Adventures living as expats.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Exploring Taitung for Lunar New Year

Jeff got a full week off for Chinese New Year so we took the chance to do some more exploring around Taiwan and visit Taitung.  Sadly there was a big earthquake in Tainan (about 95 miles south of Taichung) the night before we left and many people were hurt or died in a building collapse.  Jeff had to wake me up during the earthquake and to be honest I had was too groggy to think much about it until the next day when we started reading the news reports.  Our hearts were definitely with the victims and families during the holiday.

Under advice from Taiwanese friends about the heavy traffic, we left at 6AM and didn't encounter any traffic slow downs along the way.  The weather was a little cold for our first few days so we did some sightseeing and exploring initially.  

Famous mochi shop in Taitung
Mochi is a Japanese rice cake that is very chewy and pretty tasty.  Our favorite was peanut flavor which tasted a little like Reese's. 
We stopped at a crowded local restaurant and had delicious beef noodle soup and dumplings.

Balloons in the park
Xiouheliu - big waves and rock formations
Dragon Bridge at Sanxiantai
Hike up to the lighthouse on the "Island of the Three Immortals"  
There were so many fireworks for sale to get ready for the festivities of CNY.  Jeff insisted that we needed to purchase some of the mortars, but I've heard too many stories of lost fingers and hands so I stubbornly refused.

Towards the end of the trip, the weather started to warm up and we enjoyed a lot more time on the beach surfing, playing in the waves, working on our tans, and roasting smores over the campfire.

How many twins can you spot?  
This beach was only a few minutes walk from our BnB.

One morning we opted to head on a hike and didn't fully realize what we were getting ourselves into.  It ended up being a stair-stepper hike that took 4 hours and left us barely able to hold a conversation.
The picture doesn't do it it justice, this was STEEP.
View from the start of the hike.
Once we got to the top, the view was completely covered in trees and brush.  This sign was the only reward for our pain.