Carved by the Liwu River, Taroko National Park is a majestic wonderland in Taiwan. Imagine towering marble cliffs etched by a relentless river, vibrant ecosystems teeming with life, and hidden waterfalls cascading down emerald slopes. This captivating scene isn’t a figment of your imagination; it’s the breathtaking reality of Taroko National Park in Taiwan. Hikers flock here to conquer the legendary Taroko trails and Taroko mountains. Sightseers come to marvel at the natural sculptures carved by time and water. But before you lace up your boots or grab your camera, one crucial question remains. How do you get to this natural wonderland? What’s the easiest way to go to Taroko gorge from Taipei? How should we travel the city Hualien to Taroko gorge?

Fret not! This comprehensive guide will be your compass. We will: first talk about the different public transportation options from various cities to Hualien. Then we will list out how to go from Hualien to Taroko Gorge and the ins and out of Xincheng Taroko Station. Finally, we will talk about driving and road conditions in Taroko. Whether you dream of traversing challenging trails on foot or simply soaking up the views of Taroko Canyon from a comfortable vantage point, this guide will equip you with the knowledge to get your Taroko adventure rolling.

How to get to Taroko Gorge From Taipei?

This is the most asked question regarding Taroko transportation questions. We will list out all the details and resources you need in this guide. But if you are impatient, the short answer is here. If you are open to driving, we recommend taking or hiring a car, this is the most popular option. If not, the best way is to first take the train to Hualien, then take TaiwanTrip shuttle bus Taroko route. This tourist shuttle is affordable and will take you along the attractions of Taroko. Sounds like a plan? Keep reading for details!

Taroko National Park Location

Taroko National Park is located in the eastern part of Taiwan, spanning across Hualien County, Taichung City, and Nantou County. Here are some additional details about the location of Taroko National Park:

  • The park is about 120 kilometers (75 miles) south of Hualien City.
  • The park is about 100 kilometers (62 miles) north of Taitung City.
  • The park is about 200 kilometers (124 miles) east of Taichung City.
  • The park is about 250 kilometers (155 miles) east of Taipei City.
taiwan map

taroko gorge map

The park can be reached by car, bus, or train. The main entrance to the park is located at Tianxiang, about 20 kilometers (12 miles) south of Hualien City. There are also several other entrances to the park, including the Hehuanshan Entrance, the Lishan Entrance, and the Wuling Entrance.

This dramatic landscape is easily accessible thanks to a network of highways and railways. The main artery for drivers is Provincial Highway No. 9 (Su-hua Highway), which snakes its way north from Hualien along the coast before cutting inland towards the park headquarters. From the west, visitors can access the park via the partially-opened Central Cross-Island Highway (Provincial Highway No. 8), which connects Hualien with Taichung City on the west coast.

For train enthusiasts, the conventional TRA (Taiwan Railway Administration) train line runs from major cities in western Taiwan to Hualien Station. While there’s no train directly serving the park itself, Hualien Station acts as a convenient jumping-off point for connecting buses that take visitors deep into the heart of Taroko National Park. We will talk about the details more in later sections.

How to get to Hualien without a car?

tunnel of nine turns


Hualien, nestled on Taiwan’s east coast, acts as the jumping-off point for adventures in Taroko Gorge. It is your main gateway to Taroko National Park. Driving from Taipei to Hualien will take you roughly 3 hours, but there are other public or shared transportation options as well. Here’s a comprehensive breakdown of your transportation options to get you to Hualien, from budget-conscious to luxurious.

Travel to Hualien

The general advice to travel to Hualien, no matter where you are starting from, depends on your budget and time constraints. If you are extremely short on time, flying is the best option. If you are on a slightly tighter budget, the train is a good choice.

Transportation From Taipei to Hualien

Trains from Taipei to Hualien

King of convenience, most recommended way. The train is the most popular choice for reaching Hualien.

taroko express


  • Speed Demons: Buckle up for the Taroko Express or Puyuma Express trains. These express services rocket you from Taipei to Hualien in a breezy 2-2.5 hours. It also offers stunning coastal views along the way. Be sure to book tickets well in advance, particularly during holidays and peak season. You can easily book online through Taiwan Railways Administration [Taiwan Railways website].
  • The Scenic Route: For a slightly slower, but more relaxed journey, consider the Tze-Chiang Limited Express. These trains meander along the coast, taking 3-4 hours and offering more opportunities to soak in the scenery.
  • Other options: The Chu-Kuang Express train is the slowest option, taking around 3 hours and 45 minutes to reach Hualien. However, it is also more affordable. Finally, there are many different Local Trains that can take you to from Taipei to Hualien. This is the most budget-friendly option but also the slowest. It takes between 3 and 4 hours to reach Taroko gorge from Taipei depending on the route.
train arriving taroko

train leaving taroko


Train TypeTicket PriceTravel Time
Taroko Express/Puyuma Express 太魯閣/普悠瑪號NT$4402 hours 15 minutes
Tze-Chiang Limited Express 自強號NT$427-4402-3 hours
Chu-Kuang Express 莒光號NT$3403 hours 45 minutes
Local Train 區間快車NT$2833-4 hours

We know navigating transportation and transfers can be daunting in a foreign country. This makes a good wifi and data connection especially important. Check out our Taiwan Wifi and SIM card guide.

