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Jiuqudong (Tunnel of Nine Turns) Trail Open

Updated:2020-06-09 Viewing Count18k


Buluowan Service Station
Trail Level
Scenic Trail
300 m
The length of the trail
700 m
Needed Time
30 minutes for a round trip
The trail is 700 meters one-way; please take the same route back (30 minutes round trip).
1. Sections of this trail may be prone to rockfall; please do not linger within these sections.
2. Only drop-off/pick-up is allowed at the trailhead. For those without a driver, please take public transport to get to Jiuqudong.
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Geographic Code
Trail Introduction

The Tunnel of Nine Turns (Jiuqudong) is considered one of the most scenic sections of Taroko Gorge. The number nine in Chineseimplying "many"is heavily used in the Chinese language. The trail itself is 700 m one-way in length, and visitors enter and exit from the West entrance. The Tunnel of Nine Turns meanders high along the mountains, where visitors can experience an impressive view of the Liwu River from an imposing height. Here, the narrow Gorge with its steep sides close to each other presents a thrilling, majestic landscape.

On a smaller scale, visitors can closely observe the faults, folds, and layering of the marble walls of the Gorge canyon, in addition to the vegetation that grows on its steep walls. Being a flat yet wide recreational trail, the Tunnel of Nine Turns is a popular and ideal outdoor educational classroom for all ages. 



Before the opening of the Tunnel of Nine Turns (Jiuqudong) Tunnel in 1996, the Tunnel of Nine Turns was part of the Central Cross-Island Highway (Provincial Highway 8). This section of the Old Highway was subsequently converted to a trail through the construction of facilities and safety features. Remnants of the Old Highway are still visible, especially in the central section of the trail where the original stone tunnel that penetrates the mountain walls are still intact. Here, the manual labor that was required to pick out the hard marble is especially evident. In addition, during the Japanese Occupation of Taiwan (1895 – 1945), gold mining access roads were constructed over the rock walls on the outer face of the trail; these narrow paths are still visible today. 



Numerous faults—cracks in the rocks extending upwards of the mountain walls—can be found at the entrance of the trail. Faults are often caused by the orogenic movement of the tectonic plates underneath the Earth surface. Due to the high seismic activity on the eastern coast of Taiwan, faults can be easily spotted within Taroko National Park. 



The Tunnel of Nine Turns (Jiuqudong) Trail


Stop 1: Trail Entrance

The trail entrance is located at the west entrance of the Tunnel of Nine Turns (Jiuqudong) Tunnel and is where visitors alight from both public and private transport, the exact locations marked with signs. Public restrooms are also available at the trail entrance. The newly-built Jingming Tunnel provides visitors and vehicles with extra safety reinforcements while simultaneously taking into account the surrounding scenery. 


Tunnel of Nine Turns (Jiuqudong) Trail Entrance

Stop 2: Waterscape (Shuijing) Trail

200 m from the trail entrance, the trail descends closer to the valley, leading visitors down into the Gorge. Here, visitors can experience the sounds and the erosive power of the turbulent Liwu River. 


Stop 3: Fish Leaping over the Dragon's Gate (Yuyao Longmen)

Opposite the Tunnel of Nine Turns is a small waterfall that cascades into the Liwu River. The steep stream of water continually erodes the marble walls of the gorge, creating a curved and narrow ravine. The huge marble on one side of the ravine resembles a big fish leaping over the stream, hence its name "Fish Leaping over the Dragon's Gate". 

The stream flowing through the ravine is called the Kelan River, which, over the years, has cut through the marble wall and arcs into the Liwu River. Indeed, it resembles a miniature version of the Taroko Gorge. Eventually, through many more years of erosion, another marble gorge will be formed. 


Stop 4: Coiled Dragon of the Nine Turns (Jiuqu Panlong)

A quatrain by Mt. Liang Hanchao "Coiled Dragon the Nine Turns" is inscribed in the rock at the midpoint of the Trail between two tunnels. On the west side, visitors can enjoy the views overlooking the Gorge, while the narrowest section of the Gorge is situated eastwards. Here, the rock walls seem to close in on the trail, giving the illusion of being able to reach out and touch the opposite wall. The narrow terrain also lends itself to strong, windy updrafts in this area. 

In addition to "Coiled Dragon of Nine Turns" poem, there is inscribed another quatrain by General Huang Jie: 

    Like entrails turning,
    Like rivers bending,
    Man will succeed
    by starting their first play.

Besides the Tunnel of Nine Turns, numerous other poems are inscribed into the walls of the Central Cross-Island Highway, collectively representing the cultural heritage of Taroko Gorge. 


"Coiled dragon of the nine turns"

Stop 5: Trail end (returning point)

At the end of the 700 m trail, visitors will need to turn back and exit the trail by the same route back to the trailhead. 


Tunnel of Nine Turns Pick-up/Drop-off zone

Service Facitilies

Message board、Accessibile Restroom

Traffic Information

The Central Cross-Island Highway begins to ascend (heading westwards) and narrows towards Tunnel of Nine Turns (Jiuqudong). As large vehicles often travel the highway, please pay extra attention to traffic safety.

1. From Hualien Train Station: Take Buses #1126, #1133, #1133A, or #1141, and alight at Tunnel of Nine Turns (Jiuqudong).
2. From Xincheng Train Station: Take Buses #302, #1133, or #1133A, and alight at Tunnel of Nine Turns (Jiuqudong).
3. From Tianxiang: Take Buses #302, #1126, #1133, #1133A, or #1141 (all bound for Hualien or Xincheng), and alight at Tunnel of Nine Turns (Jiuqudong).
4. Please pay bus fare exact cash. No changes will be provided from the bus driver. Please pay e-card such as Taipei Metro Easy card or I-pass or I-cash. The bus fare paid by E-cards provides discounts for passengers. Please purchase ahead at 7-11, FamilyMart, Hi-Life, OK mart convenient stores (Only the stores with Metro Easy Card sticker are available.) or any Metro station in Taipei.

1. From Taroko, follow the Central Cross-Island Highway (Highway 8) westwards to the Jiuqudong trailhead at 173.7 km.
2. From Mt. Hehuan or Dayuling areas, follow the Central Cross-Island Highway eastwards to 168.5 km at Tianxiang. Please take a bus to the Jiuqudong trailhead (173.7 km).

Parking near Tunnel of Nine Turns (Jiuqudong):
1. Heliu (171.4 km on Highway 8): 5 bus parking spaces and 8 car parking spaces (2.3 km west of Jiuqudong)
2. Lushui (170.7 km on Highway 8): 23 bus parking spaces and 11 car parking spaces (3 km west of Jiuqudong)
3. Tianxiang (168.5 km on Highway 8): 19 bus parking spaces and 69 car parking spaces (5.2 km west from Jiuqudong)
4. Taroko National Park Headquarters (186.5 km on Highway 8): 19 bus parking spaces and 67 car parking spaces(14.8 km east of Jiuqudong)