Travelling from Hualien to and around Taroko National Park 太魯閣 (Part 1)
Updated 4 November 2015
Day 2: Hualien (Taroko National Park 太魯閣)
It’s our day 2 on the grounds of Taiwan! Though I’ve been to Taroko Gorge some years back, it’s never boring to view the beautiful scenery again. Taroko National Park (Chinese: 太魯閣國家公園) is one of the eight national parks in Taiwan and named after the Taroko Gorge, the landmark gorge of the park.
From Hualien to Taroko National Park
Cullinan Hotel to Hualien Train Station
We stayed the night before at Hualien City and set off early in the morning to Taroko Gorge via their tourist bus shuttle (任我行). Cullinan hotel staff helped us pre-booked a taxi to arrive early in the morning. It was about 5-10 minutes’ drive from the hotel to Hualien Railway Station.
Hualien Train Station to Taroko National Park
We took the tourist bus shuttle (任我行) from Hualien Railway Station to Taroko. It was about 35 to 45 minutes’ journey. So it was about an hour from our hotel to Taroko (not including the waiting time for the bus to leave Hualien Rail). The bus frequency is not high, but if you managed to reach the station and buy the tickets while the bus is about to leave, you wouldn’t have to wait for long!
Around Taroko in Tourist Bus Shuttle (任我行)
This shuttle bus allows tourists to hop on and off at different destinations in Taroko – budget option for traveller group of 2. But If you have more people, I recommend booking a taxi instead – you save the waiting and travelling time. With a group of four, taxi might even be cheaper than the combined bus fare. Research on the prevailing taxi prices before going – because there will be taxis touting at high prices.
Map of Taroko National Park
For more information and photos of specific scenic spots: Travelling around Taroko National Park 太魯閣 (Part 2). Great post for planning your itinerary around the national park.
- NT250 for one day unlimited travel
- NT400 for two days unlimited travel
- You can also pay by cash or easycard every time you board. No change will be given. This might be a better and cheaper option if you want to spend time at each location and not rush around. Also, the bus frequency is not high, so you wouldn’t travel much with unlimited travel also.
Buying the Bus Tickets
- Where to Buy: The booth to buy the tickets and board the bus is on the left when you exit Hualien Railway Station. You have to cross the road and walk a bit to reach the obscure ticketing booth.
- Departure Timings: On weekday, the bus leaves Hualien Railway Station from 6:30am, 7:50am, 8:40am, 9:00am, 9:40am and for the holidays, from 8:30am. Call ahead to Hualien Bus Company (886-3-8338146) or Taroko National Park Headquarters staff at 03-8621100 ext 803 or 360 for confirmation. The timetable might change from time to time (more info).
- When to Buy: You can get the tickets on the day of departure but I recommend buying them or checking the departure timings the day before. And if you missed a bus, you might have to wait quite a bit. Thank God, we reached slightly before the bus was leaving!
Note 1: There are limited bus timings. So you got to time yourself at each destination, or risk waiting for a long time.
Note 2: There are 2 buses you can take in the park: 班車 (small yellow bus) and 任我行 (big shuttle tour bus). But if you are heading back to Hualien City from the park, take the big shuttle tour bus. The route back has fewer stops compared to the small yellow buses.
Note 3: Jiuqudong, 九曲洞步道, Tunnel of Nine Turns has been closed for many years now! So you can strike the place off or check with the bus company. Otherwise, you can check the Daily Trail Condition and Daily Road Condition from Taroko National Park website before visiting.
Note 4: Wear good walking shoes!
Note 5: The stops mentioned in this page are all in the national park. But they are not located together. You need a transportation to travel from one stop to the other – taxi, bike, or tourist shuttle bus.
From Taipei to Taroko National Park
If you are travelling from Taipei to Taroko National Park, read this link for more info.
Around Taroko National Park
If you are planning your itinerary around the park, which scenic stop to alight at or not, you would not want to miss this post: Travelling around Taroko National Park 太魯閣 (Part 2). You’ll get more photos and information on the various scenic spots, such as Shakadang trail (砂卡噹步道), Yanzikou/Swallow’s Grotto (燕子口), etc.
Travels During July 2014