Thursday, April 04, 2013

Taiwan IV 2nd Half: Rock Home

Tianxiang by williamnyk
Tianxiang, swiped from williamnyk on Flickr.
BONUS MATERIAL in this super long-winded post (fourth in the series of many!): Taiwan Celebrity-- Juice Jack!

Took a long drive in the mountains (with fantastic views) and eventually reached Tianxiang, a large river terrace recreational area. Beautiful area where Dasha River and Taci Jili River converge to become Liwu River. The river cut through the mountains revealing smooth, marble boulders. At the end of the Pudu uspension bridge was Xiangde Temple, that's only accessible by climbing the many steps up. SK wasn't thrilled by the idea, so she decided to rest in the car. So, KH and I had the chance to go paktor-ing again. Really quite challenging to rush up to the temple since Lewis only gave us an hour. But luckily it was quiet enough for us to hold hands. Hehe. At the top, there was a tall White Robed Guanyin Statue and the Tian Feng Pagoda. The elevated views were quite breathtaking but the main stemple wasn't quite as elaborate as the Wenwu Temple.

Bridge Over Liwu

Geology

Tianfeng Pagoda

Ten Directions

Trudged back down to Tianxiang and there was food waiting for us-- grilled sweet potato and wild boar sausage. Yumz. Further on our journey, we stopped at Cimu Bridge, or the Motherly Devotion Bridge. Taiwan's late president Chiang Jing-guo and Chiang kai-shek both built pavilions nearby in memory of their respective mothers. Underneath the bridge is also Frog Rock, a rock shaped like a giant fawg. Takes some imagination, but I do see the resemblance. Yanzikou or Swallows Grotto was next on our itinerary. The marble cliffs were named as such becase there are many holes on the surface due to erosion and swallows often forage and nest there. At some point, the cliffs are so narrow that the cliff face seem to nearly touch each other. At this point, we had bumped into a deluge of PRC tourist in hordes of buses. The vehicle and human traffic congestion was scary. According to regulations, visitors who alight from tour buses are required to wear hard hats, but private visitors need not (our lives are cheaper perhaps). So when I saw the sea of hard hats, I finally understood what Lewis meant by 'engineers'.

River Rocks

Frog Rock

9Turns

iPadMe

Yanzikou

Exited Taroko National Park after that, arriving at Hualien, a quiet city of straight roads and loads of traffic lights. Since we wanted to eat beef noodles, our driver brought us for an early dinner. Shared a bowl of beef noodles (thumbs up), pork trotter noodles (icky oil smell) and beef tendon (sedap!). Saw an entertaining sign at the shop that is an excellent example of Taiwanese English. Enjoy.

Beef Tendon

Beef Noodles

To Run Business

Checked in at Suto Home, a ming shu that came highly-recommended by KH's friend. Our driver wondered about our choice since he had a cheaper alternative in mind. Never-the-less, he accepted our request. The place is a large bungalow that feels more like a house than a hotel. All the rooms had themes, and as luck would have it, KH and I got the honeymoon suite. We unloaded our luggage and went to the Zhiqiang Night Market, one of the two night markets in town. Zhiqiang was more famous for food while the other Nanbin Night Market, had more games (check out Taiwan Celebrity: Juice Jack!). Compared to Taipei, the night market was quiet and had ample space. Not all the stalls were open, and some stalls even had seating. Just had a spring roll, white fungus dessert and a cheap sushi and sashimi set. Didn't try the the famous coffin bread.

Suto

Popiah

Juice Jack

Since it was still early, we went to Nanbin as well, which was located by the coast. Thank goodness it wasn't our first choice, because there wasn't much to eat at all, just a whole lot of fun fair type games that didn't interest any of us. Reached our rooms at about 9:00pm, but we had a small party of our own with a large BBQ squid and Heineken beer. That night, KH & I used the bathtub, but we dare not go in together for fear that it might collapse! So we just took turns 'servicing' each other. Making the best of the honeymoon suite, we pulled back the gauze canopy and shagged like little rabbits.

Sushi Select

Blast 'Em!

Honeymoon

4 comments:

Derek said...

Hmmm, how come I don't remember seeing the Kuan Yin on elephants statue de?

William said...

@Derek:
Too busy looking at me?

Twilight Man said...

I have not been to Hualien yet. Now considering after seeing your photos.

William said...

@Twi:
Go, go, go. Importantly, get a good guide.