Kehaha~ Why am I writing a blog post about Hua Lien trip 2010 when 2011 had just ended? Because I may be going for another trip in 2012~!
Stayed in 小王子民宿 during our 3 nights trip there. Though due to some mis-communications, we were moved to the more ulu 吉安branch but the overall experience there was way way more satisfying than our stay in Taipei.
Per the name of the residence, the whole 民宿was themed to the ''Le Petit Prince'' which happens to be my favourite ever.
We opted for a 6 pax room and surprisingly, it came with a mini swimming pool which took forever to fill up.
Very clean rooms and facilities, owned by a friendly couple and their toddler son who likes my hubby so much that he cried when it's time for us to leave.
But still, Hualien is a place where it's inconvenient for tourists to get around without a car due to their lack of public transport. Our 民宿 helped us to get a cab that we can call when we needed transport and can bring us around attractions. First day there, we went to their famous 七星谭 where there's a beer factory, 柴鱼博物馆 where they display the history of fishery in Hualien, different fish types and also sells fish products.
The weather was quite unpredictable, raining a few hours after we got there and stopping an hr plus later. Was evening after we got out of the museum, our cab driver took us to where food was.
There was a shop that only sells pork 水饺 (and nothing else! not even rice~!) but I've forgotten the name. The 2 branches are very famous in Hualien, so you can just ask and people will know. Their 水饺s are superb! Delicious with a wham! Big, juicy with thin skin and a lot of meat filling. A definite must try when you go there.
The driver also took us to 公正包子店. A 24 hours dim sum store that the driver said was famous too. Their 小笼包, not the 上海小笼包that we usually eat at Crystal Jade but the thicker flour skin 包 steamed in 小笼(small basket). So now that you know, don't go and order 10 小笼包at the same time, otherwise you will really burst the seams!
Another shop that I want to recommend is 包心粉圆. A dessert shop selling shaved ice with various toppings. Can't find the shop name cause the 招牌just stated 包心粉圆 ;P The crunchy balls have got water chestnuts fillings when topped together with yam balls on ice, is simply heavenly. I remembered the shop that we went to has got free flow condense milk or something but well, memory fails with increasing age I guessed.
Our driver took us to 太鲁格 (Taroko National Park) the next day, our first time in Hualien, we took the normal tourists route, meaning 砂卡礑步道, 燕子口, 九曲洞步道, 長春祠步道,天祥, 寧安橋,慈母橋. I hope to go to the route (合歡山遊憩帶) my brother went in August 10. Be sure to check with your guide or via the website for weather conditions and closure of tourist spots. Due to various typhoons and earth rumbles, there have been increasing floods and landslides in the mountains there. And also don't stupidly wear dresses and heels there (like we saw some China tourists did) , this place is full of rocks and stones. Unless you want to try your shot at limping all the way. Don't smoke too! (Like we saw ALOT of China tourists did, oh well, they always thought they are the 大爷where ever they are right?)
We went to the night market 自强夜市near to our 民宿. Though it was very near but we got lost and went one big round when the place is actually 5 mins away. Nothing much to say, though lots of people around, we didn't find anything we kind of like. Didn't have the kind of ooo~~ that we had when we ate at Taipei.
After our tiring trip in Taipei and another tiring trip up Taroko, we went for a country-side trip along 花东纵谷. 林田山文化园区， 鲤鱼谭, 光复观光糖厂. Perhaps due to our super long 11 days trip through damn cold Taipei and warm Hualien, we weren't very enthusiastic about our 花东trip. Maybe because it consisted mostly of car travelling rather than activities.
Finally blogging for May 2010 Taiwan trip ended. I still have August 2010 and May 2011 to blog about! I don't think I'll be going on for August 2010 trip since there are no new places. But will blog about Kaohsiung May 2011.