The Qingshui Cliffs in Taroko National Park on the coast of Hualien are some of the most spectacular geological features in the country, and the world. The tallest peak on the cliffs is 2,408 meters (7,900 feet) above sea level, and drops straight into the Pacific Ocean. It is a spectacular sight to behold.
Taroko National Park is well known for its marble cliffs and canyons, and is also known as "The Marble Gorge." Millions of years ago, the rock we see today was sediment at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, but oceanic and tectonic pressure turned it into limestone, and later into marble. Later the Eurasian plate was uplifted where Taiwan is today, and the cliffs were lifted out of the ocean. The cliffs are subject to constant erosion and rockslides are common.
The cliffs are roughly 12 KM long and rise to over 2400 meters.
They are a popular scenic stop along the Suhua highway that connects Yiland and Hualien.
When to visit?
Hualien is great year round, but it can get a little hot in the summer, and Typhoon season and heavy rain season last from about May to October. If you are afraid of the heat and rain then you can visit during winter when the temperatures are mild and the climate is usually dryer.
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.
How to get there:
By Car/Scooter: From Hualien, Take highway 9 north until you reach the Qingshui Cliff lookout. There are actually a number of places to see the cliffs. 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 no public bus to the cliffs. You will have to rent a scooter or take a tour bus.
Tours and Activities:
You can book a SUP or kayak experience at Qingshui Cliffs and more on Klook here and KKday here. 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.
I have been to the Qingshui Cliffs many times. It is definitely a must stop location on your trip around Taiwan or to the east coast.
Check out our drone video above for an overview of the area.
Or check out the 360 degree spherical panorama above.
There are basically two areas to see the cliffs. From Chongde, and the main viewing area. In front of the Chongde Qingshui Cliff viewing area, there is some parking, but not much. Scooters should be fine.
Walking down the Chongde area, there is this tunnel, I am not sure the main purpose.
View of the cliffs from Chongde.
View looking south. You will notice some fishing nets on the water, that take advantage of the currents to catch fish in fixed nets.
"Liwu River Alluvial Fan"
The Liwu river deposits a ton of crap from Taroko gorge here, which has become flat land.
View looking toward Qixingtan.
And the trail stops here.
Trail is open, kind of.
There is a giant rock slide here.
So this is about as good as it gets.
Another view of the cliffs.
View looking up.
Another view from the end of the trail. I am sure you could make it down if you wanted.
Check out more photos of the Chongde area in the photo gallery above.
Now to the main viewing area.
There is slightly more parking here, and you can see the ocean from here.
View of the old road above.
TRA tracks come through here too.
"Railway Tracks Along the Cliff"
The north link railway opened in 1980, connecting Hualien to northern Taiwan. It was electrified in 2003, and became double track in 2005. IT is 79.2 Km long and has 31 tunnels, including Xinguanyin Tunnel, the longest railway tunnel in Taiwan. Travelers can enjoy the amazing pacific ocean scenery from the trains.
View looking back at the mountains.
Huge sheer cliff.
The viewing area screeches along this abandoned piece of road.
Another view looking back at the mountains in Taroko.
Main view of the cliffs.
The water here is beautiful.
Abandoned stretch of road here.
That lead to the ocean.
Do not fall off the cliff.
The road pretty much ends here.
But the abandoned tunnel lies beyond.
View looking back from the end of the road.
Looking down into the water from above.
Milky water from crushed rocks.
"From the Northern Road to the Su-hua Highway"
The northern road was built in 1874 during the Qing Dynasty, and connected Yiland and Hualien. The Japanese then built a 121 KM road that vehicles could travel on in 1931. Later the ROC government improved this road to become the Suhua highway.
"Sea Cliff on the Pacific"
These cliffs were carved by the ocean over 6 million years. The cliffs rise to over 1000-2000 meters, the highest peak being Mt Qingshui at 2408 meters.
View via drone. You have to apply for a permit in advance from Taroko park before you can fly here.
Looking straight down on the cliffs.
Looking back down south.
Looking down at the viewing area.
View up north.
Closer view of the abandoned tunnel. Don't go there, for your own safety.
But if you are curious you can check out this video by Xiaofei, who risked his life for this footage.
You can book a SUP or kayak experience at Qingshui Cliffs and more on Klook here and 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.