Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Day 3 - Taroko Gorge

Su Hua Highway

Day 3 involves a drive along Su Hua highway between Yilan and Hualien. It is supposedly one of the most dangerous and scenic drive but we met with torrential rain (has been raining for 2 days in a row). A local told me subsequently that we should avoid the eastern part of Taiwan during winter. 

The most unexpected thing happened. The sky turned clear for one hour for the time we passed by 清水断崖 that is located along the Su-Hua highway. 


This is the place where the cliffs meet the Pacific Ocean, creating a spectacular coastline alone the east coast of

The parking area is just outside a tunnel, so you have to watch out for it. You can walk all the way down to the beach from here but the view is the same if that is what you are thinking. We then proceed to Taroko Gorge (太鲁阁).


Anyway, it's still raining non stop in Taroko Gorge. We just have to make use of whatever umbrellas we have. The picture below is 慈母桥 on our way to the  hotel.

Below the bridge is a huge rock with a shape like a frog and the little pagoda like shelter is the "crown". Sounds like the fairy tale story of "princess and the frog". 

There are plenty of "marble" or more commonly known as "大理石" on the riverbed which Hualien is famous for, as you can see in the picture below (the white part).

Hiking trails 

Rain rain go away. We wish the rain would stop. I have originally planned for a few hiking trips to Shakadang and LuShui Heliu Trails but the rain has derailed the plans. Having said that, the trails at Baiyang, Tunnel of nine turns and Changchun remained closed for repairs. I understand from the hotel concierge that the Changchun will reopen in December and according to some websites, the Baiyang trail is not to be missed. 

Silks Palace Taroko

I chose a hotel that is very close to the Baiyang trail which I originally wanted to trek but that is now derailed. 

This is the balcony outside our room. We have specifically requested for a room beside the river overlooking the gorge. Seemed like this is the least we can do..., that is to enjoy the scenery from our room. Here you go. The view from our room. (Remember to ask for a view of the gorge if you are staying there). 

There is a temple nearby which you can hike to the top but not this time... 

We ended up playing ping pong at the hotel...and wishing the rain will stop...

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