Taroko Tianxiang Village 太魯閣天祥
Tianxiang Recreation Area is a village located towards the geographical centre of Taroko National Park. For most visitors, Tianxiang is the final destination in the park and a convenient area from which to return to Hualien City and train station or Xincheng train station.
For most visitors to Taroko National Park, Tianxiang Village serves as the unofficial ending point as the road and trails past this area increase in difficulty. The area has a visitor centre and a few restaurants as well as a bus station to return back to Hualien.
The area has been populated since ancient times as it is one of the few spots in Taroko to have level terrain suitable for development. Tianxiang contains two multi-level terraces, one side containing the general recreation area, service station, plum garden, church, youth hostel, Silks Palace Hotel, while across the river and Pudu Bridge is the Xiangde Temple.
Tianxiang was originally named Tapido (meaning sugar cane in the local Taroko aboriginal language), and was renamed in memory of Wen Tianxiang (文天祥), a Song Dynasty hero who resisted the Kublai Khan (元世祖) and was imprisoned for refusing to convince the remaining Southern Song to surrender. He was executed 4 years after his imprisonment, and the Mongolians overcame the Song Dynasty to establish the Yuan Dynasty. A statue dedicated to him can be found inside Wen Tianxiang Park.
The major river in Taroko Gorge, the Liwu River (立霧溪) is formed here as the Dasha River (大沙溪) and Taci Jili River (塔次基里溪) meet.