[TW] Day Tour in Hualien | Exploring the magnificence of nature

Saturday, November 29, 2014

No trip to Taiwan is complete without taking in the sights and beauty of Hualien. A place filled with peace, serenity and magnificence of nature, it's certainly one to recharge your tired soul out there.

Some fun facts of Hualien - it's the most sparsely populated area in Taiwan and it's surrounded by mountains and sea, making it the perfect holiday spot. Thus, you'll realize that the locals tend to walk at a slower pace, while typical city tourists like us would walk very quickly compared to them!

Given the various landmarks, we joined a day tour bringing us to the various spots and having the tour guide explain different stories/origins of the places.


Known for its emerald green waters that are supposedly clear (but we were unable to see it from such great height), it was a pretty sight with foggy mountains amidst. Pity that the huge influx of tourists basically killed any chances of pretty photos/solo shots! 


Spot the tiny temple at the top? It was amazing wondering how did people actually build it back then?! Well, given the weather conditions in Taiwan, with typhoons and earthquakes, the temple had been destroyed previously by the falling boulders but had also been rebuilt. Along the way as you climb up the slope, you'll also be able to spot 慈母喬. Pity we were too absorbed in exploring the cafe that we'd missed that out until our coach went past afterwards!


On the way up, the peripheral view was picturesque! Surrounded by mountains and valleys, this was one that I was mesmerized with, and probably the common view over here. 

The homes of swallows aren't all that glamourous, residing in holes of the over-arching caves on our way up. It's extremely dangerous going up, with cars coming by anytime and also coaches that may bang into edges of the caves hence we were warned to be very careful, explaining the lack of photos.  


Going into the caves at the entrance of 白楊步道 trail, it's so dark you can barely see anything so tip is to follow closely behind the tour guide with a flash light! There are interesting features such as purple rocks or emerald stones from the calcification and chemical reactions of the rocks within.

Warning signs to always have your helmet on! 

Moving further in, this was the highlight of the trip - with a pretty easy hiking trail though helmets have to be decked at all times due to falling rocks from the edges of the mountains. For nature lovers especially, this was packed with natural landforms that I couldn't stop thinking that learning Geography in secondary school did come in handy finally!

水帘洞 Water Curtain Hole 
Another amazing creation of nature :) 

Don't forget to be armed with plastic bags to keep your belongings or a poncho to keep yourself relatively dry! 


Last spot before we end the day, this is the perfect place to look for some peace while listening to the waves crashing in. It is over here that I've learnt the true meaning of the phrase 一望无际 

While it is supposed to be a lake, it looked more like a sea to me. This is supposedly the best spot to catch sunrise at about 6am, though it wasn't able to fit into our itinerary ):

It is also over here that we saw the catch of a huge fish, requiring a truck the size of those cement trucks in Singapore to transport it! So amazed that I was too slow in whipping out my camera. 

Apart from the peace you get, further up the beach you get to immerse in their traditional cultural songs, by their various local aborigines (原住民). They're always very proud of 张惠妹, 动力火车 etc for making their music and clans known to the world!  

The beautiful sights of Hualien has gotten me to want to revisit, and also regretting that we didn't have enough time here! If you've got the luxury of time, 2 days would be perfect to add on another cycling tour around the scenic beaches, checking out the Belbin Seashore Park etc, with a view across Pacific Ocean! 

If you're a nature lover, you'd definitely fall in love with Hualien. A place to simply relax your soul and take in the sights, it reminds you to take a step back from our constant city buzz and indulge in the present moment. 

This is where you can look for tour groups like ours if you're lost on a one day trip to Hualien! It's located at the back of Hualien Station, exit on the right side and you'll be able to spot this at the carpark! 

Tel: 03-8576838

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