Taroko Gorge, Taiwan / Taroko National Park: The Wonderful and Terrible Long Canyon
Because the amount of available marble abundant in the area, Taroko Gorge is also often called the Marble Gorge. Taroko Gorge is a 19 km long canyon located north of Hualien on the east coast of Taiwan, not far from the Pacific Ocean.
The canyon was formed by the subduction of the Philippine Sea Plate under the Eurasian Plate. As reported by amusingplanet, about 100 million years ago, enormous pressure has been raised above the sea level. Heat and pressure are also changing in the surrounding limestone into marble.
The canyon is located just 60 miles from the coast and is home to some of the highest peaks in Taiwan. Until the 1950s, the canyon is just passable paths. However, tourists who want to enjoy the beauty of Taroko Gorge was able to pass with a private vehicle, because local authorities have built the Central Cross-Island Highway in the canyon walls.
Central Cross-Island Highway is a narrow mountain paths and winding with lots of twists. And the Tunnel of Nine Turns, which is the most popular spot to bring the driver to a ravine near the shore. This spot is now being used as a pedestrian for tourists who want to enjoy the beauty of the canyon while walking. Meanwhile, in the path of the vehicle has been diverted through another tunnel.
Because the terrain is rough and unstable, dangerousroads.org mentioned that the Central Cross-Island Highway as one of the most dangerous roads in the world. Heavy rain caused by typhoons often brings soil and rocks onto the highway, making it difficult to impassable roads.
Although the area is very prone to seismic activity, this canyon has many tourist attractions such as the Zen monastery, the old settlement of Aboriginal Truku which is now a museum and craft stores. This gorge ends in a small village (Tiansiang) which has a beautiful pagodas and temples.
Taroko Gorge Photo Gallery :