Destination Adventure: Explore Taiwan’s Wild East Coast!

 

One hardly thinks of adventure tourism when hearing the name Taiwan. “Don’t you mean ThaiLAND?” people often tell us. And though Taiwan’s western neighbor continues to garner most of the hubbub, the wild East Coast of Taiwan has quietly been developing some seriously epic activity options to offer adventure seekers and outdoor enthusiasts, while offering little of the tourist crowds and accompanying annoyances. Towering 3,000+ meters mountains, check. Rivers, waterfalls and the world’s largest marble canyon, check. Epic wild and tamed coastline, check. Monkey filled jungles and wilderness hot springs, check. While one could spend weeks exploring the incredible adventures to be had in Hualien & Taitung counties, here are 7 of our favorite things to do in Taiwan to get you started.

 

1. Hiking

There is an amazing variety of hiking and trekking locales for people of all skill levels throughout the East Coast. For the daring, take a walk along the cliffs edge on the infamous Zhuilu Old Trail, a narrow path perched high above the valley below. For nature lovers, take a long walk through the wilderness on the historic Walami Trail or the Lushui-Wenshan trail in Taroko Gorge National Park. For epic views, take a stroll above the clouds in the Hehuanshan mountains, one of Taiwan’s 100 peaks over 3,000 meters. There are dozens (maybe hundreds) of exotic trails throughout the area just waiting to be explored! Whether crossing a planked suspension bridge in the Taroko mountains, taking a dip below a waterfall in the Mugua River Gorge, or spotting monkeys in one of the numerous vine covered tropical jungles, hiking in Taiwan’s wild east coast is sure to get your heart racing. Just watch out for snakes! Local outfit Island Life Taiwan offers numerous guided hikes, info and other adventures.

Zhuilu Old Trail Tour Hualien Tour

 


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. taiwan nature


10 Tips When Visiting Taroko Gorge National Park

 

1. Go Early

By 10am, most of the walking paths throughout Taroko Gorge National Park 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! One great option is hitching a ride with Island Life Taiwan Adventures & Experiences who offer a fun filled Taroko Gorge Tour that leaves Hualien at 7:30am making their guests among the first few people in the park. Thus having many trails all to themselves to start the day and having a much better chance of seeing wildlife in the park.


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 (Chingshui 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…

Taroko Gorge National Park

The Jewel of Taiwan Taroko Gorge Tour Hualien Tour

 

Welcome to One of Asia’s Best Kept Secrets

It’s easy to pass by the small island of Taiwan on a map of the world. When most westerners think of Taiwan, they rarely, if ever, think “tropical island” and all too often think of the “made in” tags on their computers and electronics. What many people don’t realize is that Taiwan is actually one of the most stunning islands on earth that nobody is talking about.

Mugua River Gorge, Hualien

Ilha Formosa, the name written in the logs of a passing Portuguese merchant ship in 1544 simply means, “beautiful island”.

An appropriate name for a green gem nestled in the Pacific Ocean, hugging the Tropic of Cancer and covered with verdant green tropical and subtropical forests, towering mountains, sandy beaches, sparkling blue rivers and more waterfalls than one could even imagine.

Yet amidst all this abounding natural beauty, one place stands out above all others. Taroko Gorge National Park.

Hualien Tour Guide

10 REAL Reasons Why Using a Tour Guide in Hualien is a Great Idea

 

We’re often asked: “Why should I use a tour guide or adventure service in Hualien when I’m a DIY-er with loads of travel experience? Why would I need someone to show me around when I can just explore on my own?”And the truth is, you don’t. But we think you can see a heck of a lot more and have a way better experience when you do!

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Here are 10 REAL reasons using a tour guide in Hualien is a great idea

Taiwan Safety

How Safe is Taiwan to Travel to? Taiwan Travel Advice

 

Welcome to Taiwan

Taiwan is a beautiful Island nation, home to over 24 million people and located some 200 kilometers east of mainland China. It offers numerous attractions and outdoor activities to tourists who are willing to explore. While there are so many things to do in Taiwan, as with any other “exotic” destination, there are some dangers you should be aware of. Here is an overview of Taiwan safety.

 

Crime in Taiwan

By world standards, the violent crime and petty crime rates in Taiwan are low. Very low. In fact, Taiwan is annually ranked as one of the safest countries in the world compared to other tourist countries. Though pick pocketing and snatching of bags do occur, it is very uncommon. A few places to avoid in Taiwan however are around urban barbing saloons (hair salons) and KTV’s (Karaoke Bars) which sometimes act as fronts for prostitution. Legitimate salons advertise their businesses in the open and have a glass front door. If you can’t see through the door to the barber from outside, then it is highly likely the “salon” is actually a brothel. Similarly, many late night KTV’s are the Taiwanese equivalent of strip clubs.

Things to Do in Taiwan

Discover the Spectacular East Coast

 

Welcome to Taiwan

A small Island nation located in the Pacific Ocean with the Philippines to the south, Japan to its northeast, China to its west, and the vast Pacific Ocean to its east, Taiwan is home to vibrant culture, modern cities, sandy beaches, ornate temples, natural hot spring resorts, and dramatic mountain terrain. The presence of such beautiful landscapes, rich culture, charming parks, vibrant cities and more have made the country one of the top havens for international tourists in recent years.

Here Are 5 Places You Should Definitely Visit Along Taiwan’s East Coast

Travelers Reviews Of

Taroko Gorge

 

Welcome to Taroko Gorge National Park

Taroko Gorge National Park is unarguably Taiwan’s biggest natural attraction and for good reason. Some have dubbed Taroko as one of the seven wonders of Asia, and visitors tend to agree. One reviewer even called Taroko “…the best experience I had in Taiwan!” and another “Hiking Jhuilu Old Trail in Taroko was a once in a lifetime experience.” The reviews of Taroko Gorge are in – It’s a must see!

Here we look at what visitors had to say about many aspects of the park