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Located on a strip of land between the Pacific Ocean and the Central Mountain Range, Hualien is considered one of the most pleasant cities in Taiwan. Tourists visit the city to enjoy the scenery and fresh air and also to see the famous Taroko Gorge, which is located few miles north of the city. Hualien Taroko is one of the region's best kept secrets that slowly grows on you.  

This well-kept seaside secret is your gateway to the beating heart of Taiwan, a vibrant island nation that stole the spotlight with the ousting of Nationalist, Chiang Kai-shek from China. Its serene beauty belies the continuing conflict with mainland China and welcomes you with open arms. Imagine a truly unspoiled place - Taroko Gorge National Park - a must for any nature and wildlife enthusiast, where mineral hot springs offer rejuvenation and bliss. Traditional Chinese and Japanese temples with their unique architecture and magnificent landscape design, awaken the senses and transport you to a world of grace and timeless heritage.

Where You're Docked
Port of Hualien is an international port in Hualien County, Taiwan. It is located in Hualien City. A new passenger terminal was added at wharf No. 23 to facilitate international Cruise Ship arrivals.

Transportation and Geting Around
The city center is small and easy to navigate on foot, although scooters are available to rent at several places around town for about NT$400 a day (125cc automatics). Pony rental near Chin Yen Hotel (across from the train station) is the only rental agency that will rent scooters to foreigners. Getting around by scooter is the best way to see the gorge. The Giant bike shop in front of the train station offers daily bicycle rentals for as low as 100NTD during the off-season. This is another great way to navigate the city and the coastline if you are unable to ride a scooter.

Hualien is a small city without an extensive public transport system, and so it is worth considering taking taxis to areas outside the city center. NB: Hualien station is at least a thirty minute walk from the center of town.

If you plan to travel long distances to the East Rift Valley, East Coast, or Taitung from Hualien, renting a car gives you more flexibility and saves a lot of time. One of the few English service car rental companies is located near the station. You can get a free map and travel advice there before starting your journey.

Taroko Gorge National Park Taroko Gorge National Park
This stunning, river-cut marble canyon thrills you with astounding scenery, amazing feats of engineering, unique plants and animals, unforgettable history and culture and great photo opportunities.

The Abode of Still Thoughts (Tzu Chi Jing-Si Hall), No 703, Sec 3, Zhongyand Road. This small Buddhist temple at the foot of Mount North Jialiwan is the original facility of the world-famous Tzu-Chi Buddhist foundation. In keeping with the foundation's ideals, the temple is very simple, and incorporates a Japanese style garden. Information on Tzu-chi's international activities is also available at the temple.

Eternal Spring Shrine
Light a cigarette (in lieu of incense) to remember the 212 military veterans who lost their lives building the Central Cross-Island Highway through the mountains and connecting the coasts.

Swallow's Grotto Swallow's Grotto
Enjoy fantastic views of the gorge and the impressive cliffs opposite where limestone formations, such as swallow holes, catch the eye. Don't miss the rocky profile of an American Indian chief.

Tunnels of Nine Turns
The longest tunnel on the Central Cross-Island Highway is cut from sheer rock. The Nine Turns reveal sheer drops, beautiful rock forms and the thrill of traversing an astounding engineering feat.

Pine Garden
Gaze at the Meilun River, Hualien Port, and the Pacific Ocean from the lushly timbered vantage of this graceful garden and historic landmark recognized as one of the "Top 100 Historic Sites in Taiwan."

Keishuin
This lofty pillared temple once served Japanese immigrants. Today it surrounds you with the grace and beauty of a traditional Japanese garden where Zen harmony and balance soaks into your very soul.

Kang-Ten Temple
Hualien's largest Taoist temple, Kang-Ten is dedicated to the Goddess of Heaven and other fascinating Chinese deities. It employs vivid colors and intricate sculptures to bring tradition to life.

