Hualien and the east coast around it are the best places for you to go, which is why Taiwan is on my list of things to do before I die.
Imagine the mesmerizing blue tones of the Pacific Ocean as you stare out at the Qingshui Cliffs in Taroko National Park and learn wilderness survival techniques from an indigenous tribe.
With a population of almost 110,000, Hualien is Taiwan’s largest east-coast metropolis.
Top 7 Taiwanese Travel Tips for Anyone Heading to The East Coast.
Getting to Taipei, Taiwan’s capital, you’ll take around 2.5 hours by car.
From there, you may begin your exploration of the region’s attractions at Hualien.
Although Hualien is best known as a launching point for trips to Taroko National Park, it’s also a wonderful place to spend a few days on its own.
Fashion stores with distinctive fashions and businesses that sell Taiwanese delicacies such as mochi may be found throughout the city’s downtown area.
The city’s sidewalks are made of gorgeous marble, which is remarkably cheap due to its availability in this area, but it’s worth taking a closer look at the ground beneath your feet.
Residents come to the night market to socialize.
All Asian countries, including Taiwan, value their night markets.
A few minutes of fun and well-known rewards are offered by shooting galleries and other amusement stalls, but there are also unique street food jewels to be found in between.
For example, fermented “stinky tofu” has a bad smell but doesn’t taste so bad with hot sauce.
You may also pick up a bottle of rice wine as a souvenir.
Warm mochi covered in ground peanuts and black sesame, for example, will be a hit with sweets fans.
Aaron Kitchen is the place to go if you’re looking for a change from Asian food. Italian cuisine, from pasta to risotto to seafood, is a tasty and energizing change of pace.
The sticky rice balls with peanuts and sesame seeds, known as mochi in Japan, are far superior. Top that with yeast dumplings loaded with taro and other delicious soups and warm vegetable dishes were among the many breakfast options that appealed to me.
Authentic and delicious in every way!
Traveling to Taiwan: The Awe-Inspiring Natural Splendor of Taroko National Park.
To put it mildly, it’s no surprise that Taroko National Park is one of Taiwan’s most popular tourist attractions.
With 3,000-meter-tall mountains, beautiful waterfalls, and a marble gorge that will take your breath away, there is no shortage of beauty to be found in Japan. Taiwan’s oldest national park is less than an hour away from Hualien.
Whether you’re in town for a few days or hours, you’ll be surrounded by a breathtaking landscape.
Hualien and the national park are connected by bus, and a visitor center at the entrance provides valuable information on the area.
From there, a road winds its way into the gorge, passing through some of the area’s most notable landmarks. Eight main paths beckon you to trek, albeit some of them may be shut down. However, they aren’t particularly long, only reaching a maximum of nine kilometers. Helmets are essential due to the risk of rock and landslides, especially in heavy rain or an earthquake.
Taroko’s Marble Gorge is a must-see while visiting the park.
The Liwu River carved out the Taroko Gorge as it meanders through the Marble and Granite Mountains, where it runs like a turquoise ribbon.
The park has a total length and width of 36 kilometers and 42 kilometers, respectively. Taroko means “large and wonderful” in the language of the people who live there.
However, what makes this gorge so stunning?
Unquestionably, the incredible marble formations were constructed over 200 million years ago. Swallow Grotto Yanzikou Trail is about 30 minutes on a peaceful route to get a bird’s-eye view.
The breathtaking views of the gorge make up for the less-than-perfect path.
Permanent Spring Shrine: A Shrine Dedicated to Perpetual Spring.
The Eternal Spring Shrine has a beautiful motif at the park’s entrance with an eerie setting. For the nearly 200 gallant workers who perished in the bridge’s construction, a memorial was built in their honor.
The waterfall that flows into the river below the shrine appears to emanate from the shrine itself.
The shrine may be seen from the road, but there are also excellent photo opportunities in the parking lot or a hike over a suspension bridge and tunnel.
Eternal Spring Shrine in Taroko National Park
Taroko National Park’s Eternal Spring Shrine is one of the park’s most notable features.
But when it comes to lodging options at Taroko National Park, I had to admit there weren’t many choices available. If you’re open to adventures though, amid a beautiful forest, you’ll find yourself in an unusual and almost mysterious setting.
Even if you don’t get one of the famous wooden huts (book early! ), you can still taste authentic Aboriginal food at the restaurant if you go there instead.
While the wild boar scalp salad and bamboo cane rice are out of the ordinary, the fish, fresh vegetables, and white rice are all delicious!
When visiting Taiwan, spend some time at Qixingtan Beach to soak up the sun and surf.
Are you looking for a peaceful beach day? No problem, Qixingtan Beach is the best place. There’s a reason it’s one of Taiwan’s most stunning beaches: crystal-clear water meets shimmering black and white rocks.
On Qixingtan Beach, you may take long walks on the sand, or you can simply relax in the sand and enjoy the peace and quiet.
Due to the large waves, swimming was not an option during our stay. Depending on the season or the time of day, it may, nevertheless, be different. At night, when the stars are out and the water lulls you to sleep, this area has a calming effect.
The three hues of the Pacific may be seen from the Qingshui Cliffs.
Here and Chongde are separated by a stunning landscape on the Suhua Highway. The Qingshui Cliffs, which rise approximately 1,000 feet above the Pacific Ocean, are breathtaking.
Spectacular vistas of lush greenery on the left and blue waters of the Pacific on the right draw visitors to the area.
Qingshui Cliffs, composed of marble and gneiss, go for more than 21 kilometers along the coast.
