老外看台灣/美國型男帶你遠離塵囂 發掘太魯閣的秘密 | Taroko Gorge: An escape into Taiwan nature

Andrew at Taroko Gorge (Photo courtesy of Andrew)

【看CP學英文】如果城市的喧嘩使你感到煩躁不安,期望遠離塵囂的你不妨來場小旅行,前往臺灣瑰寶-太魯閣國家公園重新找回自己。從台北出發只需兩小時的火車路程,或由花蓮搭公車不到一小時即可抵達,安排短短的單天來回或兩天一夜行程都相當充裕,何不來場說走就走的旅行!

If the busy intersections of the city are beginning to take their toll on you and you are looking to retreat into nature, Taroko National Park should be at the top of your list.

Less than an hour by bus from Hualien — and only two hours by train from Taipei — a day trip or overnight visit is more than feasible.

Taroko Gorge National Park (Photo courtesy of Andrew)

有別於臺北郊區的自然景緻,這塊天然瑰寶孕育著台灣獨有的原住民文化 – 14族原住民其中之一—太魯閣族。低調的太魯閣族遍佈花蓮,需要靜觀才會發現他們在此留下的足跡。

What makes your visit to Taroko different from hiking around the outskirts of Taipei is the Taroko tribe—one of the 14 indigenous tribes of Taiwan.

The tribe’s presence across Hualien County is not immediately noticed, but if you look closely you can see their footprints across the region.

足跡可能會以各種方式呈現;或許會以立在小步道旁寫著「不得進入,私人部落地區」招牌透露玄機,也或許會在砂卡噹步道旁各式各樣的太魯閣手工飾品店讓你注意到他們。除了這些線索外,路旁也會有許多販賣道地原住民料理的小餐廳,其中專賣香腸的店家尤其多,各個都希望自己的料理被封為當地最好吃的「原住民香腸」。

This can be anything from an inconspicuous side-trail with a sign that says “no trespassing, private tribal lands” or a handful of stalls of Taroko crafts and goods for sale along the Shakadang trail.

There are also a handful of restaurants that serve indigenous cuisine, all hoping to be designated as serving the best 原住⺠香腸 (indigenous sausage) in the area.

或許最值得一訪太魯閣國家公園的原因為其壯闊的峽谷和風景秀麗的步道。園區橫跨9.2萬公頃,有超過30條難易度各異的步道。

Perhaps the main reason to visit Taroko National Park is the Taroko Gorge and hiking trails. There are more than thirty trails stretching across the 92,000 hectares of the national park of varying difficulty.

其中,「白楊步道」最適合初學者!沿著峽谷底部行走數公里,走在這步道上你不僅能觀賞腳下的河流,還能一邊觀望兩旁巨大的岩壁。路程可在兩小時內走完,而在底端迎接你的是令人歎為觀止的白楊瀑布和水簾洞。

In particular, the beginner-level Baiyang trail lets you walk for kilometers along the bottom of the gorge while you look up at the cliff of mountainous rock on either side of you with a river below your feet.

It is completed in under two hours, and you get to stumble upon the Baiyang waterfall and Water Curtain Cave. Truly stunning.

A suspension bridge on Xiaozhuilu trail (Photo courtesy of Andrew)

在許多步道、休息區和餐廳的底部是祥德寺。越過美麗的小橋,寺廟靜靜地橫躺於小山丘頂端上,登上山丘可以眺望群山環繞的壯麗景色。參觀途中,寺廟的和尚可能會要求你幫忙做一些日常小事。我就在拜訪寺廟時被邀請一起幫忙把一籃剛採好的梅子帶到寺廟底部的茶館。在這裡,不僅能享受此地寧靜氛圍更能參與當地的生活真的是一件令人難忘的體驗。

At the base of several trails, the recreation area, and a few restaurants lies the Xiangde Buddhist Temple.

Extremely peaceful and quiet, it lies across a beautiful yellow bridge atop a small hill giving you generous views of the surrounding greenery.

Upon your visit, you may even be asked to assist monks in their daily tasks at the temple. I was asked to bring a basket of freshly picked plums to the tea shop at the very bottom of the temple.

Being able to enjoy the ambiance and actually participate in the community was an incredible experience.

A bridge leading to Xiangde Buddhist Temple (Photo courtesy of Andrew)

在你搭車回家前一定要繞到花蓮的東大門夜市享用晚餐。這裡寬敞又乾淨,各式各樣小吃攤販讓你不用破費也能飽餐一頓。不過,我最推薦的可能還是一條專門賣道地部落美食的街;那裡應該是許多旅客離開太魯閣前必光顧的美食街。

Before you board your bus or train home, the perfect place to stop for dinner is the DongDaMen night market in Hualien.

Spacious, clean, and filled with a diverse range of food stalls, you can eat your fill for under NT$200. However, the one street designated to indigenous food stalls might be the place to be before you leave the Taroko Tribe and head back home.

DongDaMen night market (Photo courtesy of Andrew)