Fanshuliao in Hualien is the most unique looking canyon on the east coast, and is a popular river tracing spot. The canyon is over 100 meters deep, and metal steps have been hammered into the canyon wall for those brave enough to walk down them.
The Canyon at Fanshuliao is 100 meters deep and 45 meters wide. It was formed by loose volcanic rock, which erodes easily, which helped to create the canyon.
The Amis aborigine people that lived here sais that any young man that could traverse the canyon in one leap using a bamboo stick would become the village chief. Because of this, many young men fell to their death, and a pile of bamboo sticks began to pile up at the bottom of the canyon known as the "forest of lost brave ones."
Highway 11, also known as the Hualien-Taitung Coastal Highway, first began as a trail during the Qing Dynasty in 1877. During the Japanese era of Taiwan, the road was improved and open to vehicles in 1930. The current two lane highway as we know it today was completed after WWII in 1968. The Fanshuiliao rest area (named after the nearby Fanshu village) was probably also completed at that time. It is a popular stop along the highway, and the Fanshuliao River is a popular river tracing destination.
How to get there:
By car/scooter: Travel along Highway 11 until you reach the spot. There is usually plenty of free parking here.
By bus: There is a stop here on Bus 304's route, or take bus 1140 from Hualien Station to Fanshuliao bus stop.
Please see below:
I have been past Fanshuliao rest stop many times. It has some of the most beautiful scenery along the east coast, and an impressive canyon.
Can you see the backhoe on the mountain? We had to stop here for rock fall prevention.
We also passed this river tracing spot just before the canyon called Bridge No. 12 River Tracing Spot 十二號橋溯溪步道.
Not far after we reached Bridge No. 18 in Fanshuliao.
There is a footbridge under the bridge, and a pavilion over the bridge so you can enjoy views from all angles.
"Both the old and new bridge
Looking up river at Fanshuliao.
View of the left side of the bridge.
Looking down into the pristine canyone below.
Closer view, notice the steps going up the canyon on the right.
Another long view.
These steps have no railings and are bolted into the rock.
Another view of the town below.
Last view of town.
We are US Expats that have extensive experience living, working, and travelling in Taiwan. In our day, we had to learn many things about Taiwan the hard way. But we have come to learn that Taiwan is one of the best places in the world for Foreigners to live. Our blog does not represent the opinions of every foreigner in Taiwan. We are just trying to help others learn more about this beautiful country.