The 10 Best Things to Do in Hualien : Our Favorite Hualien Attractions!
Things to do in taiwan east coast

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 2019 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 the top rated BETTER Taroko Gorge Tour. A small group tour with fun guides, an early start to beat the crowds, 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

2. Coastal Highway 11

There is a reason Coastal Highway 11 is so often listed as a one of the best stretches of road in all of Taiwan. From hidden beaches to wild mountain viewpoints, the winding palm lined coastal road will take you past dozens of breath-taking spots. Try out a traditional long bow at a hunting camp in Shuilian and head down to the hidden beach oasis of Cow Mountain (Niushan Huting). Take an ocean swim at beautiful Jici Beach and gawk at the precipitous depths of Fanshuliao Gorge. Go for a walk beside tidal pools in the dramatic lunar landscape of Shihtiping and stand in two climate zones at the Tropic of Cancer Marker. There is so much to explore along the coastal highway, you’ll see why it’s one of the best road trips on the island!

To spend a killer day checking out all this awesome stuff on the East Coast and more, we highly recommend this Hualien East Coast Explorer Tour.

What to do in Hualien? Check out these Hualien attractions: Jici Beach, East Coast Taiwan on Hualien Tour

3. Mukumugi Valley (also called Mugua River Gorge or Mugumuyu)

If you’re lucky enough to be in Taiwan and you love experiencing incredible natural beauty, you have GOT to visit the Mugua River Gorge. Home to some of the best places to swim in Hualien, it is an area  blessed with mesmerizing, crystal clear waters, waterfalls, lush forests and unique aboriginal culture. A terrific way to spend a day while in the Hualien area. This area is listed as one of the East Coast “highlights” in the Lonely Planet Taiwan Guide book, and for good reason. Within the Mugua River Gorge itself and in the surrounding area, there are numerous places to explore, including Emerald Valley, Tongmen, Liyu Lake, Wunlan, Zimu Falls, the Miyawan River, Rainbow Falls and more!

Ready for an adventure?! Island Life Taiwan’s Mugua River Gorge Waterfalls & Swimming Holes Adventure is the ultimate day out in the jungle! Hiking, swimming, and checking out some of the most scenically beautiful wild areas in Hualien County.

 What to do in Hualien? Check out these Hualien attractions: Mugua River Gorge Hualien

4. Shihtiping

The only way to describe this unique stretch of coastline between Fengbin and Changbin is “Wow”.  Millions of years of volcanic activity and salt water erosion have transformed this incredible stretch of the coast into something truly remarkable. As if walking on the moon, the bizarre uplifted coral reefs and stone cliffs of Shihtiping feel otherworldly in their shape and texture. The name “Shihtiping” loosely translates to “stone steps”, and let’s just say, you’ll see why when you visit this natural phenomena. With hundreds of tidal pools and an offshore coral reef, Shihtiping is also a wonderful place to see countless species of sea creatures big and small.

Check it out on this East Coast Explorer tour.

What to do in Hualien? Check out these Hualien attractions: Shihtiping, East Coast Taiwan, Hualien Tour

5. The East Rift Valley

As one heads south on Highway 9 or scenic Old Highway 193 from Hualien City, it becomes clear, quite quickly, what a spectacular day is in store for you. With the Coastal Mountain Range rising on your left, and the Central Mountain Range on your right, the green and fertile East Rift Valley stretches south, littered with glistening rice paddies, wild rivers, waterfalls, hot springs and more. From the tranquil shores of Liyu Lake, to the tea fields and hot springs of Ruisui, there are tons of things to explore in this beautiful valley. Cool off under Fenghuang Waterfall, take a bike ride through Danong Dafu Forest Park, view countless orchids and critters in the Matai’an Wetlands, see many of Taiwan’s 450+ butterfly species at the Fuyuan Forest Recreation Area and so much more.

This East Rift Valley Discovery Tour and Butterfly Valley Tour both take you deep into the East Rift Valley for incredible fun days out.

What to do in Hualien? Check out these Hualien attractions: Ruisui, East Rift Valley, Hualien Tour.

So Much More To Discover!

6. Niushan Huting (Cow Mountain)

Niushan Huting or “Cow Mountain” sits hidden in a cove off Coastal Highway 11. The winding road down into the valley brings you to a hidden beach oasis surrounded by green mountains on all sides. A real “secret cove”. Enjoy an ocean swim, wander around the unique driftwood sculptures built by the local tribespeople, or lay out on the grassy hillside for a picnic. One can easily spend hours relaxing in this stunning locale.

