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***Updated on 22nd Nov 2013: Hi there!!! It’s the time of the year again 🙂 Time really flies. It has been 4 years since I visited Taiwan and I’m still soooo missing this place. Even more when Mr.Wong (黄先生) gave me a surprise call last few days. I didnt know he still keep my number. He asked how am I doing and if I will be traveling again to Hualien because he had just opened a homestay. Awww, so sweet of him and I’m so tempted to go again but I’ve used up all my leave this year 😦 Maybe next year, there are still so many beautiful places waiting for us to explore especially He Huan Shan…
Long story short, Mr. Wong can still be contactable at below number and if you are still looking around for transportation or homestay in Hualien, you may give Mr.Wong a ring and check out the details with him 🙂
***Updated : Guess it’s the time of the year again for long holiday…… Due to the number of request for Mr. Wong (黄先生), the cabbie contact number, yours truly me did you all readers a favour by contacting Mr. Wong to verify if the number is still in use since it was almost 3 years back. Good news is yesssssss!!!!! It’s still the same number I’ve been giving you guys all this while. You can reach him through Aunty Liu from Stone House Homestay if you plan to stay there or call his mobile at 0928-298 472 (add in the exit and country code) to arrange for transportation and he is more than happy to bring you all around the beautiful Hualien county….Oh ya, one last thing, 黄先生 speaks only Mandarin..
Enjoy your holiday and have fun!!!! 😀
Imma flood this entry with lotsa pics!!! *grin
We have earlier arrange with Aunty Liu through email for transportation during our stay in Hualien. The best way to travel around is by cab or rented car because there isn’t a MRT system and bus transfer isn’t that convenient.
Aunty Liu told us our tour guide, Mr.Wong (if I remembered correctly, lets just call him Mr.Wong) will reach at 8am and gave us 2 coupon for breakfast opposite the homestay.
This is where we spent the first night.. A room above KKK Mart. Highly NOT recommended lor…
Mr.Wong’s car… We paid NTD2200 for 1 day tour to Taroko. So lucky he just bought this new car 😀 and it cost him only around NTD800k… damm cheap!! Our journey started with Mr.Wong pick us up from homestay after our breakfast then to Taroko then lunch then back to Taroko then dinner and lastly, back to the Stone house.
The journey from Hualien city to Taroko is around 1 hour ++.
It is arguable Hualien county has the most spectacular natural scenery and Taroko National Park is one of them with magnificent mountain and canyon view. Good things is no entrance fee… FOC!!
The captivating experience began here….
Taroko is so big it’s impossible to explore all in 1 day and if you think you can travel on foot, forget it. Among the famous attraction we managed to visit are:
- Shakadang Trail
- Eternal Spring Shrine (長春祠 Changchun)
- Swallow Grotto (燕子口) – outside only
- Cihmu Bridge (慈母橋)
- Tunnel of Nine Turns (九曲洞 Jiuqü Dong)
On the way, you’ll pass through many many tunnel like this…
Our 1st stop was Shakadang trail which is the nearest trail from the entrance and estimated round trip time was 1 hour 30 minutes. OK, time to walk again!!
As you walk down the flight of stairs to get to the trail, you will be greeted with crystal clear blue river water and magnificent marble formation, not to forget the green surrounding it…
The bridge view from the trail
This is what the aborigine used to make broom.
Clear and cold mountain water you can even have a sip 😀 We didn’t made it to the end of the trail… 4/5km lo… We rested a while here and then made our way back to the trail head.
By then, it was already 12pm and so is time for lunchie. There are cafe inside Taroko but it’ll cost you a whopping NTD250 per pax for a simple meal so our tour guide brought us out to somewhere nearby where it only costs less than NTD150 for 2 simple meal and 1 soup.
It started to drizzle after lunch which explain why most of the pic looks so dull. 😦 😦 😦
Mr.Wong drove us back to Taroko and showed us the Changchun Eternal Spring Shrine which was built to commemorate military veterans that died while constructing the highway. The continuous water flow made this place a special one.
This is the starting point to the shrine. There are stairs leading to temple at higher altitude but one need a lot of energy to reach there.
During rainy season, the current will be super strong
and this will be full of water…
view from the shrine…
After spending 45 minutes there, we hopped in to the car and adjourned to Swallow Grotto trail but sadly, it was closed due to recent earthquake 😦
From there, we could see the suspension bridge that will lead us to Taroko tribe but to cross over, one have to make prior arrangement with the officer in charge.
and don’t think that was it…. you’ll have to cross another one at higher altitude… saw that??
nah… close up. can or not??
This is the view at the other end of the trail.
There is an observatory deck nearby and from there, you could enjoy the amazing mountains view… It is so misty you think you are in heaven… Hahahaaa~~~
Pictorial time….. can you see what the pic resemble to???
spot the eye, the nose and the mouth?? It’s a human face!!
Hehehe… another one. see the white spot? try to imagine the location of the eyes and nose…
last one… that particular rock formation is said to resemble to a fox face…. can see arr?? use your imagination a bit lor 😀
Then we moved on to the next destination, Cihmu Bridge. Beware of rock falls. It happen occasionally especially after earthquake.
Oppsss… pictorial again… I guess this is pretty easy…
That’s right… Frog with crown!!! and that’s the bridge…
Notice the white area?? That’s the water level during Aug 8th flood. scary lor…
This I forgot the name.. A shorter suspension bridge but damm high also… Only 8 persons can cross at one time but look at there…. ishh!!! China lang..
Uhhh… saw the python there?
If the hanging bridge snap, I sure die wan….
After that, Mr.Wong fetched us to the last destination, Tunnel of Nine Turns trail which has the most enchanting view where the gap of two cliffs are only 1om wide, formed by river erosion.
After a series of rock falls, it is a must to wear safety helmet here. Mr.Wong dropped us at the trail head, passed us two helmet and told us to walk through the tunnel as he will be waiting for us at the other end. The whole journey took around 30 minutes.
We were reminded to keep left and not to cross the red boundary in certain area as there is where rock fall happen the most.
This is know as the “Fish leaping across the dragon gate”. The rock resemble to a fish swimming upstream.
We were greeted with gloomy sky as we exit from the trail and it started to rain… Sigh~~ Mr.Wong was planning to drove us around the coast line for breathtaking view but with this kind of weather, how to capture nice scenery?? Nevertheless, we still went there.
I’ll show you that in the next post 😀
Next, dinner and Stone house…