Wild Taiwan Guide: Explore Taroko Gorge and East Rift Valley

Taiwan, a wild island with nature, has many attractions worth exploring like Taroko Gorge and East Rift Valley. To travel in the mountains, please follow us southbound from Hualien to Taitung. Hualien and Taitung are where the most aborigine tribe located in Taiwan and also has the most natural scenic spots. Let’s go sightseeing in this beautiful place.

Drive through the tunnel, we are on the Qingshui Cliff. This marble cliff rises vertically from the Pacific Ocean. The sparkling stone beach comes into view, marking the beginning of this wild Taiwan journey. Ocean waves crash the shore, making the eternal sound back and forth. Calm down with the sound of waves from the far and deep Pacific Ocean.

Going deeper and deeper, we will see the magnificent Taroko Gorge. Seeing Changchun (Eternal Spring) waterfall gush out of the rock into the waterfall and carve the marble gorge all year round, Changchun Shrine offers not only a place to rest and visit but also commemorate the devotion of establishing Central Cross-Island Highway crew. Walking into the mountains, we will get to Tianxiang.

There is a Catholic church, Pudu suspension bridge, White Robed Guanyin Statue, Tian Feng Pagoda, Giant Statute of the Bodhisattva, Xiangde Temple, and Daxiong Baodian temple in Tianxiang. You can enjoy the peaceful religious atmosphere and feel the bird chirping while you go through the bridge. Apart from Taroko Gorge, Hualien also has many places to go. You can try the exciting rafting in Xiuguluan River, eat local street food at the Dongdamen Night Market, and stay in the old Japanese wood house—Hualien Tourism Sugar Factory.

As we go south, we will get to East Rift Valley. East Rift Valley is between the Central Mountain Range and the Coastal Mountain Range. Liyu Lake welcomes tourists first in East Rift Valley. You can have light-boat sailing and biking around this natural lake. If outdoor enthusiasts are still unsatisfied, you can hike in the forest footpaths in the adjacent Liyu Mountain. After hiking, you can go south for the Lintian Mountain Forestry Center. This fully-functional lumbering community was established during Taiwan under Japanese rule. Now it is a forestry culture and history center to exhibit the memories like lumbering machines, faded pictures, and yellowing document.

After having so much fun in the mountains, we can go biking on Brown Boulevard. The vast rice field may help you get rid of the busy life in city. During autumn, the green filed will turn to brown. And the rice spike will swing with the wind. After that, going down, you can watch the hot balloons in Luye Highlands. The 2019 Taiwan International Balloon Festival will kick off on 6/29. Apart from watching and riding hot balloons, tourists can also try Paragliding here. As for more scenic spots in East Rift Valley, you can check it on our website.

After the wild Taiwan journey, you can explore another side of Taiwan like the fast-paced Taipei, the leisure Taichung, or the harbor Kaohsiung. For the outdoor lovers, don’t miss to go snorkeling in Green Island and feel the ocean in Orchid Island.

 

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The Classic Kaohsiung Guide

Kaohsiung is the second biggest city in Taiwan. Despite the fact that tourists might go to Taipei and skip Kaohsiung on their first trip to Taiwan, Kaohsiung has many tourist attractions worth visiting as a coastal city in southern Taiwan.


In the city, You can feel Kaohsiung by walking along Love River and stay at a café for an afternoon. To have in-depth experience, there are some cultural spots like Pier2 Art Center(駁二藝術特區). Tourists can feel young creative power and learn old local stories in it. To see the classical architecture and the historical path in The British Consulate at Takow(打狗英國領事館), which records the memories since 1865.


