Taiwan, Day 2: Taroko Gorge.

We are going to Taroko Gorge (太魯閣國家公園) today, one of Taiwan’s national park.

Had to buy Cross Platform Tickets (月台票) in order to get to the front exit of the train station from the rear exit.

Hualien Bus Terminal (花莲客运) is just at the left side of the train station when you come out from the front exit.

Bought two tickets to Taroko, it’s TWD 92 each. Not every bus stops at the Taroko Gorge Headquarters, so you will have to ask the counter staff or the information is also available here but there are more buses than what is stated on the website (maybe one bus every hour).

You can always choose to book a cab driver for your Taroko trip, the driver will know which spots are best but of course at a very expensive rate. Can always find other tourist at Hualien Train Station to make up 4 persons to share a cab.

Or even, rent your own scooter – the most inexpensive method. I will only recommend this if you have a bike license, even though you can rent one without a license.

Sat at the nearby tiny park while waiting for the bus, another 50 mins before the next bus comes.

There’s a mochi shop (曾师傅) just behind the bus terminal, opposite the tiny park. Hualien is famous for their mochi aka mua chee. By the way, the stall is all around Hualien.

You’ll receive a 10% discount if you have this Youth Travel card but only available for certain stores, please check the guidebook that comes along with the card. You can get this card at the Taoyuan Airport Tourist Counter, as long as you are age 30 and below.

We tried three flavours. The peanut, black sesame and green tea. The mochi is freshly made on the spot when we ordered.

And also this brown sugar thing, I forgot what it is called.

Boyfriend bought a Taiwan travel book from 7-eleven, it’s provides good information and even has transportation details for buses. We have been using the book to look for popular dining places.

The area where you really have to wait for the bus, right outside the terminal.

An hour of bus trip and we’re finally there at Taroko Gorge!

Mochi time.

Look at the amount of filling inside! The outside layer is soft and sticky but does not stick to your teeth. We love it!

Taroko Gorge headquarter.

In the gallery.

Cute birdies.

Walking to the ShadaKang Trail, the one nearest to the headquarters.

From now on there will be lots and lots of pictures.

Chickens crossing the road.

Walk through this tunnel.

May seem a little endless… just keep walking.

Then we’re finally out of the tunnel!

You’ll be on this bridge full of many lions with different expressions. Do take a look at those lions, they are cute!

You can see the stream of the Shakadang Trail from the bridge.

Boyfriend wants a snack break before we start the Shakadang Trail.

Soft and chewy! Nice bite!

To the starting point!

Going down.

It’s so beautiful here! You have to come here yourself and just look at all those greenery and listen to the waters.

Thanks to the Uncle from Hong Kong for helping us to take this photo.

Finally able to rest after a 1 km walk. Did I mention it is a 2 km trail and that does not include walking back to the bridge?

Few shops.

Continue our walk to the Dam, the road is going to get a little tougher.

Waterfall.

Plants grow on fallen boulders.

Getting tired.

Boyfriend had to help me with my bag because my back is starting to hurt.

Finally at the Dam!

Rest time!!! It was drizzling a little but we’re feeling hot due to all the walking.

Start walking back before the rain becomes heavy but we still got kind stuck in the rain. Sat down at a dry spot.

Picnic-ed. Oh the other honey cake which I bought the night before was delicious. It was soft, fluffy and fragrant. Why isn’t it soft in Singapore?

This is milk flavoured, which is why I don’t adore it at all.

Eventually, we wore our ponchos and walked out of Shakadang Trail. Traveled through another tunnel to Eternal Spring Shrine.

Poor boyfriend, whom has to help his weak girlfriend.

Burn some incense, please bring your own lighters. We borrowed from a tour guide.

Water comes out from here.

Eternal Spring Shrine.

Cool and clear water.

Boyfriend wanted to climb the stairs to get to the other shrine at the top. I told him I’ll wait at at the bottom for him, plus it’s going to turn dark by the time he comes down. I’ll be quite a burden if I go up together. In the end, he decides not to go. We’ll go up together next time round if we’re there early, okay?

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Sky is getting dark and we have to start walking back to the headquarters, so we will be in time for the bus.

Even the mountains are black.

The worse thing happened and we really think we’re stranded at Taroko Gorge. No bus! Walked all the way out to the street just so we could get a cab, I was so tired by then after walking for at least 10 km.

Energy pump is very much needed at 7-eleven.

TWD 10 per piece.

Even their instant Japanese curry rice is delicious, beats most restaurants in Singapore. Only TWD 58, which is like $2.50?

Tried waiting for the bus at the nearby bus stop, totally missed one… waited for another but it never came… took a cab instead. Costs us TWD 570 from Taroko all the way to the night market.

Going to try another barbeque stall. I liked their capsicum and the thin tofu thing.

This looks too interesting to be missed, I’ve been aiming this stall since last night.

Definitely a right choice! I ordered a pork chop with combo sauce and also a hot plate noodle. By the way, all their dishes come with noodles.

Meals include buns, red tea and soup.

Smoking hot! I stood far away, in case the sauce splatters on me.

This is just noodles with combo sauce and an egg.

Pork chop with combo sauce, noodles and egg below. We shared the pork chop.

Just look at how tender the pork chop is. I’m craving for it!

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We were K.O-ed by the end of the day. Too tired!

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