1. Manor House (Southern Library)
Located by the Meilun River, the “Manor House” was the residence of Colonel Nakamura in Hualien-Taitung during the Japanese occupation period. Of research value, the Japanese style architecture is an important historical record of Hualien’s development, and in 2005, it was designated as a Hualien County monument and historic building.
To activate the reuse value of idle space, the Hualien City Office not only conducted a series of guided ecology tours, but also specially instituted the “Southern Library”, the only community Japanese library in the eastern region. The term “Southern” was used to indicate the location of Taiwan during the Japanese occupation, while the term “South of the Border” also referred to Taiwan, and Library means a book collection room.
2. City Wall Park (Freedom Park)
The old Hualien prison was built in 1937, and for over 40 years, had housed felons and inmates from the Hualien-Taitung region before moving to Nanhua village in 1982, leaving the downtown jail desolate. Perhaps because of its aura of mystery and intimidation, the space remained locked and abandoned until 2013 when the Hualien City Office re-used idle space and named it the Freedom Park and collaborated with private arts groups for occasional arts activities, providing Hualien with another large outdoor recreational space.
3.Pine Garden (Military Control Center)
Located to the right of Meilun Shan, the Pine Garden was a military control center during the Japanese occupation.
With more than 60 pine trees, each is almost a hundred years old.
The Hualien County Cultural Affairs Bureau has designated the Pine Garden as the Museum of Poetry, where the Pacific Poetry Festival is held each year. From the magnificent mountains, vast Pacific Ocean, the Meilun River meandering through the feet of mountains, the garden’s century old pines, the beauty of these surrounding nature are worthy to be sung, fully revealing the rich cultural ambience of Hualien.
4.Hualien Cultural Creative Industries Park (Old Distillery)
The Hualien Cultural Creative Industries Park A-Zone was built more than a hundred years ago during the Japanese occupation for brewing red wine and rice wine for the Yilan Distillery. Comprising 26 old vintage factory warehouses, the elegant and orderly park is being readied for the public over a three-year period (2012-2015), offering spaces for exhibition, performance, dining, specialty merchandise, incubation seminars and tourism information. Through arts and cultural events and commercial services, it is hoped that the park can become a gathering of cultural vitality and contemporary lifestyle, and at the same time become the best recreational area in Hualien and Taitung.
5.Old Railway Cultural Park (Hualien-Taitung Railway Agency)
Historic buildings such as the Railway Department Hualien Harbor Branch Office, the former Hualien Public Works Office and the former Hualien Police Station are preserved in the Old Railway Cultural Park to enhance the integrity of the old eastern rails. Plans for restoring the fountain in front of the old railway station and railway corridors, are supported by agencies such as the Hualien County Government, Hualien City Office and the Railways Administration. Regular exhibitions, seminars and cultural events are organized, lending uniqueness to the recreational scene of Hualien City.
6.Kuo, Tzu-Chiu Music Culture Hall (Composer of On the Water Buffalo)
The Kuo Tzu-Chiu Music Culture Hall was designed along two concepts, one is to focuses on facilities that reflect the performances, finances and experiences of Kuo Tzu-Chiu Music Culture Hall. The other is to pass on the anecdotes and teaching precepts of Master Kuo Tzu-Chiu.
By capturing the interface of space and time, a living theater is created where details are preserved in the form of stories for experiential learning.
(Dining) Food with Traceability
Hualien is the tourist mecca of eastern Taiwan. Besides captivatingly beautiful scenery, its rich tourism resources bring a constant stream of tourists. Located at the central hub of Hualien County, Hualien City is densely populated, with convenient transportation, well-known tourist and recreation attractions, shopping and commercial districts, and a convergence of gourmet snacks. It's a leisure paradise for tourists visiting Hualien.
1. International Tourist Hotels
Hualien City is a renowned tourist city, with hotels abound in the urban districts, and there is no lack of major international tourist hotels. Additionally, there are also many certified guest house establishments with distinctive features, providing travelers with a comfortable and leisurely accommodation environment.