Check it out on an East Coast Explorer tour.

What to do in Hualien? Check out these Hualien attractions: Cow Mountain, East Coast Taiwan, Hualien Tour. Hualien beach

7. Matai’an Wetlands

As the Fudeng stream flows from the base of the Masi Mountain, making its way sluggishly towards the North, the slow flow of the water has led to the formation of over 12 hectares of swampy wetland. Full of beautiful orchids, water plants and other flowers, the Matai’an Wetlands are home to countless species of birds, frogs, and insects. Take a leisurely walk on the elevated plank paths through the wetlands and immerse yourself in this unique ecological environment.

Check it out on an East Rift Valley tour!

 What to do in Hualien? Check out these Hualien attractions: Mataian Wetlands, East Rift Valley Taiwan, Hualien Tour.

8. Liyu Lake

This serene lake lies at the foot of Liyu Mountain and is the largest freshwater lake in Hualien County. The name “Liyutan”, literally means 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 across 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. There is a pathway alongside the lake’s shores where you can walk and enjoy seeing beautiful statues and other inspirations. Visit in April and enjoy a marvelous sight as hundreds of fireflies come out in the evening, making the whole lake shimmer with lights!

Check it out on a Mugua River Gorge Tour , Butterfly Valley Tour or East Rift Valley tour!

What to do in Hualien? Check out these Hualien attractions: Liyu Lake Taiwan, East Rift Valley, Mugua River Gorge, Hualien Tour.

9. Hehuanshan

Home to many of the “100 Peaks” of Taiwan, the Central Mountain range of which Hehuanshan is part of, is often called the backbone of Taiwan. Towering over Taroko National Park, these mountains have also been described as the “Switzerland of Taiwan” with their rolling green hills and never ending views. Thankfully, the Cross Island Highway climbs most of the way making hiking to the 3000-meter peaks surprisingly easy.

Enjoy this on an epic Hehuanshan Mountain Tour!

What to do in Hualien? Check out these Hualien attractions: Hehuanshan Mountain, Taroko Gorge, Hualien Tour.

10. Take an ATV Ride to the Qingshui Cliffs

The towering Qingshui Cliffs are a marvel to be seen on any visit to Taroko Gorge. Yet while most tours take you to a viewing platform located off the highway, now you can take ATV’s up the beach from the village of  Chongde and go right to the cliffs base! It’s a truly breathtaking way to view one of Taiwan’s most spectacular spots. Island Life now offers the ATV’s as an add on to their Taroko Tours.

What to do in Hualien? Check out these Hualien attractions: Hualien ATV to Qingshui Cliffs

While seeing all the Hualien Taiwan attractions on our list by yourself would be seriously difficult, Island Life Taiwan offers well-constructed day tours to all of these places and so much more. There are so many things to do in Taiwan, and Hualien County is such a diverse and beautiful region, why would you not?!

We Hope You Enjoy Your Visit!

More Amazing Places & Less Crowds, That’s The Island Life Way!

About Island Life Taiwan

Based in Hualien, Taiwan (adjacent to Taroko Gorge National Park), Island Life Taiwan designs all of our unique daily itineraries to help you discover the rich natural beauty and culture of Taiwan, in the most enjoyable, and most immersive way possible. We’re dedicated to showing you the most amazing locations in eastern Taiwan, while having the most fun and avoiding the crowds. More than just a tour operator and adventure outfitter, our team truly loves showing this awe-inspiring part of the world to our guests, and when you love what you do, it shows.

So what are you waiting for? Contact us and let us help you pick the tour or adventure that’s right for you!

Download Your Free 2019 Hualien Visitors Guide Here

Click Below – 5MB PDF

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Ellison Berkhardt
November 12, 2018
Great article and I really like the pictures. Do you do the Walami Trail?
November 12, 2018
We definitely do the Walami Trail hike, but it's technically in Taitung County so we didn't include it here. We visit from Hualien City though and it is one of our most popular tours. Shoot us an email our check out our tour list for details! Thanks!
October 14, 2018
Thank you for the helpful information.
Calista USA
September 27, 2018
Great list! Can't wait to check these out with your company in December.

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