The Hualien County has cultural attractions that go very well with the city’s serenity. The Abode of Still Thoughts is a small and beautiful temple with a curved multi-layered roof and Japanese garden that is otherwise very simple, keeping to the lifestyle taught by Tzu-Chi Buddhism. There is also the quiet grounds of Pine Garden just north of the city centre where 61 tall pine trees surround a beautiful grey house with vines creeping up its exterior. Hualien’s coastline is visible from its balconies.
But if you’re here, it’s to experience the natural wonder of Taroko National Park. North of the city, right on the county boundary is the Eternal Spring Shrine, a white building with orange pagodas built over a waterfall that spouts from an arch at its centre. Takoko Gorge, about 30 kilometres northwest of the Hualien city centre, is the parks most popular attraction. Just travelling through it is captivating as you wind your way down roads cut right into the side of rock faces and cross over rivers on all types of bridges. Buy an unlimited bus pass and depart from Hualien train station to hop around the park all day and return on the last bus at 5:00pm. Truly keen travellers cycle through the roads and are rewarded by peace and quiet and the true beauty of the gorge.
Plunge deeper inland and you’ll eventually reach Heguan Mountain, where the treeline stops to reveal a spellbinding landscape with views over the hilly terrain all around. It is great for hiking and the one place in Taiwan where snow is common during winter.
At mealtimes, look for local specialties like zhu tung fan, a highland aborigine cooking meal that steams rice inside bamboo shoots, or Hualien wontons that are famous throughout the country.
Pictures and even words don’t do justice to the beauty of Taiwan’s eastern landscape. Book your Hualien accommodation and flight to Taiwan with us today and see it with your own eyes.
Hotels in Hualien City start at AU$67 per night. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.