Hualien County

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Hualien County
Flag of Hualien County
Coat of arms of Hualien County
Coat of arms
Taiwan ROC political division map Hualien County.svg
Coordinates: 23°58′33.86″N 121°36′17.32″E / 23.9760722°N 121.6048111°E / 23.9760722; 121.6048111Coordinates: 23°58′33.86″N 121°36′17.32″E / 23.9760722°N 121.6048111°E / 23.9760722; 121.6048111
Country Taiwan
Region Eastern Taiwan
Seat Hualien City
Largest city Hualien City
Boroughs 1 cities, 12 (2 urban, 10 rural) townships
 • County Magistrate Fu Kun-chi
 • Total 4,628.5714 km2 (1,787.1014 sq mi)
Area rank 1 of 22
Population (January 2014)
 • Total 333,823[1]
 • Rank 20 of 22
Time zone CST (UTC+8)
Bird Maroon Oriole (Oriolus traillii)
Flower Lotus (Nymphaeaceae)
Tree Peepul (Ficus religiosa)
Hualien County
Tropic of Cancer in Hualian Taiwan.jpg
Traditional Chinese 花蓮縣

Hualien County (Chinese: 花蓮縣; pinyin: Huālián Xiàn) is the largest county in Taiwan in terms of area, and is located on the mountainous eastern coast of Taiwan. It is the northern terminus of the Hualien-Taitung Line and the southern terminus of the North-Link Line of the Taiwan Railway Administration. In terms of the Provincial Highway System, Hualien County is connected to other counties via the Suhua Highway, Huatung Highway, Hualien-Taitung Coast Highway and the Central Cross-Island Highway. Hualien County is famous for tourism. Tourism spots include the Taroko National Park and Yushan National Park and its coastline is well suited for biking purposes.

Hualien City is both the largest city in terms of population and the county seat of Hualien County.


Hualien was originally called Kilai (奇萊) by the native Austronesian inhabitants of Taiwan. Spanish settlers arrived in 1622 to pan for gold. Picking up the sounds of native words, these settlers called the area "Turumoan" (多羅滿). Han Chinese settlers arrived in 1851. Qing Dynasty record the name of the region as "Huilan" (洄瀾 "eddies") due to the whirling of waters in the delta.

During Taiwan's Japanese colonial period (1895-1945) the island's Japanese governors opted not to transliterate the name "Kilai" as the Japanese pronunciation of the word resembled the Japanese word for "disgusting" (嫌い). The official name became "Karen" (花蓮; かれん) and Hualien was administered under the Karenkō Prefecture. Toward the end of World War II the Governor-General of Taiwan moved many Japanese residents of Taiwan to the area to develop agriculture.

After Japan's surrender in 1945, the rule of Taiwan was passed to the Kuomintang government of the Republic of China. Hualien was established as a county of Taiwan Province on 25 December 1945.

Few years later, the Kuomintang soon became refugees in Taiwan following the rise of Communism in China (1949) but continued to govern the island according to the Republic of China constitution. In 1951 Hualien was the first county in Taiwan to be governed according to the ROC local autonomy law.

In the 1990s Taiwan transformed itself into a self-governing multiparty democracy. Today the Hualien area serves as the key population centre on the east coast 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 4000 kg, it is the largest specimen ever recorded.


Population density around the county (December 2009).

Hualien County has 323,897 inhabitants as of December 2013 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 28% of the population of Hualien County (about 91,143). The Hakka people comprise about 30% of inhabitants.[2]

The county has seen a negative population growth over the past few years due to emigration to other places outside Hualien County with an average reduction of 1,393 people per year over the past 18 years.


Hualien County is divided into 1 city, 2 urban townships and 10 rural townships. Some towns have Japanese names because these towns were named by Japanese during the Japanese ruling period from 1895 to 1945. Hualien City is the county seat and houses the Hualien County Government and Hualien County Council.

English Japanese
Hualien City (花蓮市) Karen (花蓮)
Urban townships
Fenglin Township (鳳林鎮)
Yuli Township (玉里鎮) Tamasato (玉里)
Rural townships
Fengbin Township (豐濱鄉) Toyohama (豊浜)
Fuli Township (富里鄉) Tomisato (富里)
Guangfu Township (光復鄉)
Ji'an Township (吉安鄉) Yoshiyasu (吉安)
Ruisui Township (瑞穗鄉) Mizuho (瑞穂)
Shoufeng Township (壽豐鄉)
Wanrong Township (萬榮鄉)
Xincheng Township (新城鄉)
Xiulin Township (秀林鄉)
Zhuoxi Township (卓溪鄉)


Shitiping Harbor


Hualien County is home to two campuses of the National Dong Hwa University. The Hualien County Department of Education lists in all 6 institutions of higher learning within the county's borders as well as 15 high schools, 35 junior high schools and 151 elementary schools, though some of the listed elementary campuses have been closed for years due to their remote location or to low enrollments.

Tourist attractions[edit]

National Parks[edit]

National Scenic Areas[edit]

National Forest Recreation Park[edit]

County Scenic Area[edit]


Relative location[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^

External links[edit]