Welcome to Hualien
Hualien (花蓮; Huālián) is eastern Taiwan's second-largest city and one of the more pleasant small towns in Taiwan. Many travellers like to base themselves here, even when Taroko Gorge is their interest, as the range of food and accommodation is greater. Budget travellers will find everything they need near the train station. Head east to the Meilunshan Park (Měilúnshān Gōngyuán) and harbour area for wide streets,... Read More
Top experiences in Hualien
Taroko Gorge Full-Day Tour from Taipei
You'll be picked up from your Taipei hotel at 6am to travel by train on your own to Hualien. This full-day guided tour will take you to the Taroko Gorge, a 20-kilometer section of the highway that runs from Taroko to Tiansiang. The stunning gorge is famous for its marble cliffs, deep, winding tunnels and the Liwu River, which flows through its craggy landscape. Travel through Swallows Grotto, where the section of the highway runs through tunnels carved into the gorge. Then, see the Eternal Spring Shrine, one of the most photographed scenes around the gorge. These little temples were built to commemorate those who lost their lives in the construction of the central cross-island highway. Afterward, break for lunch at a local restaurant. Appetites sated, continue to the Chi-Hsing Beach and Hualien Stone Sculpture Park and visit a marble factory before returning to Taipei by express train.
5-Day Best of Taiwan Tour from Taipei: Sun Moon Lake, Taroko Gorge, Kaohsiung and Taitung
Start your 5-day round-island tour of Taiwan with hotel pickup in Taipei. Drive south into the lofty mountains to visit Sun Moon Lake, where you’ll stop at several temples like Wenwu Temple, Holy Monk Shrine and Tse-En Pagoda. At Fo Guang Shan Monastery, one of the most famous Buddhist sites in southern Taiwan, take a walking tour and interact with monks and nuns.The next day, head to Kaohsiung, the second-largest city in Taiwan. Pass Love River (Ai River) and stroll through Lio Ho Night Market.In southern Taiwan’s Kenting National Park the following day, admire 37 miles (60 km) of coral-rimmed shoreline and explore the forest recreation area. On your fourth day, continue your journey through Taiwan’s scenic landscapes with a visit to Taitung’s East Coast National Scenic Area, where unspoiled land stretches for miles down the coast. See incredible land formations created by years of erosion.Then, in Hualien, marvel at the exceptional beauty of Taroko National Park’s Taroko Gorge, whose marble formations are split by a road that looms under forested peaks and towering cliffs.You’ll end your journey back in Taipei. All entrance fees, transportation, accommodation and daily breakfasts are included, and for lunch and dinner, your guide will be happy to recommend great places for you to enjoy authentic Taiwanese cuisine.For details on each day of the tour, see the Itinerary section below.
Spectacular Hiking in Taroko Gorge: Zhuilu Old Trail
You will be picked up from your hotel in Hualien city between 7:40am to 8:10am (departure time from Hualien Train Station is at 8:30am). Your tour guide will ensure that you are appropriately dressed for the trail before heading down to a convenience store to get last minute necessities, such as water, snacks, that you might need or wish to enjoy along the hike. On the way to trailhead, mountain entry permits will be applied from the local police station.At the starting point, you will be greeted by a beautiful suspension bridge which is not accessible if without a permit. The total distance of the hike is 6.2km (3.1km one way). The first thirty minutes of the hike is the most arduous as it spans 1.0km of steep steps, before we pit-stop at the old Japanese military outpost. Along the way, you can expect to see some wildlife such as exotic birds, monkeys, and mountain goats. You will continue to hike for another two hours before reaching the most spectacular part of the trail: the Zhuliu giantic cliff. This part of the trail offers the most stunning, spectacular paranomic view of the Taroko Gorge. Imagine yourself looking down from the top of Taipei 101(Taiwan’s tallest building), only this is different, as you take in the scenery before you and have the magnificent marble-walled canyon of Taroko beneath your feet. Be amazed and thoroughly in awe of the five-hundred meters long Zhuliu marble cliff’s beauty, charting for yourself one of the greatest hiking experience of a lifetime!You will have your lunch at the Cliff Outpost with amazing view. After lunch, you will take the same route back to the trailhead. Once at the trailhead, your tour guide will take you back to Hualien City to enjoy a meal at a seventy year old Wonton soup shop at your own cost before dropping you off at Hualien train station. If you wish to browse around the night market after the tour, your tour guide can drop you at night market area for free as well.
Taroko Gorge Day Tour from Taipei by Train
You will be picked up from your hotel in Taipei City between 5:30 AM - 6:10 AM and transferred to Taipei Railway Station to take a train to Hualien. After arrival in Hualien, your friendly and professional local tour guide will take you to explore the amazing Taroko National Park.Taroko National Park is one of the nine national parks in Taiwan with too many beautiful attractions. First stop is the Tunnel of Nine Turns with total length of 2 km. Taroko Gorge is the most essential sections, leaning against the mountain trails tight deep valleys, overlooking down the rapids of a stream river. The gorge/rock started over 200 million years ago as sediment on the bottom of the ocean. Later visit the Eternal Spring Shrine, one of the major picturesque points in the park. Enjoy the mesmerizing view of the mountains and waterfall. It is also one of the main memorials for veterans. Next continue to the Swallow Grotto. "Swallow" refers to the Cross-Island Highway from Jin Heng Park with approximately 500 m of marble foot canyon walls and numerous small caves. Take a break and enjoy some local Taiwanese cuisine for lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch visit the beautiful beach, Cisingtan Scenic Area and then proceed to Hualien Stone Sculptural Park to visit a marble factory. When the tour ends, you will be transferred to return to Hualien Railway Station to take the train back to Taipei by 7:00PM and then dropped off at your hotel in Taipei.
