Taroko National Park [Taiwan]

The park was first recognized during the Japanese Colonial Era but with their defeat in WWII, The Republic of China took control of the area and abolished it in 1945. The national park wasn’t formally re-established until 1986 as part of the environmental protection movement.

In addition to hiking the over 3,400m peaks, you can also river trace the deep marble canyons and waterfalls, visit the temples and shrines and take part in the annual marathon through the gorge.

Taroko National Park is just a short ride from Hualien and most accommodations will happily arrange a guide for the day. Park entry is free but be aware that if you want to go off the beaten path or into restricted Truku aboriginal areas, you must apply for a permit ahead of time.

A wide-angle lens (I used a Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5) is worth packing to shoot the high canyon walls and winding Liwu River scenes.

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For more information:

Taroko National Park. gov

http://www.taroko.gov.tw/English/

Taiwan: The Heart of Asia

http://eng.taiwan.net.tw/m1.aspx?sNo=0002124&id=R43

CNN Travel

http://travel.cnn.com/explorations/escape/citypulse/taroko-gorge-hualien-158566