It was one of the “Eight Wonders” of the island that the government recognized in 1953. They are the only stretch of coastline in Taroko National Park where you can observe the Pacific’s three unique shades of blue.
This postcard design is often associated with the Hawaiian Islands.
The enormous mountains look much more impressive and frightening from Chongde Beach’s vantage point. Although this beach does not allow for swimming, it is worth a short walk through the beautiful surroundings.
Learn survival skills from the Taiwanese natives while on vacation.
It’s a once-in-a-lifetime adventure to visit the United States while on vacation in Taiwan.
More than 80,000 indigenous people live in the area around Hualien, most of whom belong to this tribe.
At the Cidal Hunter School of this unusual tribe, the Americans give you a fascinating tour of their daily lives as hunters. An hour’s journey from the city of Hualien will get you to Shuilian Community.
Matrilineal communities were established in the past, with women managing the household and men overseeing collective security.
They also hunted and fished as a part of their job. In their hunting school, they demonstrate how they lived off the land for days at a time in the wilderness. Their ancestors had passed on the knowledge for many generations.
You now have the opportunity to benefit from their mistakes.
Herbalism and survival training, together with a rite to the mountain gods
It all begins in the back of an old pick-up truck en route to the hills.
But before we get there, we have to hold a ritual to thank the mountain gods and our ancestors for keeping us safe in the highlands. In addition to rice wine and betel nuts, our 60-year-old guide gives you smokes and chants a prayer while sipping the rice wine. A goosebump-inducing experience that left me speechless!
With the blessings of the ancestors and the mountain deity, off to the densely forested, verdant countryside.
There are more than 200 known useful plants (60 of which are edible) along the walk, so we study them, make a ladle out of a banana leaf, and drink from a nearby creek.
So let’s get this party started, shall we?
Putu shows how to create rope, a sleeping hut, a fire without tools, and lure bamboo hens with a leaf. Of course, we’ll have to go through this ourselves and see how well we can do it.
As a result, I’ve concluded that while I would not be able to live in the wild, I am less afraid of it now that I’ve gained more knowledge and counsel from the locals.
Did you know that you can only survive for three days without drinking in the cold and three days in the heat?? To my fellow Americans, I say arai (thank you) for your kind comments.
My advice is to pack long socks because you’ll be wearing rubber boots on the trip. You don’t have to endure the agonizing sensation of being barefoot like I do!
Travel to Taiwan and discover Yilan as a culinary mecca.
Visit Yilan en route back to Taipei. It takes roughly 45 minutes to get to the capital from here.
Yilan is a county seat and a municipality in one. Because of the heavy rains, it is known as the “wet capital” and has a population of over 100,000.
However, we were lucky enough to be surrounded by pleasant and sunny weather as we strolled around the city during our visit.
The historical center contains several Japanese-era architectural remnants.
Instead, I’m in the Taiwanese city of Yilan to meet with English-speaking chef Leo, and the first stop on our gastronomic tour is the Morning Market.
At this time of day, the villagers’ daily routines take place. People chat, bargain, and buy.
We sample iced drinks and look at some weird goods for sale amidst the chaos.
On our way to the offering store, Leo tells us about how believers interact with the gods. It’s a strange and strangely alien world out there.
Local market items are used in a hands-on cooking lesson.
The lower section of the covered space is now open for business.
It is our responsibility to procure and prepare the ingredients for our meal. Each team must load a basket with the correct number of items from a list (in Taiwanese, thankfully).
At Leo’s hamlet, we prepare tofu-filled rice triangles in the authentic house of Leo’s grandparents by chopping vegetables and making rice triangles with tofu in the center.
Yilan specialties abound on the table, including cucumber salad, mussel soup, tofu skin with duck, and farm-fresh rice.
The food tour, which includes a market excursion and transportation, costs 2,450 TWD, or about 73 euros. On the other hand, Leo thinks that a tour business is more cost-effective because of the vehicle.
Getting a good night’s sleep and feeling great in Yilan is possible.
In Yilan, Taiwan, I stayed at the Cuncyue Hot Spring Hotel and had a wonderful stay thanks to the Milk Nano Bath in the bathroom.
A button is pressed when the tub is complete to create milk-like water. A mechanism ensures that you’ll get the best heat at the right moment since it drains softly again on its own. After this bath, the skin is unbelievably supple.
Having sushi or brownies for breakfast is also a great way to begin the day.
Taipei is the country’s bustling capital in the heart of Taiwan.
I was inspired by the fact that every trip to Taiwan begins in Taipei, the capital city. It’s fascinating to see all the many cultures collide so quickly in this city, making exploring it feels like a treasure hunt.
The world’s second-fastest elevator, Taipei 101, coexists peacefully with hidden, colorful temples where religion is practiced. Neon signage, street art, bubble teas, and tentacle vending machine establishments abound in the upscale Ximending area.
A vacation to Taipei wouldn’t be complete without sampling the local cuisine and perusing the city’s night markets.
Besides Taipei’s numerous attractions, the surrounding area is also a treasure trove of one-of-a-kind places. In the Beitou suburbs, you may relax in hot springs or wander through Maokong’s tea plantations before savoring a tea ceremony.
My favorite place in all of China is Jiufen, a historic gold mining town with charming tea shops, winding roads, and mouthwatering street cuisine at every turn. To learn more about some of Taipei’s most stunning sights, check out my in-depth piece here.
Taiwan is on my list of things to do before I die.
Is there a reason?
Please let us and the other readers know if you’ve been to the island before. We’d love to hear from you, so please leave a message on our trip blog.