Small Group Taroko Gorge Classic Day Tour
You will be picked up from your hotel in Hualien city between 8am to 8:30am. Starting from Hualien city, our hospitable driver will pick you up at your hotel, airport or Hualien Port. It takes around forty minutes from Hualien City to Taroko Gorge. One of the eight wonders in Taiwan, Qingshui Cliff (Ching-Shui Cliff) will greet you firstly. The marvelous cliff and emerald blue sea water, make Qingshui as a touristic highlight in Taroko National Park. Beside the abandoned old highway trace, you would be able to peep local traditional fishing culture . Keep going down through the East-West Highway (Su-Hua Highway; Hwy8), you will see the entrance of Taroko Gorge. The small archway was settled for more than fifty years. It is regarded as a landmark of Taroko National Park.Most of the passengers who have been to Taroko Gorge would take photos with this archway.The first trekking on the tour would be Shakadang Trail (Mysterious Valley trail), featuring for its crystal-blue stream water and amazing sedimentary colorful rocks. There’s no need to worry about the hike, it is flat and easy, suitable for a family. Besides, you will see local aboriginal wild vegetable farms. At the end of the trail you can buy some beverage in the shop owned by local aborigines, and handicraft related to their culture. You can even take off your shoes and soak your feet into clean and fresh stream. You will have a great experience of exploring the East Coast of Taiwan. The 3km trail takes around an hour to complete. After relax and simple hiking on Shakadang trail, the other picturesque spot nearby is Eternal Spring Shrine. The shrine is built to commemorate the sacrificed workers during the construction. Everlasting spring symbolizes the promising future of this land. In addition, our driver can take you to some secret spots nearby and tell you more stories behind the scenes. After lunch, you are going to Swallow Grotto (known as Yanzihkou Trail), the must-see sight of Taroko Gorge. You will walk on the old Central Cross Island Highway, and you will be amazed by how the the narrow tunnel goes through the marble mountain could be built . The dynamic geological activities and river cutting deepen the gorge day after day. For safety, our driver will borrow helmets for you during the walk in Swallow Grotto in case of some small falling rocks. It takes around thirty minutes walking through this marble paradise. Besides the spots mentioned above, you could also visit Lushui Trail, Cimu Bridge, Chishingtan Scenic Area ... etc if time permitted. For the lunch, your tour guide will take you to one of the best restaurant in Taroko Gorge (Leader Village Taroko). Restaurant is owned by Taroko Tribal aborigines, will serve aboriginal-style cuisine, and all of the waiters are also aborigines.
Private Tour: Taroko Gorge Day Trip from Taipei
Meet your private local guide upon pickup from your Taipei city hotel in the early morning. Depending on which option you select, take the two-hour express train or drive for several hours to the town of Hualien by private air-conditioned vehicle – with stops for breaks and views along the way. Your guide will transfer you to Taroko Gorge Gateway to begin your private tour of this spectacular region. Gaze with awe at the sheer marble cliffs of this remarkable gorge and the Liwu River that flows through its rocky landscape. Visit the Eternal Spring Shrine, one of the most photographed scenes around the gorge, where small temples were built to memorialize those who lost their lives in the construction of the central cross-island highway. Then stop for lunch at Leader Village Taroko, a sublime mountain hideaway serving aboriginal-inspired dishes. Afterward, travel with your private guide through Swallows Grotto, a 12-mile (20-kilometer) section of the highway that runs through tunnels carved into the vertical sides of the gorge from Taroko to Tienhsiang. Drive through 38 tunnels, including the Tunnel of Nine Turns – a stunning part of the gorge where numerous hiking trails begin.When you reach Tienhsiang, embark on a walking tour of the small village, a frequent stop for travelers to Taroko National Park. Check out the Tienhsiang Lodge and nearby amenities as you walk along shaded walkways and take in the photo-worthy landscape. Catch sight of Hsiangte Temple and its pagoda, situated on a hilltop and reached by a suspension bridge over the Liwu River. Next, your guide will accompany you onto the scenic Lushui Trail, an easy hiking trail that includes magnificent views of Taroko Gorge and the Liwu River below. Follow the trail as you climb uphill at a mild pace, then cross a suspension bridge before making your way onto an exposed cliff – wide enough for two people – with safety railings along the entire cliff segment.When you’ve returned to your car, continue to Chi Hsing Beach for a stroll. Finally, visit the Hualien Stone Sculptural Park and a marble factory before your guide returns you to Taipei by express train or private vehicle.