Hualien is the largest county in Taiwan by area, situated among the eastern coastline and mountains. I came to see the sights and experience what Taiwan was like outside of the main cities of Taipei, Taichung, and Tainan. Wikipedia has a cool factoid about Hualien: "Despite its vast area, only 7% of the county area occupied by people. The remaining area is occupied by rivers (7%) and mountains (87%)". So if you're into hiking, this is the place!
I made a day trip through Taroko National Park, visiting the esteemed gorge and various temples and shrines in the area. Some areas restrict access to a limited number of visitors a day, so be sure to book through a local tour guide if you visit.
Much of the rock in Taroko Gorge was originally ocean sediment, that was compressed into limestone, then further into marble over hundreds of millions of years. The Liwu river and seasonal typhoons carve deeper and deeper into this gorgeous gorge.
If you're in town, and you're hungry, you must stop by Dos Tacos. You might question the validity of a Mexican restaurant in Taiwan, run by an expat Canadian, but one bite and all doubts melt away. This literally is the best Mexican place I've been to in all of Taiwan!