Located just 15 kilometers north of Hualien deep within Taroko National Park lies the prominent Taroko Gorge. Famed as Taiwan’s top tourist destination, it’s no wonder how it earned its status with its marble-walled canyons, plush vegetation, and larger-than-life cliffs that are so enormous they block out the sky.
Stretching over Hualien County, Nantou County, and Taichung City, the park covers more than 1,200 square kilometers with the blue-green waters of the Liwu River cutting straight through the center of the Gorge. The geological uplifting and erosion accomplished by the river alone have formed valleys and ravines with walls hundreds of meters high. It is a marvel truly rare to behold elsewhere in the world.
Taroko contains almost half of all the animal species that can be found in Taiwan, including mammals such as the Formosan black bear and wild boar.While it’s not extremely likely that travelers will cross paths with such creatures, it’s far more common for one to catch a glimpse of a Taiwan macaque scaling the cliffs or sitting in a nearby tree. As you slowly descend the mountains, you will be greeted by the immense Yushan cane grasslands. Venture down one of the many trails that the park has to offer, and as you stroll through the park, you’ll be greeted by the sweet chirping of the Viaceous Rose-finch, the almost inaudible sound of the Formosan Laughing Thrush swiftly flying by, or you may even spy an intricately patterned Hsuehshan grass lizard lazily sunbathing on a nearby stone.
There are countless tour suggestions if you’re interested in seeing specific sights, or for the more spontaneous individuals, just take a relaxed trek and see what you might come across. No matter your choice, with scenes such as the Tunnel of Nine Turns, Baiyang Waterfall, Eternal Spring Shrine, or the Qingshui Cliffs, Taroko National Park will not disappoint.
With an abundance of charming bed and breakfasts or hotels nearby, Taroko National Park is the perfect destination whether for a quick weekend getaway, an adventurous and exploratory camping trip, or even an extended stay at a nearby 5-star hotel. This gorgeous park is a must-see destination for tourists and locals alike.