A Gift from Nature
Taroko Gorge National Park is one of Taiwan’s most beautiful natural wonders you should put on your bucket list. It is included in the nine national parks preserved and protected by Taiwan together with Kenting, Yushan, Yangmingshan, SHei-Pa, Kinmen, Dongsha Atoll, Taijiang and South Penghu Marine National Park. Taroko National Park is located in the eastern part of Taiwan and also home of the Taiwanese aborigines, Truku people. This 19-km-long canyon sized at 92.000 hectares offers wonderful sights of marble gorge which was carved by the erosive power of Liwu River. It has become one of the most popular tourist attractions that you should not miss while visiting Taiwan.
Journey to Heaven-like Place
There are many ways to explore and get around the national park. In Hualien city, scooters are available to rent at a cost of around NT$600/day. Most rentals only accept Taiwan driving license, but some rentals now accept international driving license too. However, it is not recommended for those of you who are not really experience in riding scooter since the road is quite steep and narrow. Another option is to take a day trip service offered by some taxis and car rentals. The price ranges from NT$700 to NT$1000/person for an 8-hour tour service (driver guide, vehicle, gas included). They will take you to several recommended tourist spots or other places on your request.
If you want to get around by your own, there are also some buses that will take you to popular scenery sights inside Taroko Gorge National Park. You can purchase either 1-day unlimited pass for NT$250 or NT$400 for a 2-day pass similar to hop on hop off bus tour. But remember to pay close attention to the bus schedule and route so you won’t ruin your planned itinerary. During weekends and national holidays, anticipate long waits and lines at the bus stops since there will be more people visiting the park.
For your information, the entrance fee of this national park is free. However, do note that some attractions and hiking trails need entry permit that you can apply online one week in advance. We also suggest checking the weather before you go. Avoid Typhoon days and high rainfall season since there might be landslides and rockfall. You can also visit their website to learn more about the information or any announcement regarding the national park.
On our last trip to Taroko Gorge National Park, Xiaozhuilu Trail, Shakadang Trail, Swallow Grotto and Qingshui Cliff are some scenic spots that we visited. To get to Xiaozhuilu Trail, you will need to get inside Shakadang Tunnel first. On the left side of the tunnel, there is a pedestrian path that will lead you to an opening where you can find the Xiaozhuilu Trail. At the end of this hiking trail beside Liwu River, you will see the entrance of Shakadang Trail and continue to hike or you can return to the highway just by taking the stairs.
This trail takes about 45 minutes to hike. As you hike along the river cliff, there is viewing platform with beautiful scenery and clear water pool that has attracted many visitors. Next stop is Swallow Grotto that provides the best view of the carved narrow gorge. Before going to the cave-like trail, you will need to take safety helmets at the tourist center near the location. Surrounded by gorgeous rock cliffs makes such an amazing experience that you won’t forget. Another wonderful scenery sight you must visit is Qingshui Cliff that offers magnificent view of boundless Pacific Ocean. It is part of Taiwan’s Eight Wonders located 15-minute away from main entrance of Taroko Gorge National Park. This 12-km long with 800m height cliff will be the perfect spot to soothe your mind and refresh your soul.
Gallery of the Journey
For more information:
Entrance Fee : Free
Website : http://old.taroko.gov.tw/English/
Address : Taroko National Park 291, FUSHI VILLAGE, XIULIN TOWNSHIP 97253 HUALIEN COUNTY TAIWAN, R.O.C.