Half-Day Tour In Hualien’s Most Visited Taroko National Park 花莲必游景区:太鲁阁国家公园半日游

Ask anyone what is the top must-visit attraction in Taiwan’s largest county – Hualien, & almost 100% of the time, the answer is “Taroko National Park“. Even for someone like me who loves to take the less touristy route whenever I travel, the first destination I put on the list of things to do in Hualien was to visit Taroko National Park. Famous for its marble gorge, the national park is listed as one of the Eight Wonders of Taiwan as at 2005. In fact, according to Wikipedia, Taroko Gorge has withstood the test of time, being consistently ranked on the list since the Qing Dynasty. So how can I miss it?

如果你不晓得到台湾最大的县 ——花莲去,一定要游哪一个热门旅游景点,查询一下,得到的答案几乎都会是“太鲁阁国家公园”。一般上,我会比较喜欢探访没那么多游客的地方,但当我决定去花莲一游时,首个想到的景点正是太鲁阁。为什么?台湾交通观光局在2005年把以大理石峡谷闻名的太鲁阁列入台湾新八景之一。其实,从古代清朝时代开始,太鲁阁峡谷已屡次被列入台湾八大景之一。所以去花莲怎么能不去太鲁阁国家公园一游呢?

The 92,000-hectare (about 227,336-acre) Taroko National Park was established on 28 Nov 1986, as part of the environmental protection movement in Taiwan. Located in the northwestern part of Hualien, Taroko National Park Visitor Centre is about a 40-min drive from Hualien City. Since the national park spans over such a wide area (click here for official Taroko map), it was impossible for us to cover everything in half a day. Our route for the afternoon was to take the Suhua Highway up to Qingshui Cliff – Xiaozhuilu Trail – Shakadang Trail – Swallow Grotto Trail – Eternal Spring Shrine, before returning to minsu in the late afternoon.

坐落于花莲、台中及南投三县,总面积9万2千公顷的太鲁阁国家公园成立于1986年11月28日。园区位于花莲市的西北部,访客中心离市中心大约40分钟的车程。既然国家公园面积这么大(太鲁阁旅游全图点击这里),要在半日游里走完整个景区是不可能的任务。车子从民宿出发,沿着风景优美的苏华公路北上前往清水斷崖 —— 小錐麓步道 —— 砂卡礑步道 —— 燕子口 —— 長春祠

Qingshui Cliff 清水斷崖

 

It was around 12.45 pm when we first arrived. But because it was yet another rainy day, Qingshui Cliff was covered by a thick layer of mist. Nonetheless it was still a mesmerising sight to behold. The 21-km long stretch of coastal cliffs stood majestically facing the amazing Pacific Ocean. After taking some photos, we proceeded to the viewing platform near Chongde Tunnel, southwest of the awe-inspiring cliffs.

抵达清水斷崖时只是中午12点45分左右,但因一整天都下着梅雨,清水斷崖被厚厚的云层笼罩。眼前的这番迷蒙景色还是很撩人。绵延21公里长的斷崖绝壁临海面的景观极其壮观。拍了几张照片后,我们就驱车前往毗邻崇德隧道的观景台,从另一个角度继续欣赏风景怡人的海岸线。

Although the viewing platform is further from the breathtaking sight, the scenery is unforgettable. It felt surreal to see the towering Qingshui Mountain rising directly from the azure blue Pacific Ocean. If not for time constraint & the rain, I could have just stood there marvelling at the picturesque sight forever. 🙂

虽然观景台距离清水斷崖较远,但站在这里欣赏山海对峙,以及蔚蓝的太平洋呈现多层次的蓝色景象,感觉好像是仙境。倘若不是时间紧凑和下雨的关系,真希望可以久站在这里欣赏绮丽的风景。😀

Thereafter, we drove to the Visitor Centre where we watched a short video introducing the park before proceeding to Shakadang Tunnel. This was the place where we would begin our 1.5-hour gentle hike.