2. Zhongshan Road, Zhongzheng Road, and Zhonghua Road Triangular Commercial Zone
Due to the numerous commercial stores established in the area between Hualien City's Zhongshan Road, Zhongzheng Road and Zhonghua Road, a triangular commercial district has taken form. This is one of Hualien City's must-visit commercial districts for shopping.
3. Old Railroad Pedestrian Zone
Hualien City's Old Railroad was a section of the Hualien–Taitung Line with a total length of 1.8 kilometers, which in old times passed through the city to the old train station. In 1979, after the North-Link Line was opened, the railway traffic route was moved, and the old railroad lost its function and gradually fell into decline. Hualien City Office retained the original railway line and developed it into a pedestrian zone. When the lights come on every night, walking here really gives you a sense of nostalgia!
4. Hualien Cultural Creative Industries Park A Zone
The predecessor of Hualien Cultural Creative Industries Park was Hualien's old distillery, located in the city's most essential sector. Within the park, many quaint, old fashioned constructions of the original distillery have been retained. Through the efforts of the management team, these monuments have been transformed into a tasteful artistic arena. Strolling through the park, with its rich cultural ambiance, one can hear the joyful refrain composed jointly by the nostalgic days of yore and today's modern trends. Come, let's experience the romance of Hualien City together!
5. Culinary Specialty Snacks
Hualien city's cuisine is just as diverse and unique as the ethnic groups living on this piece of land. In addition to the traditional mochi and Hualien sweet potato cake, there are also a good many other rising stars to satisfy the discerning taste buds of travelers.
Hualien is lined with many shops featuring both delicious food and distinctive atmosphere, such as the coffee shops with their wafting coffee aromas, traditional snack shops, local culinary creations and so on. Why not break your travels at a teahouse, a fine eatery or some other leisure space where you can have some scrumptious snacks? If really hungry you can choose fast fry-up restaurants to eat your fill. The diverse and broad-ranging variety of choice can absolutely satisfy gourmands from anywhere in the world.
As to the not-to-be missed Hualien souvenirs, apart from the acclaimed traditional pastries and renowned venerable old cuisine brands, there are many specialty shops promoting a selection of souvenirs brimming with creative style, and their innovative designs repeatedly spark off trends, and are often popular group purchase choices. Popular confectioneries of recent years, such as nougats, tiramisu, butter crisp and so on, are also must-buy souvenirs for visitors coming to Hualien.
A friendly reminder (Friendly Toilet logo and graphic file)
Friendly Toilets are a service providing “convenience” to tourists during their travels around the urban districts, please feel free to use them.
(Living) Breathe with Vigor
Hualien City allows you to roam in the magnificence of its natural scenery. Regardless of whether you want to visit its celebrated sights, or become immersed in its art; you can live with consummate pleasure and travel with easy-going leisure, and you can also enjoy yourself to your heart's delight. You are welcome to experience the beauty of the city between the mountains and sea.
1. Beibin Park
Beibin Park is located between Hualien and the Meilun River. It is a recreational area with a rich maritime flavor in urban Hualien. To the park's south is Nanbin Park, going north you can reach Qixintan. Spread over a broad area, it’s a fine location for Hualien's citizens to relax and spend their leisure time. In the park, there are pavilions and seating, providing the public with places to meet and have picnics. There is also an extreme sports court and a beach volleyball court, so that sports lovers can work out, and stretch out comfortably physically and mentally.
2. Zhongshan Park
The function of the city's parkland is not limited to just sports or walking. Zhongshan Park, located in Hualien City center close by the railway station, is a peaceful oasis in the midst of urban hubbub, with beautiful lawns and footpaths. It combines elements of the arts, local culture and so forth to improve the multi-functional diversity of the park. The park is designed in white, matching its unique created form, allowing its long corridor of rest space to not only provide the public with a rest stop to shelter from wind and rain, but also be a work of art in the park.
3. Meilun Shan Nature Park (Martyrs' Shrine)
Meilun Shan is an important landmark in Hualien. There are lush foliage and trees of the forest, as well as eye-catching colors of beautiful flowers, which attracted a large number of animals to reside here, creating the rich ecology of Meilun Shan. From the high ground and looking out, you can see the Meilun River meandering through the foot of the mountain, and you can also look out to the Pacific Ocean not too far away.
