Quick and Easy Side Trip from Taipei: Hualien.

Travel from Taipei to Hualien is made easy. This article is meant to be a quick and easy, guide for those who are looking for an idea to get out of Taipei for 3 days 2 nights. Before our trip, I read how Hualien and the eastern coast of Taiwan is a special place for many Taiwanese. As short as our trip was, it was more than enough time for us to understand why it’s so special.

Traveling to Hualien. 

We traveled to Hualien from by train from Taipei. There are 3 lines: Tze Chiang line,
Taroko line and Puruma line (I think). We took Tze Chiang line to Hualien and the whole journey is around 2.5 hours.

The train system in Taiwan is so efficient that I wouldn’t even think of traveling any other way.  Unless you’re in an extreme rush or couldn’t purchase train tickets, then traveling to Hualien by train is the best way to go. The trains are fast, clean and comfortable. But you can also elect to travel by bus, taxi or get a flight; you are truly spoilt for choice. The good news is that all these modes of transport are easy, friendly and comfortable.

Top 5 Things to do in Hualien.

1. Hike the Yan Zi Kao Trail (Part of Taroko George).

A trip to Taroko Gorge is the best thing you can do in Hualien. One of the main attraction is Yan Zi Kao Trail. Lauded as one of the world’s fascinating natural phenomena, this trail provides you with stunning scenery as well as beautiful jungles entwined with a clear winding river.

 2. Take a relaxing stroll at Qixingtan Beach.

This pebbled beach is one of the most popular and gorgeous of Taiwan’s beaches. Famed for its beauty and natural landscape. It is also well-known it unique crescent shape, allowing the mountains to naturally meet the sea. Every year thousands of tourists visit this amazing beach and it is easily accessible especially from a walking distance on the eastern side from Beibu railway station. Activities include sightseeing trails and star-gazing. Biking is also another popular activity that takes place along this beach. t’s between Hualien City and Taroko Gorge so you can make a quick stop here en route to (or returning from) the park. You can get to Qixingtan Beach from Hualien Station via the Taroko Tourist Shuttle Bus (1133A).

3. Feast the view from Qing Shui Cliff.

What a magnificent landmark this cliff is; the area around it has been designated not only for its amazing and stunning beauty but as one of the eight wonders of the world. The incredibly scenic view is that of mountains rising miraculously from the base of the Pacific ocean.  Atop the cliffs, you can amass yourself in the unique phenomena of diverse color tones which in essence, define the Pacific Ocean. You can easily access Qing Shui cliff from the southwestern part of Heren railway station. The truth is that for your overall Taroko, experience, Qing Shui cliff remains a key addition.

4. Hike the Shakadang Trail. 

Some people refer to it as “the mysterious valley trail”. The beauty of this trail is in the alluring and breathtaking sparkling and crystal-clear of the river water; which enchants and keeps visitors fixated on the site.  The Shakadang remains a gently flowing stream, and at the best of times, you can even wade through. Combined with the all the beauty that surrounds this trail, you have no single regret for coming.

5. Seek eternal youth at the eternal Spring Shrine… kidding. It’s just a beautiful shrine.

This landmark has a rich history behind it, and it is marked as a memorial shrine in Taroko National Park. Travelers visiting this shrine have the benefit of great views of the mountains and the waterfalls. Once you cross on the other side of the river, you have the best views which make for an impressive photography.

Things to do in Hualien at night?

We went in here twice, first night when we stepped out of our Hotel at ten this was the only place open at the time, although to be frank on a Thursday night three fourth of the stalls had closed. The corn cobs were nice, so were fruit juices but they are available world over, among the unique items we had were the sweet potato dishes, cheese, and curry buns and the candied tomatoes. There were many more options but we had our fill for the night. We also tried shooting games and such. Next day we went in at eight in the evening the place was lively, different areas had live performers and the atmosphere was fun.

Where we stayed?

We stayed at Kindness Hotel. Yes, spread all the kindness in the world. Good location, walking distance to train station, Cosmed just in front. A lot of food in the neighborhood. Breakfast & dinner are included, food is quite various. Self-laundry machines are provided, including the detergent.

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