1. From Taipei: Taroko Gorge Day Tour by Train
Meet your host and board the express train bound for Hualien on your own. Sit back and enjoy a 3-hour journey to paradise. Upon arrival in Hualien, your tour guide will greet you at the train station and take to you to the world-famous Taroko National Park. Your one-day tour to Taroko Gorge National Park will start from the Archway of Taroko Gorge. From the archway entry to Tianxiang, this 12.5-mile (20 km) section of Central Cross-Island Highway through the steep marble cliffs and tunnels of the gorge will take your breath away. Walk along the Shakadang Trail, where the river gently flowing through the marble boulders as you meanders along the trail in parallel. The turquoise blue water of the river is crystal clear that you can see the riverbed from above. The next stop is Swallow Grotto. The potholes on the cliff surface were created by the ground water and the rapid stream of the river. In the past, they were the natural nesting location of swallows, hence the name. Walking through the tunnels, you will be amazed by the stunning views of the marble cliffs reaching up to the sky. Take a short break at Tianxiang, a large river terrace recreational area and enjoy lunch in a restaurant in the park. After lunch, stop by Cihmu Bridge (Motherly Devotion Bridge), a suspension bridge made of marble and named by Late President Chiang Jing-guo after a heart-warming story about a loving mother. Next, head to the Tunnel of Nine Turns, considered to be the most scenic section of Taroko Gorge. As you walk along the trail, you can see the meandering river running through the deep and spectacular canyon from above, and you can also have a closer look at the faults and folds of the sheer marble cliffs, as well as the vegetation on the walls. Visit the Eternal Spring Shrine, which commemorates the 225 military veterans who died during the construction of the Central Cross-Island Highway. Before you return to the train station for your train back to Taipei, your will visit a local marble factory, where you can get some handcrafts made of marble or souvenirs featuring the local characters, to enrich your travel collection. Then you will visit the most romantic beach in Taiwan. Qixingtan Beach, a crescent-shaped beach covered with sprawling pebbles. Your 14-hour adventure then ends with drop-off at Taipei Main Station.