Friday, April 20, 2007
Taroko National Park
Taroko National Park / 太魯閣國家公園 / Tàilǔgé gúojiā gōngyuán
Taroko is one of the must see sites in Taiwan. Winding along a mountain pass on one side the cliff goes straight down to the river and on the other side straight up. This is definitely at minimum a weekend trip, but a long weekend would be more realistic. Free camping was available, although this may have changed. In 2005 sites were available with parking, wooden tent platforms, and toilet facilities. The only thing missing was hot water. Also in 2005 the hotsprings were closed indefinitely after falling rocks killed and injured visitors. Taroko is an excellent site to drive if you have a car. If you are more adventurous, you can take the train and then rent a motor scooter. Depending on which shop you go to, you may or may not have a problem renting without a Taiwan driver's license.
The closest larger city is Hualian. This is where many people stay and do day trips into Taroko. They have all of the necessities and luxuries surch Carrefour and Starbucks. Near the train station there are several scooter rental shops, but you may do better if you get off one stop north of Hualian station. At the base of Taroko is a small town, and if you are driving you had better stop and top off the gas tank. Once in Taroko, you will only find small shops selling very basic supplies. There is one hotel in Taroko park.
Taroko official government site: http://www.taroko.gov.tw/
Taroko official government site (English)
Train Stations on the East Coast
Bed & Breakfast (site is English & Chinese, but don't expect them to speak English)