A tour of Taroko Gorge is one of the most exciting activities you can try when visiting Taiwan. This canyon is one of the most spectacular natural wonders in the country and definitely worth a look.
This canyon stretches for 19 kilometers. It is at the east coast of Taiwan. You can fly in from Taipei. There is also a train in Taipei that can get you to the site. The nearest city to the canyon is Hualien. There are also buses from Hualien that can take you there.
What to See
The Eternal Spring Shrine (or Changchun Shine) was built in honor of those who died in the building of the Central Cross-Island Highway. Other interesting landmarks in the area are the Tunnel of Nine Turns, the Swallow Grotto and the Buluowan.
A tour of Taroko Gorge will also take you to the Shakadang Trail or the Mysterious Valley. This trail is very popular with travelers, part of the charm being its rather secretive location.
Also worth visiting is the Water Sheet Cave, a well known hiking trail. There is also a camping area. There are also ten parking spaces and a restroom.
The park where the canyon / gorge is located was founded on November 28, 1986. The park was established for the purpose of protecting the environment. The park was also established to shelter wildlife and historical artifacts. The landscape is notable for the variety. There are high elevation subalpine coniferous forests, forested canyons and coastal cliffs.
The reason for the formation of the narrow canyons and steep valleys is the rapid uplift and water. During a process lasting 70 million years, it resulted in the creation of the canyon. Today, the landscape is part of what makes the site very attractive to tourists.
The bus fares will cost NT$82. There is no entry fee to the canyon.
Hiking is one of the most popular activities here. There are several trails with varying degrees of difficulty. Another interesting event here is the Annual Taroko International Marathon. This is a 5 km fun run that everyone can participate in.
There are also plenty of lodging places. Some of the budget lodging accommodations are the Youth Activity Center and the Catholic Hostel. The more high end lodgings are the Leader Village and the Silks Place.
A tour of Taroko Gorge is not complete without checking out the local handicrafts. You can also buy some of the local liquor being sold nearby.