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Xiuguluan River

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The Xiuguluan River arises on the slopes of Mt. Xiuguluan and flows its way 103 kilometers until it empties into the Pacific Ocean on the East Coast. It is the longest river in eastern Taiwan, and has abundant water all year round. The river follows a winding path, flowing past Ruisui in the East Rift Valley and cutting a gorge through the Coastal Mountain Range on its way to the sea. This portion of the river is the most popular rafting course in Taiwan, with excitement- and thrill-seeking rafters being especially numerous from May to October. The Amis aborigine village of Qimei cuts the rafting section of the river roughly in half. During the first half the water is relatively placid, and allows rafting crews to develop their coordination and train their skills; the water flows much faster during the second half, which is relatively fraught with dangerous (but not very dangerous) rapids and eddies. Care should be taken here, lest you overturn your raft. The entire rafting trip takes three to four hours, probably with a stop at Qimei for rest and refreshment; the river drops 65 meters over the 22-kilometer distance of the trip, roiling over more than 20 sets of rapids of varying length and difficulty. Near the end of the trip, at Rainbow Bridge, the river widens out and becomes calm. The river bed here is scattered with large snow-white boulders that have been given the name of Xiuguluan jade. The International Xiuguluan River Rafting Race, held in June to July each year, has become the most important rafting activity in Taiwan. If you have a taste for thrills and a spirit of adventure, then this is the experience you're looking for.

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