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Toroko Gorge
 
Toroko Gorge

One of Taiwan's premiere tourist attractions is the Toroko Gorge. The gorge is best explored from Hualien a town of 100,000 people.

The Toroko Gorge is a spectacular marble canyon. The few human constructions actually add to the place. There are the red suspension bridges, temples set in mountains and, most famously, the Eternal Spring Shrine. The Shrine is built over a waterfall and dedicated to the 450 people who died making the Cross-Island Highway that runs along the gorge. The Highway certainly gives a feeling of how hard it was to build here. The amazing route is precariously cut right into the side of the gorge.

Beyond Toroko, the road goes up into the high mountains of central Taiwan where there are incredible views of numerous peaks lined with terraced slopes. At one point, I drove into the clouds and had the mist blowing through the car. The mountain drive went up to 3,200 m (10,500 ft) high, the highest road in Asia outside Nepal and Tibet. The highest point was near Hohuanshan, where slippery grassy trails went to the peak.


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