Taroko National Park sits at the North of Hualien and is one out of nine National Parks in Taiwan. She is a natural beauty and is Taiwan’s top tourist destination, considering its marble-walled canyons, magnificent mountains and lush greenery.
If you are intending to pack it into your itinerary, you may do so in a day by hiring a cabbie to tour and ferry you around some of the famous sightseeing spots in Taroko National Park (which is humongous by the way). Now, here’s how you can visit all the major spots in 1 day.
1. Cingshui Cliff
The Cingshui Cliff has a beautiful panoramic view from high above, overlooking tall and steep cliffs and ever-so-crystal-blue waters. Catch the crashing waves against the rocky shore as you enjoy the moment right there and then.
2. Taroko National Park Trail (Shakadang Trail)
The shortest time you can spend on this trail is a minimum of two hours to fully enjoy the natural elements. It is quite common for some of the roads on the trail to be closed for construction due to bad weather. Beware of falling stones and trees branches (sometimes it happens due to rain or hailstorm). The Bu Luo tribe used to live in the Taroko National Park, just a few kilometers away from the Shakadang Trail, but they had to shift for their safety. Look out for mini booths along the way, set up by tribe occupants who headed back to sell handcrafted items made from raw materials from the park itself.
3. Yan Zi Kou (Swallows Entrance)
Before entering the Swallows Entrance, stop by a patrol kiosk nearby to collect your helmets as there might be falling stones from the cliffs high up. You can just return the helmets when you leave the district. Walk through the tunnels and be wow-ed by the beauty of the tall and majestic cliffs. Seeing how magnificent the cliffs are, don’t feel surprised if you feel really tiny.
4. Ci mu ting and Ci mu qiao (Benevolent Mum’s Pavilion and Bridge)
The story behind the bridge and the pavilion is a touching one. Hundred of years ago, a young man was lost and rumored to be swept away by the sea at this area. His mum was devastated that she came by the river everyday to wait for her son. When the officials heard about it, they built a pavilion for her so that she could rest while waiting for the long lost son who never did came back.
5. Bu Luo Wan Visitors’ Centre and Nature Trail
Here’s where you can learn more about the Bu Luo Wan tribe, in the visitor’s centre. After which, treat yourself to a relaxing nature trail filled with Japanese influences. Think leafy greenery complemented by old vintage wood flooring and barricades. Not to mention the skinny tall trees. Just a little tip, be silent through the trail and you will enjoy the therapeutic experience of listening to insect sounds.
6. Chang Chun Qiao (Eternal Youth Bridge)
The bright red bridge stands out and contrasted itself against the dull and old-looking mountains and tunnels. The rocky tunnel is a one-way tunnel that leads to nowhere. Nevertheless, it was pretty cool though. How often do you ever get to experience the realness of walking through rocky tunnels? Like those you see in Hollywood movies; trampling through the tunnel with a torch in your hand just makes you feel so much like an explorer, doesn’t it?
7. Seven Stars Lake (Qi Xing Tan)
Be there around 5pm in the evening to catch the sight of fishmonger aunties slaughter their fresh catch. Famously known as the beach with charcoal black sand and beautiful pebbles, you definitely have to pick some pebbles home. Many of the things that you can do at Seven Stars Lake is to play with a real-life piglet (yes, which belongs to one of the fruits-seller), listen to a hipster uncle busking to Hokkien songs, eat ice-cream (A must! They are cheap and good), people-watching, skip pebbles across the water and pick pretty marbled stones.
Have you been to Taroko National Park? If you have, share with me your favourite sightseeing spots. Would love to hear from you!
Read more Taiwan travel guides: