Travelogue (Mini Moon Edition) : Taiwan 台湾 8D7N (Hua Lien 花蓮 Day 2)

So the 2nd day at Hua Lien was the most happening day out of the 3 days because we visited Taroko Gorge (太魯閣) and Taroko National Park (太魯閣國家公園)! 😀

You may read all about our Day 1 in Hua Lien here 🙂

We bought a 1-day package tour from our hotel which costs us NTD$1000, which is around S$42. We thought that it was not that expensive and it saves us time and effort in getting there as well. Furthermore, the driver also brought us to specific locations to view the various popular areas at the national park and even dropped us at a nearby beef noodles stall, which I must say, was actually quite delicious! 😛

Stick around for the yummy pictures and location later!

We woke up super early (for us, at least!) and manage to grab some light breakfast provided by the hotel.

Pardon the tired-looking faces… 😛

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Oh, and do remember that breakfast is served till 9.30am, which is actually quite out of the norm. Usually timings are till 10.30am, right? We missed breakfast the next morning though. 🙁

The driver arrived at our hotel lobby at 8.30 am and there was a Japanese couple in the mini bus who was already seated in the mini bus when we boarded. After picking us up, the driver picked up another 2 ladies from China.

On the way to our destination, the hubs and I had a funny conversation with the 1 of the China tourists.

The funny conversation went like this:

Chinese traveller : 嗨,早上好!
Us : 早上好!
Taiwanese driver : 她们是从大陆来 *points at Chinese travellers*
Hubs : 哦,大陆哪里?
Chinese traveller : 福建,你们呢?
Hubs : 新加坡
Chinese traveller : 哦,新加坡哪里?

Hubs and I : 😳😖 淡滨尼?

HAHAHAHAHA, I know right. Bah!

Our first stop was at Taroko Qing Shui Cliff (太魯閣清水斷崖) which took us approximately 40mins from our hotel.

Taroko Qing Shui Cliff (太魯閣清水斷崖)

Address: Xiulin Township, Hualien County, Taiwan 972

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By the way, don’t laugh at my orbiang jacket okay? It belongs to my mom and because we packed too last minute and didn’t expect the weather to be THAT freezing cold, I just brought whatever I had at home. This jacket actually ‘rescued’ me several times in HL, had it not been for it, I would have most probably froze to death, LOL.

After around 20 minutes, we made our way to the most famous tourist attraction in HL.

Taroko National Park (太魯閣國家公園)

Address: 972, Taiwan, Hualien County, Xiulin Township, 富世村富世291號
You could see that the weather was really bad. Drizzling with dark clouds looming. Even the river which was supposed to be pretty sea blue was grey and muddy in colour 🙁

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Compared to these:

taroko

Credits :http://www.adventuresaroundasia.com/2014/12/25/hiking-taroko-gorge/

1

Credits :https://www.flickr.com/photos/cjx123/14103282276

And then smarty me did not understand how my new camera charger works so for the whole of the previous night, the battery was not charged…..and my camera battery died after I took the bridge at Taroko Gorge, ARGHHH!

Nevertheless, I used my trusty iPhone 6 camera to snap pictures throughout the whole day.

We had some free and easy time by ourselves and a wefie with the safety helmets was a MUST! The driver told us that due to the recent landslide in 2015, rock falls may occur and thus required us to put on a safety helmet.

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and one erm, act chio selfie=x

and one erm, act chio selfie =x

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Then, we were brought to                     where there was a display of the tribes in HL.

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It was then LUNCH TIMEEEEEE!!! We dined at….

台灣牛肉麵

Address: No. 83, Xinxing Rd, Xincheng Township, Hualien County, Taiwan 971
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Yet another same comforting food under such freezing weather! Although we were a little sick of beef noodles from the night market’s one, we ate it nonetheless (because there’s no many other choices left :() As usual, beef cubes were tender but contained fats as well. I think it’s meant to be fatty and people just eat them as they are, but I can’t bring myself to…………..

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The hubs ordered this bean curd thing but…..it did not tasted 100% like one…..we were very skeptical about its real identity…guessing whether it was some innards or something…and eventually, we could not bring ourselves to finish them anyway 🙁

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This fried bean curd (no idea why the hubs ordered so many bean curds?) was wayyyyyy better! Crispy skin with chilli which was spicy-enough! SHIOK!

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There was also a cute little black dog in the restaurant. Oh and did I mention that Taiwan is the a little doggy-heaven? Pet owners bring their dogs almost everywhere they go which is not a frequent sight as compared to Singapore. Dog lovers would love Taiwan! 😀

After we were stuffed, we were brought to..

