ok i’m going to post about taiwan day 3!
It takes me forever to do these posts cause I have so many photos and all from different places!
So on day 3 we woke up a little later (yes and missed the sunset cause this time at 4am, it was cloudy)
and the sleepy heads who were still sleeping when I had already showered and went to the balcony to enjoy the view:)
breakfast on the second day!
It was a hotdog if i do not remember wrongly!
So our itinerary for day 3 was to go to Taroko Gorge!
One of the must see destinations in Taiwan!
I had already been there on my first trip to Taiwan (via a tour group) but choo and zac hadnt gone before!
It would turn out to be a way different experience as well!
We hired a driver via our minsu (homestay) and this is his namecard below!
He is really a good driver and a very nice man!
He even treated us to Hualien’s famous spring onion pancake! IT WAS AWESOME!
So if you want to hire a driver please consider him!
It was NT2500 for a 1 day tour for three people. It is a 4 seater car and it works out to be about SGD 109
He first brought us to the 松園別館 which is basically the pine garden. It is a lovely place overlooking the city of HuaLien.
It used to be a military structure used by the Japanese.
But since then, 200 pine trees have been planted here to give respite.
it is a really beautiful and peaceful place:)
there are also great views overlooking the city:)
we were really blessed with blue skies that day:)
wandering around the grounds…
we didnt go up to explore the place cause time was a little tight but look at those creepers climbing around the building!
They’re so lovely:)
trying to imitate the statue!:D Do I in any way look like it? lol.
There was a shallow basin with a few shimmering coins in it so we deduced that it was a wishing well! HAHHA.
All of us threw coins and made a wish!:)
caught choo’s coin making a landing… SPLASH!
as you can see, my camera lens started getting wonky.
Sigh, it would turn out that I would rely a lot on my iphone to get pictures cause apparently (I sent it for repairs after the trip) the lens sensor was spoilt. Oh wells.
sunny sunny day! Lots of sunblock needed!
Our next stop was the Cing Shui Cliffs! Where you can see the pacific ocean lap at the base of magnificent cliffs!
those clouds kept making me worried that it would rain! But it never did:) Thank God.
so after much phototaking, we headed for TAROKO GORGE!
and the start of our journey was at the visitor’s center:)
Although my camera was giving me problems, it also worked fine when Mr Li took over! Haha.
Yup, he took this photo for me:D
Mr Li gave us sometime and we headed to the visitor’s center when something caught Choo’s and my eye….
We dashed like mad hatters and went to hunt for a place to buy the activity book!
Took us awhile but we found it! HAHAH. Cost me NT5o.
ya! Stamping time!
Then paper rubbing!
Hard at work! HAHHA.
We then headed to the Shakadang Trail!
We were given an hour to walk and soon, we were on our way!
the steps down from the bridge with many lion heads!
under the bridge.
we met another Singapore couple (and we would meet them like another 3 times in Taipei. lol. ) and they helped us to take photos in exchange that we help them tale theirs hahaha.
The path to walk.
the scenery was beautiful but my mood was little dampened by the fact that I had to keep trying to fix my camera. Oh wells.
worker coming through! This was really tricky cause the path was really narrow and we had no where to move to give way to him.
Saw a ginormas spider!!!!
and a furry (or rather, hairy) caterpillar 😀
thought I made him look modellish:p
It would be wonderful to have a dip in those clear blue waters…
the many lions that guard the bridge:) But I think they are unidirectional. Only facing one way.
male lion. Due to the ball. Female stone lions have a baby lion under their paw.. Well.. it also helps that this male stone lion has a big penis carved out. Pictures are a little obscene so i didnt bother to post them.
With some luck,
I spotted some colourful bugs that I had never seen before in my life!
arent they pretty?:)
As we were getting a little hungry at about 1pm, we headed to the eternal spring shrine rest stop to have lunch! (On hindsight we should have asked the driver to bring us to buy bian dang’s from town before we set off)
The eternal spring shrine was the only place that I had been to on my first holiday to Taiwan all those years ago.
We were lucky that we got there early because while we were eating, busloads of China tourists started pouring in. Sigh.
