Stretching to about a 22.7 kilometers long, the Cingshui Cliffs is a long twisting coastal highway section that stretches from Heren to Cingshui on the east coast of Taiwan. The cliff is found along the Suhua Highway and is the single coastal road section that is part of the Taroko National Park.
The Cliffs of Cingshui actually make up one of the eight top wonders of Taiwan that was proclaimed by the Taiwanese government in 1954. What make the cliffs so spectacular are the long stretches of marble, gneiss and schist cliffs that go vertically up the Pacific Ocean reaching an average height of 800 meters. The cliffs are actually a result of a fault structure that happened more than 205 million years ago. Among these cliffs, the 5-kilometer stretch that faces the South east of Mount Qingshui is the steepest of them all.
Cingshuei is not all cliffs, as visitors can also enjoy unique caves and rocks that were shaped by nature through water and erosion. The roads are built very close to the side of the cliffs almost seemingly too close for comfort. Driving along the coastal road between the towering cliffs and the boundless ocean makes it feel like you’re almost flying over water. It only goes to show how hard workers must have worked to build the coastal road along the edge of the cliffs.
Along the entire 22.7 kilometer-long stretch, there are three observatories visitors can choose from: Huide, Heren and Chongde, with each observatory offering its own nice views. The Huide Observatory possesses the longest tunnel along the Suhua Highway, which is about a kilometer long. Plus, Huide also provides some of the oldest trails along the roadside with some of the prettiest sceneries. The Heren Observatory is home to a 200-meter long trail, which visitors can make use of. Here, watch out for the Renahi Bay with fascinating caves and gneiss walls that were formed by gneiss macadam and marbles.
The Chongde Observatory on the other hand is known the be the trailhead of the Cingshui Cliffs. Here, many visitors take a 7-minute car ride to Da Shuo Shih Beach to enjoy the cobbles that make up an even more impressive scene. With three observatories to choose from, visitors can stop at any point during the drive along Suhua Highway to appreciate the natural wonder of the East coast of Taiwan. Truthfully, along any point of the coastal road will be a good spot to watch the sunrise and sunset amidst the vast blue ocean and sky.
Most roads along the Suhua Highway were recently rebuilt by making use of a new tunnel method to widen the roads a bit more. For those who would like to know how the original road was built, a portion of the coastal road can still be seen. Visiting the old roads is indeed a thrilling experience as you’ll see yourself amidst the quiet yet massive mountain range on one side and the strong and sometimes violent waves on the other. The Cingshui Cliffs indeed provide an impressive landscape making it the perfect location to see the boundless Pacific Ocean and the incredible geology of the island of Taiwan.