Take a swim in a pristine lagoon with crystal clear turquoise water…
Mukumugi (慕谷慕魚), a little valley located 20 kilometers from Hualien, is a place of exceptional natural beauty. The Chingshui River (清水溪) flowing down from the mountains of Central Mountain Range creates an amazing lagoon with water as blue as nowhere else in Taiwan.
I got to know about Mukumugi from one of my readers about two years ago. Unfortunately, when I planned my visit, the valley was closed due to typhoon damage. I thought I might never be able to visit it again. Yet, during my recent trip to Taiwan, I was finally able to turn this plan to reality. I can tell that this place is one of the most beautiful places on the island.
Mukumugi is rather remote, one has to do some hiking before reaching the paradise-like lagoon. The best part is that it’s allowed to swim there! The water is quite cold and very clean. There are beautiful but slippery stones around, so one has to watch out when walking on them.
The surrounding area is home to an aboriginal tribe whose members are famous for traditional knife making. All knifes are custom made and it takes at least one day to make. If you have ever heard of the Taroko style machete (featured for example on historical drama Seediq Bale), this is where it’s created!
Want to visit more? See my other post 20 Pictures that will make you visit Taiwan.
The place is very private and not too touristy (yet?), especially compared to nearby Taroko Gorge, Taiwan’s most popular national park. The locals know why to keep to crowds away – mass tourism could easily ruin this oasis of peace. Mugumugi, therefore, remains an amazing hidden gem.
HOW TO GET TO MUKUMUGI
Mukumugi valley is located in Tongmen Village (銅門村) about 20 km from Hualien city. There is no public transport – you will have to use a car or scooter to get there. I visited the place with guide Taiwan Visa Tour, who took care of the transportation and the permits.
3 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE VISITING
Mukumugi is a bit far from civilization, surrounded by mountains. It makes a great half day trip. At the time of writing, there is not much information about it on the internet, especially in English one. I have put together some useful information about visiting Mugumugi. These are things you should know:
01 | Bring your ID
Each visitor has to obtain Entry Mountain Permit. This involves two steps. First, bring your passport or ARC and register at the local police station (located next to the parking place). Then, you submit it at the entrance to the area, a two minutes walking distance from the police station. There is a capacity limit: only a maximum of 600 people can visit the area in one day.
02 | Get ready to hike
The local tribe has concerns about the tourists visiting the place (and pollution they might cause), this is why after the last reopening, it was decided that no vehicles would be allowed into the area. Whoever wants to visit the valley and have a swim in its amazing lagoon, must reach the place on foot. It is a 5 kilometers walk one way, and it takes 40 minutes. Not terribly exhausting, but enough to keep the crowds away.
03 | Bring water. A lot!
The terrain of the walking path is mostly straight. Yet, it can be exhausting since the first part of the hike has almost no shade or covering. Taking a big bottle of water is a great idea! A flashlight (or at least a mobile phone light) is recommended since you will pass a tunnel and it’s always good to let the cars know there are hikers inside. A bit further on, when you are about to reach the lagoon, you will pass a stall that sells drinks snacks, and aboriginal items.
MUKUMUGI IN THE MAP
Mukumugi valley is a bit hard to find. In order to make your trip smoother, you can save the place in the map. Now you are ready for the trip! Have a great time and let me know how you liked the spot!
Which in your opinion is the most beautiful spot in Taiwan? I am excited to read your comments!
Interested in more adventure in Taiwan? See my other post TOP 5 Adventures in Taiwan.