The Most Beautiful Road in Taiwan 2016-05-27
Taiwan has only three roads that connect the West coast with the East coast of this magical island. Whereas the road that crosses through the center of Taiwan is considered the most beautiful road in Taiwan because of its breathtaking landscapes, many people ride a bicycle or a scooter, drive a car or take a bus to explore this part of the island.

The goal for our long weekend road trip was leaving Taiwan on a Saturday morning and coming back Tuesday evening. But during these 4 days we would cross Taiwan from West to East, driving through Taichung, Nantou, Hualien and finally going up back to Taipei from the East coast.


DAY1



The first day was all about driving. We drove through highways 1, 3 and 6. There was a bit of traffic jam because we were doing what everyone else was doing, escaping from the city during our 4-day holiday. We then reached Highway 14 that passes through Nantou and the famous Cingjing Farm(清境農場). We didn’t have enough time to stop by, but I’m sure it is also one of the places everybody must visit in Taiwan.



After a couple more hours we reached Wuling (武嶺), the highest point in Taiwan, with an elevation of 3,725M or 10,746ft. We could even see small spots with snow around and made our own small snowman. Landscapes left us speechless.




After a couple of snow ball fights and taking some pictures we headed to Highway 14, which is the one that will take us to Taroko National Park! We wanted to camp in one of Taroko’s camping sites but apparently there are some roads that are closed at night, but we didn’t do a previews research about that. So, we ended up camping near a parking lot that we found. We had a 7/11 next to our “camping site” (how convenient are convenient stores in Taiwan) and a toilet, all that we needed.






DAY 2



We didn’t really know where were we camping because the night before everything was too dark to notice. But when we woke up we realized not only the Liwu River ( 立霧溪 ) was next to us but also that it was a non-camping site, we rapidly packed our stuff back and left.

When we went for breakfast I realized I had been there before, there was a very long bridge that crossed the river, we were in TianXiang (天祥), it is usually the last stop from Taroko Gorge. We drove and stopped past two different hiking trails. LyushueiHeliou Trail(綠水合流步道) and Buluowan Trail(布落灣遊憩區).

LyushueiHeliou Trail(綠水合流步道) is a 2km hiking trail where you can perfectly see the river and the road just next to it. You can get amazing shots and it’s totally worth stopping by. It won’t take long and you are not going to end up exhausted if you take the short hiking trail.







Buluowan Trail(布落灣遊憩區) is where you need to stop if you are interested about learning more about Taiwanese aborigines culture. They were playing a short movie called 樂太魯閣 . There’s also a museum that will give you an idea of how aborigines lived and their traditional clothes, they have an English translation for every short story or the history behind this great culture.




Taroko has many other hiking trails and things to do:
(http://www.taroko.gov.tw/English/?mm=6&sm=2&page=1).


We drove to Hualien city, rented a scooter for 500nts (24 hours) and decided to ride all the way to Seven Star Lake 花蓮七星潭, which is a very different beach. Long time ago there were a series of lakes which Japanese filled as part of some of the changes they were intended to do in Hualien, but the local people still call this coastline Seven Star Lake 花蓮七星潭. There is no sand, only rocks of different colors, shapes and sizes. Local people go there to fly kites and ride bicycles along the shore.





On our way back to Hualien city we passed through 東大門觀光夜市(night market) the biggest one in Hualien. Where many locals play live music and perform some artistic shows.


Day3



After our night in Hualien and returning the scooters we went to one of the most beautiful waterfalls I’ve seen in Taiwan Jinyue waterfall(南澳金岳瀑布)>, water is crystal clear so it’s drinkable. The Fofo cup came up being very useful, it is always easier to carry around and makes it more convenient than a water bottle. In less than 10min we reached the first waterfall, but you could actually go on a 3-4 hour hike to the top and find many other.















We kept driving until we reached Fulong, were we spent the night. A beautiful golden sand beach, were the Fulong Sand Sculpture Festival takes part once a year. We rode back to Taipei and passed through Yangmingshan National Park’s (陽明山) beautiful landscapes.
It always amazes me Taiwan’s perfect roads and the convenience of everything. This 3 day trip was a great adventure and we got to see and do a little of everything during such a short period of time. Mountains, waterfalls, ocean, night markets, scooter rides and so many other things. There is always somewhere to go and something to do in Taiwan.


PLACES MENTIONED:
Cingjing Farm(清靜農場).
Wuling (武嶺)
Taroko National Park
How convenient are convenient stores in Taiwan
Liwu River ( 立霧溪 )
TianXiang (天祥),
LyushueiHeliou Trail(綠水合流步道)
Buluowan Trail(布落灣遊憩區).
Taiwanese aborigines culture
Seven Star Lake 花蓮七星潭
東大門觀光夜市(night market)
Fofo cup
南澳金岳瀑布(Jinyue waterfall)
Fulong Sand Sculpture Festival
Yangmingshan National Park’s (陽明山)