We wanted to go river trekking in Hualien over December. Although I have been to Taroko Gorge, and The Golden Grotto in the past, it took a bit more travel. We had a short time so we decided to stay near the city.
- The Kindness Hotel is located in Hualien. You can walk to the train station and find a bike rental shop. The hotel also includes food.
- Figure out your train schedule to Hualien Station. Take the express train to Taipei
- Giant Bicycles is also near Hualien Station. You can rent bikes from them. They have plenty of stock so you don’t need a reservation.
- Download Hualien from Google Maps offline
After renting our bikes, we used Google Maps to cycle to Emerald Valley. The distance is approximately 15km. After a while, the path will lead you to the main road before dividing off into the remote countryside. Because there were so many moving trucks and cars, we biked very carefully on the main road.
It was easy to bike once we reached the remoter areas. Although the path winds into the valley, it is not difficult. After crossing the bridge, you will want to continue biking straight until you come across a sign with a trail that splits off.
You can find the Emerald Valley Lookout by following a small trail. This is a man-made waterfall. Although it’s not the most impressive, it’s still worth visiting. You will need to return your steps towards the trail once you have reached the waterfall. You will find the trail above and at the top of the falls.
There are no trails from there. You will be river trekking all of the way down. Although the right side of river was easier to navigate, we did need to zig-zag around several times. Keep going until you reach Zimu Falls.
It was the best thing about the trek that we didn’t pass anyone after we left Emerald Valley. It was beautiful and the water was cool. I got only 3-4 bites from bugs (I didn’t spray any). This hike is a great way to explore Hualien without needing to travel to Taroko. In less than 24 hours, we were on our way.