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

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 can be found here : Taiwan 

We started our second day of exploration at Taroko National park by doing the Swallow Grotto Trail.

Taroko_National_Park_Map

It is not a very long walk (it will take you approximatively 30 minutes to complete) but in order to do it safely, you are supposed to pick up a helmet when you enter in the park. We tried to find the place (several times) and we were unsuccessful. We still visited the place, hoping nothing would hit our heads. The views of the deep and narrow marble canyon were really dramatic, with the potholes on the the cliff faces and the Liwu River flowing at its centre. The name “Swallow Grotto” comes from the swallows that nest in these potholes but we didn’t spot any flying around.

Swallow Grotto Trail

A bit further away, there was The Tunnel of the Nine Turns. It was closed due to the risk of falling rocks so it wasn’t possible to visit it. We stopped briefly at Cimu bridge nearby to enjoy the views. The rock beneath the bridge looks like a frog but you really need a lot of imagination to see it :D A pavilion was built on this frog rock, representing the crown on the frog and I think it was really cute !

We also visited The Zhuilu Old Road and the famous suspended bridge and it was awesome. It was definitively my favourite part of the park basically because no one was there. It was a recommendation from the lady at the guesthouse. She qualified it as a “hidden spot” and she was right ! Hiking permit is required in advance so if you wish to do the trail completely better to book the permit in advance !

Tianxiang was our next destination where the Dasha River and Tacijili River converge to become the famous Liwu River. It’s possible to visit the graceful pagoda and the Xiangde temple. This temple is surrounded by mountains and the views are known to be gorgeous but we could’t get access to it that day… the trail was closed.

Tianxiang

The food over there didn’t seem too appealing so we decided to drive to Buluowan instead, a terrace that was formerly inhabited by the Taroko tribe. It is now a service station where you can buy food and visit a museum about the Taroko Tribe. It was very interesting to see the film and learn about this tribe !

Our last stop was The eternal spring shrine ! The shrine was inspired by the famous Tang Dynasty temple and the “Changchun Falls” made this place very iconic. There is a trail behind the temple to be able to climb to the Changuang Temple. The hiking trail was closed but we managed to take the road with the car (very steep) and visit it afterwards.

As you can see, we were quite unfortunate and most of the trails were closed during our visit, but we still enjoyed the park very much !

The eternal spring shrine

End of afternoon, we decided to drive to Hualien to buy some souvenirs and tasted the local food (we bought some taro balls and peanuts coated deserts, cured meat as well as some Taroko liquor). I had a nice papaya milk, tasted some delicious dumpling and we ended up in the night market and sampled even more food !

 

 

Advertisements

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

    • It’s nature and there is nothing we can do about it. This park is the first line of defence against the typhoons coming from the East and the paths are damaged all the time. It’s something you have to accept if you wish to visit the place : trails can be closed. It’s a shame though, I would have loved to explore everything :p

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Your photos of Taiwan are absolutely beautiful! The rivers, the beautiful Swallow Grotto and the amazing suspension bridge are spectacular! The food looked delicious too! Thank you for sharing this amazing trip!
    – Kate

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can totally relate. It’s difficult to have a precise idea of what taiwan looks like because we don’t talk much about it. All we know about it are the toys or clothes “made in taiwan”

      Like

    • There are so many mountains in Taiwan ! I also didn’t thought it was that rugged and mountainous before going there. The red bridges really pop in the landscape, it’s always very iconic !

      Like

  2. Such beautiful scenery of Taroko National Park. Very elegant suspension bridges too. Awww, you didn’t go in with a helmet? And nothing happened to you :D Amazing to see how so much nature surrounds the historical temples to this day. Must be a peaceful atmosphere all round.

    I love peanut coated desserts! I hope they were delicious :D

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I can imagine how much you enjoyed the deserted walks. It’s wonderful to enjoy the beautiful surroundings without crowds. I’m not a fan of walking on suspension bridges due to a childhood incident but I still get impressed by looking at how they are made. What an amazing trip you had. Thanks for sharing it with us via fantastic pictures and interesting words. :)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Everything is always better without the crowds. I’ve just come back from Italy today, we went to Cinque Terre, and we got up around 7am to be able to do a hike without anyone and it was amazing.

      It is very scary to walk on suspension bridge, my legs were a bit trembling. I can understand your feeling, especially if you associate them with a bad memory :-(

      You are welcomed ! Sorry for the delay, but I was a bit busy then in Italy :-)

      Liked by 1 person

    • Oh this is weird, I thought Taiwanese people were proud of their country.

      I think we often associate taiwan with electronic and clothes and all the products “made in taiwan”. I would have never imagined that this island was full of natural beauties :-)

      Like

  4. Taroko is pretty awesome and actually the whole island of Taiwan is awesome. I have lived here for 6 years and I still can’t believe that such a small place has so many great hikes and places.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree, the whole island is interesting. I really enjoyed the East, especially the tea plantations and the food ! It’s a tiny country packed with amazing sights and the hikes look fabulous.

      Like

    • Apparently a lot of rocks are falling down and they think a helmet can save your life (the rock has to be small though.. I agree with you.. I think it’s a bit stupid :D because if it’s a big rock, you are in a bad position helmet or not).

      Liked by 1 person

    • Je suis ravie de pouvoir partager cet incroyable voyage. Taiwan est un merveilleux pays et les habitants sont tellement gentils et sympathiques. Un réel plaisir ! Désolée d’avoir pris tant de temps pour répondre !

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you for bringing back some wonderful memories! I spent some time in Taiwan and very much enjoyed my Taroko trip and Hualien. Hiring a car and driving was an adventure with the limited English in that area! Great so see that we basically took all the same photos. What a fantastic place, lovely people and delicious food!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s