Hualien is a popular base for visitors travelling to the world-renowned Taroko Gorge. This region also offers rich indigenous culture, fantastic night markets and numerous other stunning natural attractions that are worth exploring.
Carved by the Liwu River, Taroko Gorge is a spectacular natural site where you can walk past steep marble cliffs, thick rainforest, misty waterfalls and mountainside temples. Part of Taroko National Park, the area around the gorge is filled with tunnels, suspension bridges and picturesque walking trails. If you are an intrepid adventurer, head deeper into the park for challenging mountain hikes and rugged cycling trails.
Although Taroko is the focus of many travellers’ itineraries, Hualien’s beauty certainly isn’t limited to this park. Collect rocks along Chishingtan Beach, a long stretch of pebble beach set against a backdrop of rolling green mountains. Walk to the Hualien Martyrs’ Shrine to enjoy beautiful views over the region’s capital or take some photos at the Qingshui Cliffs, which plummet dramatically into the blue waters of the Pacific Ocean. Swim or surf at Jichi Beach, where a striking black sand bay is bordered by green hills.
In the region’s capital, Hualien City, the pace of life moves much slower compared to industrially developed cities like Taipei. The city is home to seven of the island's 14 indigenous tribes, making it an excellent place to learn about Taiwanese culture.
Hualien has two main night markets: the small but busy Ziqiang Night Market and Nanbin Night Market, which is one of the largest in Taiwan. Explore the extensive food, games and entertainment offered at each market and be sure to try some of Hualien’s regional cuisine. This area is known for its tasty wonton soups and muaji, a sweet made of sticky rice.
Fly to Hualien from Taipei, Kaohsiung and Taichung or catch a train from Taipei. Taroko Gorge is one of the area's top tourist attractions, so it is well connected to Hualien by bus.