接着,我们到访客中心一趟,除了观看一部介绍太鲁阁国家公园的短片,也顺道拿了一份旅游地图供参考。之后,车子在下图的这个砂卡礑隧道前停下,好让我们进入隧道开始约1个半小时的”远足“。

Xiaozhuilu Trail 小錐麓步道

There is a 650-metre long Xiaozhuilu Trail before we could get to Shakadang Trail. Easy as it might sound, the “challenge” of this short trail was we need to climb many flights of steps, roughly an elevation of 60m in all.

要抵达砂卡礑步道,必须先经过长650米的小錐麓步道。小錐麓步道听起来像是轻松简单的步道,但”挑战“就是必须爬许多阶梯栈道,直到抵达位于海拔60公尺的砂卡礑步道为止。

Seeing these continuous long flights of stairway, reminded me of my adventure 3 years back “conquering” Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon haha
看到这么长的阶梯,不禁想起3年前的张家界大峡谷游记😄

对像我一样的城市人来说,看到这些小昆虫如蜗牛、超大的蜘蛛,就像发现新大陆一样,呵呵

After the seemingly endless stairs, need to cross this suspension bridge. Daring folks should try the single ropeway on the extreme right!
爬完了看似永无止尽的楼梯,接着是要越过这条吊桥。你敢不敢走它旁边的绳索吊桥呢?😄

Finally no more steps to climb!
终于不必爬楼梯了😅

According to the official website, it takes 20 min to complete the trail, but we took about half an hour before we reached the next spot – Shakadang Bridge. This is also the start point where visitors could enter or exit Shakadang Trail.

国家公园的官网说,大概需要20分钟走完步道,但我们用了约30分钟才抵达下一个地标 —— 砂卡礑桥。这儿也是砂卡礑步道的起点和终点。

Strikingly beautiful bridge
色彩鲜艳美丽的砂卡礑桥

Shakadang Trail 砂卡礑步道

Built along the river cliff, visitors can admire the beauty of the river valley & observe works of Mother Nature such as fascinating rock folds. The 4.1km trail used to be known as the Mysterious Valley Trail until it was renamed to Shakadang Trail in 2001. It also used to be home to a number of indigenous tribes, with the Taroko tribe as the main residents back then. Therefore the national park got its name from the biggest tribe that lived here in the old days.

砂卡礑步道依傍着砂卡礑溪,因此游人可以一边步行,一边欣赏溪谷的美丽景致,同时惊叹与大自然打造的艳丽奇观。长约4.1公里的步道在旧时被称为”神秘山谷“,直到2001年才改为砂卡礑。过去,步道沿途曾有多个原住民部落,而太鲁阁部落是这里最大的部落,峡谷也因此得名。

According to the park’s official website, a return trip on this trail takes about 4 to 6 hours. See below for a pictorial journey of our hike here…

根据官网,在砂卡礑步道往返步行时间大概4至6个小时。话不多说,还是看照片欣赏步道沿途的风景吧……

清澈的溪流、色彩缤纷的花岗片麻岩

风景怡人的步道

Go up the winding staircase to exit the trail
步道出口就是这排几层楼高的梯级

Given we only started hiking just before 2 pm & only had about 1.5 hours here, it was natural we couldn’t complete the whole trail. We had to turn back to the bridge after the 5th station where we saw beautifully layered rocks that looked like coloured kueh lapis. I’m not sure why our driver was puzzled why we couldn’t make it to the “5 Houses” when he finally received us on the bridge, a bit later than the original time he had proposed. -_- Anyway, we walked briskly to his car parked along the kerb near the Shakadang Tunnel, like many other tour buses, so that we could get to the next spot quickly.

