If you ever find yourself in Hualien, you might think that it is an uneventful small little city by the sea, however, there are some things that you can do while in Hualien to spice up your time while there.
(1) Visit the Karenko Shrine and the Meiluen Shan Park overlooking Hualien and the Pacific Ocean.
The Karenko Shrine (pictured below) is absolutely beautiful, and with little-to-no tourists around, you can easily tour the site and spend time there in solitude. When you walk up the stairs on the left side of the shrine and then down the path, you will come upon Meiluen Shan Park, a beautiful park overlooking the city of Hualien to the left and the Pacific Ocean on the right.
(2) Visit Taroko Gorge & National Park
Taroko Gorge is about 40 minutes outside of Hualien City. Located on the east coast of Taiwan, Taroko Gorge is an absolutely breathtaking 19-km canyon that is a must see during your visit to Taiwan. You can take a day trip there (although I suggest spending the full day) or you can split up the trip into multiple days. You can get there via bus or train from Hualien Station.
Let’s face it, everyone likes to eat. Taiwan is very famous for their food and night markets. Hualien has two small night markets and a lot of restaurants to keep your stomach happy. Nanbin Night Market (南濱夜市) is the largest and most popular, while the Tze Chiang Night Market (自強夜市) is a little smaller but is located right next to the ocean.