Our first full day in Taiwan was spent exploring the beautiful city of Hualien and Taroko Gorge. It’s not a trip to Taiwan without visiting this incredible place! There are many companies online that offer the tour from Taipei and some plan their own independent day trip. We decided to go with a tour company, KKday. Which makes it a lot easier because they take care of the transportation and activities throughout the day.
Let’s start off from the very beginning: As soon as our tour was booked with KKday, we received our confirmation and e-ticket voucher via email. The e-ticket voucher shows where the meeting location will be, time and what you have to wear for the tour. For this tour, it cost $134.15 per adult, $104.71 per child, and $3.28 per infant.
For our 12-hour day tour at Hualien and Taroko Gorge from Taipei, our meeting point is at our hotel lobby. There are a few hotels that KKday will send a tour pick-up, and our hotel happened to be within the vicinity. Therefore, we met one of the KKday tour guides at our hotel and walked to Taipei Main Station. Here, she gave us our train tickets which were for heading to Hualien city and back to Taipei. She also informed us that there would be another guide waiting for us once we arrive. The guide in Hualien then started the tour.
After our 3-hour train ride from Taipei to Hualien, we met up with our tour guide, Josefine, along with the rest of the group. Then, once we were seated in the tour bus, Josefine went over the itinerary for the day. Throughout the ride, she would give historical facts and point out landmarks within the area.
An hour passed and we reached our first destination in Hualien at the beginning of Taroko Gorge, where the “start” landmark is located. We were able to take a few photos and buy snacks during the first stop.
Next, we stopped at Shakadang Trail also known as the “Mysterious Valley Trail” famous for its crystal-clear turquoise water strewn with imposing marble boulders. We only had about 20 minutes to see this area but if you’re doing it independently, I highly suggest explore it longer as the trail was beautiful!
Then, we stopped at a tent where they passed out helmets for the next stop which was the Swallow Grotto. This spot is known as the best place to view Taroko Gorge. Here, you can see the fantastic marble cliffs, rapid Liwu river, and a breathtaking view! It consisted of one flat side and melancholy while the other is steep with marble rock. The contrasting scenery in nature are the most awe-inspiring things to see when we travel!
Near the Swallow Grotto, we stopped at a 5-star hotel in Taroko National Park called Silks Place Taroko. Here, we had a lunch reservation for the tour. This hotel is the best place to stay if you plan on spending a few days exploring the national park. If you don’t mind a little splurge! It’s all about the experience right?
After eating a delicious Taiwanese meal, we walked over to view the Xiangde Temple. This is known as the “Tianxiang landmark”, where the temple pagoda was built on the mountainside. The Xiangde Temple is a place of tranquillity amidst the hustle and bustle.
We then headed to our next stop, the Eternal Spring Shrine which is also called Changchun Shrine. This is the famous photo I see whenever I search for Taroko Gorge! This famous landmark is also a memorial shrine complex. The shrine is located on top of a waterfall which runs right through the middle making it such an outstanding scenic spot for visitors.
We ended our tour at the Qixingtan Beach. It’s known as one of the most beautiful beaches in Taiwan. Our guide mentioned that sunrise here is incredible and worth seeing whenever we revisit Hualien.
It’s no wonder that many people would instead go through a tour company when visiting Taroko Gorge. There is hardly any parking throughout the national park, and it would take too long if you’re catching the bus that runs through the park. With a tour guide, you will not have to wait for the bus or have to wait for the next one in case you miss it. I’m glad we went with KKday for this tour as we had no worries of getting around and we were able to see a lot of places within our single day tour. We strongly recommend checking out KKday if you’re planning on visiting Taroko Gorge!
Book your tour with KKday, here.
Disclaimer: Wanderlustyle partnered with KKday to experience their tours. All of our opinions are honest. Mahalo!