No trip to Taiwan is complete without exploring Taroko National Park which lies 2.5 hours south by train from Taipei on the eastern coast of Taiwan. After a horrible night sleep, thanks to a couple of snorers, we woke up literally at the crack of dawn to make our way to Taroko. The train ride was very scenic at times the train ran parallel to the ocean coast. We got off at Taroko station and immediately found ourselves a moped to rent, for a mere $12. Our hostel was only a 15 min ride from the station, which was great because it was a tight squeeze with 2 people and 2 bags! We checked into Taroko Liwu Hostel, which was a small and very cheap youth hostel right outside the gates to the National Park. The park was established in November 1986, which is the same month/year I was born so the park is only 29 years old! It’s also free to visit. It’s hard to believe they don’t charge and entrance fee. We couldn’t have asked for a better location! We spent the afternoon zooming through the gorge witnessing the jaw dropping beauty of the park.
With a set of wheels we were able to explore the major attractions of the park in about 4 hours. We decided to take our little moped for another joyride, this time to the coast to watch the sunset. In no time we found a perfect little ocenside park, to watch the sunset. There was even live music and food stalls too, which we enjoyed! It was truely incredibly beautiful. The only bummer, was that once again we found ourselves at the ocean and yet no one was swimming it.
We finished off the day by driving down to the town of Hualien where there is a pretty large..you guessed it..NIGHT MARKET! We gorged ourselves on beer, shrimp, oysters, and fried goodies! What a glorious day!