Taroko Gorge and Taiwan’s Spectacular Northeast Coast
Taroko Gorge, a cavernous 12-mile canyon on Taiwan’s northeast coast, is the island’s most spectacular natural feature. The gorge’s smooth marble walls rise nearly vertically—for hundreds of feet in some sections—from the blue-green Liwu River. The journey from Taiwan’s capital to Taroko Gorge along the jagged cliff-lined coast is also breathtaking, so the national park’s trails, hotels, and natural hot springs are almost always swarming with tourists.
No. 18, Zhongbu Cross-island highway, Xiulin Township, Hualien County, Taiwan 972
These beautiful hot springs are located several kilometres into the gorge. To get there you must drive or cycle to the parking lot and then walk down a long wooden staircase built into the cliffside. At the bottom you’ll find a quaint Japanese-style changing room. From there you cross the river on a suspension bridge and then walk down to an open marble basin filled with flowing hot water. The view from the bottom of the gorge is spectacular, the water is blisteringly hot, and the river is near enough to jump in to cool off. And the best part: it’s free.
The excellent swell and proximity to Taipei make Yilan one of the most popular places for surfing on the island. The swell is biggest and most consistent in the winter, but fun all year round.