Good morning from Liga Hotel in Hualein 🙂 Looking forward to our 8 hours Tarako tour today with our private hired guide. Heads up its going to be a picture heavy post ahead. The Tarako area is an extremely scenic area, hence I did snapped alot of photos. As the public transport system is literally non-existent and the attractions are far apart from each other in Hualein, its always good to have a private guide to bring you around and explain stuffs. First up on our busy itenary was QingShui Cliff, one of Taiwan’s top ten scenic sites. Basically its a cliff with extremely blue water, as you guessed from the name. Our guide explained that it was caused by the temperature difference between the waters of the Phillipine sea and the Sea of Japan. I kid you not, the place and our view point of the ocean was extremely beautiful.
After spending around 20 minutes around the area which honestly was not very big, we hopped on back to our cab and carried on towards the famous and must visit Tarako Gorge. If it is your first time in the Tarako National Park, the first thing you will realise is how scary it is to drive around this place. As the roads in the Tarako National Park is cut through the mountains, land and rock slides are pretty much common around here. There are areas where the rock really looked super unsteady and seems like it can topple any moment. Our guide explained the whole area can be closed during massive earthquakes or typhoons which cause roads to be destroyed by the rock slide. As dangerous as it sounds, one will surely be awestruck by the gorgeous scenery Tarako has to offer. Random fact: Tarako National Park is approximately 3 times bigger than Singapore. Anyhow, the places we visited was the Yan Zi Wo, Tarako Gorge and ended it off with a hike to the Beiyang waterfall. Cute thing about Yan Zi Wo was that you have to wear these safety helmets over your heads in case of any rockfall.
We stopped by for a quick lunch at a place recommended by our guide and were advised to purchase ponchos if we went to venture behind the Beiyang waterfall. Lunch was just some simple Taiwan fare and the food and place was nothing special, just normal, simple Taiwan food.
After lunch, we headed to what is to me the highlight of the day. A 1.5km hike on the Beiyang waterfall trail. I am a fan of hiking, especially through I was initially quite disappointed not to be able to go behind the waterfall curtain as the ponchos at the store had run out and we couldn’t purchase any. Nevertheless, the start of the walk was quite cool and we had to use our own handphone torch light to pass through a long, dark tunnel.
After a somewhat comfortable and enjoyable hike, we finally arrived at the main attraction! The Beiyang waterfall. Well who wouldn’t enjoy it when you are hiking through scenery like that^. To be honest i was a little disappointed at the waterfall, partially because it was so far away and we could not go very close to it as a previous typhoon destroyed the bridge that led close to the waterfall. So meh~ we kinda had to admire its beauty from afar.
Remember i said i was quite disappointed cos we could not get the ponchos earlier? Turns out we were thick skinned enough to borrow ponchos from those tourist coming out from the water curtain haha! I was sent ahead to scout first but the darkness and the sound of the rushing water made me terrified to go in alone LOL! Anyway, in the end we managed to borrow enough for all of us to enter so yay! Thanks to all those random kind tourist =D For those of you curious enough, the following pictures depict what was behind the water curtain. Sadly, I could only bring my iphone in as the water literally drips from everywhere and the pics turned out dark and grainy.
Do have a try walking through the water curtain as it is quite an experience and you can goggle for much nicer pictures of this place taken by the pros. Initially I thought this was the end of the day but was quite surprised that we had one last place to visit. And the last place truly took my breath away! It was a beach/mountainous area which was a 30-40mins East from Beiyang. The sun was already starting to set and the sky looks like it was from a painting. There was nothing much to do and my family just spent the 20 mins cam whoring.
We subsequently ended our day with dinner at Mr Goose! One of the must eat places in Hualein but from some reason they had low supply of goose that day and we only only entitled to a small portion of their famous dish. Dinner was like Tze Char style and the food was not too bad although I feel the HK version of roast goose beats this hands down. Nevertheless, have a try at this place if you happen to be there.
After dinner, we just walked around downtown Hualein to get a feel of the city. Not much to shop around but a good way to digest your dinner. We headed back to our hotel early and got a good rest from the long day to prepare for the East Rift Valley tour the next day.
Finally ending off this lengthy post and good night from Hualein =D