The Su-Hua Highway
In my opinion the most scenic drive in Taiwan is the Suhua highway which connects Suau in Ilan county to Hualien along the East coast of Taiwan.
Spectacular cliff scenery that is topped only by the spectacularly scary driving as marble ladened truck try to pass each other around scary hairpinned turns. An experienced that is not to be missed when visiting Taiwan....
Heping Industrial Zone !
looks like the castle in Strange Tales from the Arabian nights .
Heping is a middle railway station ,
after I finish LOOKING AT PACIFIC OCEAN & CHINGSHUI CLIFF ON A BIG BUS,
I like to tranfer trains to Taipei at Heping railway station.
- Business Travel
- Road Trip
Impressive waterfall with a several hundred foot vertical drop. For best viewing, come during the Taiwan rainy season. (April to July)
For the best view of this waterfall, you have to hike up a little ways: Head up along the wooden staircases to the designated viewing platform. Continue from there on a dirt path towards the waterfall. After 100 meters you will find the new wooden stairway, which is now under construction. Follow this to the end, and then continue up along the side of the stream over some large boulders for about another 100 meters. When you reach the falls, you will find that it actually has two tiers. (The upper part is the more impressive.)
We able to complete this hike, however, there was one casuality: With one mis-step Uncle Joe's digital camera unfortunately fell to it's watery grave. (Fortunately Joe, and the rest of the party was unhurt)
Directions: Loshan Waterfall is located about 12 KM's south of Antung Hot Springs on the Hua-Tong Valley Highway. (Route 9) Exit highway at MM 325, and follow signs east for about 4 KM's until you reach the parking lot for this waterfall.
- Road Trip
This beautiful waterfall is in the Huatong Valley. Access to it is more difficult than other waterfalls in this area. This is because at present, there are no signs to direct you here, and the access road is narrow and earthquake damaged. Also, to get a good view of the waterfall, you will need to climb out on some fairly steep rocks which look less than safe.
They are now building a new park near the base of the waterfall, which is not yet complete. I would expect the situation with the access roads, road signs, and access to the waterfall to improve once this park opens...
Directions: Take Route 9 South from Hualien to Juisui. Turn south on Route 195 towards Yuli. After about 20 KM's, make a left turn towards the mountains at Teifen just before the Teifen Bridge. Follow this road through the small town. Make first left after leaving town, and follow this road for a few kilometers along the river side until you reach the new park for this waterfall.
- Road Trip
The closest "designated" swimming beach to Hualien is Chichi Beach. There are closer beaches where swimming is possible, but there are no facitilities or lifeguards at these locations.
Chichi Beach is a black sand beach with some rocks, although swimming here is no problem. It is also possible to fish from the rock outcroppings here, although I'd only recommend this for the brave...
Facilities at Chichi are good, and include bathrooms, change rooms, showers, and a restaurant. Camping and barbequing are also possible here. It is best to grab one of the covered camp sites for shade if you plan to stay for a while... (if available)
For a real fun time, head here during one of Taiwan's many typhoons, and try some body surfing. I have tried this before, and still have the sand/rock imprints on my forehead to prove it...
Located 45 minutes south of Hualien on Coastal Route 11...
For a nice peacful place to visit along the East coast, stop by and spend some time at Henan Temple, which is located not far from Hualien.
This temple is easy to spot, as there is a large statue of Kuanin, God of Mercy, located here. This statue sits up along the coastal mountain range and faces out over the Pacific Ocean.
A short hike will take you up to the statue, where you can get a nice view of the coast.
And, as an added bonus, if you visit this temple on the right day (as we did), the native will be performing various rituals and ceremonies which are (unfortunately) beyond the comprehension of the author of this page.
Directions: Take coastal highway 11 south. Hesan Temple is about 20 minutes south of Hualien. (Just north of Yenliao).
Shihtiping is a tiny port town on the East Coast, about half way between Hualien and Taitung. As with most of the east coast, the scenery here is great.
