Driven By The World’s Second Cliff Road

Suhua Highway

The most exciting and spectacular road to the island around Taiwan is the Suhua Highway from Hualien to Suao Town, Yilan County. The Suhua Highway is about 118 kilometers long. Because the highway is built along the coastline of the Pacific Ocean, it can be seen as a world-class landscape road along the west coast of the Pacific Ocean and the slopes of the cliffs.

The most beautiful section of the Suhua Highway is the Qingshui Cliff, which is about tens of kilometers long between Chongde and Heren. Chongde Department belongs to Xiulin Township of Hualien County. It used to be a mountain village inhabited by Taiwan’s Tairuk compatriots. He is also a small village in Hualien. The famous landscape of Renli Beach is also in this village. The mountain road along the clear water cliff is like a jade belt, set in the middle of the continuous large stone cliff, not in the sky, but below is the rough Pacific Ocean.

The east coast of Baodao is cut into the Pacific Ocean by the Central Mountain Range of Taiwan. It is called the “Southern Great Cliff” in geology. The road built on the big cliff is from the central city of Hualien in Taiwan to Taipei, or from Taipei to the only north-south traffic line in Hualien. The clear water cliff is also the only way for vehicles to go around.

Departing from Hualien County and arriving at the Liwuxikou Tunnel in Chongde, you can embark on the most dangerous clear water cliff on the Suhua Highway. The total length of this section is about 12 kilometers, all of which are mountain roads that are opened by the mountains. One side is a huge mountain rock, and the other side is the Pacific Ocean. From the road to the steep cliff face of the coast, the height of the sea is about 100 meters to 800 meters, which can be said to be a very dangerous road.

The history of the construction of the Suhua Highway can be traced back to the Tongzhi years of the Qing Dynasty. At that time, Taiwan’s north-south exchanges mainly took off by sea. In order to strengthen the link on the land, a simple road with a width of only one foot was excavated along the slope of the east coast, and only a total of horses could climb and wading. Later, although it was renovated over the years, it was finally abandoned because the natural conditions were too bad.

From 1916 to 1932, the road was renovated again, but due to the restrictions of the conditions, the narrowest place in the renovated road that year was only three meters. Therefore, for more than half a century, the Suhua Highway has always been a dangerous road, and the vehicle rendezvous must rely on the open space on the edge of the cliff. Later, at the end of the 1990s, the whole line was widened into two-way two lanes.

The name of the clear water cliff is mainly the most rugged road in this section, built on the clear water mountain in the central mountain range of Taiwan. The Qingshui Mountain has an elevation of 2,407 meters. The mountain is composed of gneiss and marble, which is extremely hard. Below the cliff, it is the clear Pacific waters, so later generations called this road “clear water cliff”.

When the wind is sunny, the scenery along the Qingshui Cliff Road is very beautiful, and it is also a great place for tourists to see the cliffs and see the waves. Because it is located on the west bank of the Pacific Ocean, the water quality of this sea area is very good. When the waves beat the cliffs, it can splash white waves, and the sea water is blue, plus the yellow of the cliffs and the green vegetation on the cliffs. Qingshui Cliff is definitely the best place to watch the east coast of Taiwan. Therefore, the former “eight scenic spots” of Taiwan, Qingshui Cliff is ranked among them.

It is said that the clear water cliff is spectacular, mainly on the side of the cliff facing the sea. There is a whole section with a length of five kilometers. This section of the cliff is almost at a right angle of 90 degrees and is inserted from the side of the road to the Pacific Ocean. Usually the tourists with small courage will never stand on the side of the road and look at the cliffs and sea water below. Although today’s highways are on the side of the sea, railings for road protection have been built, but there are still accidents in which people fall into the sea every year.

Driving on this cliff-studded road, the stimulation is definitely enough. The speed limit of the entire clear water cliff is 30 yards, and it is necessary to drive through this section carefully. Just when you open the window, all the way to the sound of the waves hitting the cliff, all the way to the endless blue, the mood will be much more comfortable. There are also sightseeing breaks along the road. You can park at the rest to see the scenery. The poems and the distance are just in front of your eyes.

Because it is a road built along the cliffs, during the rainy season, the Suhua Highway often has falling rocks that have been washed away by rain, and accidents that have fallen off the road have also caused personal injury. Therefore, in front of the Chongde Tunnel entering the Qingshui Cliff, there is a steel wire gate. Once there is a dangerous situation along the road, the gate will be temporarily closed and vehicles will not be allowed to pass.

Every summer during the typhoon season, clear water cliffs will be a very dangerous section. If you are driving for the first time, avoid driving in rainy days and avoid driving at night. There are almost no street lights on the road and the dangerous index is quite high. It’s just a life experience on the world’s second largest cliff road. About the author: Lu Jianhua Photography (photographer, traveler, self-media person).