While staying in Taipei, I had the chance to visit Hualien for a couple days. It is a quick trip east, only 2 hours by train, or about 3 by driving. I was able to take the train there and drive back to Taipei with the host family I was staying with, for a chance to see the amazing scenery and winding roads!
Hualien provides a laid back atmosphere from Taipei. But though the city is smaller, there is so much to see! Though the rain hindered me a bit, I was still able to enjoy my time.
The highlight, and what Hualien is known for, is Taroko Gorge National Park! I decided to avoid the tour bus option and found a city bus that took me to the park entrance (which I definitely recommend to others). The ride is about 45 minutes to the park itself and the route continues throughout the vast park. I could jump on and off the bus according to the time table, which isn’t always accurate, but helpful considering some of the trails are quite some distance apart.
I realized upon arriving how much there was to explore in a day, too much for one day! I tried to walk as many trails as I could yet enjoy the nature around me. It was a quiet, spiritual time along the trails. Here a gallery of the journey…
We pray that we may grow
in our understanding of the nature of all living beings
and our connectedness with the natural world;
that we may become ever more filled with
generosity of spirit and true compassion and love for all life;
that we may value each and every human being
for who he is, for who she is,
reaching to the spirit that is within,
knowing the power of each individual to change the world.
We pray for these things with humility;
We pray because of the hope that is within us,
and because of a faith in the ultimate triumph of the human spirit;
We pray because of our love for Creation, and because of our trust in God.
We pray, above all, for peace throughout the world.
– Dr. Jane Goodall, excerpt from Prayer for World Peace
I definitely would love to visit Hualien again, explore new trails at Taroko and experience more of God’s creation on the seaside!