What a surprise! Natural Beauty on Such a Small Island
When I went to Taiwan, we were told no matter what, we must go to the Taroko Gorge. It’s very rare that we pass up a suggestion, so of course we made it happen. We rented a car in Taipei and made our way on narrow, windy roads through villages, and eventually a lot of fog as we descended into the gorge.
We arrived much later than we had planned due to a “falling rock” area. The rock that fell, no kidding, was larger than the van we rented. It was a boulder. We intently watched while the workers pried it onto a truck using one of those mini-caterpillars (much smaller than the van). It was humorous, to say the least. However, the lost time put us in the gorge so late at night that all the food stalls were closing. We couldn’t find the hotel we reserved, and we ended up spending the night in a youth hostel.
The hostel was comfortable, but definitely for youth groups, not a commercial hostel. It was spartan; we slept on bed rolls. The showers were communal, and the breakfast was abominable…But! We slept and were ready to get up the next morning and explore the gorge.
What a surprise! It was beautiful. Cut into deep green hillsides, the limestone rocks practically shone in the daylight. It was fun going in and out of the caves the road builders incorporated into their design. The walking paths inevitably would lead to a colorful shrine, and we saw lots of wildlife (read spiders!)
If you are in Taiwan, go to the gorge! We are so glad we did. It was a memorable little foray outside the bustling metropolis that is Taipei!