Hualien Travel Guide

Hualien Facts

Chinese Name: 花莲县 (huā lián xiàn)
Population: 330,000
Area: 4638.57141 square kilometers (1787.10141 square miles)
Location: in the east of Taiwan Island, southeast China
Administrative Division: 1 county-administered city (Hualien); 12 townships
Area Code: 008863
Zip Code: 97047
GDP (2019): CNY53.3 billion (USD 7.7 billion)

The Largest County in Taiwan with Stunning Marble Valley

Hualien County in eastern Taiwan is the largest and the second-longest county of Taiwan with only 27 kilometers (17 miles) to 43 kilometers (27 miles) from east to west but 142 kilometers (88 miles) from north to south. It borders Yilan to the north, Taitung to the south, and Taichung City, Nantou County and Kaohsiung City to the west. The aboriginal culture of Hualien County is very prominent as the county is the place where most Taiwan’s aborigines live including Amis, Atayal and Truku.

The attractions in Hualien County are mostly concentrated near the two areas: Taroko National Park and Huadong Rift Valley. The Taroko National Park is famous for the magnificent and nearly vertical marble gorge landscape. From the park, you can also overlook the towering Chingshui Cliff. The East Rift Valley is full of greenery and rolling beautiful mountains and many spots such as orchards and pastures. From February to April, the valley shows the most beautiful scenery when it turns into a stunning flower sea. If you want to see the sea view, you can visit the Seven Star Lake. At night, you will be overwhelmed by the numerous snacks in the Hualien night market.

Top Attractions - Things to Do

 Chingshui Cliff: This 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: The 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.

 Seven Star Lake: Most of the beaches here 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: It 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.

 Yushan National Park: where the highest Mountain - Jade Mountain in Taiwan lies in. 

Tour Routes

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

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. 

How to Get to Hualien

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

Hualien Travel Tips

 Local Highlights: 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. 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.

 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.

- Last updated on Aug. 27, 2020 -
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