Taipei 台北, Danshui 淡水

Hualien 2010.9.28 自强號 9.28 Taipei

Taipei 2010.9.28 MRT 9.28 Danshui

Danshui 2010.9.28 MRT 9.28 Taipei

Taipei 2010.9.29 bus 9.29 TPE 12:50 TG634 (Thai Airways) 16:15 ICN

Next destination would be Taichung, but no bus would bring me there in a day. So I simply changed my plan, to take a direct train back to Taipei. I visited 孔子廟 since that day was Confucius’ birthday. Interestingly, what awaiting for me was not the ceremony which was already over very early in that morning, but some demonstrations with TV reporters. I also visited Bao-an temple next to it. Unlike 孔子廟, it looked very luxury. And a nearby park was busy for re-organising, due to ‘Int’l Flora Exposition’ ahead. So I decided to pass some spots in that park. However, I could see ‘圓山 大飯店’ on my way to Beitou.

Beitou’s public hot spring was excellent, except that I had to wear a swimsuit. When I was bathing, sudden rain drove me feel like being a part of nature. Then I hurried not to miss seeing sunset of Danshui, but it was already dark when I arrived there by MRT. Danshui’s street was lively so I liked it. I visited ‘Fort San Domingo’ on foot. And I ate something while walking back to MRT station.

I’d been waiting for a contact from the other old friend in Taipei, but she finally didn’t contact me. So I just walked around Taipei city at that night. I saw some government buildings, hospitals, parks, and Ximending streets which couldn’t be missed. Before going to 永康街, I realised the time was too late. Fortunately, 臨江街 night market was just next to the hostel where I was staying, I had ‘foot massage’ there three days ago. Thanks to people and friends I met in Taiwan, I was happy enough though my feet were hurt. I will visit Taiwan again soon.

In the next morning, I took a direct bus to Taoyuan airport from a hotel near the hostel.

2010.9.27 Hualien 花蓮 – Taroko Gorge 太魯閣峽谷

Su-ao 2010.9.26 train 9.26 Hualien 9.27 bus 9.27 Taroko

Taroko 2010.9.27 bus 9.27 Hualien

Hualien 2010.9.28 自强號 9.28 Taipei

While talking with other guys staying in a same dorm room during the night before, I realised there were free buses to Taroko Gorge frequently. So I took the buses. I stopped at 天祥, 九曲洞, 燕子口, and visitor center for Shakadang Trail, then back to Hualien city. It was sad that only a little part of 九曲洞 was opened to public, which has the best scenic beauty, because of recent Typhoon. And I had to wait for the next bus for nearly two hours with nothing to do. So I decided to walk to 燕子口. It took about an hour. My three days old watch, which I bought in duty free shop, was scratched while passing one of dark tunnels on that way.

After my coming back to Hualien city, I walked around. Near ‘Martyr’s Shrine’, I found some Taiwanese military posts. It was interesting but I didn’t take any photos, because taking photos might make a problem.

It was funny that I met two guys in the street by chance, who were talking at a lobby of the hostel we were staying. They recognised me because I asked them a simple question last night. They were pleased to guide me to the most famous restaurant for ‘Dumpling soup’. After eating that, they guided me to eat something else together again and again. It was very lucky for me to see them in the street by chance. Their home city is Taipei but they were there because they just retired from Taiwanese military service a day before!

One of the guys gave me a ride with his rent-a-scooter to the hostel we were staying. After having a shower, we had beer until 2 with two more other travellers from Hongkong. Making new friends while travelling is always lovely.

2010.9.26 Yehliu, Keelung, Jiaoxi, Su-ao

Taipei 2010.9.26 09:00 皇家客運 (Royal Bus) 9.26 JinShan 9.26 bus 9.26 Yehliu

Yehliu 2010.9.26 bus 9.26 Keelung 9.26 train 9.26 Jiaoxi 9.26 train 9.26 Su-ao

Su-ao 2010.9.26 train 9.26 Hualien 9.27 bus 9.27 Taroko

My first destination out of Taipei was Yehliu. Because I also wanted to see YangmingShan’s steam of Sulfur on the way to Yehliu, I took a bus heading for JinShan then changed once. Yehliu’s sight was amazing enough. Then I visited Keelung for a short time while waiting a train to go to Jiaoxi, where is famous for hot spring.

Jiaoxi has a public open-air hot spring, men and women separated, which is my best favourite kind of bathing. There was no necessary to wear a swimsuit. The hot spring and also food in the street was great, too.

I couldn’t just pass Su-ao, because there were cold spring which is very rare on this planet. I found public bath again, but it looked weird. There was nobody at the entrance, but it was just free to anyone. I was in there for a while. Later, I found one man coming down there, when I was dressing up. That local man was very kind, too.

I had arrived at Hualien station late at night, after long time journey I had that day. Even I took a train goes to opposite direction from Jiaoxi, but thanks to very kind people, I was always able to go wherever I want. 太魯閣號 train, one of trains I took during the day, was also impressive.