Flights from Taipei to Hualien

domestic flights in taiwan


If you’re short on time or looking for a luxurious touch, consider flying into Hualien Airport. Currently, Uni Air is the only airline offering nonstop flights from Taipei Songshan Airport (TSA). The flight time is a mere 50 minutes, whisking you away to the east coast in comfort. Do remember that flights are not as frequent as trains, so plan accordingly and expect prices to be higher, especially for last-minute bookings.

There are two flights per day, with a flight time of just 50 minutes. Tickets for these flights typically cost around NT$2,000, but you can sometimes find discounts for as low as NT$900. Flying from Taipei to Hualien is a great option if you’re short on time or want to avoid the long train journey. It’s also a scenic flight, with stunning views of the east coast along the way.

Buses from Taipei to Hualien

shuttle bus on the freeway


While not the most popular options, there are actually quite a few shuttle buses you can take to go from Taipei to Hualien. Many people also opt for buses if they are unable to secure trains to Hualien. The biggest advantage of shuttle bus is that they offer 24-hour service with frequent departures. This makes it easy to find a bus that fits your schedule.

CompanyRouteFull/Half Ticket Price (NT$)Notes
統聯客運 (Ubus)NanGang Bus Station (Taipei) – Hualien Train Station320/205* Offers “Joy Ride” service with upgraded interiors on select departures (check company website for details). * Accepts various payment methods including EasyCard, credit cards, Klook, convenience stores, and cash.
臺北客運 (Taipei Bus)NanGang Bus Station (Taipei) – Hualien Train Station320/205* Offers four-seater premium buses for an even more comfortable ride (slightly cheaper than Ubus’ Joy Ride). * Accepts EasyCard, credit cards, LINE PAY, and cash.
首都客運 (Capital Bus)Banqiao Bus Station (Taipei) – Hualien Train Station352/225* Offers the most budget-friendly option with standard buses. * Accepts EasyCard, credit cards, cash.

Transportation From Taichung to Hualien

Traveling from Taichung to Hualien is a much longer one than from Taipei. While it is possible to travel south from Taichung to Hualien, the journey is significantly longer (up to 8 hours by car). The fastest option is to travel north to Taipei and then to Hualien. Driving takes about 4 hours and 40 minutes.

Trains from Taichung to Hualien

Similar to the Taipei to Hualien options, there are three types of trains that operate from Taichung to Hualien:

  • Puyuma Express: The fastest option, with a travel time of approximately 4 hours. Tickets cost NT$815.
  • Tze-Chiang Limited Express: A slightly slower option, with a travel time of approximately 4.5-5.5 hours. Tickets cost NT$815.
  • Chu-Kuang Express: The slowest option, with a travel time of approximately 6 hours. Tickets cost NT$628.

Flights from Taichung to Hualien

mandarin airlines


The only airline that offers direct flights from Taichung to Hualien is Mandarin Airline (華信航空. There are three flights per week, on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. The flight time is approximately 1 hour, and tickets cost around NT$2,600. However, there are occasional promotional fares that can reduce the price to around NT$1,600.

Buses from Taichung to Hualien

There are little direct bus options available from Taichung to Hualien. If you want to take the shuttle bus, t is recommended to head to Taipei then transfer to Hualien.

Transportation from Kaohsiung To Hualien

tunnel of nine turns


Train from Kaohsiung To Hualien

Traveling from Kaohsiung to Hualien is a scenic journey that takes you through the southern loop of Taiwan. The route passes through several beautiful cities and towns, including Pingtung and Taitung.

Train Options

There are three types of trains that operate from Kaohsiung to Hualien:

  • Puyuma Express: The fastest option, with a travel time of approximately 4.5 hours. Tickets cost NT$705.
  • Tze-Chiang Limited Express (South Link): A slightly slower option, with a travel time of approximately 4-4.5 hours. Tickets cost NT$705.
  • Chu-Kuang Express: The slowest option, with a travel time of approximately 9-11 hours. Tickets cost NT$990.

Important Note: When purchasing a train ticket from Kaohsiung to Hualien, be sure to choose a train that travels on the South Link (南迴) route. Trains that travel on the North Link (北迴) route will take significantly longer (up to 8 hours).

