Taroko Gorge (太魯閣峽), Millions of years of water eating mountains

This is part two of our one-day tour to Taroko Gorge. Here you can find Part I and Part III.

Together with the Alishan National Park and Sun Moon Lake, Taroko Gorge is one of the most popular natural scenic sights in Taiwan. The island was created roughly four million years ago, when the collision of the Philippine and the Eurasian plates pushed the marble formations almost four kilometers upwards to form what is now the Central Mountain region. Since then, the rain masses gathering in the Liwu River (立霧溪) claimed parts of the stone back, slowly carving out the steep gorge. It got its name “Taroko” from the Truku tribe that started to settle in the area around 1300 years ago.

Coming from the east after visiting Hualien’s pristine coastline, we followed the main road along the gorge. The area is very rich in scenic views, up and down the mountain ranges, into the clear river underneath and towards elegant suspension bridges above. The Buluowan Suspension Bridge (布洛灣吊橋) probably offers the most bombastic view, and we were quite surprised that our guide Danny took the stop to stay and relax in the car. “The bridge is too strong,” he told us with a smile and wink, “I like shaky bridges more. I will show you one later!”

As the sun slowly left the valley, we drove up and down the mountain flanks, stopping several times for the next view and the next picture. Of course, Danny’s “shaky bridge” did not disappoint, and he took the opportunity to show us once more which postures played best with the surrounding.