Daily Archives: July 22, 2012

Taiwan Trip – 自强夜市 & Cultural Show @ Hualien

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Day 2: July 8th, 2012

After coming back from Taroko Gorge tour, we rested for a while at the ‘minsu’. I was so tired that I actually fell asleep. While I was lost in dream land, my hubby went strolling and captured the following shots.

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After we took turns to freshen up, we left the ‘minsu’ at around 7.15pm. We walked to 石藝大街, which was a short distance away, for a free cultural performance. For one hour (7.30-8.30pm), we were entertained by a local dance troupe showcasing traditional dances of various tribal groups in Taiwan (map taken from wikipedia).

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After the show, we called for a taxi to bring us to Ziqiang night market. The taxi fare from 石藝大街 to Ziqiang night market was only NT$100. Actually the meter reading was above NT$100 but the driver only asked for NT$100. We were pleasantly surprised.

If you need a cab when you are in Hualien, you can call this number:
08-00046046 (花蓮統一計程車/Hualien Tong Yi Taxi)

自强夜市 Zi Qiang Night Market @ Hualien

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After satisfying our appetites, we took another taxi back to the ‘minsu’. Day 2 was simply wonderful – beautiful scenery, mouth-watering delicacies, a good dose of culture, healthy exercise for the body, and lots of joy and laughter. What a great start to our 11-day trip in Taiwan!

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Taiwan Trip – Taroko Gorge One-Day Tour

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Day 2: July 8th, 2012

Our tour guide cum driver for the day, Mr Li Te-Ming, picked us up at the ‘minsu’ punctually at 9.30am. Prior to our trip, I searched online for a reliable driver to bring us around Taroko Gorge. Through tripadvisor.com I came to know of Tiffany Chang who was highly recommended by other forumers. I sent her an email, and amazingly, she replied within the hour. She’s that efficient! As she was fully booked on July 8th, she recommended that we engage her husband, Te-Ming, instead. We thoroughly enjoyed our time with Te-Ming. He is a very down-to-earth man.  We find him very reliable, informative, amiable and kind. Of utmost importance, he’s an experienced and careful driver. Besides driving tourists around Hualien/Taroko, he also provides transportation from Hualien to CingJing. He drives a Toyota Wish.

If you would like to engage their services, you can contact Tiffany at +886912522118 or tiffany_935lk@yahoo.com.tw. Alternatively, you can visit her Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/Tiffanytaxi.

“The following is our travel route of Taroko and charges :
被浪打到 minsu – (Cingshuei Cliff)  – Entrance of Taroko National Park – Taroko Gorge (Shakadang Trail – Eternal Spring Shrine Trail – Swallow Grotto Trail – Tunnel of Nine Turns – Tzu Mu Bridge – Holiu Suspension Bridge – Tiansiang) –  back to Hualien train station or Hualien city.
※ 1-2 people – NT2200 / per car
※ 3-4 people – NT2500 / per car
※ 5-6 people – NT3000 / per car
※ Cingshuei Cliff – pay an additional NT500 / per car
※ Taroko tour takes about 6 hours.
※ Taroko tour + Cingshuei Cliff takes about 6-8 hours.”    
                                                                                                                            -Tiffany-

We paid a total of NT$3500 for a one-day tour (around 8 hours) of Taroko Gorge + Cingshuei cliff. We visited the following attractions:-

七星潭 – Beautiful scenery, but the sun was too HOT for my liking. Remember to bring an umbrella and use plenty of sunblock.

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清水斷崖 Cingshuei Cliff

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砂卡礑步道 Shakadang Trail – we spent roughly one hour here. We walked more than 2km in that one hour. Surprisingly, we did not feel tired at all – perhaps it was due to the beautiful scenery that kept us mesmerized. Furthermore, the trees along the trail provided natural shade, much to my relief.

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燕子口 Swallow Grotto Free helmet (borrow and return)”  – We had to wear the helmets as a safety precaution against falling rocks (!).

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Lunch @ 天祥 Tiansiang – We stopped for lunch here. Tiansiang is one of the only two rest areas along the Central Cross-Island Highway. We ordered the recommended set lunch for NT$800 (5 dishes + 1 soup). Yummy yum yum~

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合流岳王亭吊桥 Holiu Suspension Bridge

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慈母桥 Tzu Mu Bridge

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Do you see any resemblance?

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长春祠 Eternal Spring Shrine Trail

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Low batt?!                                          

东西横贯公路入口 Entrance to Central Cross-Island Highway
and Taroko National Park

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According to Te-Ming, we must take photos here as proof that we’d been to Taroko National Park. It was supposed to be the entrance, but ironically,  it turned out to be our last stop.

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Initially we planned to ask Te-Ming to drop us at 自强夜市 ZiQiang night market on the way back. However, all of us were exhausted by then; so we decided to go back to the ‘minsu’ to freshen up first. By the time we arrived at the ‘minsu’, it was almost 6pm already.