For those who love to have a stroll in the green space, Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum(佛光山佛陀紀念館) can be a good choice. The huge Buddha statue and serene temple may bring peace to travelers’ hearts. This museum also houses one of the tooth relics of Sakyamuni Buddha, the founder of the Buddhist faith. Lotus Pond is another tranquil destination known for the lotus plants on the lake and temples like Dragon and Tiger Pagodas (龍虎塔) and the Confucian Temple (孔廟). After wandering around, tourists can have dinner at Ruifeng Night Market(瑞豐夜市) where residents always go after work. You can find delicious stinky tofu, braised clam, and Takoyaki here. Don’t forget to have a cup of Huada milk tea after eating the greasy food.

kaohsiung’s famous tourist attractions – lotus pond

If tourists want to explore more cuisine in Kaohsiung, Liuhe Night Market(六合夜市) is the most popular night market among tourists. You can always find seafood like barbecued lobster and deep-fried squid and restaurants with beers at areasonable price here. After eating, don’t forget to try the papaya milk for its fresh and smooth taste.

To go outside, You can have a day trip by taking a ferry ride to Cijin(旗津) Island from Siziwan(西子灣). Witnessing the conflicts between Britain and France in 1720 at Cihou Lighthouse and the Cihou Fort, You may know why this island is attractive and has the historical meaning. Watching the sunset at Cijin beach, don’t forget to take a photo with the Rainbow Church installations.

To visit Kaohsiung in a classical way, you can check our Kaohsiung Night Tour . If you’ve fallen in love with coastal sites, Kenting and Liuqiu Island could also be the next destination for the beachgoers and ocean lovers.

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Things to Do with Kids and Elderly in Taiwan

While planning a family trip, there are always question for where is the best place for kids and the elderly to go in Taiwan. We try to find some attractions to relax and play in northern, central, and southern Taiwan.

In northern Taiwan, Taipei Zoo and Maokong Gondola is the best recommendation for those travelers with kids. Families could take a stroll for the penguin, koala, Formosan animals, and pandas. The cute pandas Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan definitely cannot be missed. To view the nightscape of Taipei, tourist can take Maokong Gondola to the mountain. Apart from nightscape, Maokong is also famous for its tea and local cuisine. Another family-friendly tourist attraction is Huashan 1914 Creative Park. There are exhibitions held in Huashan 1914 Creative Park every week. Kids and the elderly can experience making the woodcraft in the workshop.

In central Taiwan, Cinjing Farm could be a good option for nature lovers. The sheep shearing show, DIY handicraft, and horse riding show are the unique experience that families can join together and make a stronger bond with each other. Another tourist attraction good for a family trip is Nantou Monster Village. Kids will absolutely fall in love with the cute monsters. Adults and kids can try some bread and desserts like witch’s finger or monster’s eyeball. If you still have the energy to go around after being scared by the monsters, don’t miss the nearby Sun Moon Lake. It is also a good famous place for the family to relax in the mountains.

As for southern Taiwan, Love River is a good place for the family trip with the elderly. Taking a ride of the boat, you can view the riverside slowly and chat with parents. There are also bars along the Love River. If tourists want to have some drinks, you can try some at the bars. For those who want to spend an afternoon to enjoy the river scenery, there are also Cafés for you. Drinking a cup of Cappuccino and chat with families, travelers may laze freely in Kaohsiung. In Kaohsiung, if you are interested in Taiwanese temple culture, Lotus Pond could be a great destination. Around Lotus Pond, there are Dragon and Tiger Pagodas, Spring and Autumn Pavilions, and Confucius Temple. Kids can go through the Dragon’s mouth and out of Tiger’s, then they can turn the bad luck into good fortune. There is also Guanyin (Buddhist bodhisattva with compassion and veneration) riding dragon pagoda in front of Spring and Autumn Pavilions, which is also a knowledgeable classroom for tourists to learn the temple culture. Confucius Temple here is the largest Confucius Temple in Taiwan. Confucius is the great teacher of China, who is responsible for education. Built in the style of the Song dynasty, this solemn and majestic architecture welcomes all tourists.

If you are planning a family trip to Taiwan, these spots can be listed on your Taiwan tour. Also, Justaiwantour offers a customized tour for the family trip. Feel free to ask itinerary for the family trip.

