Purple has now turned blue... purple is joy, yet blue is hope!


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Taiwan TaiTung - HuaLien Bicycle Trip (Part 3) March 2016

Guess what? I'd totally forgot there's another final section of my 1Q2016 trip to Taiwan. Believe 2016 had came till the end, while it has carried on my life fairly quickly. At a glance, year has came to its end. [yet I have 1 more week to complete my pending blog]

Grabbed my headphone and there I go... continue writing..

Day 3 of our cycling tour brought us from Guang Fu 光復 to Hualian 花蓮.

花蓮光復糖廠 Hualien Sugar Refinery

Since we missed the ice cream store due to the rain a night before, we headed to the ice cream factory immediately after breakfast, and before our journey up North. It's typical a local tourist spot, surrounded with some Japanese styled building and their typical tourist i station.

Brandy and Wasabi ice cream - early in the morning
We continued our journey, till some midway we stopped for a decent photo shooting at a grass land. Somewhere out there, while I couldn't hit the exact location in 4sq and Instagram. 

Lovely grass land for photo shooting
The last day was being quite a least excitement ride, as the road was flat without much difficult pedal. As we approached noon, we were guided to a nice tourist cum fishery pond place for lunch. As lunch and dinner wasn't included in our tour trip, we didn't expect such a proper dining place didn't cost us a bomb. Thanks to our guide, as we would believe "they" all have a good deal to start with.

Lunch at 五餅二魚
Ops, rain was approaching

Local drink - assam and sarsi
Heavy meal - mainly seafood
We continued our journey after the rain... cycled cycled and finally we reached the entrance of Hualian.  Stopped by the beach side 南濱公園 around 4pm, which was supposed to be our final stop. We requested for additional challenge to ride all our way to 七星潭 Chihsingtan Beach which in our old memory about 7 years ago, it was a nice beach side. Unfortunately, the expectation was ruined. The place has been a bit run down with very lease maintenance. The ride wasn't too pleasant too, having to ride through the narrow streets, up hills and some slopes towards the beach. Nevertheless, I managed to concur the final elevation [wasn't that bad though].

Concluded the 3 days adventure to Hualien

We concluded our guided cycle tour journey when our tour guide brought us to the homestay. Some glitch in the arrangement for homestay, as our group were booked at 2 different B&B, while good thing was it was next to each other. I was slide disappointed the night, but was satisfied with our breakfast served the next morning.

Night was on our own, free easy. We headed to the famous Hualien night market. 福町夜市 Fuding Night Market

Nothing much to expect here. Quite huge for walk, proper meal and snacks area.. nice weather to walk around. But since we were all tired, we didn't shop much though. Had some food to snack on, particular the local / aboriginal traditional dumplings. Tasted good though.

Hualien night market
Traditional dumpling
The group still stayed up late, while the guys went for foot massage, the ladies hung up outside with a cup of coffee. Chilled weather was always good to stay outdoor.

Coffee while waiting for those went for massage
Our stay in Hualien 美麗家民宿 Which I can't recall which was my stay vs. the other group stay. They both equally good, but I personally prefer my breakfast served below. It was home cooked, and refillable all morning long. Served with nice soybean drink too.

Hearty breakfast
Owner's Corgi breed doggie
The view from mini garden
Hualien Homestay
Upon check out, it became our long day long journey back to Taipei. We missed the intended train from Hualien to RuiFang, because there was a large crowd of mainland visitors clogged the queuing area. We had to wait 3 hours for the next train. There goes the plan! It was an unplanned stay at the surrounding of Hualien. But good thing was, we shopped at Giant shop, after storing our luggage at the lockers.
Luggage lockers
Some of us rented a bike each at Giant shop near the station, off we went to hunt for food and another larger Giant store nearby. It was a pleasant shopping, I have got myself 2 sets of Liv cap which I very much liked it.

We found some good dumpling too 公正街包子店 Gongzheng Street Baozi
and fresh mochi 曾記麻糬站前門市

Rush rush off we went on the train and hit RuiFang 瑞芳 station. That brought us to further tourist spot of ShiFen 十分, QingTong 青銅. Timing was bad, from our delay... by the time we reached the spot it was almost evening and night. We were quite tired in fact.

Train to RuiFang
Luggage storage at RuiFamg

Old display
Had our early dinner at a place which used to serve "workers meal" 紅寶礦工食堂

Workers meal

十分天燈廣場 Shifen Sky Lantern Square

I don't fancy this at all, because its so not environmental friendly.

Lantern wish
We return to our Taipei hotel close to 10pm. And yet, some still continue hanging out at 7-11 below the hotel. Weather has turned chilled and cold that night.

Great recycling program at 7-11
7-11 Suntory beer
The very next morning, we woke up early as usual. Walk over to XiMenDing for breakfast. Sad to learned that some of our members turned sick. Probably due to the sudden change of weather, plus over tiredness throughout the day. Before heading to XiMenDing, I grabbed a bit from the  kiosk next to 7-11 優兒咖啡 Your Coffee nice sandwich they had. Was meant for office workers' quick bite.

Had our breakfast at  蜂大咖啡 Fong Da Coffee. Personally thinks it was an overrated cafe. Anyway, it was concluded my curiosity from some tourist write up.

Fong Da local brewed coffee and almond biscuit
Our bus ride from the station to airport was just right opposite our hotel stay.

Bus station - noticed the ad?

Here's our great cycling tour group contact. They provided really good and personalized service to us. Yet, they are not so commercialized in such, so much personalized and customized free and easy trips we could get from them. Excellent choice!

Bike tour

Looking forward for our next adventure in 2017!... which is very soon :)