Mar 31, 2011

Taroko Gorge @ Hualien, Taiwan (19-21 March 2011)

Eternal Spring of Shrine

We decided to go straight from Taoyuan International Airport upon arrival to Hualien in order to save a day. We spent the next two nights in Hualien at this beautiful minsu (in chinese) or B&B named Jia Li Bao 家麗堡. The minsu is complete with internet which is like 10 times faster than Msia line and the owner actually comes and pick us up from the train station.

view from the minsu

The minsu is opened by a couple who were like the best host I ever encountered. They were extremely friendly and even brewed tea for us while we were snacking on food that we bought from the Hua Lien night market (ZiQiang). Free pickup also provided from the night market back to the minsu. In fact, we all agreed that Zi Qiang night market is one of the best we went comparing with Shih Lin and Feng Jia in Taichung. Although it was small, the bbq meat stall is really good and we even need to take numbers to order our food. We also love the coffin bread that we bought there.

To get to Hua Lien from Taipei, simply take the train from the main Taipei railway station heading to north and look for Hua Lien stop. We took the Taroko Express which is just about 2 hours travel and worth NTD 440.

entrance to Taroko National Park 

Shakadang trail

We also booked an 8 hour day tour to Taroko Gorge from Hualien with the minsu owner and we were quite shocked to see a lady tour guide and driver. Taroko Gorge is only a short distance away from Hualien. I find that most people here were extremely friendly and they love chatting with foreigners especially. We even got discount for the room (we had a lovely Japanese style quad room) and the day trip to Taroko Gorge which was only NTD6,000 for the four of us after discount from NTD6,500 as we told the owner that our friend recommended us. We were even posted as the VIP guests of the minsu!!!

Anyway back to Taroko, the national park is considered one of the must see attractions when in Taiwan. The place is a heaven for hikers and nature lovers with lots of greenery and beautiful scenery in every corner. The gorge is amazing with intertwining rivers flowing in between. We trekked the Skadang Trail and visited the Eternal Spring Shrine. One hour trek turned into 2 hours as we so occupied with photographing with mother nature. It turn out that the weather forecast of raining was wrong as we were rewarded with super sunny blue sky throughout the 8 hour trip.

near the Swallow grotto

A 2 km trail

posing in front of the tunnel that need torchlight to go in

view from the trail

a very famous bridge

colourful leaves..autumn or spring?

temple of guanyin

entrance of the temple
too tired to walk up the stairs and just decided to take photos of the entrance

Later on we headed to the famous 'seven star' 七星灘 beach which faces the Pacific Ocean. Will write about that next as photos from Hua Lien are too much to be posted in one travelogue!

Overall, Hualien remains the best place we visited in Taiwan and we all agreed that if we ever come back to Taiwan for another visit, we will definately visit Hua Lien again for more trekking as well as chilling out in our favourite minsu

Check out the food available at the night market


  1. Love the photos, esp those taken in Shakadang Trail.

  2. I love hiking the trail. It's one of my favourite!!

  3. very nice photos indeed. I am going to Taiwan and Hualien in Nov 2011. Hope to stay in the minu u mentioned. Tks for your lovely blog.
    May Chung

  4. Thanks May. Enjoy your trip to Taiwan and all the food as well. Let me know if you need more info

  5. Hi,
    Which minshu did you stayed at hua lien? Can you share the info with me? Thanks.

  6. Hi Poh Ling,
    I stayed in Jia Li Bao 家麗堡. The owner is a couple and they are very friendly and nice. The link to their website is as below:

    You can write to them in English but they will reply in Chinese. Enjoy your trip!

  7. Hi

    it takes 8 hours by car to get to Taroko gorge? Which other places did you explore at Hualien?


    1. Hi Valerie,
      the journey is not that long. The tour is 8 hours. There are a lot of hiking trails in the gorge and there's also a beach nearby Hualien town which is quite beautiful. Other than that, we spend most of the time at the night market.