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Have fun in Penghu Ocean Fireworks Festival

Penghu is an archipelago including about 90 islands and islets of about 825 square kilometers, and it is located off the western coast of Taiwan. It is nominated as one of the Asian’s emerging tourist city by Agoda.com in 2015. Penghu’s largest city—Magong (literally means mother’s palace) is named because it has the oldest Mazu temple of Taiwan. The best time to visit Penghu is from April to October. Feeling this beach island with the sunny weather and salty breeze may be the best experience in Penghu to all the travelers.

Penghu Ocean Fireworks Festival is going to kick off from 4/18 to 6/27 on every Monday and Thursday this year. There will also be a firework show added on 5/12 Sunday to celebrate Mother’s day. Innovation and environment-friendly elements are added to the firework show this year. The firework show is held in Guanyin temple, where a rainbow bridge lies. The river will reflect the magnificent fireworks in the sky. There will be the warm-up series—music concerts, dancing shows, and performances held before the firework show.

Being in this beach archipelago, don’t miss to try the watersports in Penghu. You may be fascinated with Cimei’s colorful coral reef. This fishing island also has a special Twin Hearts Stone Weir to trap fish. Near Cimei Island, there is a nesting environment of green sea turtles in Wang’an Island. Beyond these islands outside, let’s go back to the main island of Penghu. The Tianhou (Mazu) temple established in Magong is the religious center of the locals. For those who love historical spots, there are also Penghu Zhongyang Old Street and military Dependents Village Cultural Park to visit. To go through Penghu Great Bridge, you will arrive at the second biggest island of Penghu—Xiyu. Xiyu means the western island of Penghu in Chinese. It also has different kinds of attractions worth visiting. Being an island in the front line of Taiwan, Xiyu West Fort and Xiyu East Fort try to protect this island. The Yuwengdao Lighthouse leads the ships to find the way home. And this sea island also combines the sea world to temple. You can see the underground dragon’s palace (where the dragon king lives under the sea in Chinese tales) the Zhuwan Dayi Temple.

To have a summer vacation by the beach, Penghu is strongly recommended. You can not only have fun in the watersports and hot attractions in Penghu but also charmed by the Penghu Ocean Fireworks Festival. To have a convenient and local tour, Justaiwantour also provides English-friendly custom tour service for you.

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Picking calla lilies in Zhuzihu(bamboo lake)

As the middle part of Yangmingshan, Zhuzihu is near Tianmu and Qingtiangang. Go down, there is Tianmu ancient trail. Go up, you will arrive at Qingtiangang. In Zhuzihu, it is often rainy and misty, and damp. So if you overlook Taipei 101 from here, it may stand in the hazy mist. Yangmingshan is famous for its four flower seasons: calla lily, cherry blossom, Hydrangea, and bamboo. The Calla Lily Festival is kicking off in Zhuizihu from 3/29, and the flower viewing time will last for one and half month.

Going into the farm of the calla lily, you can enjoy the magnificent scenery of the calla lily sea on this blurred mountain and view the white flowers swing in the wind. Before picking calla lily, you need to change your clothes into “frog clothing.” You will put on a big green fisher clothing and rain boots. Then you can go into the sea of calla lily, and pluck this flower of innocence. While picking the calla lily, hold the bottom part of it and pull it up. While it gets out of the soil, there will be a popping cork sound. Take a part of this beautiful scenery back home. Put the calla lily in the bottle on your desk. It may bring joy and satisfaction to you.

After picking the flower, staying and eating the local cuisine in Zhuzihu is a good choice. Warm up yourself with Pineapple & Bitter Gourd Chicken Soup on the chilly mountain. The farms also provide a collection of jungle vegetables like Stir-fried bitter gourd with salted eggs, stir-fried jungle fern, fried Chayote. You can also go fishing on some farms. After catching the fish, the cook will make it into striped bass soup. As for the dessert, Sweet Potato Ginger Soup is the must-eat item in Zhuzihu. Besides, there are ten calla lily landscape designs in the farms for couples to take romantic pictures.

