Taiwan Trip Review: 花莲 (Hualien 1 day guided tour ) Part 3

Tuesday, September 09, 2008 Posted by YY on 12:34 AM

After finishing up our mountain water coffee, Vivien commented that we have quite alot of time left compared to other groups she brought around so she's going to bring us somewhere fantastic O.O?

Round the mountain road we drove, until the foot of the mountain. Vivien turned into the residential area, past the live seafood market *not operational at 4pm+ cos the fishermen haven come home with their catch of the day yet zzzzz~ *..and into the airbase area that was all fenced up.

Vivien said this area used to out of bounds to civilians but no longer the case now. We got out of the car and looked back on the mountains we were in for the past few hours..

Presenting 七星潭, Viven brought us to this stretch of the shoreline that was more quiet, no stalls, no noisy holiday crowds.

This patch of grassland is man made according to Vivien, it is made so that the beach is more "user-friendly" *u will know why later* This huge body of water is the pacific ocean *cool*

We were elated to see the pacific ocean right before us and YH exclaimed,"我要拿太平洋的水!" With that, she took out a empty bottle and ran down the steps. After these steps, the rest of the beach is NATURAL.

YH, in the face of waves from the pacific ocean..undaunted~

To my right, endless stretch...Blue sky, blue clear waters..

To my left..the sea and the mountains, clouds

Mentioned earlier about the man made grass, this is due to the beach being filled with stones and more stones...surely you won't want to have pinics on a stone beach?

In the pic above, left to right are taken as we move nearer to the waters. As we got nearer to the sea, the stones became smaller and smaller in size and they look pretty different too. Stones in the most left pic have got white stripes around them, looks really special and thus YH took some to accompany her bottle of pacific ocean water.

How can I not touch the pacific ocean waters?? So i stood closer and closer to the shoreline..and the waves came! Ahhh~ i kept squealing and squealing until YH,YJ thought I was afraid of water..but I wasn't.

I was squealing cos I saw how clear the water was, when the waves came in. I could literally see the stones rolling beneath the waves and how the waves were building up as they came crashing to the shoreline. I didn't want the water to touch my feet, so I ran backwards as they were reaching me..this resulted in an amused K who felt I turned into a kid once again.

Group photos after we dried our feet and wore our socks back :p ~

After having fun at the beach, Vivien brought us to the 七星柴鱼博物馆 (Bonito Flakes Museum) located nearby since we have some time before dinner.

No pics allowed in the museum so none here la *bah* Anyway, the museum is about bonito flakes making in Taiwan, its history and manufacturing processes. Never knew Taiwan used to produce bonito flakes during the times when the Japanese ruled Taiwan(50 years).

And the best part is, there are bonito flakes and other related Japanese products sold there.Oh and there is sampling too..all you want ^_^''

Hmm..the prices are not that high as compared to SG, one packet of bonito flakes for NT150 =>about S$7 or so. If you are cooking dashi stock (konbu+bonito flakes soup), S$7++ flies away just like that. Another interesting product is bonito flakes powder, which tastes great in soup cos it adds that smokey flavour.

Everyone's buying something~ but note that these product have limited shelf life, check before buying.

After our purchases at the Bonito Museum, Vivien drove us to her favourite stall in Hualien - 京湘排骨面. At first she thought it wasn't opened but hey it just got renovated :)
This stall has been in operation for 10++ years and she simply loves the noodles here. I think we won't get to eat this if we were with a tour group or walking around on our own.

Many side dishes to choose from to accompany your pork ribs noodles!

From left to right in clockwise direction: 鲨鱼冻, 温泉蛋,卤豆干,龙须菜. Out of which, 鲨鱼冻 and 龙须菜 were something new to us. Surprisingly, 龙须菜 tastes crunchy and great with simple oyster sauce. The eggs were something to die for..look at the half cooked yolk~

Another thing, free cold red tea was provided, so there's no need to spend on drinks *wee~*

The pork rib noodles came with fried pork ribs and lots of bean sprouts *YUMMY*

The texture of noodles were fantastic like a mix between mee pok and noodles and the soup was full of bonito flavour *SLURP*
During the dinner, we learnt from Vivien that she eats only one meal one day - only dinner o.O'''
We finished our meal with great satisfaction and left for the night market =)

After dinner, we still have about 1hour or so before train departure time. Vivien drove us to the local Hualien night market at 南滨公园. At the night market, Vivien suggested that we get fireworks to play at the beach since fireworks are banned in SG ^.^''

I thought fireworks were just like those fizzling stinky stuff we get in SG but it wasn't what I thought it was.

We bought one pack and there were like endless sticks inside -_-' so we starting pushing them into the sand...

Light it up with joss stick provided *ingenious idea* and "PEEEEEWWWW!!!"

Watch the video of YJ lighting up the firework and the rest of us squealing behind the camera XDD

There was one very daring man at the beach who used his bare hands to hold on to the fireworks while lighting it up. His stick of firework went high up into the sky..whereas ours went AMOK~

Our fireworks were flying up, down, left , right..scaring those people sitting at the beach area near us, so much so that they moved away XDDDdddd~ For some of the sticks that were rooted too deep into the sand, they went "BOOM!!" on the spot instead of flying up -_-'''

After finishing our pack of fireworks, Vivien drove us to the train station at about 7.15pm and there, we bade her farewell and thank her for her hospitality =D

The pic above was the LED signage at the train station, waited for 20mins before the train arrived.

K's turn to get snapped *hmpff who ask him to snap me at end of Yeliu trip* Hehe~

Overall experience at Hualien was fantastic and well worth the trouble to spend 6hours travelling to and fro via train. If there's any must go, I would recommend going Hualien for 2 days at least cos 1 day is alittle rush and there's still many parts of Taroko National Park that we did not cover. Vivien's contact as above.