Hua-lien Travel Blog

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First view of Hualien
We woke up very early so that we can catch the first train to Hualien. My horror in the morning became when a spider jumped out of a dark corner when I was changing. That spider was about 10cm big and it freaked me soo much that I dont even bother to dress my hair, I just changed, grabbed my stuff and went out. That was the signal to me not to stay in Amigo when I am in Taipei next time. I still can take the warm room with a single fan, but spiders....I cant take it. I have a phobia.
Anyway, we took the metro to the main station, purchased tickets to Hualien on Zi Qiang. As both of us were still very sleepy, having woke up at 5am, and suffering from a difficult night in the warm room, we sat like zombies in the station, waiting for the train to come.
Our minsu, the words Xin Yi are missing
I was very glad that I brought the ginseng pill I bought in Korea. We took the pills, hoping that would make us more alert.
The train ride was comfortable. I was asleep half the time, but Huiling took in the sceneries on her videocam throughout the journey. When we reached, we went off to find our hostel, not knowing which direction to go. Somehow, Taiwan has plenty of simplified maps which shows only the main street and a vague location of your destination. We walked like zombies again, then we came to a minsu agency. We asked the agency of there are any cheap minsus around, hoping that they will be able to pick us up from the train station, rather then us having to find our way there. We went to the other side of the train station, and there were many taxis parked there, waiting for their "prey" to appear.
Entrance to Taroko
A friendly female taxi driver approached us and asked us what are we looking for. We told her we are looking for cheap accomodation, around 350-400NT. She recommended her minsu, which is 600NT for us. Then she offer to bring us there to take a look, see if we are ok with the facilities before deciding to stay at her minsu. We agreed and when we reached, we were very happy with the facilities. It is like a hotel room. Air-con, tv, toilets, just that there is no bath-tubs. Anyway, we booked 3 nights with her, as well as whale-watching and white water rafting. She is very helpful, and we were soo glad we met her.
We rested in the room for a while, then decided to go Tai Lu Ge, Taroko Gorge. It is a must go in Hualien. We comtemplated our options to TaiLuGe, tour bus, public bus or taxi.
Swallows' cave in Taroko Gorge
Mrs Guo showed us all three options, and we chose to book a taxi. Knowing that we were students (I only just graduated), she recommended a driver who can charge us at a lower price, so, we booked a taxi at 1000NT each and off we went to TaiLuGe.
Mr Peng, the taxi driver was very friendly. He told us everything he knew about Hualien on the way. He pointed out the aboringnals tribes, where they lived and many interesting facts about Hualien. The main industry in Hualien is granite processing. Though the mountains in Hualien is marble, the government has ordered not to blast them so as not to destroy the natural landscape. So all the stones are imported. Poor Ubin has to be reopened for granite blasting due to the high demand and low supply. How much granite can little Ubin offer?
We drove for like one hour and then reached the entrance to TaiLuGe.
Scenic view from Taroko
We stopped at 6 points in TaiLuGe where Mr Peng allowed us to take photos. At 2 of these points, he allowed us to walk so as to enjoy the peace and sceneries around. We walked at YanZiKou and a very nice walk that has a Jiu in the name. Jiu Qu something cave. I also walked on a suspension bridge, since Mr Peng has kindly allowed us time to walked there. He said when he brought Singaporeans here, he will allow them time to walk on the bridge since Singapore dont have such thrilling suspension bridge.
I was very fascinated by the large stones there, apparently, some of them have fallen from the mountain. It is a mark of how dangerous TaiLuGe can be. Initially I wanted to go to Wenshan Hot Spring, but it was closed due to an accident where a falling rock killed a tourist only recently.
So, whenever I was walking near the slopes, I always double up. We stopped at Tienhsiang for lunch. We had bamboo rice and a veg dish which the aboriginal tribes have. We have no idea what that veg was, but it taste really really good. The highlight of the TaiLuGe trip was the last walk at Jiu Qu something cave. It was about 2km, and the views are truly stunning. Throughout the walk, cool breeze cooled our body and the sound of the rushing river made us feel as if we were in the water, cooling ourselves.
After TaiLuGe, Mr Peng drove us to a specialty shop to do some shopping of Rose stone, which is a specialty of Taiwan and also Muahchee, which is a specialty of Hualien. Muahchee is a must-buy and they taste really good. I esp like the salted taste one, though muahchee is supposed to be sweet, the saltish taste sort of complements the sweet taste of the muahchee.
I like.
We slacked a while, then head off to roam the city area for dinner. We went to nan bin night market and bought our dinner. There are just soo many food there we bought a little of everything to try. We seat by the ocean to have our dinner. It was very weird because in Singapore, the seaview was brightly lit by the opposite islands, the kelongs on the sea and some of the passing ships. But the ocean view there was pitch dark. So dark that if there is no sound of the waves breaking at the shore, we thought the space in front of us is nothing-ness. Anyway, a rain soon came and we went back to our minsu to have our dinner.
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First view of Hualien
First view of Hualien
Our minsu, the words Xin Yi are mi…
Our minsu, the words Xin Yi are m…
Entrance to Taroko
Entrance to Taroko
Swallows cave in Taroko Gorge
Swallows' cave in Taroko Gorge
Scenic view from Taroko
Scenic view from Taroko
The river which carrys a lot of pr…
The river which carrys a lot of p…
Chang Chun Ting, dedicated to sold…
Chang Chun Ting, dedicated to sol…
Swallows cave, YanZiKou
Swallows' cave, YanZiKou
Lunch the aboriginal tribes style.…
Lunch the aboriginal tribes style…
A pavillion for Yue Fei
A pavillion for Yue Fei
At the lowest point of the valley …
At the lowest point of the valley…
A waterfall Mr Peng pointed out to…
A waterfall Mr Peng pointed out t…
Careful of falling rocks.
Careful of falling rocks.
Soldiers blast open the roads long…
Soldiers blast open the roads lon…
Can you see a frog with the pavill…
Can you see a frog with the pavil…
Can you see a fish trying to swim …
Can you see a fish trying to swim…
photo by: seahlk