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Rediscover the Vitality in Back Mountains! How Beautiful Hualien Is!

Written by senior Editor, Xue-yao KUO, and senior travel blog editor, Libra SHEN

Speaking of Hualien, the first impression emerged is the serenity of the “Back Mountains” and “Tarako Gorge”. But there is more than beautiful mountains and water in this area, the wonderful nature also breeds a variety of fauna and flora. The cow herds, tea area, numerous butterflies in Huatung Valley and the rich fishery harvests in the east coast all bring vitality to this land.

Rareseed Ranch, Replenishing Agro-Tourists with Nutrition, Vigor and Vitality
Closed by Haian Range and Valley, Ruishui Township in Hualien County was originally named “Shui-Wei/End of Water,” meaning the end of Xiuguluan River. Because of the laden rice grains, it was renamed as “Ruisui” in Japanese Occupation Period. Because it has rich pasture and phytocommunity, it becomes an important production area of husbandry in the east coast, it even has several cow ranches. “Rareseed Ranch” in Wuhe Leisure Farm is one of them.
Rediscover the Vitality in Back Mountains! How Beautiful Hualien Is!
The ranch owner used to grow papayas here, but in the east side of Taiwan, it is hard to defend the typhoon disasters that he suffered a great economic loss year after year. So he turned to grow pasture which blows of wind can’t do much damage to and also feed cows and the result surprisingly promoted the development of diary and tourism in Ruisui area. Tourists can hear the mooing sounds rising and falling and see ostriches running everywhere; therefore, their mood can always get a great release.
Rediscover the Vitality in Back Mountains! How Beautiful Hualien Is!
“Rareseed Ranch” has a 30-hectare grassland not only feeding cows and ostriches, but also open to the public to get close contact with the cows and enjoy the milk freshly milked and even taste the limited yummy milk curd. Seeing kids relish the food makes people want to have a try, too. If visitors would like to bring the good taste home, “Rareseed Ranch” also prepares handmade “Nougat” which is a welcomed souvenir!
Rediscover the Vitality in Back Mountains! How Beautiful Hualien Is!
Wuhe Tea Area Finding Taiwan Tea Farmers’ Insistence and Vitality
Not just the dairy products are famous, the mi-xiang black tea is even world known. Wuhe tableland in Ruishui was originally a production area for coffee. After the waning of coffee industry, farmers started to grow tea. Because they insist poison free, no pesticides and introduce the Jacobiasca formosana to bite the indigenous tip sprout of big-leaf Oolong and the result is surprising that the honey smell is generated after fermentation and roast of tea leaves, the bitter taste is gone in the brewing tea and therefore well received among tea drinkers. So it gets the name “Mi-Xiang (honey-smell) Black Tea”.
Rediscover the Vitality in Back Mountains! How Beautiful Hualien Is!
Mi Xiang Black Tea is not only popular in Taiwan, but also recognized by international awards. It won the gold medal, Black Tea Group in “The First World Tea Award of 2006” from more than 700 worldwide tea competitors. Now it is the pride of “Wuhe Leisure Farm”. Besides, the Tropic of Cancer happening to pass Wuhe tableland, makes the temperature comfortable and air moist, therefore, in recent years, farmers start to grow organic Arabica coffee trees, hoping to bring “Wuhe Coffee” to the world stage.
Rediscover the Vitality in Back Mountains! How Beautiful Hualien Is!
Butterfly Valley Resort, Finding the Energy of Flying
Heading south from Ruisui , travelers can find ”Butterfly Valley Resort” where has the largest area of size in Taiwan growing Camphor Trees and pristine broad-leaf forest, the first domestic resort combining forests, natural hot spring, with accommodation.
Because of the unique clime and valley terrain, it is named “Butterfly Valley”. Every March to August, more than 70 kinds of butterflies, such as Troides aeacus formosanao, Graphium sarpedon connectens, Hebomoia glaucippe formosana, Parantica swinhoei, Byasa polyeuctes termessus, Cyrestis thyodamas formosana, Satyridae, etc, flying as if they were dancing in the forest, showing their charms. The valley is the ideal place to go appreciate the beauty of butterflies.
Rediscover the Vitality in Back Mountains! How Beautiful Hualien Is!
