HUALIEN AND THE TAROKO NATIONAL PARK

by - 11:36 AM

HUALIEN AND THE TAROKO NATIONAL PARK

Located at Taiwan’s mountainous eastern coast, Hualien is the largest of all counties in Taiwan.  And coming to Taiwan for the third time, I have no idea where I am going.  It was another random weekend trip –devoid of planning and with the game plan of just to chill out.

With an early morning arrival in Taipei from Manila, we decided to stay at a nearby hostel at Taipei Station before we hop on the early morning train to Hualien.  The approximate travel time from Taipei to Hualien is 2 and ½ hrs.  The route was scenic though.

There’s nothing much to do in Hualien for us.  We went out one night to know what the place has to offer.  But only small shops of merchandise and food stalls surround, with a night life of nearly nil.  Thus, our stay in Hualien was almost inside the premises of the hostel and the trip (travel time) to the Taroko National Park.

Where We Stayed?

97055, Taiwan, Hualien County, Hualien City
+886 3 833 0186

There is no better way to define convenience than getting out of the terminal station and right across is your temporary abode.  And that is what we experienced at Hualien Wow Youth Hostel.  It is centrally located that it becomes the gateway to the nearby attractions of Hualien and other provinces in the East.

HUALIEN AND THE TAROKO NATIONAL PARK

HUALIEN AND THE TAROKO NATIONAL PARKHUALIEN AND THE TAROKO NATIONAL PARK

HUALIEN AND THE TAROKO NATIONAL PARK
The vintage industrial concept of the hostel from the rooms to the open and shared spaces, was eye-catching and a visual treat for the travelers.  Interior design is truly innovative. 

HUALIEN AND THE TAROKO NATIONAL PARK

It is also a 2-minute walk to the orange bus station taking tourists to the Taroko National Park.  We left almost lunch time and so we accepted the fact that we won’t be able to fully discover the national park.

HUALIEN AND THE TAROKO NATIONAL PARK

TAROKO NATIONAL PARK

As one walks out the main exit of Hualien train station, there is an orange bus station towards the left.  The public bus is the cheapest way to get to Taroko Gorge.  Visitors should take note however of the bus schedules at all times. 

HUALIEN AND THE TAROKO NATIONAL PARK

HUALIEN AND THE TAROKO NATIONAL PARK

The earliest bus from Hualien leaves at 6:30AM and the last bus departs Tianxiang for Hualien at 6:00PM.  They say that the schedule sometimes change, thus, it is advisable to get a timetable before you get on board the bus.

Taroko Gorge is considered as Taiwan’s top tourist attraction.  With that, you can just imagine the influx of tourists that surround the vicinity.  With the limited time we have and most still spent on traveling from one attraction to another, we have to decide at an instant which to drop by.

HUALIEN AND THE TAROKO NATIONAL PARK

HUALIEN AND THE TAROKO NATIONAL PARK

The Eternal Springs Shrine, the Shakadang Trail and the Swallow Grotto are the main attractions of the national park.  The Taroko Gorge is composed mainly of metamorphic rocks, such as marble.  The national park would be appealing to nature lovers and hikers as Taroko National Park features different scenic hiking trails.

HUALIEN AND THE TAROKO NATIONAL PARK

HUALIEN AND THE TAROKO NATIONAL PARK

HUALIEN AND THE TAROKO NATIONAL PARK

HUALIEN AND THE TAROKO NATIONAL PARK

HUALIEN AND THE TAROKO NATIONAL PARK

Honestly, I have only one pre-conceived image in mind of Taroko National Park.  It is a temple or a memorial shrine that sits on top of a mountain and a cascading waterfalls, surrounded by a lush forest and thick boulders.  And then, I realized that image though picturesque, is only a miniscule of the large acre of land and natural attraction that composes the Taroko National Park.  The image I have in mind is known as the Eternal Springs Shrine.  And it was the last stop we had before we went back to Hualien.

HUALIEN AND THE TAROKO NATIONAL PARK

HUALIEN AND THE TAROKO NATIONAL PARK

The short stint at the Taroko National Park is sufficient for me.  But if one opts to discover more, there are certainly a lot of natural attractions that would make you conclude a worthwhile visit to the park.  A friend of mine availed of a tour package to Taroko National Park recently, and I must say, there really are a lot more to discover than the major landmarks we have visited. 

HUALIEN AND THE TAROKO NATIONAL PARK


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