Day 6: Taroko Gorge

Hualien Town to Taroko Gorge

From HualienTown to the start of Taroko National Park was about 20km. Taroko Gorge was one of the main attractions of the park and the gorge stretched about 19km. We planned to spend the night in one of the accommodations in the park, this would give us ample time to slowly enjoyed the many attractions in the Park.

This was our third visit to Taroko National Park so we were only visiting some more important attractions.

Attractions in Taroko National Park

We made a stop at a carpark just near Changchun Shrine 長春祠. It looked the same as before. Unlike our previous visits we did not bother to walk up to the shrine.

Changchun Shrine 長春祠

Changchun Shrine 長春祠

We drove to another nearby temple, Changuang Temple 禪光寺. We parked by the side of the road which was near bottom of another incline road leading to the temple. The incline road was reserved for cars of personnels of the temple or visitors with difficulty in walking. We were able so we had to make it up to the temple on foot.

Changuang Temple 禪光寺

Changuang Temple 禪光寺

After 350 metres of trekking in the light drizzle we reached the temple. It was a majestic temple. From the temple we crossed a suspended bridge and went up many rocky steps and after 15 minutes we reached a bell tower.

Bell tower of Changuang Temple 禪光寺

Bell tower of Changuang Temple 禪光寺

There were two routes to the Bell tower, one was via Changchun Shrine and the other was via Changuang temple. The route that we had taken which was via Changuang temple was the easier of the two. The some section of the first route was closed due to slippery slope.

We went up to the Bell tower the view of the surrounding was fantastic. We got to see the gorge (Liwu river flowing in the center) and Changuang temple from way up top!

Top down view of Taroko Gorge and Changuang Temple

Top down view of Taroko Gorge and Changuang Temple

Our third stop in the National Park was Buluowan Terrace 布洛灣吊橋(山月吊橋. This place was not built during our previous visits so we were not sure what to expect. It looked like a rest stop with toilets and restaurants. There was a room with some “exhibits” of Taiwan mountain people and their living areas.

Buluowan Terrace 布洛灣吊橋(山月吊橋)

Buluowan Terrace 布洛灣吊橋(山月吊橋)

Though it was drizzling we saw many people walking along a path that went further inward. So we went along the same way. After a short walk we came to a modern suspension bridge. This bridge was opened in Aug 2020. It suspendedacross the gorge, over the Liwu river

Buluowan Suspension Bridge

Buluowan Suspension Bridge

We walked across the bridge, at the midpoint we stopped to looked down, through the metal grids to the river below. It was such a solid metal structure and no shake or tremor was felt as we crossed the bridge.  At the other end of the bridge was an observation deck.

After visiting the bridge we were ready to take a coffee break. At the terrace we went into a restaurantt/cafe and ordered two coffee and dumpling to go along with our drinks. The dumpling was not great but the coffee tasted wonderful on a rainy day.

Coffee break at Buluowan Terrace

Coffee break at Buluowan Terrace

 

Our final stop for the day was near our stay (Tienhsiang Youth Activity Center) in the National Park. Near our stay was Xiangde Temple, 祥德寺. The temple was on the other side of the river so we had to walk across a suspension bridge. Unfortunately we found that the temple gate closed at 4 pm so we had to return the next day at 9 am to visit the temple.

We were glad that we came back to visit Xiangde Temple in the morning.  The sunrays shone through the clouds and lightly touched the GuangYin statue and pagoda, the view was surreal. Without the effect of the sunray, the view of the GuangYin statute and pagoda was very ordinary.

Bridge to Xiangde Temple. 祥德寺

Bridge to Xiangde Temple. 祥德寺

There were a few sets of staircase that led up to the temple, we went up by one set of stairs and came down via another set of stairs. In this way were able to cover more of the temple ground.

Xiangde Temple 祥德寺

Bridge to Xiangde Temple. 祥德寺

Our stay in Taroko National Park

We booked a night at Tienshiang Youth Activity Center 太魯閣天祥青年活動中心. The cost per night for a ensuite twin room with breakfast and parking was at TWD2842. This “hotel” was booked on Agoda.com.

Tienhsiang Youth Activity Center 太魯閣天祥青年活動中心

Tienhsiang Youth Activity Center 太魯閣天祥青年活動中心

The room was big, wtih two large beds. It had a huge window looking to a hillside slope. It was a pity that the view was “no big deal”.

Our room at Tienhsiang Youth Activity Center

Our room at Tienhsiang Youth Activity Center

That evening in our room we felt a big downward jerk/drop. Immediately both our phones rang. It was a mobile message informing us of an earthquake some 100 km away. On google we found that earthquakes were common occurrences in Taiwan. Most quakes were very light and could not be felt. The jerk that we felt was due to a bigger quake but since there was no casualty we were relieved.

breakfast at Tienhsiang Youth Activity Center

breakfast at Tienhsiang Youth Activity Center

Breakfast was held in the dining room that was in the  “open” basement. The food was simple but nice.

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