Friday, February 17, 2006

Taroko National Park - 太魯閣國家公園

15 km north of Hualien • Taiwan's top tourist attraction • Park covers over 120,000 hectares w/ mountain peaks rising to 3700m. Valleys, ravines & waterfalls caused by the Liwu River cutting through the park.

Interesting note:

The gorge was created through an elevation gain that rises from sea level to 3740m, fostering a range of ecological zones, from tropical to alpine.

Mode of transport:
Rented Scooter • Hualien to
Taroko = approx. 1 hr.

Tunnels of Nine Turns • twisting road of tunnels
blasted through sheer marble cliffs • during construction many workers
were killed

Take a look at the sheer magnitude of the canyon!

Marble-walled canyons

Giant sized cliffs w/ lush vegetation
& cliffs

Scenic Wonderland

Taroko Gorge

Hualien - 花蓮

En route to Taroko National Park


3 km north of Hualien On this day, the wind was incredibly strong.
• waters are too rough to swim one can admire the high waves & its soothing sounds

Catching a snooze

Enjoying the East coast scenery from the train

Rice fields


The East Coast defines natural beauty

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Taitung County - 台東縣

Platform of the Three Immortals

The Arched Bridges

• A series of arched bridges span the shallow water off the coastline leading to a small island. The weather on the east coast can often be described as moody. At one point, it can be sunny and then the next, it could be severely overcast and cloudy! This precise condition was what we encountered on our way to The Platform of the Three Immortals. The bus trip north of Taitung City took roughly 2 hrs. On the bus, the weather was picture perfect - sunny & comfortably cool. Once we got there, it was overcast and quite dark. Rain started spitting from the sky. We went & admired the arched bridge & took photos by the waters edge. We walked across the bridge & enjoyed a coastline walk on the island at the other side.

Once we were finished our 40 min. stroll, we decided to head back. By then, the rain was starting to trickle. As we made our way back to the mainland, it began to pour! We used an umbrella that we had but that poor thing started busting because it couldn't bear the oncoming strength of the wind. Within a short time from walking out of the area to the bus stop, we were wet right to the bone! I began feeling the "squeak squeak" from the water in my socks & shoes. I think we had missed the bus back to the city so we were forced to wait at the bus stop...By now, it was downpouring. We stood outside a convenience
shack while waiting for the bus. Several cars stopped by the roadside to buy various things. A minivan stopped & a gentleman started talking to us. He seemed to feel sorry for two stranded girls being stuck in the middle of nowhere in the midst of heavy rain. He asked when the next bus was. His wife went into the shack. Anyhow, he ended up offering to bring us to the Cheng Gong bus stop which was really kind of him! Despite being drenched in wet clothes, I was thankful that we got a ride. While we waited for our bus, we headed to a restaurant to eat a dinner box. We had offered to give some money for the ride but he declined to accept it. The compassion and kindness of others is something that I'm always thankful for!

Kaohsiung City 高雄市

Han Holiday Trip: Kaohsiung, Taitung & Hualien

Love River

Kaohsiung City

Outside train station

Morning java in hand

Nightviews by the Love River

Busy Liu He Nightmarket