The Xiuguluan River originates in the Central Mountain Range, follows along the East Rift Valley through Rei Shui, turns east, cuts through the coastal range and empties into the Pacific Ocean at Da Gangkou. At 104 km long, it is the longest river in eastern Taiwan and the only river that cuts through the Coastal Mountain Range. The Xiuguluan River from Rei Shui to Da Gangkou is known as the Xiuguluan River Canyon. Here, the river has over twenty sets of rapids and is a popular spot for river-rafting.
Xiuguluan river-rafting from Rei Shui Bridge. The first leg of the trip lasts about two hours and allows rafters to navigate many sets of rapids. After the Chimei suspension bridge there are many thrilling rapids. After this test, rafters arrive at Chimei Recreation Area. After Chimei, the scenery in the valley is quite different. Here the water is deeper and wider. You will see whirlpools and rapids. This is the highlight of the trip. When the Red Bridge appears the riverbed opens up, slows down and becomes flat and wide. The rafting trip ends at the base of the Changhong Bridge.
Cultural Rafting in Chimei Tribe
East Coast Water Road: Cultural Rafting Tatadok Tatadok means “going downstream” in the Amis language. Differing from the usual rafting activities that emphasize the thrills and excitement, the Chimei tribe’s Tatadok is a slow way of rafting. You can still experience the exciting nature of rafting, and you will not miss the fun of throwing cast nets to catch fish, setting shrimp traps, cooking with stone hotpots, and listening to stories about the past. These are the charming features of the Chimei tribe’s Tatadok. While going downstream along the river, you also travel through time while hearing the stories of Chimei. As you bask in the beautiful scenery, you can cleanse your mind and body in nature and enjoy a world with beauty everywhere.
Rafting at Xiuguluan River
The Xiuguluan River rafting trip is about 24 km and takes between three to four hours. Rafting is possible all year long but the best time to go is between April and October. Rafting times begin as early as 7am and go to 12pm. Rafting expeditions are rare in the afternoon and no boat is allowed on the water after 3pm.
Xiuguluan River Visitor Center
The Xiuguluan River Visitor Center is located in Rei Shui Township in the East Rift Valley. It can be found near the Xiuguluan River Bridge. The center has been built with a traditional aboriginal design and is equipped with display areas, ecological resources, safety videos and campsites for tourists.
Currently, there are about 7 rafting companies. The maximum service capacity is approximately 3,000 people/day. The number of people varies according to the type of the boat. The official rafting fee NT$750 per person (this includes rafting gear, life jacket, helmet, lunch, insurance and cleaning). Return transport is extra. Rafters should be covered under the rafting service’s accident insurance to the amount of NT$3,000,000.
- You should choose a legal company covered by a public liability insurance policy (personal death/injury benefit should be more than NTD 3 million).
- Before and during rafting, do not drink any alcoholic beverages.
- Listen to the safety talk prior to the trip.
- Clothing should be lightweight and shoes should have soft bottoms to facilitate walking on the riverbed and to prevent the scratches in the boat.
- Sunscreen should be applied to avoid sunburn.
- Please put on a safety jacket and helmet. During rafting, do not take off your safety jacket or helmet, or unfasten the straps of your safety jacket so if you fall into the water, you will not lose the safety equipment you depend on.