When Taroko National Park was established on November 28, 1986, it was of special significance for the environmental protection movement in Taiwan: it showed that both the public and the government agencies had realized that against the background of the nation's four decades of extraordinary economic success, serious damage was being done to its natural resources. According to the National Park Act of the Republic of China (passed in l972), parks are established to protect the natural scenery, historic relics and wildlife; to conserve natural resources; and to facilitate scientific research and promote environmental education.
Taroko National Park, situated in the eastern part of the Taiwan and established on November 28, 1986, covers more than 92,000 hectares in the northern section of the Central Mountain Range. This park features high mountains and sheer gorges. Many of its peaks tower above 3,000m in elevation, with many natural wonders. The spectacular Taroko Gorge and the scenic beauty of Liwu River can be conveniently viewed from the Central Cross-Island Highway. The varied mountain peaks, numerous waterfalls, diverse plant forms and animal life, together with the indigenous Taroko people, create the rich texture of this unique natural ecosystem.
Liyu (Carp) Lake is located in Shoufeng Township, just south of Hualien. With an area of approximately 104 hectares, it is the largest lake in this region; its size caries somewhat, however, with the amount of rainfall. The lake is encircled by a four-kilometer road that can be walked in about an hour. Popular activities include camping, picnic, and rowing on the lake. When the weather is favorable paragliders take off from Mt. Liyu just to the east of the lake, adding splashes of color to the green mountain landscape.
Situated between Heren and Chongde on the Su-Hua Highway, Qingshui Cliff is a big formed by Chongde, Qingshui and Heping mountain coastal cliffs. Creating a magnificent scene, it stretches more than 21km and rises vertically from the Pacific Ocean, with an average height of over 800m. This section of cliff is composed of gneiss and marble. It has risen straight up on the eastern coast of Taiwan for thousands of years. The route along the Qingshui Cliff is the only coastal road in Taroko National Park. The site of the Qingshui Cliff was designated in 1953 by the Taiwan government as one of the island's "Eight Wonders."
Among these cliffs, the east-south cliff of Mt. Qingshui is the steepest. The cliff facing the sea is 5km long and is very spectacular. Driving a car between cliff and the boundless ocean it almost feels like you are flying. The enormous cliff above combined with the boundless ocean below, reminding us of the hardships faced by the workers who built the road.