Thinking of a short half-week vacation for the whole family to soothe the blues and straighten out a life stressed by work? Think it’s time for some family bonding fun? Well then consider visiting Hualien!
Hualien is considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in Taiwan. Located at the east of Taiwan, on a strip of land between the Pacific Ocean and the Central Mountain Range of Taiwan, this destination is unnaturally beautiful. The county itself is 4628 square kilometres in size, and is in fact Taiwan’s namesake; Portuguese sailors, upon seeing this vast and beautiful expanse of land, named the island Formosa, “the beautiful island”.
And how aptly named it is. To the east lies the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean, deep water as far as the eye can see. To the west lies the imposing grandeur of the mountains, stretching ever higher to the sapphire sky, where clouds of white chase each other. The white sand of the beaches separate the two dramatically different landscapes. A scene of powerful natural beauty, Hualien is the perfect place to take a breather and relax in!
The first thing to do for any trip to Hualien would definitely be sightseeing. The first item on the list: the Taroko Gorge. A geographical marvel, the 19 kilometre long canyon is one of the hallmarks of Taiwanese sightseeing. With easy trails and bridges for the whole family to walk, the gorge is a spectacular sight. From sharp coastal cliffs, to canyons of rivers flowing through steep cliffs with trees perched precariously on them, the gorge is a wonder of natural geography. Enjoy the thrill as you step onto a tall rickety wooden bridge, overlooking the river carving through the marble canyon below, savouring the spectacular sight!
Another sight-seeing opportunity would be the Seven Star Lake beach, also known as Qi Xing Tan. A beautiful stretch of coastline with both sand beaches and pebble beaches, Qi Xing Tan is perfect for a gentle, quiet walk with the entire family, strolling on the beaches, seeing the bright blue Pacific Ocean stretch towards the horizon.
Yet another natural wonder would be the Qingsui Cliff. The cliff is more than 1000 metres above sea-level and offers a perfect view of the Pacific Ocean. The azure sea mixes nicely with the rich blue of the sky. Reputedly, one can see three distinct shades of the Pacific Ocean in that location. Simply breath-taking, the cliff should not be missed in a Hualien visit.
If a minsu is rented, even more activities can be held. Setting off fireworks, banned in Singapore, can be done with impunity. Seeing the night sky light up in a thousand colours, with the loud bangs of the explosives sounding off, is an experience like no other. Furthermore, sky lanterns can be lit. Write your well-wishes for your family onto the lantern and watch it drift off mysteriously into the night sky, disappearing into a tiny dot in the pitch dark sky, carrying your hopes and dreams. Truly a beautiful sight!