Known as a home to several world-class scenic splendors including Taroko Gorge, Hualien was recently named one of the “Top Destinations on the Rise in Asia,” as voted by the worldwide TripAdvisor community.
Baku, capital of Azerbaijan, tops the list. The old city, now a UNESCO World Heritage site, has its roots as a Persian capital and had been under the Soviet Union's control. "Much more than a historic site, the city hosts vibrant arts and cultural activities, as well as a bustling modern business sector," the review wrote.
TripAdvisor, a travel planning and booking site, announced Wednesday the Travelers' Choice awards for Destinations on the Rise in which Hualien earned the ranking of number seven in Asia.
"With rope bridges over rivers, hiking trails with astounding views, and temples cut into the mountainsides, it's an unforgettable place," the review read.
Apart from Taroko National Park, Ching-shui cliff and Chishingtan Scenic Area are listed as Hualien's "must-visit" destinations.
Hualien is the meeting point of the Central Cross-Island Highway, Suao-Hualien Highway, and highways leading south to Taitung. Normally it takes approximately a five-hour drive or a three-hour train ride, either by Taroko Express or Puyuma Express, to get to Hualien from the country's capital city Taipei.
The awards recognize 43 destinations around the world selected by an algorithm measured by year-over-year increase in positive TripAdvisor traveler review ratings for accommodations, restaurants and attractions, and increase in booking interest. This is the fifth year of the awards.