Taiwan Travelogue September 2015 (Day 3)

Today will be a long day as we planned to go to Taroko Gorge for the day and followed by Hualien Town Centre for dinner. We had our breakfast send at 7am but we only manage to wake up at 7.20am. After breakfast and shower, we depart at 9am to Taroko Gorge. 

Road trip begin! It is such a nice weather!
The road is really windy as it goes around the mountain by the sea. View is definitely good as we can see the cliffs, sea and mountain. The drive from Yilan to Hualien is about 2.5 hours and can be tiring as we are not familiar with the left hand drive and most of the time it is hard to overtake the lorry or bus in front of us as there is only one lane on each side of the road and the road is super winding. 

Note: For exploring Hualien and Taroko Gorge, a better way would be to take train to Hualien and rent a car from there to go around.

We were mesmerised by the nice view and stop halfway to take photos even though the sun is really blazing away.

Really pretty view so we had to stop for some photos!



Mum, it is really sunny!
Ok, lets pose for a photo!
Another one? Mummy, lets get back to the cooling car...


Kids fall asleep on the way there and even I doze off for a bit. Poor hubby had to drive all the way.

The town just outside of Taroko Gorge is really small and there are not much choices for lunch. Some  restaurant are closed (we were there on a Sunday), one is fully booked, one only served a table of 10 person set meal. After being “rejected” by a few restaurant, we finally found one that is opened and can order a la carte. Phew! 


Munching while searching for lunch!

We had minced meat rice and noodle with meat. I am not sure if we are hungry or the food tasted pretty good! We like it! I particularly like the noodle as the soup is kinda sticky and tasted really good too!    

Lunch.... 
Cost: NT170 for 3 minced meat rice , one noodle and 3 cup herbal tea. 

After filling our stomach, we passed by local goodies shop and bought freshly made mochi with fillings (peanut, yam, sesame , pork floss) , milk nougat, and pineapple tart (the pork floss mochi is highly recommended!!!). 

Zheng Shi Fu (曾师傅) Local Shop! Highly Recommended!
Freshly handmade mochi
Pork floss flavour is by far my favourite
Note: This  曾师傅 franchise is super nice, we bought pineapple tart, milk nougat, freshly handmade mochi with fillings and all are nice. You can sample the food there and see if it suits your palate...Only after we get back to Taipei, we realise the goodies there are so so much cheaper than Taipei. Definitely must buy if go to Hualien!

We  then went to Visitor Centre to check out the trails around the area. We found that there is a café at visitor centre, we didn’t go and check it out though so unsure what food is sold there. Best to eat before coming, pack your own lunch or buy something from Family Mart before going for the trail at Taroko as the choices of restaurant is really limited.



Shakadang Trail

There is quite a few trail and some recommendation made by a friendly uncle at the tourist info. Sakadang trail is quite famous and although uncle did not recommend that as we have 2 young kids (4 years old and 2 years old), we decided to go for it anyway. There is a staircase leading down to trail and we survived. Hubby carry Justin and Jaclyn is old enough to walk on her own. It is really nice once you reach the end of the staircase. 


Scenery greets us when we reach the bottom of stairs

Crystal clear stream flowing along the rock formed river. Kiddos enjoyed walking although hubby and me are quite worried they might fall, luckily they survived without falling. We did not finish the whole trail as it is 3km long, we probably did about 1km until the first bench resting area and then went back. It wasn’t steep but be careful as the trail is mainly rocks and do keep the kids away from the edges.

I particularly like this bright red bridge as background.
Careful with the edges of the rocks 

 Note: 

1.     This trail is definitely not stroller friendly as the steep staircase leading down the trail doesn’t really fit the stroller and the trail is mainly stones so really hard to push. If have young kids, best to take turn to carry or choose other trail. 
2.     There is a parking area just a bridge away from the trail entrance.

Buluowan Trail


Next stop is Buluowan Trail which has a huge grass area for the kids to run about and they really love it. 


Here we come.. finally someplace we can be free!
This is so FUN!!!

We also had this homemade ice cream (NT45) from a shop on second floor and enjoyed them against the backdrop of mountain area. 



Enjoying homemade ice cream with a VIEW!

Note: Do bring insect repellant and mopiko or any insect bite cream when coming to Taroko. 

Note: If you are getting to Swallow Groate and no parking space, you can park at Buluowan and walk there. There is a huge parking area here and quite empty. 

We spend about 2.5 hours for both trails and it is good enough for us. For more adventurous type, this may not be enough. I saw a couple of accommodation (motel etc) along the gorge and probably a good choice if you would like to slowly explore different trail for a few days. One day is not enough to see everything as the national park is really big. 


Acoommodation at Taroko Gorge!
For dinner we drove to Ziqiang Night Market at Hualien Town that is 30 minutes away. 


We drove pass this amazing view and manage to capture while cruising in our car

We reached at 5pm and most shops just started to open. 


Number 1 Grilled Meat Stall- really is Number 1
Patiently wait for our turn
Wide selection to choose from...
Pass time while waiting for our grilled meat


Number 1 Grilled Meat Stall is highly recommended- the item is grilled and top with this super yummy sauce.

Popular fruit juice stall

This particular juice stall also very popular and we had this pumpkin juice which is so good.


Coffin Bread
I had to eat Jiang Jia Coffin Bread as it is my surname. It is thick slice bread dip in egg and deep-fried.  A hole is opened on top like a coffin and your selected meat is added. We had spicy chicken and satay beef, it was ok but nothing to shout about. Free drinks available with bread ordered.

Corn grilling in progress

We were quite full after the food we had and then we had to bump across this grilled corn shop that is pretty crowded so we bought one to eat. One is to select the corn and the corn is weigh, price depends on the weight and you will get a number. Once corn is ready, your number is called and you can collect from collection point and enjoy while you stroll along the night market or at bench next to the corn shop.

After this we are indeed super full but was super tempted with the seafood stall that has just started to open up.  The seafood look super fresh and prawn are huge!!!

Note: There is toilet at the night market which is great!

We drove home and it is another 2.5 hours of winding road back. Reach motel at 9.30pm, kids had bath time again and its time to sleep!



We are really grateful to God for the past 2 days as we had really good sunny weather despite weather forecast saying that it will rain. 

Time to rest and recharge for tomorrow!

Next up: We are going to Taipei and will be visiting Shifen Waterfall before returning our rental car.
http://blessedlittletravelers.blogspot.sg/2015/09/taiwan-travelogue-september-2015-day-4.html

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