Cing Shui Cliffs at Su Hua Highway, east coast of Taiwan http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Taiwan_2009_CingShui_Cliffs_on_SuHua_Highway_FRD_6762_Pano_Extracted.jpg Mintchocicecream
Hualien is the main city on the east coast of Taiwan. It is also the capital of Hualien County. The city has a population of about 340,000 and serves as transportation hub for the east coast. It occupies a small strip of land between the Pacific Ocean and the Central Mountain Range.
The city of Hualien itself has little to offer. Most visitors come here to visit the famous Taroko Gorge as well as the coastal national parks.
Travel to Hualien
Most tourists arrive in Hualien on packaged tours. You can of course also drive to the city from Taipei. There are also trains from Taipei. It tas about five hours to reach Hualien. When taking the train from Taipei, choose the seat on the left window for splended views of the Pacific Ocean.
Ci Sing Tan Bay, Hualien http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Taiwan_2009_HuaLien_City_CiSingTan_Bay_FRD_8343.jpg Fred Hsu
Getting Around Hualien
If you intend to explore Hualien quite a bit, it is practical to rent a car or a motorscooter.
Hualien, Taiwan http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Taiwan_2009_HuaLien_City_Residential_Community_FRD_6061.jpg Fred Hsu
Places of Interest in Hualien
Tungching Chanssu (Temple of Eastern Purity) A temple made of marble on Huakang Road, Hualien.
Tzuhuitang (Hall of Motherly Love) The oldest and most renowned temple in Hualien.
Wangmu Niangniang Miao (Regal Mother of the West Temple) An ornate temple near Tzuhuitang.
Yuhuang Tati Tien (Palace of the Jade Emperor) 4-storey temple behind Wangmu Niangniang Miao with main hall that can accommodate 2,000 worshippers.
Chunglie Tzu (Martyrs' Shrine) An impressive complex at Chungcheng Park, on the northern outskirts of Hualien.
Liyutan (Liyu Lake, Carp Lake) The biggest natural inland lake in Taiwan.
Amei Wenhua Tsun (Ami Culture Village) A place to view the traditional dances of the Ami tribe.
Antung, Juisui and Hungyeh Hot spring sites off Provincial Highway 9 between Hualien and Taitung.
East Coast National Scenic Area (Dungpuhaian Kuochia Fengchingchu) The picturesque area along the coastal highway between Hualien River to Hsiauyehliu near Taitung.
Hualien Ocean Park Taiwan's first international-standard marine park with aquariums for various marine life ranging from sea lions to whales.
Chichi Seaside Resort (Chichi Haishui Yuchang) The nearest swimming beach from Hualien.
Chichi A small town with coastal rock formations and a tribal village.
Fengpin A coastal town with a colourful harvest festival opening ceremony.
Shihtiping (The Stone Steps) Coastal rock formations from eroded volcanic conglomerate.
Hsiukuluan River A place where you can do whitewater rafting as well as visit its hot spring.
Juikang Highway Highway that follows Hsiukuluan River, offering dramatic views of the white water and sheer cliff faces.
Caves of the Eight Immortals (Pahsientung) Caves with scenic view of the east coast.
Sanhsientai (Platform of the Three Immortals) An island of coral rock linked to the mainland by a multi-span footbridge.
Chengkung An old fishing village, biggest settlement between Hualien and Taitung.
Tulan A bay with where one can see an optical illusion: water seemingly flowing uphill.
Hsiaoyehliu (Small Wild Willows) Another site of contorted rock formations along the coast.
Shanyuan Seaside Resort A popular seaside resort to the north of Taitung.
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