We ordered two set meals at NT 250 each and two rice dumplings at NT30 each. The food was really pricey and the rose tea tasted really weird.
BUT.. the rice dumpling (meat zongzhi) WAS REALLY GOOD! we actually ordered one at first and then cause it was so good, we had another one!
The spring coming out from the rock on the way to the shrine.
I could hear a bird chirping in the cave but couldnt see it.
Heard a frog and saw it though!
Mr Li mentioned to us that many people died to build the shrine and create roads through the area…
It was only with his guidance that I noticed the shrine on the left when you first go down the stairs,
There were huge plaques with the name of those who perished with a statue of the goddess of mercy and free joss sticks if you wanted to offer prayer to them,
I think the order of my photos are a little funny. Oh wells.
The shrine. We didnt really explore cause of all the China tourists around. Disconcerting really.
Next up, we headed to the swallow’s grotto.
Here, we had to wear hard helmets rented from a small entrance office before you enter the place. More China tourists. but not as bad as the eternal spring shrine.
According to Mr Li, a landslide had occured just a few days prior and washed out a bit of the road but we could still drive on dirt.
the couple with HDR filter
many of the boulders in the rivers actually come from the mountains! CAN YOU IMAGINE IF A BOULDER OF THAT SIZE FELL ON YOUR HEAD???
we also saw the Red Indian Chief Head!:D
Taroko Gorge is mostly made up of marble cliffs.
The rock face.
The reason why it is called the Swallow’s grotto is because of the swallows that live there!
I was really amazed and happy to see the little swallows dart around and chirp.
You cant really see them on pictures because they’re really small and fast.
Mr Li then brought us to the highest point (Settlement) of Taroko Gorge. Tian Xiang.
There were shops there to buy food! (should have asked Mr Li to bring us here for lunch instead!) and beautiful scenery.
BBQ taiwan sausage! Choo had one everyday!
and there, the pretty girl in question:)
we went for a little walk after buying food and snacks…
and went to the bridge that we saw on the way to Tian Xiang.
we had no time (or tenacity) to climb up to see the pagodas! On hindsight, maybe we should have. Hahahah
(OMG while typing this post, the lighting struck around my area and scared the hell out of me… my hands still feel fuzzy! Ahhh.. Singapore weather)
To conclude our tour, Mr Li said that he would bring us to walk on a hanging bridge since I mentioned that I missed out on a chance to do that the last time I was in Taiwan.
It was so beautiful!
view in between the cracks! haha.
Choo and a random Caucasian dude who was visiting the area in SLIPPERS. now, who said Singaporeans have bad fashion sense?
the beautiful winding roads of Taroko.
Ok, I’ll admit. We actually went to see the Frog prince rock sculpture but somehow, I dont have pictures. but i remember taking them. HAHAH.
Mr Li then brought us to the entrance of Taroko. He mentioned that he brought us here at the end of the day so that there wouldnt be so many tourists and he was right!
There were some shops around the area and I bought a whole stack of postcards from here.
Mr Li was nice enough to drive us to buy HuaLien specialties since we had already been to CiQing beach the day before.
On the way, he also went to pick up the mouth watering spring onion pancake with a half boiled egg that he had ordered for us earlier.
no pictures cause we were too busy eating!
After we bought the specialties. I really expected him to drop us off at the minsu and leave… but he actually asked us where we were going for dinner and when we said 自強夜市, zi qiang night market, he offered to send us there! Even better, he offered to pick us up after dinner and drop as at the minsu!
AHHHHH he is such an awesome guy!
the night markets in Hua Lien are generally smaller but have no lack of good food as well!
We were a little full from the spring onion pancakes so we gave the seafood BBQ stall that I saw on 食尚玩家 a miss. so sad!
We had porridge and assorted snacks for dinner instead!
After dinner, we called Mr Li and he said that he had just finished dinner at home and would be coming over!
yup so he sent us back!
Pb and his friend had just arrived in HuaLien so when we headed back, he asked for me to bring the two of them out.
So off we headed to Zong Zhen Road again!
Ah I really miss the goose.
I’ll start preparing to post Taiwan Day 4!