Any trip to Taiwan would be incomplete without experiencing Taroko Gorge, a beautiful 92,000 hectare ecosystem full of high mountains, stunning gorges, immense water falls and the blue-green Liwu River. The national park is located in eastern Taiwan and was founded to preserve and protect land that was being destroyed by Taiwan's booming industrial economic success in the 1980s. Today, the park offers great day hikes through several different climate zones, natural hot springs + spas and many beautiful temples to explore.
When hiking, do be aware that Taroko is home to many native animals including black bears and rock monkeys. Really though, you need to be more careful about the smaller critters like the giant hornets and snakes. Taiwan is [unfortunately] home to so.many kinds of snakes, many of which are venomous like the Hundred Pacer Chinese Moccasin [comforting name, right... get it, you'll be dead in 100 paces], so it is important to note caution signs before trails.
[Side Note + Confession: before moving to Taiwan I obsessively researched the deadly snakes of Taiwan and then bought $200 "snake boots" from REI, which really tickles anyone who finds out. But I can hike the trails of Taroko much more confidently than those who try in flip flops!]
Despite the snakes, Taroko is a must see for anyone visiting Taiwan!
- If you go during typhoon season [generally May-September], do be aware of any impending storm as the park will close
- The park will also close after larger earthquakes for safety checks
- Make Hualien your home base
- Set aside more than one day to explore the gorge [it's huge]
- You can see the park via bus, taxi, scooter or your own two feet and I would recommend the last two
- Taiwan in the spring & summer & early-mid fall is HOT and HUMID. Dress lightly and bring lots of H20 & sunscreen
- Read all of the caution signs posted before trails
This post is part of the Sunday Traveler link up. For more travel writing, check out Frank About Croatia!