Thursday, April 24, 2014

Taroko (Marble) Gorge in Hualien, Taiwan


Taroko Gorge National Park is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Taiwan. It is situated in Hualien County, on the mountainous eastern coast of Taiwan. Taroko Gorge was cut through the narrow and winding way through the Central Mountain Range and formed by the gorge of Liwu River. Taroko Gorge is also known as Marble Gorge due to its abundant supply of marble rocks over there. Visiting Taroko Gorge helps us to appreciate the rich eco-system changes and the process of erosion with the elevation.

If you are traveling from Taipei city to Hualien, you can take a local express train and arrive there after two hours of train journey. Otherwise, you can consider for a local flight from Songshan Airport in Taipei to Hualien Airport. The air flight journey takes about 30 minutes only. Once you reach at Hualien Airport, you have to hire a day of private taxi (cab) to take you around Taroko Gorge National Park and Hualien city.

We unfortunately, were unable to travel by ourselves as it would be very costly for a couple like us, thus, we joined one day local tour to Taroko Gorge with Edison Tours from Taipei city. Most of the day tour trips to Taroko Gorge begin from Taipei city. The tour representative will pick you from your hotel and take you to Songshan Airport while, another tour guide will pick you up from Hualien Airport upon your arrival. Throughout your day tour, the local tour guide will take you to Taroko Gorge National Park and Chi Hsing Beach in Hualien before sending you back to Taipei city by a local train. Most of Taiwanese tour guides are able to converse fluently in three languages (Japanese, Mandarin and English) during the tours so, you don't have to worry about language barrier.

These are several beautiful and popular sights to visit when you arrive at Taroko Gorge National Park:
  • Shakadang Trail
  • Tunnel of Nine Turns
  • Swallow Grotto
  • Eternal Spring Shrine
  • The Bridge of the Kind Mother (Cimu Bridge)
As you are heading to Tunnel of Nine Turns and Swallow Grotto, the road and tunnels become narrow and winding hence, the Taroko Gorge authorities permit cars and vans to use this road only. Even though we followed the tour by bus, we were lucky to have a wonderful tour guide who was able to make necessary arrangement for us to visit all these attraction sights. 

I feel it is a breathtaking view as I really appreciate the natural beauty of spectacular mountains and the process of erosion over the narrow marble canyons as we stroll along the trails at Taroko Gorge National Park. It was a pity that we couldn't get to Tunnel of Nine Turns as the trail was closed due to rockfall. 

Before you leave Taroko Gorge National Park, do drop by to visit the Eternal Spring Shrine. The Taroko monument at Eternal Spring Shrine was built to memorize those who have lost their lives in the construction of the central cross-island highway.



Welcome to Taroko Gorge National Park in Hualien, Taiwan
Welcome to Taroko Gorge National Park in Hualien, Taiwan

The starting point of Shakadang Trail at Taroko Gorge National Park in Hualien, Taiwan
The starting point of Shakadang Trail at Taroko Gorge National Park in Hualien, Taiwan

Walking along narrow, steep and uneven path of Shakadang Trail which takes you to the aborigine people of the Taroko Tribe at Taroko Groge National Park in Hualien, Taiwan
Walking along narrow, steep and uneven path of Shakadang Trail which takes you to the aborigine people of the Taroko Tribe at Taroko Groge National Park in Hualien, Taiwan

A famous red bridge with stunning view and rushing blue stream of Shakadang Trail at Taroko Gorge National Park in Hualien, Taiwan
A famous red bridge with stunning view and rushing blue stream of Shakadang Trail at Taroko Gorge National Park in Hualien, Taiwan

This is the main road to drive along the marble bridge before heading into the tunnel to explore more Taroko Gorge National Park in Hualien, Taiwan
This is the main road to drive along the marble bridge before heading into the tunnel to explore more Taroko Gorge National Park in Hualien, Taiwan

There are signs warning of the danger of rock falls, visitors myst wear helmets before heading to Swallow Grotto Trail at Taroko Gorge National Park in Hualien, Taiwan
There are signs warning of the danger of rock falls, visitors myst wear helmets before heading to Swallow Grotto Trail at Taroko Gorge National Park in Hualien, Taiwan

There are warning signs at Swallow Grotto Trail at Taroko Gorge National Park reminding visitors to be constantly wearing helmet due to dangers of rocks fall
There are warning signs at Swallow Grotto Trail at Taroko Gorge National Park reminding visitors to be constantly wearing helmet due to dangers of rocks fall

