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Hualien (Photo:NAYUKI/Shutterstock)
3.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating

By Cruise Critic Staff

Port of Hualien

The port of Hualien, set on the Pacific Ocean midway down Taiwan's mountainous east coast, is the gateway to Taroko National Park. The scenic park is renowned for its breathtaking Taroko Gorge, a 12-mile long, steep marble-walled canyon. This is the place to get back to nature and away from the country's sprawling cities.

A number of restaurants in the Hualien area are known for their aboriginal cuisine, making this a top port for adventurous eaters. You can get your culture fix along with a tasty lunch at rustic, open-air restaurants run by Taiwan's indigenous tribes. The dishes, served family style for sharing, include bamboo rice (rice steamed and served inside a stalk of bamboo), fried pumpkin, roast boar, smoked chicken, local carp and super fresh wild veggies.

The city of Hualien itself is the world's second largest exporter of marble (the first being in Italy). Look out for sidewalks paved with the pale gray to white stone.

About Hualien


Pro

Hualien provides access to the beautiful Taroko National Park and its 12-mile-long gorge

Con

English isn't very widely spoken, so be sure to brush up on your Mandarin or have Google Translate ready

Bottom Line

This town offers an authentic look into the region's landscape and culture


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Currency & Best Way to Get Money

The official currency is the New Taiwan Dollar (NTD or NT$). For current currency conversion rates, check www.oanda.com or www.xe.com. ATMs are commonly found at banks and 7-Eleven shops.

Language

Mandarin Chinese is the main language. The younger the person, the more likely he or she is to speak at least some English.