The “Butterfly Valley” grows many kinds of nectariferous plants so that it is no sweat at all to see flying butterflies here. Through the guided tour led by professionals, visitors can not only get to know various kinds of butterflies in the nature, but can clearly observe the life stages of butterflies: from laying eggs, being larva and chrysalises to emerging from the cocoon. Also, the “Butterfly Exhibition Room” collects many specimens for parent-kid interactions and school outings and learning.
Rediscover the Vitality in Back Mountains! How Beautiful Hualien Is!
Another feature in “Butterfly Valley” is the hot spring. It is the only place in Taiwan offering two types of hot springs, “Beauty Hot Spring” sodium carbonate spring, and “Golden Hot Spring” carbonate spring. The wonder of the spring from Fuyuan River is that it doesn’t locate in one place for the hot spring and vapors, the hot spring will change the location according to the river flow, so it is also called a “Running Hot Spring”. Nowadays, “Butterfly Valley” has a stable hot spring source for the visitors to enjoy and relax their body and mind, as if in the embrace of the nature.
Rediscover the Vitality in Back Mountains! How Beautiful Hualien Is!
Hualien Fishing Port Discovering Fishermen’s Lively Spirits
10-minute car drive away from Hualien city, rows of boats are harboring at the port, which is the “Hualien Fishing Port”. Right next to the Pacific Ocean, it is a scenic spot for shopping, leisure, and ecological education and experiences. Watching fishermen earnestly fix the boats, patch nets, coil the ropes, we again feel the energy and vibes of this land.
Rediscover the Vitality in Back Mountains! How Beautiful Hualien Is!
If you are fond of the leisure feeling in Greece, you can’t miss the European-style building, “Sun Square”. In addition to the sperm whale statue in the courtyard as a photo-shooting attraction, tourists can climb up to the Pacific Ocean Love Tower beside it to enjoy the great view of Pacific Ocean, Haian Range, and the Central Range.
Rediscover the Vitality in Back Mountains! How Beautiful Hualien Is!
The other side of “Hualien Fishing Port” is the fish market. Visitors can watch fish boats unload and sell or auction a variety of sea food here. The peripheral area is the retail fish market, for local people and tourists to shop the fresh food materials. There are also sea food restaurants cooking the fresh fish materials at an economical price so to save visitors’ hassles of bringing the materials all the way home and making cuisines, and offer them instantly made seafood dishes to relish.
Rediscover the Vitality in Back Mountains! How Beautiful Hualien Is!
Yankees Dude Ranch Discovering the Freshness of Local Food Materials
Also in the Qixingtan Beach area near the Hualien city, a ranch fed both “goats” (sounds like “Yan” in Mandarin) and ”chickens” (sounds like “Kee” in Mandarin) in the early days now transforms to a ranch-restaurant, so it named itself “Yankees Dude Ranch”. Tourists can fully enjoy the ambient surrounded by the blue sky and green lands and the breeze from the sea; as well as taste the set menu, table d’hôte and juices made from local food materials. Free-range chicken roasted in the bucket is highly recommended, for the shiny, golden and crispy skin and tender, juicy chicken meat are really mouthwatering.
Rediscover the Vitality in Back Mountains! How Beautiful Hualien Is!
Roasted salty fish is another dish recommended in “Yankees Dude Ranch”. The fresh fish from Hualien Fish Market, simply apply salt on the fish body before roasting, the delicate flavor of the fish can be better tasted.
Rediscover the Vitality in Back Mountains! How Beautiful Hualien Is!

Are you ever tired of the hectic life? Spare some time to visit Hualien and get a feel of the vitality!

Rareseed Ranch

ADD: No 157 6th Neighborhood, Wuhe Village, Ruisui Township, Hualien County<br/>Website: http://www.rareseed.com.tw/nougat/index.html

Wuhe Leisure Farm District

ADD: No 158 Wuhe Village, Ruisui Township, Hualien County<br/>

Dongshen Tea Shop

ADD: No 256-1 13th neighborhood, Wuhe Village, Ruisui Township, Hualien County<br/>TEL: (03)887-1878<br/>Website: http://www.dsts.com.tw/

Butterfly Valley Resort

ADD: No. 161 Guangdong Rd., WanRong Township, Hualien County<br/>TEL: (03)881-2377<br/>Website: http://www.bvr.com.tw/

Yankees Dude Ranch

ADD: No. 101-5 Huatong, Hualien City, Hualien County<br/>TEL: (03)822-5929<br/>Website: http://yankees.hlweb.tw/