Besides, you can have a walk along the arrow bamboo trail after picking calla lily in Zhuzihu. The bamboo grows in dense clusters. It is the perfect wind-breaking barrier. Relax and listen to the sound that wind flows through the bamboo forest. Additionally, if you go up, there is Macao hot spring and Yangmingshan National Park. Because of sulfur mining, it is a fumaroles spring with smoke. Yangmingshan National Park has diverse recreational facilities of hiking trails and wildlife like black pines, acacia trees, and the Formosan sweet gum.

After hiking downhill, visiting Tianmu ancient trail nearby and Beitou hot spring is highly recommended to have a nature therapy. Along the trail, you may find yourself having the forest bath. Sometimes you may have the chance to see the monkeys hanging from the trees. There is also an attractive Fengcui Waterfall you can enjoy. Beitou is famous for its hot spring and historic culture. If you go to Beitou, remember to visit Beitou hot spring.

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Find Sakura in Alishan

Alishan, also known as Moutain Ali, has unique scenery that only belongs to Taiwan like sunrise, cloud sea and sacred trees. Being a diverse scenic park, Alishan also has its own forest railway and the aboriginal tribe Tsou culture.

Never miss one of Taiwan’s hottest attraction— Alishan. Most trees will hit its full bloom in March and April. With the petal falling, have a good time walking in the breeze with flower fragrance in Alsihan. There are many types of cherry blossoms in Alishan, including Yoshino Cherry and Oshima cherry. The King Cherry of Alsihan, a big Somei-Yoshino Cherry tree predicting the cherry blossom of other trees, has already hit its full blossom this year. If you are lucky enough, you may encounter the The Whisper of Melody and Sakura—a music concert held by Alishan National Scenic Area. Most tourists will take the nostalgic forest train to appreciate the cherry blossom along the railway. The forest train was constructed to transport Red Cypress logs and carry supplies when Taiwan was under Japanese rule. Now it becomes an integral part of the Alishan recreation facilities to bring tourist convenience and happiness.

Sunrise viewing is another activity you can try in Alishan. After taking Zhushan line train, Take a stroll along Sunrise Viewing Trail to the viewing platform. Standing in the mountains and catching the first light of sunrise are definitely extraordinary experience for you in Taiwan. Apart from the hazy sunshine, the cloud sea is also worth watching. When people watch the clouds going, tranquility may flow into their heart.

Chiayi, Taiwan – Alishan vintage train stop in main station for bring tourist people to see sunrise in the mountain ,chiayi ,taiwan.

 

Sacred trees are also the must-see scenery in Alishan. Being about 2000 years old, most Sacred trees are Formosan cypress. Taking a deep breath of the frosty air in the forest, you can smell a fresh aroma of the Red cypress. After watching sacred trees, you can visit the Sisters’ Ponds. Sisters’ Ponds are two adjacent ponds. According to the legend, there was a pair of sisters who loved the same man. To show the support to each other, they both committed suicide by jumping into the ponds.

The elder sister pond in alishan national scenic area, taiwan.

After such a long hike of cherry blossom, sunrise, and sacred trees, you may be hungry and exhausted. Take a full rest in Fengchihu. There are Taiwan’s most prestigious railway lunchboxes here. Fengchihu bento box is famous for its traditional cuisine and attentive selection of fresh ingredients consisted of rice, vegetables, and usually wild boar meat or chicken. Since having been to Alishan, why not explore Tsou culture in it? Having their own legend, Taiwanese indigenous people—Tsou has its own culture. In February, there is Mayasvi Festival (war ceremony) to pray for the warriors. And Tourists can experience Tsou wedding customs in Fo’na Festivals (Life Bean Festival) in October.

Standing in Alishan away from the busy life in urban, you can not only get real sense of Taiwan but also feel the pulse of the Earth. To explore the natural scenic attractions in Taiwan, this forest recreation area is generally advised for those outdoors enthusiasts. To have a more convenient and in-depth tour into Alishan, Justaiwantour’s private day tour is highly recommended. Our accessible private car service can help the tourists design a tour that more convenient and deep into the aboriginal tribes and attractions.

 

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