Activities in Shihtiping include fishing, diving, camping, whale watching, or just hiking along the paths that run along coast while watching the waves crash over the rocky coastline.
I have not yet tried to dive here yet, but I will update this page once I get the chance to look at Shihtiping from below the waterline....
Directions: Shihtiping is located on Route 11 (Coastal Highway) about 90 minutes south of Hualien.
Bashiendong, or Eight Fairies Cave, is located on the East Coast about 35 KM's north of Sanshientai. There is one main cave with several shrines inside, and a number of smaller caves that are connected by a hiking trail, which is about 2.5 KM's in length. Most of the smaller caves also contain buddhist shrines.
Although Bashiendong seems to be pretty popular with the locals, I would not consider it to be a "must see". The area around here is very scenic, however, and there are long streches of dedicated bicycling lanes nearby. If the weather is good, bicycling is the best way to tour around this area...
Directions: Bashiendong is about an hour and a half south from Hualien on the coastal road (Highway 11, Mile Marker 276) There is a visitor center and parking lot on the west side of the road.
- Hiking and Walking
Mugua River Valley
Beautiful River Valley that is very close to Hualien. This area was restricted until recently, but now it is easy to get a pass to enter.
Pass through the police check point just past Tongmen. This road continues along the river side to Long-jian, and then on towards Chilai mountain. The road get more narrow, curvy and scary, the further you head west. But, the mountain scenery up here is pristine and spectacular...
Directions: Head toward Liyu Lake from Hualien, after the long bridge make a right,and head west towards Tongmen.
Note: You must register and pay a small entrance fee at the police station to enter this area.
- Hiking and Walking
Cisingtan Scenic Area and Beach
Cisingtan translates to "Seven Stars Pools". It is a vast, wide beach and scenic viewpoint for the cliffs and mountainous coast line around Hualien and Sincheng.
The beach has posted signs for no-swimming, but that should not detract from the visit. Many of the locals will come here for relaxing, having a picnic or simply escaping the busy city.
On the south end of this scenic area is a promenade with several WWII-era armory blockades and historical signs.
Cisingtan is north of Hualien on HW-9, just past the airport. After the airport, take a right and head down any of the small streets toward the coast line. It is not far from the Hualien Distillery or the Chihsing Tan Katsuo Museum.
Found in 1920, Hualien Sugarworks is a historical mills. The sugar production has ceased since 2002. It is now an attraction for the tourist. Besides visiting the historical building, it is very popular to taste the ice cream or other ice stuffs in the local sugarworks.
Hualien Sugarworks is located in Kuang Fu. You can take route no. 9 from Hualien city toward south to reach the Sugar Plant.
Lin Tien Shan
Lin Tien Shan was a town for the lumbers. As of today, you can still see the rails which led to the deep mountains and the historical buildings of the lumbers. You can smell of the old and peaceful atmosphere here. It is also a nice experience to go hiking in the trails in the forest.
Direction: Go from Hualien City toward south by route no. 9 and take the right turn into route 16 at Wanrung.
Shihtiping (Stone Stair Terrace)
Shihtiping is famous for its coral costal views. The stones and rocks are strenching into the sea in rows. The sencery is quite impressive with the beautiful sea and mountain views.
Direction: 70km south from Hualien City along Highway route no. 11
Jichi Beach Resort
Jichi Beach is the only sand beach along the Hualien coast. The beach itself is not so special. However if you love to go visiting the sand beach for the water activities, this is the only choice you will have in Hualien.
Direction: 38km south away from Hualien city along highway route no. 11
- Water Sports
Chang-chen Ci (Shrine)
This shirne is here to memorize those who pass away when they built the East-West Cross-Island highway. The shrine itself has been re-built three times due to mudflows and landslides. Even until now, the Admin of National Park still strongly recommend tourists not walking outward of the road, small pieces of rock can still harn people.
There was an incident when I walked through the shrine. A Chinese grandma wanted me to help her with her picture. But she call our Liwu river "Jiang"(river) in Chinese, but it indeed is just a Xi(runlet). Although I tried to correct her, it was in vain. Ha ha