Hualien Liyu Carp Lake (花蓮鯉魚潭)
A charming lake hidden up in the mountains of East Rift Valley of Hualien County, Liyu Lake is a great place for water activities such as sailing as well as cycling and enjoying the scenery.
Activities in the area include boat rentals, including sail, paddle, and rowing, cycling, hiking, camping, picnicking, and also paragliding.
During the spring, fireflies are drawn to the area, and their sparkling lights can be seen reflecting across the surface of the lake.
The neighbouring Liyu Mountain (after which the lake is named) has many forest paths and is open to hiking and exploration.
Liyu in Chinese means carp fish, as the neighbouring mountain is said to resemble a carp.
A bicycle and walking path surrounds the lake and is 5KM in length. Since the lake’s attractions such as temples and other cultural artefacts are located at various positions around the lake, cycling around the lake is recommended. Rentals can be found for a few hundred NT dollars.
Liyu Lake was formed due to the change in direction from nearby rivers. Due to erosion, the Lao River changed direction, influencing the Gutonglan and Wenlan Rivers, essentially creating a lake by blocking off the river access.
Liyu Lake is a great rest stop along a journey through Hualien County, with many hotels and minsu B&Bs in the area, and modern campsites are available several hundred metres south of the lake. The most centrally-located hotel is Monet Garden B&B.
Across the street from the lake to the west is a restaurant and shopping area, as well as the Yu-Shan Theological College and Seminary and the Fisheries Research Institute.
The tourist service centre and bicycle rentals are located at the northwest edge of the lake. Showing inside the visitor centre is a film entitled A Spiritual Journey to the East Rift Valley (從谷心假期), showing daily at the following times: 9:30, 10:30, 11:30, 14:30, 15:30, 16:30. The visitor centre is open daily from 8:30-17:30.
During the summer months, the lake is home to family of inflatable Muscovy ducks with an accompanying entertainment light show.
Liyu Lake is sized at 1.04 SQ KM and part of the Chihnan National Forest Recreation Area. The recreation area also includes the Lintienshan Forestry Cultural Area (林田山林業文化園區).
In an attempt to clean the environment of the lake, an artificial wetland was created by planting various flora and plants including reef pamphis, cattails, lantern seedboxes, and lesser bullrushes.