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. Looking for a scooter rental in Hualien? You can search KKday here or Klook here to look for options. You can also check out our scooter rental guide here.
If you are looking for car rentals in Hualien, you can also search Klook here or KKDay here. You can also check out our car rental guide here.
By bus: There is a stop here on Bus 304's route, or take bus 1140 from Hualien Station to Fanshuliao bus stop. You can book tickets to travel to Hualien via inter-city bus on Klook here.
Book tickets via the normal train (TRA) on Klook here.
Where to stay?
Most of the accommodation you will find is near the city center. If you only want to visit Hualien City and Taroko Gorge, you can consider booking a hotel near downtown, walking or cycling around the city, and taking a bus to Taroko Gorge.
We have stayed at and recommend Dream Taiwan Homestay
(Agoda / Booking.com / Expedia / Hotels.com), a high quality hostel for the money in downtown Hualien, Farglory Hotel (Agoda / Booking.com / Expedia / Hotels.com), right next to Farglory Ocean Park with amazing views of Hualien, and Goldenflower B&B (Agoda / Booking.com) in Yuli right next to Sixty Stone Mountain.
You can find out where to stay in our Taiwan hotels guide or search for the best hotel deals in Taiwan here.
You can also book Wifi and SIM cards for Taiwan on Gigago here.
Need travel insurance? Compare prices on Insubuy here.
You can find more tours and activities in Hualien such as River Tracing, Surfing, Paragliding, SUP / Paddle Boarding, Kayaking, Canoeing, and much more on Klook here or KKday here.
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.
You can find more tours of Hualien on Klook here or KKday here.
You can also check out our full guide to Hualien here, our full guide to Taroko Gorge here, and our full guide to Taroko National Park here.
You can also check out our full travel guide to Taiwan here.
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.