Published: December 17th 2008November 24th 2008 For more of my photos, or to buy my book, please visit www.nickkembel.com
Jen and Leanne
Lookout, Tunnel of the Nine Turns
Soaring Cliffs, Waterfall Tunnels, and Eternal Shrines
Taroko Gorge (Tai Lu Ge) is Taiwan's most famous natural attraction. I have now done two journeys to this beautiful valley, where cliffs rise from the river bed to the skies, and terrifying tunnels dig through the mountains to allow buses and trekkers to pass. My first trip was with my family last summer, and more recently I went with some friends.
The most famous portion of Taroko Gorge is called the Tunnel of Nine Turns
. It is a walking-only path that runs parallel to the main road, and has some of the most dramatic scenery in the entire valley.
In the summer time the Taiwanese heat was unbearable, so my family and I sought out a place to swim, but many of the trails were closed due to recent deaths in the water pools. So we opted for a dip in the Eternal Springs Shrine
, which was built to commemorate the 450 workers who died constructing the road into Taroko. The water was very refreshing, but we did get a few looks (and pictures) from
Jen, Leanne, Nick
In the Tunnel of the Nine Turns, the most famous portion of Taroko Gorge
passing Taiwanese tourists.
On both trips to Taroko I did the same hike, from the main town of Tian Xiang to Baiyang Waterfall
. The walk is a pleasant stroll, and in the summer time we were accompanied by abundant butterflies, and less appealing warnings for poisonous wasps. The trek passes through multiple tunnels, many of them pitch black.
The climax of the trek, just above Baiyang Waterfall, is the Water Curtain Tunnel
, where water spills from the tunnel roof onto passerby's heads. There are free raincoats provided, though in summertime, the freezing cold water is a welcome treat.
After doing some trekking in Taroko, nothing beats an afternoon spent on the rugged coast, where the Taiwanese mountains meet the sea. We chose Qi Xing Tan (7 Star Beach)
, just outside of Hualien, the main city in the region and access point for Taroko Gorge. For more of my photos, or to buy my book, please visit www.nickkembel.com
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