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A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Page 3

Day 7 - Saturday, 11 March 2017

Cement factory rubbish dump beach

Today I walked along the beach to the next town over, Qixingtan, formerly Chishingtan. Cheetsingtchan is famous for its view of the beach with the mountains in the background, number 7 on top 13 Taiwan scenic spots!
Actually thats a Korean thing, where every thing is Number x of y of national z, e.g. NUMBER 3 of 14 national historical bus stop monuments!

The path to get to Shequingtian is heavily used by cyclists, the path quality was generally excellent apart from where the road was washed into the sea, but the scenery at times was not as I expected.

Whilst you basically stick to the coast, the approximately 14km journey takes you through a cement factory and a rubbish dump. Which I found exciting.
Then it ends at the very start of the air force base runway. I saw F16's powering up from the road yesterday when returning from Taroko on the bus, no such luck today.

The rain mostly held off, there was a brief shower at my destination, during which time me and everyone else hung out in the public toilets whilst a man in a diesel powered wheelchair played an electronic drumset under a tarp at ridiculously loud volumes. A great time was had by all.

Also due to overwhelming pressure from owners of fancy high pixel density screens, I have increased the size of the images and turned up the export quality. This means it will take longer to load the page, and you will have to scroll further to get past my crap photos. Enjoy!

A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Part one of my beach walk featured concrete tsunami (or possibly Peoples Liberation Army) defences. Hey, I havent been overusing brackets lately.

Part one of my beach walk featured concrete tsunami (or possibly Peoples Liberation Army) defences. Hey, I havent been overusing brackets lately.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - There are actually lots of nice parts of this walk, but I found them less interesting to photograph. There are skateboard ramps, beach volleyball cour

There are actually lots of nice parts of this walk, but I found them less interesting to photograph.
There are skateboard ramps, beach volleyball courts, the usual beach fare.
Hualien is actually very tropical, palm trees everywhere.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - The path was of a high quality the whole way, no trucks or scooters blocking the way or trying to run me down.

The path was of a high quality the whole way, no trucks or scooters blocking the way or trying to run me down.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Then you go through the port area, a very large port indeed. I climbed up the control tower and explained to the local operators how to efficiently ru

Then you go through the port area, a very large port indeed. I climbed up the control tower and explained to the local operators how to efficiently run a port.
High on their list of efficiencies, ensure there are no ships in port.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Along the wharves are a number of cafes and art galleries. This seems to be the case with port areas globally.

Along the wharves are a number of cafes and art galleries. This seems to be the case with port areas globally.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - The coastguard ships here are numerous, they have guns on them too. There were signs saying not to take photos of military vessels, I took photos anyw

The coastguard ships here are numerous, they have guns on them too. There were signs saying not to take photos of military vessels, I took photos anyway. Coastguard is the pretend military.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Now we head into cement factory world. The exciting part of the tour.

Now we head into cement factory world. The exciting part of the tour.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - A brief excursion along an abandoned train track ensured a fun time was had. Also theres a pipe.

A brief excursion along an abandoned train track ensured a fun time was had. Also theres a pipe.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Then I was back at the ocean, still grey. The water is actually very turquoise and tropical looking, on a sunny day. Sand is black, and its mostly roc

Then I was back at the ocean, still grey. The water is actually very turquoise and tropical looking, on a sunny day. Sand is black, and its mostly rocky. I think its being mined nearer the city centre to turn into cement.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Next up was the highlight for me, the rubbish dump! It is listed as an environmental park, and also recycling centre. I think they were right, because

Next up was the highlight for me, the rubbish dump! It is listed as an environmental park, and also recycling centre. I think they were right, because there was no smell at all, and not very many birds. So probably only clean recyclables, piled up waiting to be burnt because there is no market to sell them. Thats my expert opinion anyway.
Please review the news on Australian recycling centres full of unsellable recovered recyclables burning down in the last month.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - The path continued on through tropical mangrove things.

The path continued on through tropical mangrove things.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - And then, my destination appeared, in the distance, shrouded by ocean spray.

