• Kelan River Taroko National Park
  • Plyons Princess Pier
  • Little Penguins St Kilda Pier
  • Panaroma Yarra Valley
  • Chandon Yarra Valley
  • Bidding Goodbye Koh Lipe
  • Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall Taipei
  • Pebbles QiXingTan Beach
  • Candle Rocks Yehliu Geopark
  • Nanya Rock Formations Taipei
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29 December 2011

Taroko National Park (Half-day Tour)

Aw...last day of my escapade in Taiwan. Got loads of awesome photos to show ya.

The easiest way to get to Hualien from Taipei is by the Tze Qiang Express Train. It's a 2 hours 13 minutes scenic ride. Tickets can be purchased online via the Taiwan Railways Administration website. The TSR station is located inside Taipei Railway Station which is just beside the Metro Station.


Round trip ticket prices are quite reasonable NTD792 per person

Do reserve your tickets at least one week prior to departure date. You have to collect your ticket one day before at the ticketing counter. All you need is an authorised copy of your online payment and your passport.
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Seats are quite decent and comfortable. It looks better when everyone is seated. :p
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Due to convenience sake, we signed up for the Taroko National Park 太魯閣國家公園 Half Day Tour through Taiwan Tour Bus again. The fee was NTD 650 per person. 10% off if you have the Youth Travel Card. The tour bus picked us up at 11:15am sharp from Hualien Train Station.
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Taroko National Park Half Day Tour itinerary

This park features high mountains and sheer gorges. Famous for its spectacular Taroko Gorge and scenic beauty of Liwu River is arguably Taiwan's most popular travel escape. Oh, the best thing about this place is...no entrance fee..again!!
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Let the journey...begin..
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First stop, the Eternal Spring Shrine 長春祠, built to commemorate the 226 personnel who died during the construction of the Central Cross-Island Highway
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The spring water adjacent by the Eternal Spring Shrine flows all year round. Nice leh...
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Entrance to the short trial which leads you to the shrine
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The tour guide gave us a pathetic 20 minutes to sprint from this point to the shrine and back to the van.


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Finally we made it!! What a spectacular view...


 Translucent dragon fly perching on the wooden rim
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View from the shrine.
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There are stairs leading to Guanyin Cave, Taroko Tower, Bell Tower, and across a suspension bridge to Changuang Temple (Zen monastery). Sadly, due to time constraint we had to sprint back to the van, felt just like taking part in the Amazing Race. Haha. Did not even have the chance to catch a glimpse of the suspension bridge.
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Our next pit stop was a small cafeteria situated at a near by observatory deck. Prices there are slightly inflated, glad that we brought our own lunch. After tossing down two loafs of bread, we spend the rest of the given lunch break admiring the amazing view.

Our lunch spot...
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Gashing waters below the deck
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Dejected flower...though I might not know your name, but do not give up!! Keep your head held high and march forward to the future *turn off crapping mode :p*

Such a glaring sun....there's a thin waterfall streaming down from afar...



 I could sit here all day, admiring the captivating mountain view

Times up!!! No time to loss people, next stop, Tianxiang 天祥. Move it, move it....

Pudu suspension bridge 普渡桥 paving the way to Xiagde Temple 祥德寺



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Ceremonial arch to Xiangde Temple..hmm not exactly an arch
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Stair way leading to whatever that is situated up in the mountains..still couldn't find the temple.
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Peekaboo....7-story high Tian Feng Pagoda
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Time to walk back....first hurdle...walk down these steps :s
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Walk through this bridge and you'll enter Silks Place Taroko Hotel. Nice!! Nevertheless, the 5-star status and modern architecture comes with a walloping sum of money per night.
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View from the large parking lot. (From left) small pavilion, Xiang De Temple, Giant Statue of the Bodhisattva and Tian Feng Pagoda
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 Reminds me of the time when Monkey God, Tang Sanzang and Zhu Bajie were still alive
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This scene kinda have its way of releasing some spiritual aura. How did you do that?!
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After spending more than 30 minutes at Tianxiang, it's time for us to explore the most magnificent yet the most dangerous part of Taroko Gorge, Jiuqudong (Tunnel of Nine Turns) Trail 九曲洞. According to the tour guide, this place was closed since August due to serious landslide. Then he droned on about some accident cases. At that point, I was just praying that we get to enter the trail.
Yes!! Lucky us. It was the first day the trail was reopened to visitors. Ok, now I have to pray that I make it out of this gorge in one piece.





Personal safety is the top priority. You can borrow free helmets from this place.


Calligraphy carvings on rocks






Woah...the narrow Kelan River cascading down rock folds and marble cliffs...


See the mist coming out of the splash...


On the way, you'll pass by nine of these caves...sorry if the picture is kinda blur, coz everyone was like running for their lives, I had to catch up, though still the last one to reach the end
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Accordingly the gushing waters of the Kelan River resembles a 'Fish leaping across the dragon gate' Hmm...I wonder if they make up verses just for the sake of saying somethin'
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Make way please...layers of rocks closing in...

The spectacular marble formations formed by tens of thousands of years of river erosion




Distance between the cliffs is a mere 10-meters wide

Another sign of our good fortune, according to the tour guide, there were two mountain goats resting on top of the cliff. Sadly, I'm the only one in the group that failed to spot them. Thus, I made myself content by spotting this:

 Can you see the eyes, nose and mouth?? Oh...'he' has nostrils. Yay me!!
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Phew, after 30 minutes of walk, I gave out a sigh of silent relief. I am safe!! After bidding good bye to Taroko Gorge, we adjourned to our final destination for this tour, Qixingtan 七星潭.