Taiwan day 3: Taroko Gorge!
Taroko Gorge is the one reason I was determined to visit Taiwan again. We didn’t get to do it the first time round (mid 2011) and have been itching to go back and see it ever since.
Amanda and I got up early, and bought tickets for the hop-on hop-off bus through the park. It was much cheaper than any of the tours we saw, and allowed us to go at hour own pace,, so completely worth it.
Our first stop was the Visitor Information Center. We figured we’d stop here, get our bearings and walk to the first trail. The area around the Visitos Center was extremely beautiful. Unfortunately, we soon discovered the most of the road to the first train was a never ending tunnel!
You know you’re going somewhere beautiful when it’s this beautiful before you even start. This area actually reminded me a lot of Arthur’s Pass in New Zealand.
We soon arrived at the first trail, the Shakadang Trail. It was a pretty walk. Most of the trail was paved – something Amanda and I found quite hard to deal with when we set out on a day’s hiking! Eventually, however, the trail turns into one that is indigenously owned. They we happy to let us continue down the unpaved part of the trail, and it was so much nicer to actually feel a part of things, and not just walk alongside on a paved trail. The walk lasted maybe 1 1/2 hours?
After walking the trail, we headed to the end of the gorge for lunch. The area was stunning.
There were monkeys. Chilling.
Finally, we went for a short walk through Swallow Grotto. It was nice, and there were amazing rock formations, and small holes in marble where swallows rested, but it was overrun with tour groups, and again we had barely any room to move.
Taroko Gorge is definately a highlight of Taiwan. I would go again, given the opportunity!