And this was the ultimate highlight of our trip. One could never go wrong with some nature tripping and just basking in all its glory. A do-it-yourself tour was an option but we opted to hire a tour guide for this. With our nature gear on, it’s time to trek Taroko National Park. 🙂Since we were staying in Taipei, we had to go there at a very early time. And from time Taipei, one could go there by train. We purchased ours online (via this website) days ahead to ensure we got the earliest train going to Hualien. A day before our trip, we had it exchanged at Taipei Main Station. Total cost was 780 NTD (440 from Taipei to Hualien and 340 from Hualien to Taipei). Fee varies on the train type.
After meeting our tour guide at Hualien Station, Swallow Grotto was our first stop. Its cool air greeted us with the gentle running water as the musical background. It instantly made me feel at ease and relaxed.
There are lots of interesting bridges all over Taiwan. I got to see a couple during our train ride. For this trip, Cimu Bridge was one of our stopovers. With its bright red color, one wouldn’t miss this.
Yue Fei Pavilion
No fear of heights triggered at that point! I enjoyed walking along the very old bridge. It amazes me how they were able to maintain it. While there, we got to eat some wild edible plants that tasted like cinnamon.
Baiyang Waterfall Trail (Cave of Water Curtain)
This was probably the longest walk of my life. Hahaha! But it did felt like it. I wasn’t able to count the minutes. Each time we see a sign of the meters left in going here, my excitement just builds up. And when we finally got there, it just felt cool and relaxing. It was so worth the many walks we did.
Wenshan Hot Spring
And this was one very natural hot spring! We did bring bathing suits but it was just too cold that time. I just dipped my fingers in the warm water and splashed some on my face. It felt good! A little warning though as the trek going there could get slippery.
Eternal Spring Shrine
For me, this is one of the iconic spots at this park. When we did our research, the beauty of this shrine just dumbfounded us. Though we never got to see it up close, seeing it from our spot was worth it.
Our last stop for this tour was by this beach. It mostly consisted of different colored marble rocks. And yes, we were able to take home some. Haha. At this point, I wasn’t able to take much photos. Got busy rock searching 😛
I must say that this was one tiring tour. So many walks and naps in between. But it was all worth it to breathe in fresh air and appreciate nature. It was a good call to hire a tour for this. Ours totaled to 8,400 NTD (for a group of three persons) which for me is a steal price compared to other tours here. It’s inclusive of transportation and food. Plus, it’s a private tour too so I really recommend Hualien Outdoors. Below is our itinerary for the day but their tours really vary from time to time.
As the day drew to a close, it was time to say goodbye to this great hike. So if you have more time on this island, make sure to have this as one your stops. 🙂