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Hualien Travel Guide

Hualien County is the largest and the second longest county of Taiwan with only 17 miles (27 kilometers) to 27 miles (43 kilometers) from east to west but 88 miles (142 kilometers) from north to south. Located on the east coast of Taiwan Island, it has vast sea views. To the west of the county towers the Central Range. So the county is rich in both mountainous and coastal sceneries.

The annual average temperature here is 74°F (23 °C), the highest monthly average temperature is 83°F (28°C), and the lowest is 64°F (18°C). In addition, May to November is Hualien’s rainy season and the best time to visit here is from February to April.

 

Local Highlights

 A Habitation of Amis: Most of the Taiwanese aborigines, especially Amis, live here. The Amis have a matriarchal system. Important decisions are made by females, and daughters inherit lands and properties. Their clothes, food, festivals, and other customs are unique and interesting. All the girls’ clothes are red without special ornaments and boys are barebacked with shorts. The most representative foods of the Amis are millet wines and sticky rice cakes. From July to August, during the Harvest Festival, their most important cultural event, they will drink millet wines and eat sticky rice cakes, a special treat for the Amis people.

 A “Marble City”: Hualien is rich in natural resources, especially marble, so you can see a number of marble buildings, pavements, statues, decorations, and signs. These are seldom seen in other cities.

 

Top Attractions& Tour Routes

 Coastal Highway Line: Chingshui Cliff → Taroko National Park→ Seven Star Lake →Carp Lake.

Chingshui Cliff is a huge rock cliff which towers next to the Pacific. It is more than 2,625 feet (800 meters) high and stretches 13 miles (21 kilometers). The waves at the foot of the cliff surge and swell sky-high.

Taroko National Park is famous for its magnificent marble valleys. Cliffs, caves, forests, winding tunnels, and streams can be found everywhere. Many rare animals and plants inhabit the park, such as tree frogs, pangolins and fir forests.

Most of the beaches at Seven Star Lake are boulder beaches, so it is a good place to collect shells and walk in the waves. It is also an important fishing area with three fisheries, so you can eat seafood here.

Carp Lake is the largest lake in Hualien. Here you can picnic, camp, go boating, and visit the forest museum. Carp Mountain sits beside the lake, where you can try paragliding.

 East Rift Valley Line:
Mountains, rivers, orchards, tea gardens, fields, and pastures come into view continuously in East Rift Valley. Every February to April, flowers are in bloom here, which is also the best time for a visit. At Mizuho Ranch, you can drink pure natural milk. Taking a bath at the Antong hot spring or the Mizuho hot spring is a real treat.

 

Transportation

Only Taipei and Kaohsiung have direct flights to Hualien. You can take the train from any other city in Taiwan to the county. By train, it usually takes 2-3.5hours from Taipei to Hualien. To travel around the scenic spots, you can take the sightseeing bus or hire a private car or motorcycle. The rental of a car is TWD 1,500-2,000 for a half day and TWD 2,500-3,500 for a whole day. The motorcycle costs TWD 500 for 24 hours and TWD 50 per extra hour.

 See more about Taiwan Train

 

Snacks

Fried baked scallion pancakes, mochi, wontons, bean cake pastry, coffin burger and steamed spring rolls are all famous snacks. The seaside Nanbin Night Market and the Zhiqiang Night Market are the best places to taste this delicious food, which is actually inexpensive. The former is the largest night market of Hualien and the latter is the most popular among the locals. Moreover, you can also find all kinds of snacks in the Golden Triangle business district.

 

Local Products

There are many Amis crafts and daily necessities to be found at the Amis Millet Cultural Centre in Amis Cultural Village. What’s more, the Hualien Handicraft Center has a large number of artwares including ceramics, knitting, sculptures, and DIY accessories. Hualien potatoes and rice cakes as special local food can be found everywhere, especially on Jhonghua Road where you can buy prunes, roselles, peeling peppers, lotus teas, and yokans.