Day 2: July 8th, 2012
Our tour guide cum driver for the day, Mr Li Te-Ming, picked us up at the ‘minsu’ punctually at 9.30am. Prior to our trip, I searched online for a reliable driver to bring us around Taroko Gorge. Through tripadvisor.com I came to know of Tiffany Chang who was highly recommended by other forumers. I sent her an email, and amazingly, she replied within the hour. She’s that efficient! As she was fully booked on July 8th, she recommended that we engage her husband, Te-Ming, instead. We thoroughly enjoyed our time with Te-Ming. He is a very down-to-earth man. We find him very reliable, informative, amiable and kind. Of utmost importance, he’s an experienced and careful driver. Besides driving tourists around Hualien/Taroko, he also provides transportation from Hualien to CingJing. He drives a Toyota Wish.
“The following is our travel route of Taroko and charges :
被浪打到 minsu – (Cingshuei Cliff) – Entrance of Taroko National Park – Taroko Gorge (Shakadang Trail – Eternal Spring Shrine Trail – Swallow Grotto Trail – Tunnel of Nine Turns – Tzu Mu Bridge – Holiu Suspension Bridge – Tiansiang) – back to Hualien train station or Hualien city.
※ 1-2 people – NT2200 / per car
※ 3-4 people – NT2500 / per car
※ 5-6 people – NT3000 / per car
※ Cingshuei Cliff – pay an additional NT500 / per car
※ Taroko tour takes about 6 hours.
※ Taroko tour + Cingshuei Cliff takes about 6-8 hours.”
We paid a total of NT$3500 for a one-day tour (around 8 hours) of Taroko Gorge + Cingshuei cliff. We visited the following attractions:-
七星潭 – Beautiful scenery, but the sun was too HOT for my liking. Remember to bring an umbrella and use plenty of sunblock.
清水斷崖 Cingshuei Cliff
砂卡礑步道 Shakadang Trail – we spent roughly one hour here. We walked more than 2km in that one hour. Surprisingly, we did not feel tired at all – perhaps it was due to the beautiful scenery that kept us mesmerized. Furthermore, the trees along the trail provided natural shade, much to my relief.
燕子口 Swallow Grotto “Free helmet (borrow and return)” – We had to wear the helmets as a safety precaution against falling rocks (!).
Lunch @ 天祥 Tiansiang – We stopped for lunch here. Tiansiang is one of the only two rest areas along the Central Cross-Island Highway. We ordered the recommended set lunch for NT$800 (5 dishes + 1 soup). Yummy yum yum~
合流岳王亭吊桥 Holiu Suspension Bridge
慈母桥 Tzu Mu Bridge
长春祠 Eternal Spring Shrine Trail
东西横贯公路入口 Entrance to Central Cross-Island Highway
and Taroko National Park
According to Te-Ming, we must take photos here as proof that we’d been to Taroko National Park. It was supposed to be the entrance, but ironically, it turned out to be our last stop.
Initially we planned to ask Te-Ming to drop us at 自强夜市 ZiQiang night market on the way back. However, all of us were exhausted by then; so we decided to go back to the ‘minsu’ to freshen up first. By the time we arrived at the ‘minsu’, it was almost 6pm already.