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【Fun Hualien NO.47】Hi! Come travel in Hualien!》Play of Light and Shadow, Reviving Poetic Scenes In-Depth Tour on the Taiwan Tourist Shuttle Taroko Route

  • PostDate:2023-12-19

Taiwan Tourist Shuttle Taroko Route starts from the city and heads north, slowly winding through the East Rift Valley. As you look out the window, the urban scenery gradually transforms into breathtaking landscapes, resembling the magnificent scenes once praised by a poet, in the “Confluence of Taroko”: Bees dart across the towering cliffs, a river winding in between. Dawn’s green cleanses the western cliffs, sails reflecting in the mirror-like waters.” Hop on the bus for a light travel experience in Hualien with Taiwan Tourist Shuttle. Enjoy the splendid natural landscapes, explore rich cultural traditions, savor the delightful cuisine, and embrace the beauty of sustainable travel.


Text/ Chen, Pei-Yin 

Image/ Editorial Office


Traveling Through Time in HualienTaiwan Flavor – Playing Fun Amusement Park 

Starting from Hualien Bus Station, hop on the Taiwan Tourist Shuttle Taroko Route 310 bus to the Taiwan Flavor – Playing Fun Amusement Park Station. The entire journey spans approximately 13 kilometers with a carbon emission of 0.52kg CO2e, making it an eco-friendly option, reducing emissions by over half compared to driving on your own. The second floor of the establishment vividly recreates the entrepreneurial experiences of Mr. Tsung-Bo Yu, the founder, showcasing the cultural ambiance of Hualien in the 1950s. It features a retro train station, a barbershop, and ox carts, providing visitors with a glimpse of the simple and authentic rural life, creating a perfect spot for tourists to capture photographs Furthermore, this venue integrates scenes representing various industries across Hualien, incorporating agricultural education to spread awareness of the beauty found in the interior mountains. On the first floor, a diverse range of unique local gifts awaits, including delightful spongy mochi and rich, slightly acidic millet wine, all embodying the essence of the region. Every visitor leaves with a bundle of local flavors.


INFO|Taiwan Flavor – Playing Fun Amusement Park
Address: No. 17-1, Jiawan, Kangle Village, Xincheng Township, Hualien County
Telephone: 03-8260707
Business hours: 08:00-17:00
Hualien Bus: Get off at Taiwan Flavor – Playing Fun Amusement Park Station: 201、201A、310、310A


Small Town MemoriesXincheng Old Street 

Xincheng Old Street refers to the Bo’ai Road in Xincheng Township. With the passage of time and the rerouting of the Suhua Highway (Provincial Highway No. 9), this street gradually returned to its former tranquility. However, it regained attention after being featured in a famous movie. You can reach it by taking buses 302 or 310 from the Hualien Bus Station to TRA Xincheng Station, reducing carbon emissions by approximately 1.89kg CO2e.


Adjacent to the Xincheng Old Street stands the Xincheng Catholic Church, previously a Japanese Shinto shrine. Some refer to it as the Green Ark. Surrounded by numerous old trees, its verdant surroundings add a sense of mystique to its serene historical traces. Many visitors come here for walks and picnics. The famous Torii gate here tells stories of ancestors’ struggles. Walking around here lets one appreciate the preciousness of each moment in history. After exploring the church, don’t forget to visit the Etude Bookstore, known for lending books but not selling them. Grab a cup of coffee, supporting the future vision of this small village. You can also head to the neighboring Chia Hsing Iced Dessert Shop to taste their unique lemon juice paired with Asha Millet Doughnuts. The crispy outer layer and the chewy, characteristically millet-infused filling make it the perfect highlight of your journey.


INFO|Xincheng Catholic Church
Address: No. 64, Bo’ai Road, Xincheng Township, Hualien County
Telephone: 03-8611722
Business hours: Open all day
Hualien Bus: Get off at TRA Xincheng Station: 302、310、201、201A、1133


INFO|Chia Hsing Iced Dessert Shop
Address: No. 22, Bo’ai Road, Xincheng Township, Hualien County
Telephone: 03-8611888
Business hours: 08:00-17:00


INFO|Asha Millet Doughnuts
Address: No. 24, Bo’ai Road, Xincheng Township, Hualien County
Telephone: 0905-281721
Business hours: 10:00-17:00


Essential Supply Station:Taroko Gorge Visitor Center

Taiwan lies at the intersection of the Eurasian Plate and the Philippine Sea Plate, boasting diverse landscapes. Taroko National Park, an epitome of nature’s ingenious artistry, showcases the awe-inspiring beauty of the valley. When you’re in Taroko, aside from admiring the grandeur of the valley, don’t forget to step into the Taroko Visitor Center to rejuvenate yourself with ample energy before heading up the mountains.


Starting from Hualien Bus Station, take Bus Route 310 to Taroko Visitor Center Station and alight there. The carbon emissions amount to approximately 1.04kg CO2e, less than half of what is emitted when driving on your own. The Visitor Center provides outdoor wooden tables and chairs, offering a clean and bright space for travelers to comfortably rest. Inside, besides detailed travel information, there are facilities like the Ecology Recreational Hall, Children’s Environmental Education Hall, Human and Nature Hall, and a Special Exhibition Room. The latter hosts periodic exhibitions focusing on introducing the natural and cultural landscapes of Taroko and providing helpful travel information. Additionally, the Visitor Center features a dining area with a decor that resonates with Taroko’s distinctive style. The meals incorporate classic local flavors like betel nut leaves and fresh indigenous vegetables, tantalizing the taste buds with every bite.


INFO|Taroko Gorge Visitor Center
Address: No. 291, Fushi, Xiulin Township, Hualien County
Telephone: 03-8621100
Business hours: 08:30-17:00(Closed on the Monday of every second week of the month)
Hualien Bus: Get off at Taroko Gorge Visitor Center Station:310、310A


Highlight Amidst the Layered Mountain PeaksTianxiang Recreation Area

Tianxiang is situated in the eastern section of the Central Cross-Island Highway and was one of the earliest settled areas around Taroko. It marks the boundary of the Taroko Gorge, where the Dasha River and Tacijili River converge to form the Liwu River. Over the years, the constant sedimentation and erosion of river waters have sculpted a multi-tiered river terrace landscape, creating a significant recreation area within the Taroko National Park.


You can reach Tianxiang by taking bus Route 310, which emits approximately 1.56 kilograms of carbon dioxide, about 2.73 kilograms less than driving, making it an excellent choice for sustainable travel. The surrounding area includes popular attractions like the Pudu Bridge, Xiangde Temple, Wun Tian Siang Park, the Baiyang Trail, the Lüshui Trail, and the Huoran Pavilion Trail. Crossing the Pudu Bridge and following the Xiangde Temple Trail, you’ll encounter the 26-foot-tall White Robed Guanyin statue, the 7-story tall Tianfeng Tower, the statue of Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva, and the grand main hall. The trails also offer encounters with the dense mountain forest, where you might see or hear the songs of insects, birds, and butterflies, making the trail journey lively and engaging. If you feel tired, you can take a break at the Central Cross-Island Highway Story House. Besides grabbing a bite to replenish energy, you can explore the permanent exhibition showcasing the stories of the Central Cross-Island Highway and the local Truku community, allowing you to reflect and savor the emotions brought by the beautiful scenery.


INFO|Tianxiang Recreation Area
Address: 169.7 km along Taiwan Provincial Highway No. 8, Xiulin Township, Hualien County
Telephone: 03-8691466
Business hours: Open all day
Hualien Bus: Get off at Tianxiang:302、310、310A、1126、1133、1141