Meilun Shan is not just a great place for sport, leisure, and enjoying the scenery, it has also been an important military base for a long time. During the Qing Dynasty farmer-soldiers were stationed there. In the era of Japanese dynasty, the Japanese military also built a fort and tunnel at this location, and currently the Nationalist military is also stationed here. At the foot of Meilun Shan is the Martyrs' Shrine. Built in 1905, it was originally a Shinto shrine dedicated to Amaterasu, Prince Kitashirakawa Yoshihisa and the three development gods. In 1980, it was converted into the Martyrs' Shrine, dedicated to valiant sacrifice. One can appreciate the architecture here, and enjoy the particular sense of tranquility and calm.
4. Guofu (Sakur) Health Preserving Park (aerobic forest bath)
Sakur Health Preserving Park is located at Guofu Village, a Hualien suburb. It has a beautiful mountain forest ecology and a broad expansive piece of land. This location was originally a wasteland covered with weeds, occupying an area of about seventeen thousand square meters. After going through a comprehensive site planning and rearrangement, it has taken on its present diversified appearance. Apart from its two image pavilions, distinctive bald cypress saplings were also planted to create a shady boulevard.
5. Railroad Corridor (A Link to the Days Long Gone)
Hualien City's Old Railroad is a section of the former Hualien–Taitung Line which passed through the city to the main coastal station. By its side are the old distillery, a wood storage greenery pool, which have been gradually linked together like a pearl necklace which connects the various attractions of the old railroad. It is a leisure attraction with deep local significance to Hualien.
(Creativity) The “Art” of Travel
1. Hualien County Stone Sculptural Museum (Creative Art)
Hualien County Stone Sculptural Museum is the first museum in the country with the theme of stone carving, collecting creative objects of fine art from international stone carving events over the years. The layout of the museum is divided into a Collection Area, a Display Area, a Modern Stone Carving Area, and so forth. The museum holds long-term exhibitions of the works of stone carving artists from home and abroad, and has broken through the traditional museum mode, making the outside into a display area as well. The small works of stone art fully demonstrate the intricate and delicate beauty of stone art; while the large works naturally convey a bold and spirited creative force. If you come to Hualien, and follow the east coast to the Hualien - Taitung Rift Valley, you'll have the opportunity of an encounter with the beautiful and elegant world of stone carving art.
2. “Lotus Reunion ~ Turn of Luck with Stone” (Fountain Plaza)
This fountain plaza is located in the former Hualien Railway Station, once the city's vibrant downtown area. With changing times the area gradually fell into decline, thus Hualien City Office especially designated this area as a fountain plaza; a place where Hualien people could take a leisurely evening stroll, and a place where the old memories of Hualien's elderly can interleave with the new memories of Hualien's youth, and inspire a new wave for an old landmark.
The origin of the plaza's name: The lotus is Hualien County's county flower. It has a pure and unstained quality, and it echoes exactly the reputation of Hualien as “Taiwan's last piece of pure land”. In the middle of the fountain pool is Asia's largest granite ball, symbolizing reunion; while “water” is a symbol of wealth, and the big ball rolling is like the putting out of endless financial resources.
(Bicycles) Easy-going Breezy Travel
“Two Lakes Bike Path”
(Starting Point) Deyan Coastal Botanical Garden → Qixintan community → 4-8 Highland → Chilaibi Lighthouse → Shuguang Bridge → Hualien Harbor → Beibin Park → Nanbin Park (deleted) → Chunghua Pulp Mill → Old Railroad → Mugua Creek Bridge → Hongching Mountain Villa → Liyu Lake Scenic Area (End Point).
In this brilliant city of Hualien between the mountains and the sea, there is a leisurely bike path designed to meet the yearning for freedom and liberation from pressures of today's people – the Two Lakes Bike Path, and it's the country's best scenic harbor foreshore bike lane. This bicycle path, going through the popular scenic spots of Qixintan, Beibin, Nanbin (deleted), Liyu Lake and so on, is an entry trip on which you can experience the beauty of Hualien's mountains and sea. As we became used to vehicles like cars and motorcycles, the traditional bicycle became neglected and forgotten. Can you think of a more leisurely mode of transport with which you can enjoy a beautiful city?
