We're in Hualien, Taiwan. When you tell locals in Taipei that you're going to Hualien they practically swoon. It is considered to be one of the most beautiful areas of Taiwan. We've arranged two full day private tours. Today we went to the coast north of Hualien and into the Toroko Gorge National Park.
Toroko Gorge is an incredibly steep long river valley caused by the uplift of the Taiwan after a friver valley had already been formed. The speed (relative speed in geologic terms) with which the island of Taiwan is rising has given the river cutting through the valley to go straight down.
This area is also interesting in that it has two predominantly three kinds of rock limestone, marble, and serpentine. There is no granite to speak of. We were also introduced to the aboriginal ancestors of Taiwan. Taiwan was populated by a group that was of the same type that were in Malaysia, the Philippines, and Micronesia and it is thought that the language type of these people actually originated in Taiwan. These people lived in isolation for some 8,000 years prior to the Qing Dynasty Chinese arriving in the 18th century.
The scenery was spectacular but as was in Taipei, we were plagued by hazy skies that hurt the quality of our pictures. Nevertheless, I took a hundred of them and it is taking a long time to cut the number down to a reasonable size for posting. AND we are going on another all day tour tomorrow to another part of Hualien County so there will even more pictures!