Adventures living as expats.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Weekend Getaway to Hualien and The Taroko Gorge

Last weekend we took a family trip to the East Coast of Taiwan to see Hualien, known for it's stunning coastline, and the Taroko Gorge, a steep and narrow canyon that cuts down from the tall mountain peaks to the coast of Hualien.  On the way there we took the slow and windy mountain pass road that is know for it's views.  The weather wasn't cooperating and we were mostly fogged in, but got to have a little fun in the snow with Oolong, who much preferred to stay in the warm car.

View from the mountain pass
Oolong wasn't too enthusiastic about the cold snow
At least 75% of the cars we passed on the way up had built snowmen onto their windshields.
Taroko Gorge from above
The next morning we headed to the Gorge to tackle Jeff's perfectly planned itinerary which would have been amazing, except that we were deterred by 3 of the 4 attractions being closed due to construction and rock falls.   We still found some great hiking and amazing views and had fun despite the wet weather.   We had a 45 minute delay while returning to Hualien due to a rockslide that blocked the road.  It was quickly cleared out but made me a little nervous of returning to the Gorge during wintery weather.
Oolong loved the hiking but hated her rain jacket
View from the trail 

Our final day, we decided to go for a drive down the East Coast which is supposed to one of the most beautiful drives in Taiwan.
We stopped at Henan Temple and climbed up to the Buddha statue 
Shih Ti Ping recreation area, I think Jeff just wanted to go because of the name
We had lunch at a traditional Aboriginal cuisine restaurant that was recommended by one of Jeff's work friends.  It was delicious, unique, fresh, and we were so glad to have tried it.
Salad included guava, "fiddlehead" fern, "bird's nest" fern, baby corn,  green beans, cabbage, and some grated vegetables that we couldn't figure out.
Fish and shrimp stone hot pot.  They heat the stones over glowing coals, then dip them in water, and add them to your soup pot.
Smiles all around

On our drive back to Taichung the next morning we opted to take the route that goes north around the mountains.  We got to see some more gorgeous coastal views along the way which ended our trip on a high note.

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