One of the most beautiful places in Taiwan in our opinion is the hidden Gem named: Mukumuqi Valley (慕谷慕魚).
Mukumuqi is on Taiwanese Aboriginal lands and is the original name in the language of the Truku (Taroko) Aboriginal Tribe (太魯閣族) who inhabit the area. In the Truku language, “Mukumuqi” literally means “A beautiful place” and in our eyes, the tribe is quite right about it.
Mukumuqi is a beautiful valley where giant gorges and marble stone walls meet the beautiful crystal clear Qingshui river creating some spectacular scenery.
The Qingshui River (清水溪) which literally means ‘Clear Water’, flows through the whole valley. When hiking up the trail next to the river it almost appears to have an emerald green color, but when you get close enough you notice just how clear it really is. The river is so extremely clean and obviously really clear that when you put your head in the water and open your eyes, you can see the fish swimming around.
How to get there
The best way to get to this hidden gem is to start at the City of Hualien. The valley is a few kilometers (30 minutes drive) from Hualien City en is easy to reach by a motor scooter. Scooters can be rent all over Hualien City and will cost you about 10 to 15 euros a day.
To reach Mukumuqi you first have to go to the nearby police station in the village of Tongmen (銅門派出所), here you have to fill in a form and this will give you authority to enter the Mukumuqi park (Note that there is no entrance fee). Before entering the village there will be a police roadblock with parking places. The officer here will direct you to the parking area nearby, where you have to park your scooter.
Since 2014 the Truku tribe demanded that vehicles would no longer be permitted in the park and that there needed to be a cap on how many people could enter each day. The local government agreed and since then the roadblocks have been there to make sure Mukumuqi Park will be protected and not been overrun by hordes of tourists and motorized vehicles.
Since motorized vehicles are prohibited from entering, you have to travel further by foot. It is a far walk from the police station to the beginning of the river. Be sure to bring proper shoes and a camera since the path to the valley is very beautiful with many abandoned tunnels and bridges, also there is much wildlife to be spotted.
The entire trail will take about two hours, but be sure hike to the end of the trail. Many visitors are tempted to stay at the start of the trail which looks like the only location where you can swim and cliff dive. But hiking further up the trail will give you a more beautiful scenery and better swimming locations.
If you are hiking through the park, it is quite common to see the Truku people going about their daily business on the trails. The Truku people are a very friendly and warm community so don't be shy to talk to some or to stop by one of their stalls beside the road.
Tips & Advise
- Be sure to have a park permission else you can't enter the park.
- Important is to be on time, per day only a few people are allowed into the park. Although the location is very popular among locals it is still relatively unknown by travelers.
- Be sure to bring enough water since the temperatures can be rising very quick even in the morning.
- Bring proper shoes since the walk is quite far.
- Take your Camera with you.
- Although the water looks beautiful and it is tempting to swim everywhere in this beautiful park. It is very important to take notice of the underwater currents which a very strong and not noticeable by eye. Never go too far or too deep in these waters.
We hope you will enjoy this fascinating place. Have you been there already? We love to hear your experiences!