Look at how the nets are wrapped around the rocks on the mountain to prevent from falling at Swallow Grotto Trail at Taroko Gorge National Park in Hualien, Taiwan
Look at how the nets are wrapped around the rocks on the mountain to prevent from falling at Swallow Grotto Trail at Taroko Gorge National Park in Hualien, Taiwan

Looking at dashing stream of Liwu River while pointing at beautiful marble walls at Swallow Grotto of Taroko Gorge National Park in Hualien, Taiwan
Looking at dashing stream of Liwu River while pointing at beautiful marble walls at Swallow Grotto of Taroko Gorge National Park in Hualien, Taiwan

Walking along the pedestrian path of Swallow Grotto at Taroko Gorge National Park in Hualien, Taiwan
Walking along the pedestrian path of Swallow Grotto at Taroko Gorge National Park in Hualien, Taiwan

As I walk into the dark tunnel, I could feel cold and hear Liwu River run swiftly at Swallow Grotto at Taroko Gorge National Park in Hualien, Taiwan
As I walk into the dark tunnel, I could feel cold and hear Liwu River run swiftly at Swallow Grotto at Taroko Gorge National Park in Hualien, Taiwan

The road was closed as the authorities had to remove some falling rocks due to the recent heavy rain at Swallow Grotto at Taroko Gorge National Park in Hualien, Taiwan
The road was closed as the authorities had to remove some falling rocks due to the recent heavy rain at Swallow Grotto at Taroko Gorge National Park in Hualien, Taiwan

Heading back to the bus as we were not able to continue our journey at Swallow Grotto Trail at Taroko Gorge National Park in Hualien, Taiwan
Heading back to the bus as we were not able to continue our journey at Swallow Grotto Trail at Taroko Gorge National Park in Hualien, Taiwan

Another close shot of Liwu River with the suspension bridge at Swallow Grotto at Taroko Gorge National Park in Hualien, Taiwan before leaving the trail
Another close shot of Liwu River with the suspension bridge at Swallow Grotto at Taroko Gorge National Park in Hualien, Taiwan before leaving the trail

We tried the local ice-cream flavour of Taro and Peanut at Taroko Gorge National Park in Hualien, Taiwan
We tried the local ice-cream flavour of Taro and Peanut at Taroko Gorge National Park in Hualien, Taiwan

Cimu Bridge (Motherly Devotion Bridge) is an H-Shape hanging marble bridge which was built by President Chiang Jing-guo in memory of his mother at Taroko Gorge in Taiwan
Cimu Bridge (Motherly Devotion Bridge) is an H-Shape hanging marble bridge which was built by President Chiang Jing-guo in memory of his mother at Taroko Gorge in Taiwan

A pavilion was built on this frog rock to resemble a crown on the frog's head at Cimu Bridge at Taroko Gorge National Park in Hualien, Taiwan
A pavilion was built on this frog rock to resemble a crown on the frog's head at Cimu Bridge at Taroko Gorge National Park in Hualien, Taiwan

A popular shoot position of the Eternal Spring Shrine at Taroko Gorge National Park in Hualien, Taiwan
A popular shoot position of the Eternal Spring Shrine at Taroko Gorge National Park in Hualien, Taiwan

Changchun Bridge  nearby Eternal Spring Shrine at Taroko Gorge National Park in Hualien, Taiwan
Changchun Bridge  nearby Eternal Spring Shrine at Taroko Gorge National Park in Hualien, Taiwan

Heading into the mountain and stairs to GuanYin (Mercy of Goddess) cave and Taroko Tower at Eternal Spring Shrine at Taroko Gorge National Park in Hualien, Taiwan
Heading into the mountain and stairs to GuanYin (Mercy of Goddess) cave and Taroko Tower at Eternal Spring Shrine at Taroko Gorge National Park in Hualien, Taiwan

Beautiful pavilion at the Eternal Spring Shrine at Taroko Gorge National Park in Hualien, Taiwan
Beautiful pavilion at the Eternal Spring Shrine at Taroko Gorge National Park in Hualien, Taiwan

Heading back from Hualien to Taipei by normal train which takes about two hours ride after one day tour at Taroko Gorge tour in Taiwan
Heading back from Hualien to Taipei by normal train which takes about two hours ride after one day tour at Taroko Gorge tour in Taiwan

My Older Post:
  • Tamsui Lover Bridge & Shilin Night Market in Taipei, Taiwan
  • Taipei 101 Observatory & Shopping in Taipei, Taiwan
  • Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall in Taipei, Taiwan
  • Taipei National Palace Museum in Taiwan (one of the largest Chinese Historical collections in the World)
  • Ximending in Taipei (a busy night street for shopping and food) in Taiwan
  • An Introduction to Taiwan


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