And then, my destination appeared, in the distance, shrouded by ocean spray.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - There were still challenges ahead. The path was washed away in a number of places.

There were still challenges ahead. The path was washed away in a number of places.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Some people were determined to enjoy the beach. Generally it involves standing near the edge of the water then screaming and running away.

Some people were determined to enjoy the beach. Generally it involves standing near the edge of the water then screaming and running away.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - The town square, called star view gallery (not today!) has many food carts, and competing drumming buskers.

The town square, called star view gallery (not today!) has many food carts, and competing drumming buskers.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - This drumming busker was the best, but he was completely drowned out by a guy in a heavily modified wheelchair including diesel generator with an elec

This drumming busker was the best, but he was completely drowned out by a guy in a heavily modified wheelchair including diesel generator with an electronic kit and a P.A. system. I did not photograph him because I had to dodge the rain and then he rolled off with his kit going with him.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - A bit further along the coast is the Hualien airport which is also an air force base. These are the landing lights, they extend into the sea. No plane

A bit further along the coast is the Hualien airport which is also an air force base. These are the landing lights, they extend into the sea. No planes came.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - It was here yesterday where from the bus I saw F16's turn to take off right on the edge of the road. A few were doing circuits over my head earlier in

It was here yesterday where from the bus I saw F16's turn to take off right on the edge of the road. A few were doing circuits over my head earlier in the day, but none were flying whilst I was here to watch.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - I had walked all the way around the top of that cliff. A cliff with rubbish on top of it at the dump.

I had walked all the way around the top of that cliff. A cliff with rubbish on top of it at the dump.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - This is the famous view. If you google image search Hualien you will see lots of shots of this view at dusk.

This is the famous view. If you google image search Hualien you will see lots of shots of this view at dusk.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Thats where they keep the air force jets. There were plenty of guys on observation towers with rifles, but no jets.

Thats where they keep the air force jets. There were plenty of guys on observation towers with rifles, but no jets.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - To celebrate my long journey to not see any jets taking off, I had a small piece of cake and a great coffee from 85C. Really good coffee actually, but

To celebrate my long journey to not see any jets taking off, I had a small piece of cake and a great coffee from 85C. Really good coffee actually, but the only food they have of any kind is cake.
From now on, having cake for breakfast.


Department store rain shelter

Imagine my lack of surprise when this evening I stepped out of my hotel room to find it was raining. It is not really a problem at night, and it didnt rain much during the day.
Imagine my further surprise when as I set off down the street a small girl came charging out of the hotel in heels furiously waving a free hotel umbrella at me. I was petrified. Was she going to kill me with it? The metal spike on it looked sharp.
After I regained my composure I was able to explain to her, whilst standing in the rain, that I prefer to get wet than carry an umbrella, she locked shocked and stood dumbfounded as I strode off.

Due to the rain, I had googled where to go to get out of the rain that wasnt just sitting in a cafe. There are no shopping malls in Hualien at all, but there is to my surprise a department store, the local branch of 'Far Eastern', complete with a multi level walmart clone in the basements, a starbucks and a mcdonalds. Hours of fun then.
So I headed there, and wandered around a lot looking at things, but then chose not to eat there. I was actually feeling a bit faint from my all cake and coffee diet, so I headed into the first proper Taiwanese looking family restaurant I could find. More on that below.

Once I had finished eating, I headed back into the basement walmart clone for a while, much like these stores in the rest of the world, they largely exist for poor people to hang out in at night and watch the wall of televisions or use the internet on the tablets and phones before they buy a crate of toilet paper and go home. But at least they bought something, cause I did exactly the same then bought nothing at all!

A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Shop dog has eaten shop cat and replaced him in this shop.