Marble Bridge
Marble Bridge (also known as Motherly Devotion Bridge), is an H-Shape hanging bridge with marble stone lions on each end. It was built by the late President Chiang Jing-guo, in memory of his mother, during construction of the road.

Yenpin Prefectural Temple, (Near Zhongyang Road, sec 4.). Established in the Qing Dynasty, this is the oldest temple in Hualien. 

Pine Garden, 26 shuiyuan street (Zhongmei)
A peaceful garden with 63 pine trees. It was built around 1943. There is a souvenir shop as well that sell many things made locally. Outside there is a another enclosure with two shops. One sells jelly in ice-cream shapes. Really delicious. There is another ice cream shop and Chinese food restaurant. 50NT$ per adult. open -- 9am-6pm.

Chi-Hsing Tan (North of Hualien City
Follow the bike path from Nanbin Seashore Park.). Excellent vistas of the ocean, delicious and cheap seafood, friendly people, and a special goat restaurant specializing in goat milk coffee. Great place for leisure cycling and walking. The beach is not popular for swimming, though, as the tides and currents are quite dangerous, the bottom drops off steeply, and doesn't have much sand (mostly pebbles). It is important to stay near the coast. 

Hualien County Stone Sculpture Museum, (At the Hualien County Cultural Center.). 9AM-5PM. Displays both traditional and contemporary stone sculptures. NT$20. 
Beibin Seashore Park, Nanbin Seashore Park and Meilun Seashore Park. A scenic area of palm trees and landscaped greenery that runs the full length of the city's foreshore. The views over the Pacific Ocean are especially spectacular at sunrise.

Qixintan Beach, haian road, xincheng road. A must visit. The crescent gulf of Qixintan has fascinating view of the Pacific. It has sightseeing trails and beach pavilions. The beach is not a sandy beach but with fine black pebbles.

Eating Out
Zhu tung fan - rice steamed in a bamboo tube is a specialty of the local aborigines.

Muaji - glutinous rice filled (or sometimes covered) with various flavors, such as peanut, sweet red and green bean paste, sweet sesame paste, coconut or fruit.

Wonton - Hualien's wontons are very famous throughout Taiwan

Laguardia. Good breakfast shop across the street from the big post office near the train station on Chung Shan Rd. Amazing Hamburgers. Try the bacon cheese beef burger or the cod burger.

Siam Thai Restaurant Hours:11:30~21:00 +886 38 338600 No.71, Fuxing St. (Just near the All Star Pub) They have one English menu and most tables are filled. Pleasantly spicy, if that's your thing. Not too many choices, but the ones that are there are good ones.

Pot Stickers Shop (that has no name) along Zhongshan Road (the stretch that starts with no. 765), opposite.
It is a small shop and the chef is an elderly man. The pot stickers are perfectly fried, not too oily and with good filling and a special vinegar sauce to complement it.

Tosca Pasta, 95-7 Jung Mei Road: European style restaurant with European prices
Irrawaddy Myanmar Restaurant, 11-1 Min Quan Rd.03-831-0077, Across from the Meilun Coast Park, a favorite restaurant of many foreigners in Hualien. 
Belarusian restaurant, serving traditional Russian and Belarusian food. Hours :12.00 - 21.00. Phone Number:0963-413744 

Salt Lick, Western-style barbecue. At the corner of Jung Hwa and Jung Shan Rds.
Hualien City. Lunch and Dinner. Open every day.+886 3 833 2592

Bony Lee Food & Drinks "Cuisine Ivoirienne", 89, GuoFu 3rd Street), 09-8363-8925. Nice little restaurant hidden away in a small side street. West-African food and drinks. Also has a nice selection of western beers. Open for lunch and dinner

Shopping
Woven cloth. Hualien is a good place to pick up hand woven cloth in traditional aboriginal designs. Muaji (mua-ji) This sweet made of sticky rice is a specialty of Hualien.Stone Hualien's stone market is near the old bus station on Mingyi Road, and they sell everything from jewelry to tea-pots all carved out of stone.



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