Road trip in Taiwan – 2 days in Taroko National park (part 1)

Last November, we went to Taiwan for two weeks and we did a road trip around the island and it was fabulous ! The weather, the people.. and the food, oh the food…. it was just amazing ! We landed in Taipei and we started to drive clockwise around the island. Previous parts:

Keelung night market
Yehliu Geopark
Exploring Jiufen Old Street

We hit the road after a huge breakfast at our hotel in Keelung. It took us about 3 hours to reach Taroko National Park. I found the drive quite pretty, the coast was gorgeous and wild, but the road was really windy and there was a huge ditch on its side to prevent it to be flooded. I had the feeling we were driving into it all the time, and I was super annoying, squealing each time we were a bit too close (according to my boyfriend, we were not that close…. ;-))

On our way we stopped at Quigshui cliffs, before heading towards the park headquarters. These dramatic cliffs are composed of gneiss and marble and extend over 21km. There is only one place to stop to admire the view : a little pullover park at Km 176.4 on Highway 9.

Qingshui cliffs

Qingshui cliffs

Taroko National Park is the most diverse national park in Taiwan and therefore a top tourist destination. The park is so big that you don’t really feel packed like sardines (I would say it’s similar to some US national parks). We had unremarkable food in the HQ and took some information regarding the hikes we could do that afternoon and the next day. We discovered that most of the trails were closed due to the damages caused by a recent typhoon (I think most of them are reopened now). We were a bit disappointed but on the brighter side, they mentioned a new informative trail that didn’t figure on the map so we thought it could be a good idea to do it. The views of the Liwu river were quite nice and we managed to spot a lot of butterflies.

Taroko National park

After the educational hike, we did the famous Shakadang trail. This hike is also known as the “Mysterious Valley Trail“. The round trip is 5 miles but it is now partially closed du to the heavy rain caused by a typhoon in 2012, so it’s only possible to walk until the small market that features some local products.

Taroko National park

The views were really gorgeous and the water was very blue, almost turquoise at some places. The flow was really gentle compared to the Liwu river.

Taroko National park

On the way back we got completely drenched but I managed to sport a cute little caterpillar !

Taroko National park

That night, we stayed in a coffee farm, located roughly 10 km from Taroko NP, which was very convenient. The host was super friendly and she recommended us some hikes to do in the park the next day. We had some sashimi in the village nearby and it was yummy  !



87 responses to “Road trip in Taiwan – 2 days in Taroko National park (part 1)

  1. I love the picture of the turquoise water flowing by theat swirly patterned geological feature. It’s certainly a beautiful place to place and the food is very appealing. :)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Such lovely photographs! I especially loved the views over the Quigshui cliffs as the water is a beautiful shade of blue. The Tarok National Park also looks like a beautiful park too and the hike you made along the Shakadang Trail must have been spectacular. Thanks for sharing all these photos of what must have been a wonderful trip.
    – Kate

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  3. Amazing photos Gin – the Quigshui Cliffs look stunning and the scenery in the national park is stunning :) The first river looks very swollen with all the rains – am glad you stayed safe not surprised that many of the trails were closed. It’s a part of the world that I would never have considered going to – I think it would be easier if you had local contacts especially with the language barrier! I’ve really enjoyed your Taiwanese series – sorry haven’t been on here too much recently my elder daughter has started back at work and I’ve been doing a lot of babysitting! We have a long weekend here so am catching up on things :)

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    • A lot of trails were closed, as it is often the case in this national park. The park is first hit during tsyphoon and suffers each year form landslide and rock falling down the paths.

      Don’t worry, enjoy the time with your grand daughter ! They grow really fast :-) Did you do something special this weekend ?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes we have had a long weekend here (for WA Labour Day) and caught up with family and friends over the weekend. Then today we went into the city and looked round a big new development on the Perth foreshore – Elizabeth Quay. I took lots of photos and will probably do a post on it :) Also had a lovely lunch overlooking the Swan River – it was great to relax and enjoy watching the boats sailing by. Hope you had a good weekend too and have a good week as well :)

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  4. This is a gorgeous place. Is it easy to do the hike on our own or is getting a tour guide better? Are the guides/maps in English and how many days should one stay at Taroko National Park to take in the scenery? Do I need to hire a car to take me round the park or are there other modes of transport easily available inside the park to get from one place to the next? I am planning to go there and there’s nothing better than to get advice from another non-local who’s already been there! :-)

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    • It’s easy to do it on your own, I don’t think you need a tour guide. Renting a car or taking a bike is the best option to explore the park.

      If you go to the head quarters they will give you a map with Chinese and English names and there are parkings well indicated everywhere. The signs are very obvious and in English as well.

      2 days is enough so you can do all the little hikes and maybe 1 long one. It depends if all the trails will be open or not.

      We stayed in the coffee farm in Sialin (you can find it on booking or tripadvisor) and the lady was so helpful providing us books and explaining to us what to do or not. In the next post about the park I will post more about the hikes we did.

      Don’t hesitate to ask questions, I’m happy to help !

      Liked by 1 person

    • My boyfriend’s parents went there last year and they told us about how amazing it was ! Before then, I’ve always associated taiwan with industry and clothes :D I didn’t know about the nature over there

      Liked by 1 person

    • The views of the gorge were sublime. I will post more picture about it in a few days. Taroko is the first one to be hit when typhoons hit the island so there is always a lot of damages to the paths… unfortunately.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I would love to be there, exactly the kind of place i always want to escape to – just pristine beauty! Hiking amidst it would be an added bonus :)

    Don’t they do any activities in the river?


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