few of the spectacular features of this grand park. Carved by the Liwu river over millions of years, the spectacular Gorge is the largest marble canyon in the world and boasts a wide variety of trails, temples and landscapes. While it is “possible” to see everything in one day, we highly recommend spending two or three days exploring the gorge to really see it all.

For further reading on Taroko Gorge National Park, check out: Taroko Gorge National Park: The Jewel of Taiwan

Swallow Grotto in Taroko Gorge National Park on our Taroko Gorge Tour


Spend the Day at

Liyu Lake

 

Welcome to Liyu Lake

Lying at the foot of Liyu Mountain, the serene Liyu Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Hualien County, and a popular weekend recreation spot for those seeking a respite from the city. Considered one of the best things to do in Hualien, the name Liyutan, literally translates to “Carp Lake” and stories vary as to the origin of the name.

Did the lake used to be filled with carp? Does Liyu Mountain look like a carp when viewed from the western shore of the lake? Is the entire lake the shape of a carp when viewed from the sky?!

One thing is for sure, the beauty and tranquility of the lake is the reason so many travelers have stopped for a rest by its shores.

So Come Take a Look with Us as We Explore the Many Wonderful Things You Can Do on a Day at Liyu Lake!