Bike Tour to the Sakura (Zuo Cang) Trail
& Some Nice Waterfalls
Blog post by Celine
The first stop on this bike ride: Tzu Chi University (慈濟大學). This University was founded by the Tzu Chi organization, a humanitarian non-governmental association, the largest Buddhist organization in Taiwan. It’s quite famous for its quality medical studies, which is also why it’s located nearby the Tzu Chi hospital. The architecture of the main building is something really remarkable for it looks like a Buddhist temple with its roof in shape of the Chinese character rén (人) which means people. You can go around the University grounds even though you’re not a student.
Second stop: before crossing the bridge crossing over the Meilung River, visit the Gang Tian Gong Temple (花蓮港天宮). This temple is simply massive. It’s dedicated to Matsu, the goddess of the sea. There are two stairways on each side of the temple in shape of dragons: basically, you enter through the head and walk the stairs up to the tail and Ta-Dah! - you’ll be rewarded with a splendid view of Hualien.
Third stop, the Guofu Community Centre & the garden (國福社區花海). As you might have noticed, you just entered the aboriginal village of Guofu, home to the Sakizaya tribe. On the way to the hikes, you’ll pass by a flower garden, not that much of a big deal, but since you’re passing by, you might just take a quick break to get a very instagrammable picture of the Hualien logo amongst flowers.
Eventually, this little bicycle ride will lead you to the entrance of the Sakura Trail (佐倉步道). The Sakura Trail is a trail up the mountains where you can have beautiful vistas all over Hualien and the ocean. It’s a rewarding hike, and you might even encounter some monkeys on the way. Count at least 2h to go up and come back.