Shop dog has eaten shop cat and replaced him in this shop.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Here it is, in all its glory, the Hualien branch of the Far Eastern department store. It is deceivingly large, a big L shape behind it, and features H

Here it is, in all its glory, the Hualien branch of the Far Eastern department store. It is deceivingly large, a big L shape behind it, and features H&M, Uniqlo, Muji and others, but no food court.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - My dinner from somewhere with no picture menu, no English, and no English speaking of any kind. No problem, I got through on broken Chinese. I dont re

My dinner from somewhere with no picture menu, no English, and no English speaking of any kind. No problem, I got through on broken Chinese. I dont recall encountering such a total lack of English before, after ordering I said thank you, in English, and this caused another round of confusion as I explained that it is the English way of saying xie xie, which resulted in laughter from the two ladies helping me.
I kind of wish more places were like this, everywhere else I go they insist on speaking English.
My dinner was however delicious, and I stopped feeling faint by the time I got up to leave.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Chinese, I mean, Taiwanese Walmart. China actually has Walmart. Where as Taiwan has A-mart.

Chinese, I mean, Taiwanese Walmart. China actually has Walmart. Where as Taiwan has A-mart.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - You can buy girl incubators here. Stick a girl in a heated tent until she comes out done. I genuinely dont know what these things are, they have them

You can buy girl incubators here. Stick a girl in a heated tent until she comes out done.
I genuinely dont know what these things are, they have them in stock and one assembled on the shop floor, so its not just a joke.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Not many pictures due to the rain, but I really do enjoy Family Mart burnt caramel popcorn. It is much more burnt than the kind you would get in Austr

Not many pictures due to the rain, but I really do enjoy Family Mart burnt caramel popcorn. It is much more burnt than the kind you would get in Australia. I am a fan of burnt flavour.


There are currently 2 comments - click to add

Adriana on 2017-03-11 said:

Happy to see some shop photos. Do you think the incubator might be a slimming sauna? I'll give it a miss. Are you expecting any days without rain?


mummy on 2017-03-11 said:

Nice photo again. Definitely not a good path for walking at night. Pity no planes. Still having internet connection probs in this stupid motel. HOpe Bendigo is better tomorrow.



Day 8 - Sunday, 12 March 2017

Cloudview

For the last 3 days I have been looking at the mountain towering over the city of Hualien. So today despite it being covered in cloud, I decided to walk to it, climb up it, then walk back to my hotel. Quite the walk.
It is 8km to the start of the trail from my hotel, and 8km back, just a light stroll really. Of course in addition to that you need to actually climb the mountain. Also there was blue sky and sun, it was hot, I had to wear sunscreen, I hate sunscreen, I was sweating as soon as I applied it.

Anyway, they trail up the mountain is well maintained and was quite popular on this Sunday morning. It used to be called the Sakura trail when Japan kept the entire population of Taiwan as prisoners, but it has since been renamed Zuocang trail, or one of 8 variations of Zuocang.
I was very surprised to find 3 large baseball stadiums and many more baseball fields on the edge of town, before heading through an aboriginal theme village and then past very western looking bed and breakfast places.
The trail itself used to be for small mining 4 wheel bike things towing trailers full of rocks.
As usual, there was a great view of the 2 air force bases, I now know theres 2, and whilst my view was obscured, many jets took off, and yet when I could clearly see the runways, no jets came. I think they know when I am watching.

A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Blue sky. I dont think it has rained in town all day, just on the mountain. I had to go under the train tracks to get to my mountain, taking me to the

Blue sky. I dont think it has rained in town all day, just on the mountain. I had to go under the train tracks to get to my mountain, taking me to the wrong side of the tracks.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - There was a local bird flu market, lacking in birds as they have all been killed off to reduce bird flu to epidemic levels rather than pandemic.

There was a local bird flu market, lacking in birds as they have all been killed off to reduce bird flu to epidemic levels rather than pandemic.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - So blue. A highway overpass is always a welcome adventure for me to take a photo of one of the 2 starbucks outlets in Hualien. This one is located in

So blue. A highway overpass is always a welcome adventure for me to take a photo of one of the 2 starbucks outlets in Hualien. This one is located in a very strange place, far from any real action.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - I climbed into one of the 3 baseball stadiums, the main one has a roof. This one is under reconstruction as you can probably see, although with my blu

I climbed into one of the 3 baseball stadiums, the main one has a roof. This one is under reconstruction as you can probably see, although with my blurry photos its possible no one can see anything at all.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - I made a quick detour to the local mega temple which had about 50 buses parked at it.