由于只有约1.5小时游走砂卡礑步道,我们无法完整走完整条步道。在第五站「大褶皺」处,欣赏了像千层糕一般,层层分明堆叠着的岩石后,我们就快步朝往砂卡礑桥方向去,因为司机在等着我们。不知道为什么他对我们无法走到俗称「五间屋」的榕树一带才回返砂卡礑桥感到难以置信。-_-  爬了几层楼高的梯级到了桥上,就匆忙地在众多旅游巴士中,找到他的车子,上车前去下一个景点了。

Swallow Grotto Trail 燕子口

To walk along Swallow Grotto (Yanzi) Trail, visitors have to borrow the safety helmet from the security office at the entrance, & put it on at all times inside the 274m long trail. This is a precautionary measure in case any rocks fall from the narrow gorge walls here. Due to time constraint, we didn’t alight to enjoy the scenic walk. Instead, we only alighted at the Jinheng Bridge viewing platform where the famous Chieftain’s profile rock could be found.

由于燕子口区容易落石,所以访客进入长274米的景区都必须配戴安全帽。立霧溪峽谷在此变得更狭窄了。碍于时间关系,我们没有下车走步道,而仅在靳珩橋观景台下车,寻访印地安酋長岩这个著名奇观。

Do you see a rock in the centre of the photo that resembles the Chieftain’s side profile with the sparse green vegetation on top like feathers on the head?
看到图中央有座巨大的大理岩突出于立霧溪吗?像极人像的侧面,加上上方稀疏的植物,搭配起来像是戴着羽冠的印地安人。

Although we only spent a short time here, I was amazed by how the waters from Liwu River managed to carve out such a fascinating piece of sculpture. Totally natural, not manmade. I felt as if my old geography textbook personified & came alive. 😛

在燕子口并没有逗留太长时间,但欣赏到立霧溪水历经久远的岁月所雕塑出来的印地安酋長巨石,除了惊叹,还是觉得不可思议。这个天然的成品如此惟妙惟肖,怎不能让人称奇呢?感觉地理课本里的知识跳出来与我打招呼啊!嘻嘻

Eternal Spring Shrine 長春祠

On the way out of Taroko National Park, we made a final stop at Eternal Spring (Changchun) Shrine not too far from Shakadang Bridge. The shrine was built along the old Central Cross-Island Highway next to Liwu River, to commemorate the 226 military personnel who died during the construction of the Central Cross-Island Highway (1956~1960). As the path to the Tang Dynasty style shrine was closed due to typhoon destruction & fallen rocks, we could only admired it from a distance opposite. In front of the shrine is the Changchun Falls with water flowing all year round, & together with the steep gorge wall covered with wild vegetation in the background, the scenery around Eternal Spring Shrine felt so atmospheric.

要离开太鲁阁国家公园之前,我们在离砂卡礑步道不远的長春祠逗留了一阵。竖立在台八线旧道立霧溪谷峭崖边阶的長春祠,是为了纪念开辟中橫公路殉职筑路人所建 (1956至1960年)。因台风和落石灾害,三聖佛(彌陀巖)至長春祠及太魯閣楼、钟楼路段暂时关闭,我们也只能站在長春祠对面的走道欣赏这个具特殊意义的地标。祠旁的泉水自山壁涌出,形成一道飞瀑。从走道上看去,唐氏风格建筑的祠、長春飛瀑以及长满绿油油植物的峭壁,如同一幅秀丽的风景图。

It was a packed 3.5 hours spent in Taroko National Park, not only because of the activities, but also because the park is really quite crowded. The rain didn’t seem to deter curious travellers from flocking to the top-rated attraction in Hualien, & it’s not difficult to understand why. I just hope the next time I visit, it would be a bright & clear day!

在太鲁阁国家公园短短的半日游,时间紧凑,使我们无法慢慢地细尝各处景观的雅致,特别是因为访客也很多。梅雨季丝毫没有减弱游人到访这个花莲最热门的旅游景点的性质。欣赏到如此优美的风景,也不难理解为什么太鲁阁会这么红了。只希望下次到访时,天公能作美!☺

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s