Top 10 Reasons to go on a River Trekking in Hualien
How to get there:
Take the train from Taiwan Railway Administration bound to Hualien
Travel time: 2 hours and 30 minutes (depending on the train timing)
Ticket Rates: NT 340 - NT 440
1. Reasonable Price
River Trekking NT 1,200 / SGD 50 / Php 1,600
Time frame: Half-day activity
Booked the activity with the hostel. Check out: Riverking Hualien
The package includes transportation pick-up service from and to your hotel, body gears and a guide. Plus they have cool tents where you can change your clothes.
If you're the safety freak traveler yet still loves to do daring adventure then this activity is for you. They provide the life jackets, body suit, helmets, shoes and all the safety gears needed. The suit kept us warm from the cold waters and a great cushion too when you hit any rocks during the trek.
They have an official photographer who will capture everyone's happy moments. However, I've never been that kind of person who really follow rules so I brought along my camera phone with me, at my own risk. Keep it safe in a waterproof phone bag and secure it inside your suit when not in use.
3. A good exercise
A great alibi to have a heavy lunch before the activity. You will need the strength to climb those big boulders along the river. The Clearsky Backpacker is nearby the FE21 mall, so we went down to the Mall's basement level and had our brunch. We had Wanton Noddle Soup NT 80, Fried Rice NT 80 and Taiwan's all time favorite Milk Tea NT 65.
This activity is for everybody, young and old, male or female and even for beginners. This is one of the safest activity I've ever done so far despite the fact that we have to jump from 3 storey high waterfalls ahahaa.
Bucketlist ticked off! Jump from a waterfalls and crash to freezing waters. If not now then when?! When you're up there you don't think about it, just run and jump and get it over with. It's an ecstatic feeling! Just do it. Just let it go.
Besides the gears provided will keep you safe. The lifejacket will make sure you surface back from the waters and the helmet to make sure you head stays in place.
5. Spectacular Guides
They don't speak much English but they're kind and friendly. Each one of them caries a walkie talkie and a big smile. These smiles are not forceful, the Taiwanese guides from the river trekking are genuinely cool and adorable.
They might do something that looks dangerous but just trust them, they know what they're doing and just keep yourself cool about it.
A brief orientation will be done before the start of the trek. Even a practice drill on how to jump, fall and stay properly afloat in the waters was demonstrated and done by everyone. It fuels up the adrenaline rush in your veins that will help pull out the sleeping child in you. Always listen to your guide, follow sign languages and everything will be fine.
This is a great feeling. I love how it feels when I'm in a hurry and I was able to catch the bus. The blood pumping and the joy run through my nerves that create that colgate commercial proud smile we have when we did
Expect a lot of surprises! The friendly guides loves to have some fun, just go with the flow and let your inner child play along with it.
One time after being push with my consent of course from a short free fall, one guide approached and acted to carry me in his arms. Little did I know he was going to flip me upside down! ahahaaa It was such a big surprise and that really made my day.
Expect lots of unexpected splashes of water here and there. And be kind enough to return the favor.
8. Free Fall
Once in awhile with every travellers mind, we hope for a crazy idea that would pop up somewhere that would make our trip a memorable experience. This is it! This is one of the safest and craziest activity one can do on a vacation in Hualien.
I Just run and jump and let the split seconds of insanity mix with nothingness blown me away. The feeling of jumping from a waterfall is very ecstatic , once in you're life do something crazy that you won't forget. Let the fear motivate you and drive you up that cliff and let your childish enthusiasm rule over you.
9. Something Different
If you always travel for sightseeing only and is craving for something different. A different view, a wider perspective and a fun-filled experience. We always do the usual, visits museums, food trip, selfies, city tour, nature hike and once in awhile engage in bike tours. But why not try engaging more with nature, feel the water, run your hands through big boulders, pull yourself up in a stone staircase and jump over a waterfall. These activity doesn't need any experience of all sorts and level of expertise in navigating and in swimming, as long as your up to it and that's it.
10. Meet friends
I've never been that friendly kind of person who approaches people and ask questions, yet traveling for months taught me that it's a very fun experience. Most of the people in the hike were Chinese and Chinese-speakers as well, they all can relate to each other. My friend and I were lost in sign and body languages. We decipher each wave of their hands, the high notes in each conversation which should means that important to remember and tried to mimick what everyone was doing. One kind traveler from Hong Kong noticed the confusion in our faces, and tried to translate what the guides were saying. Katrin has been backpacking in Taiwan along with her friend Fibrocia or was it Fabiola (I'm really not sure) for more than a week. Katrin and I even decided to be friends in instagram.
It's a wonderful feeling of meeting people from all walks of life. You begin to understand more of life through your interaction with people. A wider perception of their country, their traditions and how we can all just be simply friends. Spread the love and friendship on your travels, and I tell you it will be worth it. A precious memory which will surely put a smile on your face when you're all alone in your rocking chair reminiscing the good old summer days.
Plus: They provide free noodle soup after the activity.