Situated on Taiwan's scenic Eastern coast, Hualien is the gateway city to visit Taroko Gorge National Park. Travellers can enjoy the seaside harbor, night markets, and an opportunity to witness some of the most breathtaking scenery in all of Taiwan. Renting a car is the easiest way to experience the best that Hualien has to offer.
Renting a Car in Hualien
Most visitors arrive to Hualien by train at the Hualien Train Station. There are several car rental agencies in walking distance of the station. Most of the car rental agencies in Hualien are locally run businesses. Avis is the only major car rental company available. Renters may appreciate organizing a rental car near their chosen accommodation. Skyscanner's map feature can find the nearest rental car agencies with a few easy taps on any mobile device.
Understanding the Rules of the Road
There are a few rules and laws to remember when visiting Hualien. Renters must have a valid driver's license from their country of residence and an international driving permit before arriving. Foreigners may drive for 30 days with the international driving permit. After 30 days, drivers must apply for an extension at the Motor Vehicles Office. Drivers that do not carry an international driving permit must get a permanent Taiwanese driver's license. Minimum rental age is 25. Otherwise, a young driver fee will apply.
Using a cell phone while driving is strictly prohibited, although a hands-free system is permitted. The use of seat belts is mandatory. There is no turn on red unless otherwise indicated.
Driving around Hualien
Driving in Hualien is relatively easy. The city is smaller and less congested than other major cities in Taiwan. The roads are well maintained, and there is signage in both Mandarin and English. Throughout Taiwan, be alert for scooters and aggressive drivers.
There are many important factors to consider when renting a car to explore Taroko Gorge National Park. Be aware that the roads that cut through the mountain pass are very narrow and windy. Expect blind curves, windy conditions, and sharp turns. During the high season, drivers will share this treacherous road with pedestrians, tourist buses, and scooters. Drive slowly and always with extreme caution.
In the summer months, specifically June through August, Taiwan enters the typhoon season. During this time, the heavy rains can cause flash flooding, falling rocks, and landslides. Consider avoiding driving during these periods, as the roads can become extremely hazardous.
Visiting the Best Attractions in Hualien
Renting a car in Hualien gives travellers the freedom to explore at their leisure. Most travellers visiting Hualien City come to explore Taroko Gorge National Park, one of the deepest marble canyons in the world. The park has multiple hiking trails to explore, including the famous Zhuilu Old Trail. Within the park, visitors often stop at the most scenic viewpoints, including the Eternal Springs Shrine, Tunnel of Nine Turns, and Swallow Grotto. After a long day of touring, drivers may head to the Dongdamen Night Market to enjoy some local eats, such as grilled meat skewers, dumplings, and fried ice cream.
Renting a car gives visitors the best, easiest access to some of the best attractions around Taiwan. Try the Skyscanner app for the best car rental deals in Hualien.