I made a quick detour to the local mega temple which had about 50 buses parked at it.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Then I found myself at stonehenge. Along here as far as the eye can see is baseball grounds / pitches / mounds / parks. I dont know what you call a pl

Then I found myself at stonehenge. Along here as far as the eye can see is baseball grounds / pitches / mounds / parks. I dont know what you call a place where you play an organised game of baseball.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - I however, was going to ascend the mountain into the cloud.

I however, was going to ascend the mountain into the cloud.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - At the start of the trail is what I presume was parking for the mining equipment. Long since abandoned.

At the start of the trail is what I presume was parking for the mining equipment. Long since abandoned.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - I thought the birds in the trees sounded quite large. Turns out there were monkeys, lots and lots of monkeys.

I thought the birds in the trees sounded quite large. Turns out there were monkeys, lots and lots of monkeys.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Some view from the lowest viewing place.

Some view from the lowest viewing place.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - A bit more view from a higher viewing place. I dont know why I didnt take a better photo of the 2 runways. They are joined together by a very long tax

A bit more view from a higher viewing place. I dont know why I didnt take a better photo of the 2 runways. They are joined together by a very long taxiway that cuts through the middle of the city.
If you open the full size photo here you can see the start of the closer runway in between the wooden slats, and the long taxiway to the other runway from the left side of the photo.
Thats a long explanation about the layout of an airport.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Going into cloud now, no more view!

Going into cloud now, no more view!


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - The view from the top, definitely in cloud now.

The view from the top, definitely in cloud now.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - There are some cherry blossom trees at the top to remind everyone about the former Japanese name of the trail.

There are some cherry blossom trees at the top to remind everyone about the former Japanese name of the trail.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - RETURN OF THE COAT. That reminds me I need to take it out of its plastic bag and dry it.

RETURN OF THE COAT. That reminds me I need to take it out of its plastic bag and dry it.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - I am very happy with my new boots. Feet have remained dry at all times. Good boots are the most important thing. I did read a translated web page abou

I am very happy with my new boots. Feet have remained dry at all times. Good boots are the most important thing.
I did read a translated web page about people who tried to cut a path over the back of this mountain getting badly attacked by leeches, and the sharp leaves of a plant giving them leg infections. Probably a good idea to stick to the path.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Back down and here is a bonsai farm.

Back down and here is a bonsai farm.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - And just one of the many bed and breakfast places. Quite a few had signs written in German.

And just one of the many bed and breakfast places. Quite a few had signs written in German.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - I was starving by now, 30k steps without a break, so I stopped for a bread and butter caramel muffin bake thing. Yes more cake. I always put on weight

I was starving by now, 30k steps without a break, so I stopped for a bread and butter caramel muffin bake thing. Yes more cake. I always put on weight on holidays despite walking 30km a day minimum, much of it up mountains!


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - There are a lot of people upset that the Taiwan tourism board slogan this year is Taiwan - touch your heart. With good reason I guess, it kind of mean

There are a lot of people upset that the Taiwan tourism board slogan this year is Taiwan - touch your heart. With good reason I guess, it kind of means Taiwan - very sad.
However this is nothing compared to my old home state of South Australia, where after a year of committee deliberations, they came up with, SA - Going all the way!


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - I had to stop and buy some more tape for my toes, preventative paper tape I appply daily. So I went into a mega chemist, this one is multi level and h

I had to stop and buy some more tape for my toes, preventative paper tape I appply daily. So I went into a mega chemist, this one is multi level and has a huge section dedicated to junk food.
Presumably this helps them make people need more medicines.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Google Analytics tells me people prefer photos of junk food to mountains, so heres another.

Google Analytics tells me people prefer photos of junk food to mountains, so heres another.


Dry trip to station

Tomorrow I am moving further down the coast, this time to Taitung, which is what maps say, but is actually Taidong, because somehow tung and dong sound the same depending on which English speaker is making up a way of saying Chinese words? They arent even close.

