Tianxiang Recreation Area features the widest and most flat terraces within Taroko Gorge. Here you can find Xiangde Temple, Tianfeng Pagoda, Pudu Suspension Bridge, and Silks Place Taroko, which are all surrounded by amazing high canyons and beautiful deep river ravines. It is a must see spot inside Taroko Gorge.
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 a gorge was cut out of the limestone thanks to the Liwu River.
Taroko means "human being," from the Truku tribal language. Originally the Tupido Tribe settled in the area of what is now Tianxiang Taiti mesa. They built the Tupido Tribe Trail which was only 30 cm wide, and resided there until they were massacred by the Japanese in 1914. In 1917, the Japanese expanded the original trail made by the Tupido Tribe to 1.5 M and forced aboriginal tribesmen to carry goods along the trail to the east coast. This is now the Zhuilu Old Trail. Currently only 3km of the trail is open to the public. The Japanese created a national park in the Area in 1937, which was disestablished by the ROC in 1945, and then reenstated in as a national park in 1986.
Tianxiang lies 455 meters above seas level, and lies at the convergence of the Dasha River and the Tazijili River, forming the Liwu River.
Xiangde Temple was built in 1966 shortly after the central cross island highway was finished. It is a Buddhist monetary, and the area was chosen for it's quiet beauty.
How to get there:
By Car: From Taipei, Take National Highway 5 to Yilan and then drive on the Suhua Highway 9 to Hualien. A few miles before Hualien City, the gorge will be on your right. Tianxiang is 18 KM in.
By Train: Take the train to Hualien station, and from there you can rent a scooter or car, or take a tour bus to the gorge, and then get off at Tianxiang.
For more travel information see here.
Flying a Drone?
Apply for a drone permit here.
Map: Please see below:
I have been to Tianxiang a number of times. It is usually the last place I visit on my way through Taroko. You can spend hours here relaxing and enjoying the scenery.
For an overview of the area, see our video above.
Or check out our 360 degree spherical panorama above.
Two rivers converge to carve out Taroko gorge. Apparently one is made of black soymilk and the other is made of milk tea.
First when you come into Tianxiang you must pass the Zhihui Bridge, which provides amazing views of the area.
To get to Xiangde Temple, you will need to pass the Pudu Bridge. Pudu means to cross over, usually crossing over to the netherworld.
Looking back at Pudu Bridge.
Looking down the river.
Looking up the river.
Another view down the river. Apparently they build gravel bridges over the river in the dry season.
Steps up to Xiangde Temple.
Another view of Pudu Temple.
Picnic area at the temple.
View of Tianfeng Pagoda.
View looking up into the top of the pagoda. Unfortunately the steps were closed off.
Another view of Tianfeng Pagoda.
Golden elephant statue in front of Xiangde Temple.
Looking back at Tianfeng Pagoda.
The main courtyard in front of the temple.
The main temple.
Looking back at the pagoda.
Looking at the mountains southeast.
Golden Buddha under construction.
Closer view of the blossoms.
White clothed Guanyin Statue.
An old elevator used to carry heavy things up the mountain.
Looking back down at Taroko Gorge.
Maze of steps leading down from near the pagoda.
A flower with eyes.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more of our blogs on Taroko and Hualien to come.
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.