Taroko Gorge has a depth of 600 meters, making it the world’s largest marble canyon. Known for their scenery, the “Tunnels of Nine Turn” and the Swallow Grotto are the most popular sites. But we are more adventurous. To experience true thrill at a height 1.5 times that of Taipei 101, we applied for a permit to challenge ourselves by going where no one else will go: Cone Road. This road is very narrow, with a width of only one meter. During the Japanese colonial era, the road was widened to transport the dynamite that was used against Taiwanese natives. In addition to the narrow road, the road was also very high up. As we walked along the edge of the mountain, we saw the people below us moving like tiny ants, an exciting view indeed.
After our afternoon hike, we planned a spa and a massage to relax our mind and body. We found a hot spring a ten minute car ride away from the entrance of the mountain. Without the help of a local, it is very difficult to find this hot spring. Dressed lightly and bringing towels and a change of clothes, we followed the shortcut to Takkiri Canyon. The simple suspension bridge, the fallen trees, and the rock walls gave off a feel of adventure. There were two pools of water, one inside the cave and the other outside of the cave. Sheltering us from the weather, the pool inside the cave was a gift sent from above. However, when the water temperature exceeded 104 degrees, we moved to the pool outside the cave. The marble pattern in the background was gorgeous. The temperature was just right. The drizzling was refreshing. The pool was like a natural bathtub in Takkiri Canyon. All feelings of exhaustion was washed away. It was a very relaxing experience.
At night, we went for a massage as Taiwanese masseuses are famous for their skills. The pain felt good. The massage was superior to all the massages I have ever had in the U.S. If you ever have the opportunity to visit Taiwan, I highly recommend adding a massage to your bucket list.