東西橫貫公路入口

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You could tell by then, the weather was rather dark and gloomy already and it was raining moderately too 🙁

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The driver then dropped us at and instructed us to walk all the way in and it was a short ‘own time own target’ session for us to explore ourselves. But we had to stick together as a group so that nobody gets lost.

Because we are bilingual, we were the ‘middle man’ translator speaking in both Mandarin (to the China ladies) and English (to the Japanese couple)…hahaha.

砂卡礑步道

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I must apologise for the lack of vibrant colours in the photographs but what you see is what you get. Sucky weather for outdoor activity and photo taking of what supposed to be a beautiful scenic nature view… 🙁

During our trail journey, we chanced upon…

砂卡礑溪跨虹橋

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There are a flight of stairs which you first need to conquer before you can reach the top of the bridge. It was really exhausting and we had to be extra careful because of the wet weather too.

But once you reach the top, you will see this on your right – the other end of the tunnel.

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The entrance/exit of the flight of stairs.

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The whole trail took about 30 to 40 minutes or so and thankfully we didn’t lose our way (although the 2 China ladies did).

And then, it was coffee break time!!!

長春祠 (Eternal Spring Shrine)

Address: Xiulin Township, Hualien County, Taiwan 972

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We had piping hot coffee and dumpling, with a scenic view. It was awesome! 🙂

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長春橋

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HAHAHA, yes that’s me trying to act cool and copying the hub’s position. I look so badass here, but #epicfail #funnyjacket!

There is also a little cave if you walk further down, but as time did not permit, we did not have the opportunity to explore that area 🙁

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Last but not least, our final destination was none other than…

七星潭海堤

Address : 971, Taiwan, Hualien County, Xincheng Township
 
This is yet another MUST-VISIT place in HL for its beautiful coastal sea view! We have also specially booked a hotel along 七星潭 coastal for the breath-taking view! More on that in my next post 🙂
But I must say that these pictures and the bad weather really did no justice to its true beauty. It was still drizzling when we reached there and the strong winds were super duper cold! So you will have to take special note of the weather if you intend to drop by 七星潭.
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Because we had some time on hand for us to explore the area ourselves, we decided to rent a 2-seater bicycle! It costs        approx. S$
The breeze slapping against our faces was very hard to bear and I thought we were crazy to cycle in such a crazy weather! But boy, I was wrong!
We saw some others doing the same as well. :O
#everyonesiaoliao
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I know I look like a dumpling here with the absurd-looking psychedelic jacket, don’t laugh okay?
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One simply cannot take a picture in such a weather without holding one’s hair.
And it was wefie time again!
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Just look at my ‘crumpled’ face. LOL.
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And my messy hair………..by the way, my hair got so tangled up after the visit! :O
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Best pose is to hold your hair back lah and still kena smooched 😛
The day-tour trip came to an end and the driver sent us back to our hotel, where we rested for awhile as we were really drained from all that working! Talking about getting old…. 🙁
By then when we were prepared to head out from the hotel, it was dinner time!
During our crazy walk from our hotel to the night market the night before, we passed by a handful of hipster looking cafes, which by the way, close kinda early. So you need to be quick if you wanna have a cuppa or two.
We had our dinner at…
蕃茄咖喱 (Tomato Curry)
Address : No. 92, Renai St., Hualien City, Hualien, Taiwan
Phone : 03-860179
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The fried tempura was covered in a different kind of batter which was not as cripsy as I’d thought them to be. It would be much better if they are crispier.
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Sotong balls that tasted like frozen ones, drenched in curry sauce. Nothing special though.
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Curry rice with Chicken. I was never much of a fan of japanese curry because I was always under the impression that it tasted so similar to those instant curry packets, which you can easily get them from Daiso or those Japan mini marts.
But I guess this dish did just fine, perhaps they need to be more generous on the veggie servings.
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The hubs’ curry chicken cutlet. The chicken cutlet tasted surprisingly not bad too but similar to the fried tempura, it would be better if crispier.
Even though we were stuffed, we decided to drop by a cafe for a cuppa and desserts!
Address: 民國路63號, Hualien City
Phone: +886 920 201 295
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Flower House is actually a cafe and hostel located together and the lady boss is really warm and friendly! She even made us a cup of some flower tea to help keep flu at bay due to the bad weather. How sweet right? 🙂
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Our mini-dessert spread! 🙂
We ordered              oatmeal raisin cookies and lemon cake, which was really yummy!
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After we were done satisfying our sweet tooth and caffeine cravings, we decided to head back to the night market once more as there were a handful of stores not operating the night before. Moreover, we did not finish exploring the whole night market as the weather was too unbearable!
Stay tuned to my next post on HL Day 3 where we left our hotel in HL city and moved to stay a night at one of the motels along the coastal area 🙂

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