When I got ready, she told me that the bus tour was so full that day so she sourced a private car for us to tour Taroko Gorge. She had two more people staying at her minsu who liked to join the tour.
Voila, suddenly there were 5 of us.
I learned my lesson. I knew I need to bought my train ticket beforehand. So, I walked with mom to Hualien TRA Station to purchase the ticket back to Taipei. It cost NTD 440 (~SGD 19) per pax.
After that, with the advice from our landlord, we went to 7-Eleven to buy some bento for lunch. To be honest, I was quite impressed with Taiwan 7-Eleven and the quality of the foods they sold. We spent NTD 245 (~SGD 11) for our bento boxes.
On the way back to the minsu, we stopped by one shop and bought our breakfast. I could not read Mandarin, mom was the same. So what we did was standing for awhile looking at other people's orders and asked.
We ordered a very thick sandwich with ham and egg and other stuffs and it was super yummy! We also ordered a corn egg pancake, a glass milk tea, and a glass of soya milk. When we was back to the apartment, we quickly ate our foods because we were too hungry.
|This is the uncle that saved our tummy that morning|
And around 9:30am, our driver picked us. We loaded our luggage onto the car, hugged the landlord goodbye and dashed for Taroko Gorge!
Taroko National Park is one out of nine national parks in Taiwan. In Truku language, Taroko means 'magnificent and beautifu'. Taroko is full of rocks and those rocks are not just ordinary rocks. They are marbles. Yes, the precious marbles.
Once we were out of Hualien, we can see the road opened up. It is a great countryside road like what you can admire in the movie.
|I feel so serene|
The driver told us that the distance from Phillipine Sea to the top of Taroko Gorge was less than 20km and it was one of the nearest in the world.
Our first stop was at Chong De Viewing Platform. In this viewing platform, people can take a lot of photos with the magnificent ocean and the mountain as the background.
|Mountain and its tunnel|
|The sky, the sea, the mountain, and I. How blessed I am.|
The driver then brought us to Qingshui Cliff to have another view of the sea. He then brought us to the last course of the appetizer, Qingshui Beach.
|Qingshui literally means clear water|
|Worth to see?|
|You can see the two railway that used to transport all the marbles from the gorges|
|This is the beach but I prefer the bird-eye view of course|
And then we moved to our main courses. The driver dropped us at the first spot, Taroko Visitor Centre. This place is a huge building with a exhibit inside to show whatever information related to the gorge, like the map, the topography, the rock formation, the fauna, etc etc etc. The outdoor area of the visitor centre is as appealing. You can see the mountain, a nicely shaped grass patch, and some stone statues.
|The visitor centre building|
|Okay to be honest, I forget what it is|
|The statue of the aboriginal tribe of Taroko|
|The sacred book of Taroko?|
|Overall view of the exhibit|
|One of the weasel that can be found here|
We continued our journey to Shakadang Trail. This is trail whereby you need to take the staircase down to the bank of the river. After that you can walk along the river bank with rocks over your head.
|The gate to Shakadang Trail|
|Okay I admit this is edited. You can't really see the turquoise color water.|
|The rocks are ABOVE your head literally|
|The trail opens up at one point|
|Yummy NTD 65 Bento Box|
|Our lunch place|
|The view from our lunch bench, I wish I can have this view ever lunch time|
|The entrance to the trail|
|We were dropped here and asked to walked until the other end of the tunnel. Yes, we should wear the safety helmet!|
|One side for vehicles, one site for people to walk. The rock is self standing and this tunnel was constructed by HAND.|
|Me at the end of the tunnel|
|The Guan Yin Statue and the Pagoda|
|Sit, relax, and take welfie|
|I just feel like this is maybe a screenshot of heaven|
|We can declare that we have visited Taroko!|
|You still can see the silhoutte of the mountains|
|If only I knew they were crystals, I would have brought back some of the stones|
|Amei Muaji, the second best in Taiwan, according to the driver. And I really love it! Especially the chocolate and black sesame flavours!|
Taipei, we are coming!
Love is in the air,
Next Post - Hello Taipei, Hello Ningxia Night Market!