Hualien is the largest county of Taiwan but due to its mountainous terrain, it has one of the lowest populations in the country. Unfortunately, there is no direct flight from Singapore to Hualien, so most people will fly into Taipei and take a train to Hualien which is around 2hrs(express train) or 3-4hrs(normal train). That's what we did and we chose the express train :)
We engaged a guide to drive us from Hualien to Taichung while we visited the attractions of Taroko Gorge(太魯閣國家公園)along the way. Be prepared with the awesome view once you are up on the mountain road, the view will keep you awake and excited! Do have a jacket by your side as it gets pretty cold the higher you go.
Photography gear used - Nikon D7000 with Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 and Nikon D5100 with Tamron 17-50mm f2.8.
Once we touched down in Taipei, we took the express train to Hualien.
Not forgetting getting food for the journey!
Our stay for the night right on ChiSingTan(七星潭) Bay. http://www.hotelbayview.com.tw/english/index.html
Exploring Qixingtan while waiting for our room to be ready.
Finally we could check in. Love the balcony with the view!
Cute bathtub in the bathroom.
Once we dropped off our baggages and changed, we dropped by Qixingtan again but this time with the hotel's bicycles so we could explore further. It was pretty empty, we almost had the place to ourselves.
Exploring the city area.
And eating most of the time. Best way to get to know a country is through it's food :)
Went to Zhi Qiang Night Market. Maybe it was drizzling, there wasn't many people at the Night Market.
First store that caught our eyes.
Supper it will be!
The adventure begins, the floor still wet from the rain yesterday. It's amazing how they could create a hole in the mountain and built a road through it.
Eternal Spring Shrine(長春寺), also called Changchun Shrine, got it's name from the Changchun Falls that never stop running which it was built on.
Swallow Grotto (燕子口). It's probably nicer to walk or cycle to view the site. But we took the easier approach with car since we had a guide with us.
Dense and fluffy clouds once you get higher up the into the mountains. I can imagine the view will be awesome when the sky is clear but I was contented since it did not rain the whole day.
Lunch stop at an eatery while heading to Wuling.
Beautiful view from the car.
Highest point at Wuling before we descend and head to Nantou and will stay a night at Sunnydale B&B.
As you can see, the views at Hualien were amazing and endless. If we would to do this trip again, I would plan to hike or cycle at one of the spot along the trip. It feel like we miss out something being on the car most of the time.