|Tropic of Cancer monument|
Abbreviation(s): Hualien (花蓮)
|County seat||Hualien City|
|County Magistrate||Hsieh Shen-shan (謝深山)|
|- Total||4,628.57141 km²
(1 of 25)
|- % water||1.0 %|
|- Total||341,504 (Jan.
(20 of 25)
|- County flower||Lotus (Nymphaeaceae)|
|- County tree||Peepul (Ficus religiosa)|
|- County bird||Maroon Oriole (Oriolus traillii)|
Hualien County is the largest county in Taiwan and is located on the mountainous eastern coast of Taiwan. It contains the island's largest port. It is the starting point of the Hualien-Taitung Line and the terminal point of North-Link Line of TRA. For the Provincial highway System, Hualien has the connection of Suao-Hualien Highway, Hualien-Taitung Highway, Hualien-Taitung Coast Highway and the Central Cross-Island Highway. Hualien County also contains part of Taroko National Park and Yu Shan National Park.
Its capital is Hualien City.
Hualien was originally called Kilai(奇萊) by aborigines. In 1622, the Spaniard first arrived to mine for sand gold and called "Turumoan"(多羅滿).
Hualien was one of the last places on Taiwan to be settled by the Han Chinese during Qing Dynasty in 1851 because of its isolated location. The former name of Hualien was "Huilan"(洄瀾 "eddies") in official record during Qing Dynasty because the river in Hualien flows into the Pacific Ocean, creating a whirling effect.
During the period of Japanese Occupation of Taiwan, the Japanese discarded the name "Kilai" as its Japanese pronunciation sounded like "disgusting", changing the official title to "Hualien". Before the surrender of Japan at the end of World War II in 1945, the Governor-General of Taiwan migrated a large number of Japanese here for the improvement of agriculture and farming.
After the Taiwan Retrocession, the government of Republic of China reinstituted the political system followed by the Constitution of the Republic of China. In 1951, Hualien was the first county in Taiwan to carry out the local autonomy law.
It was mostly modernized in the 1960s. For now, Hualien is the most important region in eastern Taiwan as well as the one of five main life circle regions in Taiwan. (Taipei, Taichung, Tainan, Kaohsiung)
A great white shark was caught off Hualien County on May 14, 1997. Reportedly almost 7 meters in length and weighing 2500 kg, it is the largest specimen ever recorded.
Hualien County has 340,000 inhabitants and is divided into 1 city and 12 townships. Its late development means that many aboriginal cultures such as Ami, Atayal, Bunun, Truku, Sakizaya and Kavalan are well-preserved. Aborigines make up one-forth of the population of Hualien County (about 90,000). The Hakka people comprise about 30% of inhabitants.
Some towns have Japanese names because these towns were named by Japanese during the Japanese ruling period from 1895 to 1945.
According to the Department of Education of Hualien County Government, Hualien County has 6 universities (or colleges), 15 high schools, 35 junior high schools and 151 elementary schools. Some elementary schools have been closed for years due to low enrolments or their location in remote districts.
Located on a strip of land between the Pacific Ocean and the Central Mountain Range, Hualien is considered one of the most pleasant cities in Taiwan. Many tourists visit the city to enjoy the scenery and fresh air and also to tour the famous Taroko Gorge, which is located a few miles north of the city.
The Visitor Information Center for the Hualien area is located in front of Hualien Station (right side). Tel: 886-3-8360634, it is hosted by Taiwan Hospitality and Tourism College, that has been authorized, by the Hualien County Government since December 2004, to operated and manage the Visitor Information Center (VIC) at Haulien Airport as well as the Hualien Railway Station. These two centers provide general services such as tourism guide and tour bus information, home-stay information, bi-lingual traveling brochure, travel inquiry, emergency handling and so on.
Hualien has an abundance of tea houses, cafes and bars, and also many stores specializing in locally produced tea.
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