Hualien, facing the immense Pacific Ocean in the east and
leaning against the grand Central Mountain Range in the west, is
famous for its beautiful scenery. The natural resources in Taroko
National Park, East Coast National Scenic Area, East Rift Valley
Scenic Area and Yushan National Park make Hualien the most
beautiful county in Taiwan. I had some childhood memory in
Hualien that we spent a few years of summer and winter
here when my father was the prosecutor general in Taitung and
Hualien about 25-30 years ago.
Getting there ...
We had a morning train leaving from Taipei at 9AM (but it was
delayed by about 10min), and arrived in Hualien at ~ 11:45AM. The
train ride passed through a series of tunnels and had nice views
of coastlines. We were treated a lunch with all Manbo Fish
dishes. Manbo Fish (曼波魚, also known as Toppled Car Fish) is a type of
ocean sunfishes, Mola Mola.
- Rose Stone (玫瑰石) Exhibition
Hualian-Taitung area is
famous for abundant rocks and mineral substances, such as
rose stone, Taiwan sapphire, silicon malachite, Taiwan
jade, marble, serpentine, and so on. The origin of Taiwan
Rose Stone is located mainly in Central Mountain Range,
such as the eastside of Chilai Main Mountain and Liwu
Main Mountain. Rose Stone from various places
differs in color, luster and patter. Rose stone is
produced by fairly wide area, mainly in the United
States, Brazil, Russia, Sweden, Austria, South Africa,
and Mainland China. However the color, luster and pattern
of produced Rose Stone in mentioned area is incomparable
with the Rose Stone from Hualien, Taiwan.
- Ching Shou Convent (慶修院)
Hualien Chian Township had a large number of Japanese
immigrants in the Japanese occupation era. In 1917,
"Yoshinoya cloth Institution" was created in
order to calm the people in this district, and it became
the Ching Shou Convent today. In August, 2003, the
county government completed the Convent restoration
project, which restored 88 historical statues to their
- Chihnan National Forest Recreation Area (池南)
The park is 144.5 hectares in area and is comprised of
the Chihnan Area and Liyu Lake Mountain Hiking Trail
Area, and it provides a nice overlook of the Liyu Lake.
Today, well preserved locomotive engines, train cars,
logging implements, and a cable system for transporting
logs are on display throughout the park. There is also a
wading path with stone pavement which provides nice cool
experience in the hot summer afternoon.
- Liyu Lake (鯉魚潭)
Liyu Lake is the largest inland lake in the eastern
Taiwan. The highway that surrounds the lake is
4-kilometer long and will take the strollers an hour to
walk along the lake. We did not spend too much here
because we could not wait to go to our destination today:
Farglory Hotel in Hualien.
The Second Day ...
Farglory Hotel (遠雄悅來)
in Hualien is considered as one of the
best resort in Taiwan. It is located on a ridge with
Pacific Ocean on one side, and Hualien Valley on the
other side. I just walked out to my room balcony to get
these fantastic sunrise pictures.
- Taroko National Park (太魯閣)
Taroko National Park faces the Pacific Ocean on the east
and covers an area of more than 92000 hectares in the
northern section of the Central Mountain Range. The Park
is 36 kilometers from north to south and 42 kilometers
from east to west. It is situated at the junction of
three counties: Hualien, Taichung and Nantou. The
spectacular Taroko Gorge and the scenic beauty of the
Liwu River can be viewed from the Central Cross-Island
Highway, which was open in 1960 after 3 years and nine
months of construction, and endless blood, sweat, and
- Buluowan (布洛灣)
Buluowan, which means "echo" in the
native, was the location of the Truku tribe for
the past few hundred years.
- Jiucyudong (Tunnel of Nine Turns, 九曲洞)
This is the
most magnificent part of Taroko Valley, where
the uprising standing cliffs were facing each
other with the distance just 10-meter wide.
During the early Taroko exploration days, it is
the especially difficult and dangerous part when
the wind comes from the broad river valley to the
narrow valley causing the air suddenly escalated
The new tunnel was constructed 1996, so that the
visitors can watch the folded and faulted
landscape of marble cliffs. The two cliffs are
very closed to each other, and it looks like they
are joining to each other if watching from afar.
- Changchun Shrine (長春祠)
Drive from the west exit of the Changchun
Shrine Tunnel of Central Cross-Island Highway,
then turn south to Liwu River Valley,
you can see the Changchun Shine
(Eternal Spring Shrine) which recognizes the
personnel died during the construction of Central
- Shakadang (砂卡當)
Shakadang Trail is also known as "Secret
Valley Trail", which is named because more
than 40 years ago a group of young folks entered
the river valley and founded it very secretive.
There are several spots where we can descend to
the river to enjoy the clean cool water. Linus
and Iris could not wait to walk down to the river
shore, but we could not play for too long because
both grandpa and grandma were waiting on the
- Chishingtan (七星潭)
Chishingtan is the only county-level
scenic spot in Hualien County which is connected to
Taroko Gorge, East coastline and East Rift Valley. Chishingtan nowadays refer to the area
north to Mei Lun industrial park and Hualien airport
which contains significant natural scenic views. We
walked along the beach and found many beautiful rocks.
Rock collection is a common hobby for many people in
The Last Day ...
- Sunrise at Farglory Hotel
- East Rift Valley and East Coast Scenic Area
The East Rift valley is a long narrow plain situated
between the mountains of the Central Mountain Range and
the coastal mountains of the east coast.
Going Home ...
||We had an early dinner at the famous
won-ton ("Bien-Shi 扁食" in Taiwanese) place where
the late President Chiang used to go when he visited Hualien. This is the best meal (although very simple) I
had in this Hualien trip. After dinner, we drove around
the downtown and went to Meiluan Shan (美崙山) for a walk where my
father used to hike every morning when he worked in Hualien 25 years ago.
With so many rich natural environments, Hualien is a haven
for those who want to avoid the crowded city and enjoy
some peaceful life. I'd like to be back to Taroko to have
more time to explore the Gorge and mountains with much
deeper and slower paces in the future.
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