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Newer Page 348 of 968 Older Full Trip Report
Taiwan Hualien Taitung Train

13 March 2017

Far from station

Travelling by train from Hualien to Taitung

Now I am in Taitung or Taidong or Tai(random) and thats the last time I do that.
The train station is far from the city, so very very far, 90 minutes walk dragging suitcase far.
However now that I am here, it seems to be a tourist paradise, and my hotel is very very fancy.

Before all that, I had to leave Hualien. I was very happy with the hotel there also, but it would seem no one else was. Everyone else left last night after visiting the Gorge, which means they are not putting on the breakfast I dont even want.
This caused some drama for the hotel staff, who for a very long time explained to me there was no breakfast as I was the only guest in the hotel, and instead they had purchased me a mcdonalds voucher. Really thats what they had gone and done. I was having a hard time understanding what was going on! I politely declined their voucher, having not eaten their free breakfast the 3 previous mornings anyway. Throughout this entire block of time I kept saying, in two languages, that this was fine, no problem, thats ok, please dont worry.

Now for the train. It takes 3 hours. Its advertised as taking about 2. It left on time so I thought this was a good sign, but it actually starts its journey in Hualien. As soon as we left town, it became a single track railway. So we always seemed to stop at stations to let another train pass. Stations that have not had customers since WW2.
It was also an old diesel train, but very spacious. There are apparently newer faster electric trains running all the way to Taitung, but not on Monday at the time of my choosing.

Now back to the start of this block of text, Now I am in Taitung.
I knew it was far from the station to the city, and I knew that the bus service was limited and almost random, internet says taxi if your hotel hasnt arranged transport.
No taxi for me, walk I shall! 90 minutes later, I am at my hotel. Not sure if walking was the best plan, but it was free! The hotel is right near the central bus station so I might go study the bus patterns to eliminate the walk back.
Plus I like to buy a train ticket in advance, so thats a round trip to the remote station required the day before departure. So many activities!

Taiwan-Hualien-Taitung-Train - The fighter jets were particularly active in Hualien this morning. My ability to photograph them was not great, here is the best I could do. A fantast

The fighter jets were particularly active in Hualien this morning. My ability to photograph them was not great, here is the best I could do. A fantastic blurry sillouhuhouhethehtte.
You can watch them land with the mountian as a backdrop which was quite cool, but did not translate to a decent photo.
I think I hear them around Taitung as well. Taunting me. Taunted in Tauitung Two - The Tauntening.


Taiwan-Hualien-Taitung-Train - I had time for a morning wander around Hualien one last time to enjoy the mountains. And with a break in the cloud I discovered that there are bigger

I had time for a morning wander around Hualien one last time to enjoy the mountains. And with a break in the cloud I discovered that there are bigger mountains behind the mountains. Back there some distance are peaks higher than Fuji in Japan.


Taiwan-Hualien-Taitung-Train - Yep, more mountains.

Yep, more mountains.


Taiwan-Hualien-Taitung-Train - I then took a tour of the local markets.

I then took a tour of the local markets.


Taiwan-Hualien-Taitung-Train - Followed by go sit on a cactus.

Followed by go sit on a cactus.


Taiwan-Hualien-Taitung-Train - Then I did a bird flu inspection. Marginal pass. Apparently they no longer butcher animals in the local markets in Taiwan. Instead they hide that from

Then I did a bird flu inspection. Marginal pass. Apparently they no longer butcher animals in the local markets in Taiwan. Instead they hide that from view of tourists with cameras like we do in Australia.


Taiwan-Hualien-Taitung-Train - I saw this guy riding around like a maniac last night.

I saw this guy riding around like a maniac last night.


Taiwan-Hualien-Taitung-Train - The inside of the inadequate Hualien station. It is being majorly upgraded. As is Taitung station for that matter. So many upgrades. At least the airp

The inside of the inadequate Hualien station. It is being majorly upgraded. As is Taitung station for that matter. So many upgrades. At least the airport subway is done!


Taiwan-Hualien-Taitung-Train - My old diesel loco.

My old diesel loco.


Taiwan-Hualien-Taitung-Train - The inside of my train has some nice silver archways to enjoy.

The inside of my train has some nice silver archways to enjoy.


Taiwan-Hualien-Taitung-Train - As previuosly mentioned, I find taking photos from a moving train mostly futile, but the scenery of the East rift valley was awesome. This is the best

As previuosly mentioned, I find taking photos from a moving train mostly futile, but the scenery of the East rift valley was awesome. This is the best photo of about 30 tries.


Taiwan-Hualien-Taitung-Train - And here I am in Taitung, outside the station. Excellent.

And here I am in Taitung, outside the station. Excellent.


Taiwan-Hualien-Taitung-Train - It really was a long way with a big suitcase and my backpack, walking down the roads. Notice its quite smokey, I found out why below.

It really was a long way with a big suitcase and my backpack, walking down the roads. Notice its quite smokey, I found out why below.


Taiwan-Hualien-Taitung-Train - Everyone, every single store or business, is burning bits of paper in the streets, and has a small table with food on it, mainly fruit but also chocol

Everyone, every single store or business, is burning bits of paper in the streets, and has a small table with food on it, mainly fruit but also chocolate, boxes of cereal, squid flavoured pringles. An offering of some kind, I helped myself to some pringles.
I asked in the hotel what it was for, they had their own fire going, and they couldnt explain it to me. I have googled, nothing. I am clueless. I fear there was some kind of incident or massacre I am not aware of that it being commemerated.
However I am covered in ash because of it.


Taiwan-Hualien-Taitung-Train - My hotel is really really nice. The reception is nice, it has a 5 star looking restaurant, the room seems fantastic. Thats almost a kitchen area excep

My hotel is really really nice. The reception is nice, it has a 5 star looking restaurant, the room seems fantastic. Thats almost a kitchen area except its a bathroom and toilet, separate areas with glass doors.


Taiwan-Hualien-Taitung-Train - And a picture window from the bathroom/kitchen to the bed which is enormous and luxurious. I also have a great view. All for about $60 a night.

And a picture window from the bathroom/kitchen to the bed which is enormous and luxurious. I also have a great view. All for about $60 a night.


NewerPage 348 of 968OlderFull Trip Report