8 Incredible Things to Do in Hualien, Taiwan

Photo by www.istockphoto.com

8 Incredible Things to Do in Hualien, Taiwan

On the lesser-explored east coast of Taiwan, Hualien offers some of the best scenery and nature on the island. The area is home to some of the island's most picturesque beaches, dizzying cliff landscapes and the famous national park of Taroko Gorge, there's plenty of incredible things to do in Hualien.

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8 Incredible Things to Do in Hualien, Taiwan

Sixty Stone Mountain

High angle shot of Sixty Stone Mountain

Photo by www.istockphoto.com

Far to the south of Hualien in the vast East Rift Valley, Sixty Stone Mountain is a paradise of nature and scenery. The landscape here really comes alive in the summer from around August to September, where the fields surrounding the mountain are filled with beautiful flowers of the long yellow daylily. The mountain itself is only about 800 meters high but offers incredible sweeping vistas over the valley.

There are a couple of theories where the name came from, one being that trees were cut down on the mountain and afterwards they found there to be sixty stones left uncovered.

Qingshui Cliffs

Qingshui Cliff Taiwan

Photo by www.istockphoto.com

Epic coastal roads with dramatic mountains rising by the side of the island, driving down Taiwan's east coast is sure to result in a trip to remember. The incredible cliff scenery here is stunning, with the highest peak Qingshui Mountain, rising 2408 meters straight up from the Pacific Ocean. Along the coastline you'll find a number of beautiful beaches, next to the bright azure Pacific Ocean with a beauty that's simply hard to express in words.

Taroko Gorge

Taroko Gorge Taiwan

Photo by HUANG, CHI-FENG/Shutterstock

One of Taiwan's most famous national parks, Taroko Gorge is home to some of the island's most incredible scenery, full of deep gorges and dramatic valleys that traverse through the jagged mountains that cut through the center of Taiwan. It's best to rent a car or motorcycle to fully explore this beautiful natural wonder for a day or two while staying in Hualien or take one of the tours that leaves from Hualien City. Within the park there's plenty of spots for hiking and exploring by foot.

In early November, the gorge is the site of Taroko Gorge International Marathon, which closes off parts of the area to traffic, make sure to check in advance if you're planning on visiting during this time.

Dongdamen Night Market, Hualien City

Dongdamen Night Market, Hualien City

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As the largest city on the east coast of Taiwan, Hualien City offers plenty of things to do. Like any city in Taiwan, night markets are the soul and life of the city and Hualien's Dongdamen Night Market is always full of energy. Dongdamen is the largest night market in Hualien and there's plenty of delicious food to try here. The market is ordered into different sections, such as a street selling aboriginal foods and goods. As with all night markets, it's best to follow your nose and stomach and try anything and everything you take a fancy to.

Qixingtan Beach

Qixingtan Beach Hualien

Photo by Pisit Kitireungsang/Shutterstock

If you're looking for the most picturesque beach on the island, Qixingtan Beach is a strong candidate. The iconic scenery of the Pacific Ocean, beautiful stretches of beach right next to the dramatic rising peaks in the background, is an iconic sight Hualien is well known for. The beach is filled with tiny pebbles rather than sand, so isn't as ideal for lounging around but still an impressive sight.

Liyu Lake

Liyu Lake Hualien

Photo by Kit Leong/Shutterstock

Hualien's smaller version of the beautiful Sun Moon Lake in central Taiwan, Liyu Lake is just as picturesque, but much more easier to explore in a day. You can walk around the lake in about an hour via a road that circles around the banks of the lake or take to the waters by rowing or cruising across in a pedalboat. There are plenty of places for hiking around the vicinity, many of which have spectacular views out across the lake.

Qinbuzhizi Skywalk

Not for the faint-hearted, Qinbuzhizi Skywalk takes visitors along Hualien's incredible seafront cliffs, through a high-up path that's partly made with see-through glass flooring. To get access to the skywalk you'll need to buy an entrance ticket which costs 40 NTD but it's well worth it for the beautiful views across the coast and out towards the ocean.

Hualien's Unique Starbucks

Incredible Starbucks in Hualien Taiwan

Photo by 周 明璿/Flickr

Hualien is also home to one of the most unique Starbucks cafes in the world, for those with a passion for the ubiquitous coffee shop. While you'll find Starbucks everywhere around Taiwan (and the world) the one in Hualien is worth visiting for its unique appearance. Built out of shipping containers with huge glass windows at each end, the views from both inside and outside make this branch of Starbucks particularly impressive.