Hualien

August 2015

After spending a few dejected days sitting in my hostel waiting for the rain to pass I was very keen to move on to my next stop, Hualien.

I caught a local train from just north of Kenting which weaved through regional mountain areas that I wish I could have jumped off at, the countryside of Taiwan is truly beautiful. Arriving in the afternoon after a long train ride I checked in to my teddy bear themed hostel and went searching forIMG_20150825_172558-1 some delicious dinner, I didn’t have to walk far before finding a small restaurant and devoured a wonton noodle soup. Thankfully the food was much improved in Hualien from Kenting.

I had come to Hualien to visit Taroko Gorge, a national park consisting of small mountain paths and roads winding around the beautiful gorge. Going against my tendency to do everything on a budget I decided to book on a bus tour as it seemed much easier than trying to navigate the local bus system with my terrible PANO_20150826_095806~2-1mandarin. We set out early the next morning with the first stop at the beautiful Qinshui cliffs, a small outcropping looking over the beach below. It was gorgeous.

We spent the next several hours winding through the narrow road leading through Taroko gorge, stopping at tracks to hike through PANO_20150826_125330-1and see beautifully ornate temples. The gorge reminded me a lot of PANO_20150826_125854-1Karangahape Gorge in New Zealand except that the NZ water was crystal clear blue :p
That night I walked to the local night market in the pouring rain, which had been my constant companion for over a week.

After speaking to another traveler on the Taroko Gorge tour she convinced me to book in for the river tracing tour. River tracing is essentially walking P8270147through a river, which is quite difficult when you account for rapids. At the top of the river we slid down a natural slide and P8270149jumped off a cliff in to the pool below, it is totally not the type of thing I would normally do but absolutely loved it.P8270103

I left Hualien yesterday and am in Taipei for my last full day before I fly on to Los Angeles tomorrow. I moved hostels to a banana themed restaurant near the trendy Japanese inspired neighbourhood situated around Yongkang St. They are going to have to roll me on to the plane tomorrow, I have eaten so much.

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