The legendary route which climbs up the front of the gigantic marble gorges of Taroko, cost the lives of 212 soldiers during its construction between 1956 and 1960; a considerable technical exploit for the era. A Chinese style door marks the start of this winding path which links over 12 miles the Pacific coast and the heart of the mountain in this mind-blowing landscape between vertiginous chasms of 3,280ft in height and majestic peaks, tunnels, abrupt marble cliffs, torrents, waterfalls and caves.
There are several points on the way to the top which merit a stop off. First is the sanctuary of Eternal Spring (the eternal source), erected in memory of the soldiers who perished on the path way. The memorial, hanging over a waterfall which shoots off the edge of a cliff, has been destroyed several times by earthquakes, very frequent in the area. You can then admire the Swallow Caves and the Nine Bends Tunnel which are crossed on foot in order to take the time to admire the spectacular canyon. We arrive finally at Tiansiang where you'll find the Grand Formosa Taroko hotel, nestled in the middle of a formidable natural site. From the hotel, one can catch a glimpse of the bridge that spans the confluence of the Tatzuchili and Tasha rivers, which in turn form the River Liwu. The bridge leads to the bamboo Pudu temple, which sits on top of headland. The site is an ideal starting point for explorations into the national park via its numerous hiking paths.