Jiuqudong Tunnel, Xiulin Township, Hualien County, Taiwán 

This is the most magnificent part of Taroko Gorge, where the sheer cliffs face each other. During the exploration stage, it is the especially difficult and dangerous part to explore. When the wind comes from the broad river valley to the narrow valley it is forced upwards when it hits the cliff face.

The Jiuqudong tunnel was constructed 1996, so that the visitors can view the rock folds, joints and faults of the marble cliffs. The two cliffs are so close to each other, and it looks like they are joining to each other if seen from afar. This section has the reputation of “Nine Turns of the Coiled Dragon”.

The distance between the cliffs is only around 10-meters wide. In the small gap in the rocks, the narrow Kelan River’s rush by, forming a “Fish leaping across the dragon gate” scenery. Have you seen a fish swimming upstream? The trail is a must-see point and one should stop by and enjoy the spectacular scenery that has been formed by tens of thousands of years of river erosion. The number nine in Chinese implying “many” is heavily used in Chinese expression.

Epic Taiwan Culture & Adventure Route © Monika Newbound

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