My sisters and I left very early the morning of January 18th to head for Hualien County on the Eastern coast of Taiwan, south of Taipei. My elder sister planned an overnight trip just for the three of us. I took a cab from my hotel and met my sisters at the train station. They were awake and so perky. I still felt groggy, but my sisters bought me a coffee and some pastries, which they offered once I arrived. They’d also bought little snacks to take along the trip. They’re always so organized and prepared for everything! Our train ride was about three hours long. Once we arrived in Hualien, we met our driver, Mr. He, who took us everywhere and was very knowledgeable about the sights in the area.
Our first stop was at Taroko National Park. We stopped and ate lunch on the way, a delight. Taroko National Park is one of the seven national parks in Taiwan. It was named after the Taroko Gorge, the landmark gorge of the park. The park spans Taichung City, Nantou County, and Hualien County.
Eternal Springs Shrine above is one of the many beautiful shrines/towers. It was built in memory of the hundreds of workers who died or were injured during the construction of the central highway that runs through the Eastern section of Taroko Gorge. I was amazed at the road system and tunnels that ran through the park obviously built through the mountain rock.
Taroko Gorge and the surrounding area is well known for its supply of marble. Throughout the park, you could see evidence of this in the statues and architecture.
This beautiful statue is made of marble
One of the many lovely views in the park
Bridge of the Kind Mother
My elder sister told me that the drive to the park would be a bit windy, but it wasn’t bad at all and I was fine the whole trip. I have a terrible problem with motion sickness. My sisters said that our mother also struggled with the same thing.
Day Peak Tower
Cheung Tak Temple
Shakadang Bridge (Bridge of 100 Lions)
A suspension foot bridge. No way you could get me on that!
The visit to the park was beautiful. At the end of the day we headed to an inn where my eldest sister had made reservations. It was a distance away from the park, and by the time we made it there, it was dark. I slept most of the way there, as despite efforts to stay awake, I was jet lagged and sleep overtook me. My sisters chatted in Mandarin to Mr. He. I wished that it didn’t sound so foreign. Although I couldn’t see the ocean, I could hear it, the roar of the waves was intoxicating. The inn was very quaint, and it was so nice to hit the sack after a full day of sightseeing. I fell asleep almost immediately to the sound of ocean waves and woke up the next morning to a breathtaking view of the ocean right outside my window! We had a lovely breakfast, and I was introduced to the innkeeper. The Taiwanese are simply the kindest and most gracious people! After breakfast, my sisters and I strolled on the beach and took pictures. Then, it was time to go. We visited a few shops before heading back to the train. My sisters bought some jerky for my husband and a few things for my daughter. They refused to let me pay for anything. I loved this trip. It was an experience I’ll never forget! To spend so much time with my sisters, and for them to book such a lovely trip for us was just beyond!
The beach and ocean just outside the inn