Flights from Kaohsiung To Hualien

The fastest and most convenient way to travel from Kaohsiung to Hualien is by plane. Mandarine Airline (華信航空) operates daily flights between the two cities, with a flight time of approximately 65 minutes. Tickets cost around NT$2,488, but promotional fares are sometimes available for as low as NT$1,738. Flights can save you precious time so you can spend more of your holidays in the beautiful mountains of Taiwan.

Buses from Kaohsiung To Hualien

There are little direct bus options available from Kaohsiung to Hualien. However, you can take a bus from Kaohsiung to Taitung and then transfer to a bus to Hualien. The total travel time is approximately 7.5-8 hours, and the ticket price is around NT$1050.

Transportation: Hualien to Taroko Gorge

Now that we found our way to Hualien train station or main bus station, let’s figure out how to get to the stunning Taroko Gorge. We recommend the official website of Taroko National Park for the latest information.

taroko trailhead


Best Way to go from Hualien to Taroko Gorge: TaiwanTrip Shuttle Bus

If you don’t plan to rent your own vehicle or take a taxi, this is definitely the best option to go with. This convenient tourist shuttle service operated by Ubus offers a comfortable and scenic route to Taroko National Park and other attractions in Hualien and the east coast. Check out their website for more information, they have English support.

The TaiwanTrip Shuttle Bus #310 Taroko Route is a convenient and affordable way to see the best of Taroko National Park. The bus departs from the Hualien Transfer Station and makes stops at all of the major attractions in the park, including Qixingtan Beach, Taroko Gorge, the Taroko Visitor Center, Shakadang Trail, Buluowan, Swallow Grotto, Lushui, and Tianxiang. A one-way ticket costs NT$140, or you can purchase a one-day pass for NT$250 or a two-day pass for NT$400. The passes allow you to hop on and off the bus at any stop as many times as you like. Tickets can be purchased at the Hualien Transfer Station, all Taiwan Tourist Shuttle Bus ticket offices, and online at Klook.

taroko route of taiwantrip shuttle bus

taiwan trip shuttle bus routes


Not only for Taroko, TaiwanTrip Shuttle bus is probably your best bet if you want to visit Taiwan’s beautiful nature that are a little out of the way. We highly recommend this friendly tourist shuttle service as an option for traveling to Taroko gorge from Taipei without a car. The ones on the beautiful east coast include:

  • Route 304: Hualien East Coast Route
  • Route 309: Yuchang Fengbin Line
  • Route 310: Taroko Route
  • and more, check the website out!

Local Bus

Operated by Taroko Bus Company, this is the most budget-friendly option to go from hualien to Taroko gorge. Several local buses depart from Hualien Bus Station and travel directly to various points of interest within the park, including the Visitor Center, Swallow Cave, and Tianxiang Hot Springs. The journey takes approximately 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes depending on your final destination within the park.Tickets can be purchased directly on the bus and are very affordable, typically costing under NT$100. One very useful one that stops at most points is route 302. However it only starts at Xincheng Taroko train station, so we will talk about that in the next section.


Taxis offer the most flexibility and convenience, allowing you to travel directly to your desired location within the park. This is a good option if you have a specific itinerary or are traveling with a group. Metered fares apply, and the cost depends on the distance to your destination. Expect to pay around NT$300-500 for a one-way trip from Hualien City to the Taroko National Park Visitor Center. Taxis can be easily hailed around major transportation hubs like the train station or major bus station. You can also book through ride-hailing apps like Uber or GoTaxi (if available in Hualien). Note that once you are in Taroko, it might be hard to find a taxi, so do not rely on them without a reservation once you’re in the park.

Xincheng Taroko Train Station 

xincheng taroko train station


Xincheng Taroko Station is a railway station located in Xincheng Township, Hualien County, Taiwan. It is served by the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) North-Link Line and is the closest station to Taroko National Park. The station was completed in 2016 and is designed to be a gateway to the park. The building features a modern design with a large glass atrium and a viewing platform that offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains.

If you are taking a train from somewhere else, instead of Hualien Train Station, you can see if it is possible to get to Xincheng Taroko Train Station before you transfer to bus. Once you get off here, spend some time enjoying the beautiful architecture and exhibits. Then, your options are similar to getting from Hualien Train Station to Taroko Gorge. We most recommend TaiwanTrip Shuttle Bus, but there are other shuttle bus or local bus services as well.

One extra option you have here at Xincheng Taroko Train Station is the local bus route 302. It brings you from Xincheng Train Station to many attractions including Shakadang, Swallow Cave, Jiuqudong (Tunnel of Nine turns) and eventually to Tianxiang. This is also a great way to travel from Hualien to Taroko gorge.

Should you Drive to Taroko Gorge?


