Day 6: Off to Haulien

I’m off for Taroko National park today which has one of the deepest canyons in the world. The train leaves from Taipei main station, and it seemed to spend half it’s time in tunnels on the way to Hualien. Taiwan isn’t an easy place to build roads or railways, so you can either go through the mountains or over them. Since train’s are sensitive to steep grades, they end up going through them. The train followed a valley out of Taipei, before eventually emerging at the coast.

View from the train

View from the train

The train took about 2 hours to reach Haulien station where I dropped my bag, and than took an hour bus ride over to the national park. Today I decided to checkout the Shakadang trail, which is a relatively easy hike that’s 8KM return. The trail follows the side of the Shakadang river.

At the start of the trail

At the start of the trail

Along the trail, it really felt like a jungle scene from a Vietnam war movie. In some places, the insects and animals along the trail created almost a deafening sound.

Loud insects!

In some places along the trail, the river got very narrow.



The trail was literally blasted out of a cliff face, and for much of it you have to watch your head as the clearances can be a bit tight. The whole national park is very impressive, and totally different than what you would find in Canada. The actual gorge is over 500m deep in places.

The cities in Taiwan are interesting, but nothing beats seeing the incredible nature the island has to offer.


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