Today's Qixingtan is now a quite well-known Hualien attraction for viewing the sea, and is also Hualien County's only county-level scenic area. Bike paths run through the area, and along them you can enjoy the coastal scenery, seaside plants, and the ecology of fisheries. If the time you come here happens to be just when you can see the fishing boats coming back fully laden with the day's catch, there will be many people who have specially come out here in the afternoon to wait for the boats to come ashore. This area is also close to Hualien Airport, so from time to time you can see aircraft taking off and landing, which adds another special quality to the landscape.
2. 4-8 Hights
4-8 Hights was originally a military site which was named after its elevation of 48 meters. Bicycle paths and scenic trails have been designed to enter this area. From the commanding view this area offers, you can admire views of the Chilaibi Lighthouse, the Pacific Ocean, and the prairie; it’s a particularly refreshing location.
3. Hualien Harbor (originally a water-oriented recreation area, now converted to Shangri Plaza)
The Shangri Plaza within the harbor area is a newly constructed tourist attraction. With the immediately adjacent Pacific Ocean, whale watching wharf, Hualien Fish Market and Hualien District Fishermen’s Association, the architecture presents a south European style with a Pacific and prairie backdrop; it is indeed a rare beauty. In the plaza atrium there is also a large stone carving of a sperm whale, the only one in Taiwan. This is an attraction visitors to Hualien Harbor will definitely want to see, and those who love to watch the sea frequently come to the Love Tower in the plaza, which is Taiwan's nearest tall tower to the Pacific Ocean, offering an unbroken view of the Pacific, the coastal mountain range, the Central Mountain Range, and the harbor.
Hualien Harbor area's scenic bridge is not only for providing passage to pedestrians and cyclists, but also for offering views of the majestic Pacific Ocean, for watching the boats coming and going from the harbor, and enjoying the scenic flavor of the harbor.
4. Ryosaburo Eguchi Memorial Park
The Ryosaburo Eguchi Memorial Park is located within Hualien Harbor, and named after the Ryosaburo Eguchi Memorial in the park. Ryosaburo Eguchi was the fifth head of Karenk Prefecture (now Hualien County). During his term of office, he actively sought for the construction of Hualien Harbor. A monument was established here to commemorate his contribution to the construction of Hualien and its fishing industry. Passing through this location, while looking out at the vista of Hualien Harbor, one can perhaps imagine the twists and turns of the harbor's development at that time, and that the beautiful scene before your eyes was not easy to come by.
5. Meilun Stop
Meilun Stop is one of the stations on the old Hualien–Taitung Line's Hualien Harbor section. Today, through rebuilding and renovation, the old station has made its reappearance, complete with an explanatory placard which guides visitors into a time tunnel, to enjoy a taste of the landscape of that age. Although present day appearances are very different from those of that time, it still evokes memories for many of Hualien's older people.
6. Shuguang Bridge
Shuguang Bridge is located next to Beibin Park, at the mouth of the Meilun River, and is so named because one can greet the first light of dawn when looking east to the pacific. The bridge is one of Hualien City's most well-known waterfront attractions. Shuguang Bridge was originally a railway bridge carrying the Hualien Harbor section of the old Hualien–Taitung Line. After the old railway line was discontinued, the county government converted it to a wooden boardwalk for pedestrians and cyclists. It's a bridge which combines the historical track of the Hualien–Taitung Line and urban-rural reconstruction for tourism.
7. Chinghua Bridge
Chinghua Bridge is a red arc-shaped bridge spanning the Meilun River. People cannot help but want to slow down and make the most of this peaceful community setting when cycling through here, pass the breathtakingly lush greenery along with the flowing of the river and the rich natural ecology.
8. Riverside Park
Meilun River is Hualien City's main river, and Riverside Park is built alongside the Meilun River. It provides the public with a place for rest and recreation, and is also one of the city's important green areas. The park has a rich ecology, and Hualien City Office has also planted various species of flowers alongside the river. Taking a leisurely bicycle ride along the trail, there are both works of art to enjoy, as well as the beauty of blooming flowers; nothing more beautiful can be imagined.