Hualien, Taiwan (Day 4 & 5)

DAY 4:

So I took the train today from Taipei to Hualien. Hualien has the Taroko Gorge I’m looking forward to see. This is one of the nature ventures I planned for my trip.

Now, I had to catch a 10:50 train ride with my travel buddy, Kevin. He is the guy from France I mentioned in an earlier post. Funny thing is we got to the station about an hour early and sat waiting for the train. We almost missed it by about a minute because we did not see it arrive further down the track from where we were sitting. That would have sucked!!

The train ride was about 2- 2 1/2 hours and I slept for most of it. Once we got to Hualien, we made it to our hostel, Formosa Backpackers Hostel, and booked a night there. We also booked a tour to the Taroko Gorge for an 8 AM pickup the next day. Since we had time to kill, we walked around town and found that there is NOTHING to do here. We then walked to the train station to book a train for after the tour, but it was full. This forced us to book another night at our hostel in Hualien.

On a side note, I was originally going to head to Green Island, but learned that only one ferry goes there this tie of year and it’s not that great in the winter. I guess that can be a trip for another time. With this change of plans, I have decided to continue my journey with Kevin to Kaohsiung. I guess the weather is great there and I will experience some nicer weather on this trip… I hope!!

Day 5:

Today I woke up early to go on a tour of the Taroko Gorge. There were a total of 7 people on this trip. A married couple with their seven month old baby and three college age girls from Singapore, Kevin, and myself. The bus driver/ tour guide did not speak much English of any, so I got to learn about all the amazing things about this place in Chinese. After four years in Korea, it is amazing how I could understand what he was talking about without understanding a damn word he was saying!!

Now, there were a lot of really cool things to see, but I will focus on some of my favorite sights. I can only talk so much about a river running through a canyon.

The Eternal Spring Shine and Buddhist temple were really cool. The shrine was built to honor the 450 workers who lost their lives building the highway through the mountains. This shrine overlooks the Liwu River.

We continued to see some cool sights along the river before we had lunch. Because of the dangers of falling rocks, we had to wear helmets in some areas.

After lunch we went to the XiangDe Temple with the Giant Statue of the Bodhisattva Guangyi and TainFeng Pagoda.


Here is a cool little rock formation… Can you see the frog?

The last cool place we went on the tour was the beach! I believe it is only the third time I have viewed the Pacific Ocean other than in Washington State. The other guy in the photo is Keven, the French dude I’m traveling with.

To end the day, Kevin and I went to the Night Market here in Hualien and I had spaghetti and pizza. Nothing to exciting. Now I need to head to bed so I can get up at 5 AM to catch a 6 AM train to Kaohsiung. I guess the train ride is about 5 or 6 hours long.

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