The next stop on our Taroko Gorge Day Tour is Swallow Grotto (Yan Zi Kou 燕子口).
For a moment, I got all excited when our cab driver pulled up beside this suspension bridge. We are going to walk across this spectacular bridge at Swallow Grotto!? “No”, our cab driver says. “Access to the suspension bridge requires a permit and you need to apply for it weeks before”.
So we could only watch in envy as the lucky few stand in line to wait for their turn to cross the suspension bridge.
At our cab driver’s urging, we put on safety helmets in the safety of the car before getting out. We could not understand his concerns until we saw this.
Apparently, rockfalls are a common occurrence at the Taroko Gorge, but even more so at Swallow Grotto.
We looked ridiculous with our helmets while some visitors loiter around without one, but well, its all in the name of safety.
Our cab driver promised to wait for us at the end of the walking trail, leaving us to explore Swallow Grotto on our own.
The story of how Swallow Grotto was named as such. The small caves in the marble face of the cliff served as an excellent nesting place for swallows, and they bring life to the quiet valley in the daytime, hence the name Swallow Grotto.
Looking out of the natural ‘windows’ carved out by nature.
The little caves that houses wild swallows.
These holes in the cliff face were actually potholes caused by the erosive action of the Liwu River through eons of time.
The positions of the potholes high in the cliffs showed that the Liwu River flowed at that height once. Hard to imagine right?
Bird’s nest anyone?
Swallow Grotto is truly majestic and spectacular. These are some of my favorite views of the cliff and the viewing platform.
According to this sign, there is supposed to be a Indian Chief’s face on the stone face of the gorge, carved by natural forces.
Can you see it?
Now you can! 🙂
At the end of Swallow’s Grotto is a small park which houses a statue. The statue commemorates the engineer who led the construction of Swallow’s Grotto who unfortunately died when an earthquake shook the area.
As promised, our cab driver was waiting for us at the end of the trail.
Join us next as we journey to Buluowan (布洛灣).
Special Deal by our Travel Partner KKDay
Enjoy the lovely mountain and sea vistas, as you tour the majestic Taroko Gorge and the beauty of the East Rift Valley of Taitung and Hualien, along Taiwan’s eastern seaboard. This tour will depart with even only one passenger, the shuttle visits Hualien’s bed and breakfast inns, so sit back and enjoy the ride!