The 10 Best Trails In Taroko Gorge National Park

For more info on Taroko Gorge & Hualien, be sure to download our 2018 Hualien Visitors Guide. We hope you enjoy!

1. Swallow Grotto Trail (Yanzikou Trail)

This 1.37km “trail” is actually a paved piece of the old highway but is one of the most spectacular areas in Taroko Gorge. The narrow canyon bares sheer rock cliffs on both sides and features one of the narrowest, deepest and swiftest, sections of the Liwu River. The towering 700-meter-tall cliffs here are covered with deep pock marks formed by thousands of years of sand and grit abrasion as the water slowly carved the deep canyon. The name “Swallow Grotto” comes from the swallows (a small endemic bird) that used to nest in the cavities in the cliffs. As warm air would rush through the narrow canyon from the sea, it would bring along thousands of insects for the birds to feast on! Keep an eye out for “Chieftains Profile Rock”, the “View of Taiwan” and the towering “Zhuilu Cliffs”. This is a MUST SEE trail, though it closes often due to rock falls. Our Early Start Taroko Gorge Tour goes to this trail in the early morning, so you can enjoy it before the large Tour Busses arrive.

The 5 Best 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 to gaze out at the ocean or maybe take a dip? Here are the 5 best Hualien Beaches!

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 Guide books can be outdated, and review sites can be rigged.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.

Zhuilu Old Trail : Visitors Guide 2018

 

Welcome to the Zhuilu 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.

Liyu Lake Visitors Guide 2018


Welcome to Liyu Lake

Lying at the foot of Liyu Mountain, the serene Liyu Lake is the largest freshwater lake in all of 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 at Liyu Lake!

How to Get from Taipei to Hualien 

There are several options when making your way from Taipei to Hualien and back again. We’ve put together some info to help you along!

 

A Few Options

Option 1: Take the Train

hualien travel : taipei to hualien hualien to taipeiThis 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