To HuaLien, east coast and meeting our special world traveling travbuddy

Hualien Travel Blog

 › entry 22 of 34 › view all entries
Pacific coast at Hualien, south beach park looking south. It was cloudy and looked like it might rain.
I got to the train station, and tried to buy a ticket to Hualien on the east coast. I was told all seats were sold out on the one I wanted and the next available seat would be in late afternoon. I stood aside from the counter to think about what to do next, while the next person went ahead and bought a ticket on a much ealier train. So it turned out that one can buy "standing" or "no-seat" tickets! Since my previous train experience was in Japan, that was quite a difference and I didn't even know such ticket existed. I thought no seat meant you can't be on the train. Since I didn't want to wait many hours in Taipei, I bought standing ticket to Hualien.
Pacific coast at Hualien, south beach park looking north


I shared the little area in the train with a couple of other women, who had to go even further to Taitung. I sat on the floor part of the way and stood alternately so it wasn't that long before the 2.5 hr ride was over (it was nonstop until Hualien). At the torist center at the train station, they called the hotel and they came to pick me up. I was able to check in even though it was before the usual check-in time. The hotel had free bicycles for guests and told me about the bike path along the beach.

After putting my bags in the hotel, I took off on a bike to see what the beach looked like. There was a vegetable market on the street next to the sea shore road, then I went into the south shore park, which was kind of sandy.
view of a river going into the sea from a bridge
I followed the bike path north to Hualien port, where I could see a few fishing boats, and barges carrying sand and other building material. Further north, the path went around the garbage dump (but I didn't see much of that). The waves were pretty big and soon I spotted a surfer! Wow, surfing in Taiwan? That's new sport here. I stopped to look at the waves and took some photos. The few Taiwanese surfers were joined by a guy with blond hair on a scooter. Apparently they knew each other, they greeted in Chinese. I talked to him and found that he was from Canada and had been in Taiwan for a couple of years. After watching surfing for a while, I decided to bike back instead of going to the end of the bike path since the sky was getting dark with clouds and I didn't want to get caught in the rain.

On the way back, I stopped at the "Stone Arts Street", a place with maybe 20 stores selling souvenirs and various objects, jewlery made with semiprecious stone.
view of the coastal road near the Hualien harbor
It seemed to be a big attraction in Hualien, maybe because there is nightly performances of the mountain tribes.

I then went back to the hotel and rested a while. I had arranged with Deats (our most traveled travbuddy) to meet here at about 7 o'clock. A little after 7,  Deats showed up and we greeted each other like old friends. We had been talking on travbuddy ever since Eric met him in Lithuania and Latvia in 2006. It was a little unreal to finally meet, and in Taiwan! Deats was having some problem figuring out the non-English menus in most of the restaurants in smaller towns in Taiwan, so it was a good thing that I could read Chinese. It had rained a bit and the street was wet, so the hotel loaned me an umbrella just in case. We walked down the street and had dinner at a small dumplings restaurant. We shared some steamed dumplings of different fillings. After dinner, we walked a bit and had a big cup of fresh squeezed juice while walking, and planned our sightseeing for tomorrow.
portia says:
yes, when Deats come to California for sure!
Posted on: Apr 20, 2008
sylviandavid says:
Deats, I envy you and portia I envy you.... You both would be a hoot to meet..... AND I will meet you both one day! Sylvia
Posted on: Apr 19, 2008
portia says:
don't get a big head, but you are sort of famous!
Posted on: Apr 16, 2008
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Pacific coast at Hualien, south be…
Pacific coast at Hualien, south b…
Pacific coast at Hualien, south be…
Pacific coast at Hualien, south b…
view of a river going into the sea…
view of a river going into the se…
view of the coastal road near the …
view of the coastal road near the…
railroad tracks near the Hualien h…
railroad tracks near the Hualien …
a fishing boat at sea, Hualien har…
a fishing boat at sea, Hualien ha…
waves near Hualien
waves near Hualien
surfing near Hualien
surfing near Hualien
surfers getting ready
surfers getting ready
surfing near Hualien
surfing near Hualien
dogs at a junkyard
dogs at a junkyard
a big rock with history of the sou…
a big rock with history of the so…
a husky dog near the hotel, very n…
a husky dog near the hotel, very …
Hualien Hotels & Accommodations review
A good hotel in Hualien with super friendly and helpful staff
I booked this hotel online (sorry, web site is in Chinese only, I rather doubt they spoke English either) because it was advertised as a "business" ho… read entire review
Hualien
photo by: canuck_downunder05