Shihmen Recreation Area (aka March Cave, Mochi Cave, Shimen, or Shimendong) is a unique geological area on the coast of Hualien County (not to be confused with Shimen in New Taipei). It is famous for it's large, car shaped cave. It is still a beautiful and unique stretch of coastline.
Shimen literally means "rock gate" get's it's name from the caves along the coast here. The area is made up of hard sedimentary rock placed over softer sandstone, which after thousands of years of waves from the ocean, creates unique rock formations. Now it is a major tourist attraction along Taiwan's east coast.
How to get there: Take highway 11 south from Hualien City about 60km or two and a half hours. If you do not have a scooter or car, buses also stop along this route. You can also take bus 1140A which takes about three hours.
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.
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.
Hours: 24 hours a day
You can find more tours and activities in Hualien such as Surfing, Paragliding, SUP / Paddle Boarding, Kayaking, Canoeing, River Tracing, and much more on Klook here or KKday here.
Map: Please see below:
I have been to Shimen one time. It is not the only cave named “Shimen" in Taiwan. But it is still a unique, fun, and beautiful place.
Construction in one of the tunnels along the coast.
View at Chicao Bridge Rest Area 齒草橋休息區along the coast. We stopped to get some air after a morning boat ride back from Green Island.
Muddy waters along the coast.
Look back down the coast.
Tall mountains poking over the hills.
Beautiful view of the mountains from the road.
Originally we wanted to check out Moon Cave 月洞, but it was closed to public access. You have to pay to go in with a guide.
Visitor center for Moon Cave.
We pushed past Shitiping and ended up here at the Shimen Parking lot.
There is a bathroom here next to the free parking lot.
Map if the area.
View from the trail.
Another view. The cave is on the left.
Waves crashing over the rocks here.
There is a wooden boardwalk all along here.
Careful for waves.
View down below.
First view into the cave.
Before I even walked in, a Taiwanese guy told me in English that the cave looks like a car.
This is not so much like a car.
This one looks much more like a car.
View of the inside.
It is pretty hollow under this rock.
Vegetation pouring overhead.
Another view through the caves.
A man peering through the cave.
Another view looking through the caves.
Further down toe road we made it to Dawan Rest area, another beautiful place.
View of the coast from Dawan.
View looking north from Dawan.
Another view of the coast from Dawan.
View of the mountains to the east.
Then we came to Qinbuzhizi Old Trail along the coast 親不知子海上古道. We did not have a lot of time and did not want to pay for parking here, so we gave it a pass.
View of the park here.
View of the trail along the coast here.
View of the ocean below.
Last view as we said goodbye to this place.
Sunset in Hualien City.
And we headed back to Taipei that night.
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.