5 Awesome Hualien Beach Spots!

Your Hualien Beach Guide

Here at Island Life Taiwan, we love showing people around the Hualien area. From the mountains to the sea, Hualien is a spectacularly beautiful region with plenty to explore. Looking for a place gaze out at the ocean or maybe take a dip? Here are the 5 best Hualien Beaches!

All of this and SO MUCH more can be found in our 2018 Hualien Visitors Guide. We hope you enjoy!


 

1. Qixingtan Beach

The most stunning beach area in the immediate Hualien City area, Qixingtan Beach is a sprawling stone covered beach with sweeping views galore. A common stop at the end of Taroko Gorge tours, Qixingtan Recreation Area can have a small crowd in the late afternoon/evening. Thankfully, the beach and adjoining parks are so massive that it’s easy to get away and find your own quiet place to relax.

Swimming is NOT ALLOWED at Qixingtan, as the current is very strong here, but many people dip their feet in the cool, clean waters. This is also a great place to ride a bicycle as there are many bicycle rental shops and paths throughout the abutting grassy park and bluffs. In addition, there are bathroom facilities, food vendors (think street snacks) and even showers to rinse the saltwater off your feet.

hualien beach Qixingtan Beach


20 Delicious Hualien Restaurants

Your Hualien Food Guide

It’s difficult coming to a new city and not knowing where to get a good bite to eat. Guide books can be outdated, and review sites can be rigged. So here at Island Life, we’ve made a list of all of our favorite restaurants from our time living here in Hualien. You can find it below! All of this and SO MUCH more can be found in our 2018 Hualien Visitors Guide. We hope you enjoy!

10 Tips When Visiting Taroko Gorge National Park

All of this and SO MUCH more can be found in our 2018 Hualien Visitors Guide. We hope you enjoy!

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, and affordable, 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 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…

The 10 Best Things To Do In Hualien

Our Favorite Hualien Attractions!

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, there are countless Hualien attractions worth exploring. It’s sure to take your breath away… likely more than once. Searching for what to do in Hualien? Here are the 10 best things to do in Hualien, Taiwan.

All of this and SO MUCH more can be found in our 2018 Hualien Visitors Guide. We hope you enjoy!


 

1. Taroko Gorge National Park

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 an epic day exploring the best of Taroko Gorge, we highly recommend our BETTER Taroko Gorge Tour. A small group tour with fun guides, lots of time on the trails and a really great value!

What to do in Hualien? Check out these Hualien attractions: Swallow Grotto in Taroko Gorge National Park on our Taroko Gorge Tour


How to Get from Taipei to Hualien 

There are several options when making your way from Taipei to Hualien. Here is some info to help you along!

 

How To Get From Taipei To Hualien

Option 1: Take the Train

hualien travel : taipei to hualien hualien to taipei

This is the most popular and affordable method of getting to Hualien from Taipei.  The express trains (Taroko or Puyuma) will get you to Hualien in about 2 hours, while the non-express trains can take 3-4 hours. It is important to book your train tickets ahead of time, especially on weekends and holidays, as the trains do sell out.  A one way ticket will cost NT$440 per person. 

You can book train tickets online here.

 

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


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

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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.