We have listed out all the ways to travel to from Taipei to Taroko gorge without a car. However, the freedom of having your own car can be appealing for exploring Taroko National Park, and this is actually what most locals do. Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons to help you decide if it’s the right choice for you:

Advantages to driving to Taroko Gorge

  • Flexibility: Explore the park at your own pace, stopping at viewpoints and hidden gems along the way.
  • Luggage: No need to worry about lugging backpacks on public transport.
  • Multiple Destinations: If you plan to visit other parts of eastern Taiwan, having a car provides more flexibility.

Disadvantages to driving to Taroko Gorge

  • Parking: Parking can be limited at popular sights, especially during peak season. Be prepared for patience and potentially long walks from parking areas. Another creative way is to take turns getting off the car for a look at the site. This is especially necessary if you want to visit Tunnel of Nine Turns. Attractions like these are geographically restricted in space and is difficult to carve out parking lots for large amounts of people. Plan to get to these hot spots early in the morning!
  • Navigation: Roads within the park can be winding and narrow. This requires good driving skills and map awareness (downloading offline maps is highly recommended).
  • Driving Restrictions: Traffic regulations to manage congestion may be in place, such as one-way lane restrictions or limited hours for entering certain areas.

Road Conditions in Taroko National Park

taroko mountains

Source: Line today

The main route for drivers is Provincial Highway No. 9 (Su-hua Highway). This highway is generally well-maintained, but be aware of:

  • Curves and Steep Grades: Expect winding sections and potentially steep inclines, especially on the Central Cross-Island Highway (partially open). If you haven’t driven in a while or is unfamiliar with your rental car, we recommend practicing briefly before you head to Taroko. Passengers who are prone to car sick should also consider taking medications beforehand.
  • Tunnels: Numerous tunnels pierce the mountains, so be prepared for sudden changes in light.
  • Weather: Taiwan’s east coast is known for its variable weather patterns. While rain is common throughout the year, winter typically sees light, continuous rainfall, while summer brings intermittent showers. Although rare, be prepared to encounter rain, fog, or occasional rockfalls that might cause temporary road closures. However, the Taiwan Road and Freeway Department is generally efficient in reopening critical routes. It’s highly advisable to avoid this section of the road immediately following typhoons or heavy storms when the risk of landslides and rockfalls is significantly higher. If the weather is inappropriate, check our month by month travel guide for Taiwan to see the best scenes of each season.

Taxis and Private Drivers

Taking a taxi or hiring a private driver removes the responsibility of navigating Taroko’s winding roads and allows you to fully enjoy the stunning scenery. While taxis are readily available in Hualien City, their availability might be limited within the park itself. Pre-booking a private driver ensures a comfortable ride with a knowledgeable local who can navigate directly to your desired destinations.  Many private taxi vendors in Hualien even offer convenient half-day or full-day packages to Taroko, making the booking process even simpler. Private drivers can also offer personalized itineraries and insider tips to maximize your Taroko experience. However, expect the cost of a private driver or pre-arranged taxi package to be higher compared to public transportation options.

Traveling to Taroko by Car

Driving to Taroko National Park offers the freedom to explore at your own pace, but comes with challenges like parking limitations and potentially tricky road conditions. Weigh the pros and cons carefully to decide if it aligns with your travel style and comfort level. Some of the points we listed out sound pretty scary, but most locals visit Taroko gorge from Taipei with a car and have little problems with it! The convenience is simply too hard to beat!

Motorbike in Taroko Mountains?



Exploring Taroko National Park on a motorbike presents a thrilling, open-air adventure unlike any other. You’ll be fully immersed in the dramatic landscapes and fresh mountain air as you navigate the winding roads. However, it’s crucial to understand the inherent dangers.

Taroko’s roads are notoriously steep and winding. Many have sheer drop-offs and limited visibility around corners. Cars, particularly large tour buses, may not be accustomed to sharing the road with motorbikes, creating an additional risk factor. If you’re not an extremely confident and experienced motorbike rider, this is not the place to test your skills.

For the safety of yourself and others, consider alternative options. Public transportation and taxis offer a less risky way to explore the park. But if you’re a seasoned rider who prioritizes an adrenaline-pumping experience and possesses the necessary skills to navigate challenging terrain, exploring Taroko by motorbike can be an unforgettable adventure. Just remember: prioritize safety above all else.

In this post we first talked about how to go from major cities in Taiwan (Taipei, Taichung and Kaohsiung) to Hualien. Then we listed out the details of getting from Hualien to Taroko gorge. Finally, we delve into what driving at Taroko is like to help you decide whether commuting by car is the best option for you. We hope this information is helpful for your plan to Taroko from Taipei. We cannot wait to hear what you think about Taiwan’s beautiful Taroko mountains. If you like our transportation guide, also checkout our Taiwan Transportation Guide and Taiwan Airport Transportation Guide. Thanks!