Taroko Gorge, Taiwan's most famous scenic spot, is also one of the most spectacular natural wonders of the world. Taroko means 'beautiful' in the Ami minority dialect, which is easy to understand from the 12mi (20km) of winding marble cliffs. The blue-green Liwu River flows through the ravines and valleys, finally pouring into the sea. Some popular scenic spots along the path are the Light of Zen Monastery, and the Shrine of Eternal Spring. The Shrine was built to commemorate the 450 men who lost their lives constructing the road. At Swallow's Grotto the cliffs are so high that sunlight only reaches the gorge floor around noon. Most people prefer to tour the gorge by bus or car, but there are hiking trails and spots for swimming.
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