We arrived in Hualien on the sunday afternoon and checked into our hotel. Not the best of hotels but there was an American guy who was married to one of the receptionists, he was pretty helpful and friendly and recommended some restaurants. We went to the Salt Lick an American restaurant the first night, it was my second visit and i definetely recommend it if you are visiting Hualien. The next morning we went down to the railway station to see if we could get some transport to Taroko, with it being CNY the buses were proving very expensive, NT250 per person one way, so we hired 2 scooters for a day NT800 (usually NT400). This turned out to be a great idea, it was a pleasant sunny day and by far a much better way to get to Taroko and ride through the gorge. In the evening back in Hualien we visited the Dos Tacos Mexican restaurant, You could get truly authentic Mexican cuisine, i enjoyed it as much as the Salt Lick the night before, my son was also impressed. The restaurant is run by an American who seemed a decent guy to talk too.
From Hualien it was next stop Keelung.
Monday, 22 February 2016
My eldest son flew in on Feb 4 I hadn't seen him for 3 and a half years, to say i was a bit choked was an understatement. After picking him and his girlfriend from the airport, we got a bus to Taipei main station so we could get a train down to Taidong. We had decided to start off out tour of Taiwan down there and booked a place for 3 nights which turned out to be a nice place, a kind of homestay/hotel run by a guy who spoke good English who also picked us up from Taidong Station. We took it easy on the first couple of days so Gaz could get aclimatised, hired a couple of scooters to get around, took a journey up the coast just past Chenggong. It was a bit cool that day but i think he enjoyed driving for the first time in Taiwan. We introduced them to 7-11 life and how easy it is to survive if you havent got the confidence to walk into a noodle shop with no knowledge of the language. Gaz was a bit worried about the food before he got here but once he'd seen a Pizza Hut, Macdonalds, and tried a jipai in the night market, i think he knew he would be ok. On the sunday we were off to Hualien for the second stage and a trip to Taroko (my first time back there for 7 years).