Sunday, 19 October 2014

Taroko Gorge Taiwan



Taroko Gorge is also famous as “Marble Gorge” due to ample supply of marble in the region. It is an impressive 19-kilometers long canyon, found at north of Hualien on Taiwan's east coast, not far from the Pacific Ocean. Taiwan this part is rising because of the subduction of Philippines Sea Plate under the Eurasian Plate. More than hundred million years ago, the massive pressure lifted the region above the surface of the ocean, which in result the heat and pressure turned the limestone rocks into marble. Ultimately, the erosive power of Liwu River carved a path via the marble to form Taroko Gorge.

The Taroko Gorge is situated approximately 60 kilometers from the coast, which is home to some of the tallest peaks in Taiwan at more than 3,400 meters. Until the 1950s only a trail ran through the gorge. Nowadays the Central Cross-Island Highway runs across the wall of the gorge. Notwithstanding its name, the Central Cross-Island Highway is a slender and winding mountain road with plentiful bends. The Tunnel of Nine Turns is a widespread spot that takes drivers dramatically near to the edge of the gorge. This part is now firmly pedestrians only as vehicular traffic is routed through another tunnel.

Therefore; the Central Cross-Island highway is listed as one of the most treacherous roads because of the rugged and uneven terrain. Heavy rain from typhoons often dislodges soil and rocks onto the highway making sections of it impassable. Flooding happens widely both as a result of the amplified discharge of the river and as a result of water cascading onto the road from the neighboring cliffs. This area is prone to seismic activity. As one drives through the gorge, they will encounter various tourist spots including a Zen monastery, and an old settlement of Truku aboriginals now with museums and handicraft shops. The gorge terminates at a small village of Tiansiang where there is a lovely pagoda and a temple.