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Published: September 27th 2010
Day 3 - after a restful morning at the hotel we joined a small group tour to visit the North East coast, an area noted for its numerous capes backed by green mountains.
We visited Pitou Cape where a rock formation was supposed to look like a face with a nose, neither of us could see the resemblance, our guide said to look closer as it wasn’t a western face but an asian face with a flatter nose! Just off the coast an island was pointed out that did look very much like a whale. Our next stop was the Nanya Rock formations where we were shown a sandstone fish and a rock in the shape of a frog, so far animals seem to feature heavily in this tour.
We then stopped at the Bay of Two colors, where the water is coloured by the run off from the mountain, the area used to be a copper mining region hence the copper coloured water.
The village of Chiufen was our last stop, it was once a centre of gold mining in Taiwan. The gold is now gone but the old village, built of closely packed houses clinging to
steep mountainside, is now a very popular tourist area with market stalls winding through the small streets.
The smells coming from some of the food stalls were very different to anything we were used to, stalls were selling items from chicken feet to dishes we could only guess at. We felt comfortable walking through the crowded markets as there was no pushy sales people, unlike a lot of the markets we had visited in the East these people were there only to sell if you wished to buy. The Taiwanese continue to impress us with their polite and friendly manner.
We arrived back at the hotel in time to freshen up before venturing out to a restaurant that we found on "tripadvisor". The Green Leaf was reviewed as being a good Taiwanese restaurant. We were very happy with the food, we ordered a number of dishes, small abalone with five spices, fish rolls, salt and spice prawns, chestnut and prawn cakes, seafood rice all washed down with Taiwanese beer. We had been told it was an expensive restaurant, but the bill was only $70 Australian for two, great value.
Day 4 - A 6am pick-up from the
hotel this morning to catch a flight from the city airport to Taroko Gorge. We landed in Hualien and were picked up by another small mini bus which was lucky as we were able to go further into the gorge than some of the larger buses. Taroko is a beautiful area, the gorge has many marble walls with a winding river running through. There were so many wonderful sites at the gorge we thought we would let our photos tell the story.
The tour included local 'aboriginal' food for lunch, one of the dishes was rice cooked inside a green bamboo stalk, which gave an interesting flavour. In the afternoon we toured a marble factory and the seaside before catching the train back to Taipei, a tiring 2 1/2 hour journey. By the time we were driven back to our hotel we had been on the tour for 13 hours, a very long day. We ventured out for a last Taiwanese meal and were lucky to find another good restaurant in the brother hotel down the road. Packing tonight for our flight tomorrow morning, we have a transit in Tokyo on the way to Dallas.
Tip for the
day: if touring Taroko gorge if you can arrange it take the plane back to Taipei, this would save 2 hours.
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