I'm not sure what's on your list of places you must visit before you die, but I have two words for you: Taroko Gorge. Think I'm exaggerating? Read on, and you decide.
Without a doubt one of the most spectacular natural areas in Taiwan must be the majestic Taroko Gorge.
The trail is less than a meter wide and five hundred meters long, but as our group gingerly follows the narrow strip, suspended halfway up the sheer face of Taroko Gorge's highest cliff face, I think the feeling is unanimous that this is probably the most spectacular, easily accessible hike in Taiwan.
Having spent two months in the jungles of Thailand and Indonesia this summer, I recently felt the urge to be in a quiet corner of Taiwan that offered waterfalls, high mountains, few people, and the chance to be near wildlife.
When heading east to spend a little leisure time in Hualien County (or anywhere in Eastern Taiwan, for that matter), most of us instinctively turn towards Taroko Gorge.
The newly completed Yuchang (玉長) Highway in eastern Taiwan has not only benefited the region's transportation system, but also brought a great help to the tourism industry in Hualien (花蓮) and Taitung (台東).
The 2007 Siouguluan River International White Water Rafting Competition will kick off on July 20 at Siouguluan River in Hualien County.
If you haven't been to Taroko (太魯閣) Gorge, you should go. If you have been, go again. Its marble cliffs, some of which stand over 300 meters high, are stunningly beautiful. They are majestic, breathtaking, awesome; I could write adjectives all day and still not do them justice.
"Taroko" means 'magnificent and splendid,' a description originally bestowed by one stunned indigenous explorer, as he stumbled upon the view from the gorge's eastward opening onto the Pacific Ocean.
While it is understandably tempting to go on riding in bliss down Highway 9 on a trip to the East Rift Valley (花東縱谷), an excursion on Route 18 in the town of Yuli (玉里) leads to a secret eastern corridor entrance to Yushan National Park.