Wednesday, May 20, 2009

20 May 09 – Day 4 (Hualian)

Woke up around 6+am to take the doughnut as breakfast and was out of the hotel by 7.30am to get to the Main Station to take the 8am Tze Chang train to Hualien. The train left exactly at 8am and reached Hualien exactly at 10.08am. Quickly made our way to 后车站 via the underpass and met up with the couple who was supposed to share the cab. Mr Hu De Song came to pick us up and he was our cabbie for the day. He brought us to get 便当 and in that shop, we saw Mr Lu Lai Fu with the group that he was taking. We then headed to Cingshui Cliff to take some photos. The view was great but Mr Hu said it wasn’t the best due to the plankton. The sky darkened as we reached Taroko Gorge and as it was already 12+pm, so we ate our便当 at the place outside the tourist service center. The 便当 was very delicious and I finished the whole thing together with the soup.

Cingshui Cliff

Blue blue sea near Cingshui Cliff

SWT's lunch - Grilled Meat Bian Dang

My lunch - Fish Fillet Bian Dang

We started the Taroko Gorge tour proper around 1+pm. We were given time to take photos, walked the trail and the last stop was the highlight of the tour, a visit to the 水帘洞. We had to walk through dark caves before reaching水帘洞 and fortunately Mr Hu lent us torches. The caves had bats and dripped water. By the time we reached水帘洞, Mr Lu and his group were just done. Mr Hu helped us into the ponchos and he stayed back to look after our stuff while Mr Lu led us into the水帘洞 and helped us took photos. We walked barefooted into the cave, the water was cool and the ground was very rocky but not pointy.

Some pictures of Taroko Gorge :

Unique rock formations

Can you see a bear head?

Can you see the head of an indian chief?

Guess what animal? This rock resembles an elephant.

Tourists who walk this stretch of the Taroko Gorge were required to wear helmets coz there have been cases of fallen rocks injuring people

This is supposed to resemble a carp jumping through the dragon gate

Inside the tunnel, the walls were wet

Bats hanging on top

The hanging bridge that we were supposed to cross to get to Water Curtain Cave

The couple who travelled with us crossing the bridge

Water Curtain

The couple outside the Water Curtain Cave

Everyone had great fun and when we were out, we saw a few people wanted to go in but without any preparations. So Mr Hu gave the ponchos to them so that they could go into 水帘洞. We ended our Taroko Gorge tour around 5.35pm and Mr Hu ordered the 炸蛋葱油饼 for each of us. We took about 1 hour to go to the city and we ate the炸蛋葱油饼 while it was hot. Then he brought us to a shop to get muah chee before sending us to the train station to take the 7.30pm Tze Chang train back to Taipei. Thanked Mr Hu, boarded the train and bought cheese cake from Café 85 and a cup of ice plum tea on the way back to the hotel.

Cong You Bing Stall in Hualien

Cafe 85 Cheese Cake

Thoughts: The day was great coz I didn’t have to do any planning. I left it all in the good hands of Mr Hu and just enjoy myself totally.

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