Free and easy Taroko Gorge

Jes , 4 Comments

We were excited to head to Taroko Gorge as we heard how beautiful it is. That was the place where our main bulk of pictures were taken. First up: Taking the train from Ruifang to Xincheng took around 2.5 hours. Once you reach there, you can book the hotel shuttle or just take a taxi. A taxi should be cheaper for 2 or more people.

We stayed in a place called Leader hotel (山月村). I still have fond memories of it because it was situated right in the middle of the mountain and they ensured a very native yet comfortable resort stay.
Our rooms right in the middle of nowhere!
The homely furnishings
The heated beds
You can adjust the temperatures of the beds so it was really a good sleep. For food, I would not say that it was really good as it was quite expensive for Taiwan's standards.
Some rice, pork and gravy stuff
I do love their cultural event at night where there is a performance and you can play some simple games with other occupiers. What's more memorable is the night walk after which. They bring you to tour the surrounding trails. They encouraged you to shout and hear the echo, then check out the tracks of various creatures living in the trails. Very lovely place to relax into the rustic charms.

To tour the gorge, the hotel recommended a private day tour by this guide which cost NT1400 per person for around 6 to 8 hours. Considering the price of 1 hour taxi at Jiufen which cost NT600, this is not that expensive and the guide is definitely more informative. Plus, at the end of the day, the driver will drop you off at Hua Lien station, which was our next destination. Pretty worth while I guess.

The must see attractions here: 
Swallow Grotto (燕子口) /Tunnel of nine turns (九曲洞) - Here we take a look at the swallow's cave holes which is in the tunnel. This is a pretty dangerous place so you can wear a helmet to walk in. Great for silhouette shots.
Spot the swallows..
The tunnel looks dangerous
Motherly devotion bridge (慈母桥) - This was built by the late President to honour his mother. It's more of a picture stop with the pavilion behind.

Hanging bridge (吊桥) - Afraid of heights? Then you cannot come here. It's a precarious high-hanging shaky bridge that looks just like the pictures. Walk ahead and don't look down then.


Green water trail (绿水步道) - This trail takes 1 hour to complete but is relatively easy to do so. The guide left us here to walk this alone and she waited for us at the end point, which is also the lunch place. There are trees everywhere and some lake and interestingly, there are also tunnels to venture.

Looks so foreboding but don't worry, there are no bats around

Our lunch at the only restaurant there.. pretty satisfying
Near the restaurant you can eat this area with lovely trees! 
Baiyang waterfall trail (白楊步道) -  How unlucky we are! Due to some typhoon causing some walls to collapse, we did not get to see this attraction. Oh well, better luck next time.
So we just looked at the google images haha
Lian hua pond (蓮花池) - As it was winter and not the lian hua flower season, we opted not to go for this since it would be pointless.
The lian hua is the pink flower on the pond
Eternal Spring Temple (长春寺) - This is one of the more famous and crowded attractions and you will have to jostle with the crowds to talk up. We spent more time here as we climbed all the way up to the second level to take jumping shots. There were no one else up there besides us as the number of steps did put off the tourists.

The Guan yin monument looking glorious up there
The most crowded attraction
More Guan yin statues
View from the second level
Shakadang trail (砂卡当步道) - A lesser known trail for people who have time to explore, it's not at all like the Green water trail but more to see the bridge and greenish blue lake water. This can be given a miss but I like getting in touch with the nature once in a while.

The trails that we had fun taking pictures trying to push the ceiling up

Can't blame you for longing for a swim
Seven star lake (七星谭) - My favourite place of all, maybe because I prefer the ocean to the greenery. I like the Tiffany blue-colour of the lake, the beautiful never-ending horizon and paradise-looking scenery. Worries just sort of fade away here.

Oh, how lovely...
Cool mystical place
Relaxing day at the beach
I like that it's not a rushed trip at all because a private tour means you can speed up for some attractions and go slower for the scenic ones. I am glad we chose this option.

Not the end of my Taiwan trip yet, so off we go to explore Hua Lien.


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  1. wow seems like u are taking time off from work!
    what a luxury

    1. Hi Jimmy,

      Nah that was last time, I am now catching up on past travel experiences. I can't wait to travel again :) Happy new year to you and hope you have a fantastic new year!

  2. Hi Jes,

    Are you able to provide the tour guide contact? :)

    1. Hi Shawna,

      Unfortunately I do not have her contact number as the Leader Hotel contacted her for us. I am very sure whatever hotel you will be staying will have the same arrangements. It's like the norm in Taiwan to tie up with private tour guides. Sorry, can't help much but hope you will still enjoy your trip! :)