Taroko tours advice

We’re finally returning to Tarako after our last disastrous attempt. It’ll just be me and a 10 year old. Should I book full day/ half day tours or go it alone? I don’t like being ushered from place to place and I do like walking, but I don’t know what’s an hour or two from our base (Leader Village) and what we’ll miss if we don’t take a tour. (I can walk further but I’m not sure about the kid.) The two on offer are: Leader Village Taroko — Swallow Grotto — Changchun Shrine — Shakadang (Shenmiku) Trail — Leader Village Taroko (1/2 day) and Leader Village Taroko — Swallow Grotto ----- Tunnel of Nine Turns Trail — Lyushui Trail — Tiansiang — Changchun Shrine — Shakadang (Shenmiku) Trail — Leader Village Taroko (full day).

Any other Taroko advice is welcome.

I wouldn’t walk from Leader Village, you’ve only really got Swallow Grotto within easy reach.

If you like to be on your own (and your son is good at riding bikes), get a couple of rental bikes shipped up to Tianxiang, and ride from there back down to Buluowan.
You can stop to hike the Heliu Trail on the way down, nice small loop, and also check out everything else as/when you like. There are a few tunnels, but they’re safe enough if you ride carefully or push the bike through.

Or if you return the bikes all the way to Taroko village at the bottom, you can add in Shakadang & Changchun Shrine to the day.

Just take the tourism shuttle buses. They stop at all the places you want (including Bulowan where Leader is) and run every hour or so.

Tunnel of Nine Turns is closed.

No need to ship bikes down. There is a good giant rental shop right next to the train station. I’d also recommend hiking the Shakadang trail right near the entrance and loop back to the visitors center via the abandoned villages.See the map here. You want to follow the greenish trail to the last red do and go up to the yellow trail and then back down to the Visitors Center. I think it should be about just right for ten-year old.

The Baiyun trail just above Tianxiang is open again, is a lot of fun, and very easy. Your English neighbor knows the area well.

Thanks guys. I think we’ll take the tourist bus as we aren’t good cyclists. Feiren, did you mean to post a link? I can’t see one. Thanks for the tips on trails to take. My English neighbour?