This afternoon, I did my washing, fun times. I asked the girls at the hotel desk where the clothes washing machine is, cause I know how to say all those words, but I have a feeling this is not how you say washing machine in Chinese because they got the giggles. They knew what I meant, the good news is the washing machines and dryers are free! Cause Taiwan is awesome.
So I head up to the 6th floor which is actually level 4 in Australia cause there is no ground floor and no 4th floor in any Chinese building, they start at 1 and skip 4, and I find the machines. I always like to wash in cold water so I was busy trying to work that out when the girls from reception arrive on the scene to help me. The word for help is bang in case you are interested, RANG WOMEN BANG NI, let us help you. WOMEN is not women, it is wo men, 2 characters, that mean us.
I was able to explain I wanted cold water, and I think they then told me that in Taiwan wash clothe machine only ever has cold water. So we were good to go. They giggled some more and left.

This evening I headed to the station, it was bone dry, no rain, and bought my ticket for tomorrow to Tai(random). Google is useless at train schedules in Taiwan. I knew what train I wanted, time, number of train etc. But despite checking for times on google using schedule explorer for Monday lunch time, google gave me a train that only runs on Saturdays.
No problem, the girl at the window told me I had made a mistake, we are talking only Chinese again, So now I had no face...no face... She told me the train time nearest to the one I selected, I agreed and handed over $7 for my 3 hour train ride tomorrow.

Thats probably enough text humble bragging about how I can speak enough Chinese to get laughed at or order a train ticket.

Oh yeah, I can also brag about something else, 50,000 steps today! My watch tells me thats 37km.

A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Here is my local street this Sunday evening, note how dry it is.

Here is my local street this Sunday evening, note how dry it is.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Every corner of Taiwan seems to have about a thousand bakeries per square mile. They all seem great. I want that thing to the right of the black thing

Every corner of Taiwan seems to have about a thousand bakeries per square mile. They all seem great. I want that thing to the right of the black thing with the caramel icing. Too bad its dinner time and not time for another cake breakfast.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - The local vegetable market. No, its a trick. Tiny miniature vegetables. I thought these were amazing.

The local vegetable market. No, its a trick. Tiny miniature vegetables. I thought these were amazing.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - The local fish market. Its still a trick! I enjoyed minature scenery so much I took 2 photos. Also its colorful. Both of the above photos are of scene

The local fish market. Its still a trick! I enjoyed minature scenery so much I took 2 photos. Also its colorful.
Both of the above photos are of scenes no more than 30cm across.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - I went and hung out on my own in the Industrial and Cultural Society Liberty Square. Now feeling liberated and industrious, and even more cultural tha

I went and hung out on my own in the Industrial and Cultural Society Liberty Square. Now feeling liberated and industrious, and even more cultural than ever. Also I am a square.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - The main train station is actually a long way from the city proper. There is a satellite city of sorts there for tourists who only want to spend the n

The main train station is actually a long way from the city proper. There is a satellite city of sorts there for tourists who only want to spend the night before going to the gorge early in the morning.
Not many good food options to be found, lots of shops selling pineapple cakes and jade bracelets.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Near the station you can even find Pachinko parlours, presumably to cater to the Japanese. I have not seen any of these in Taipei ever.

Near the station you can even find Pachinko parlours, presumably to cater to the Japanese. I have not seen any of these in Taipei ever.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - And if you are brave enough to stick your head into a Korean karaoke bar in Australia you will see these. Electronic dart boards. I presume these are

And if you are brave enough to stick your head into a Korean karaoke bar in Australia you will see these. Electronic dart boards. I presume these are here to cater for the Korean tourists.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - I selected Tiger Pasta for dinner. A funky placy for young people with shipping crates for tables. Young people and also me. Not young anymore. Now I

I selected Tiger Pasta for dinner. A funky placy for young people with shipping crates for tables. Young people and also me. Not young anymore. Now I am sad.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - The place was called Tiger Pasta and one of the dishes on their menu was Tiger Pasta, so thats what I had. And it was good. But it was $10, which is e

The place was called Tiger Pasta and one of the dishes on their menu was Tiger Pasta, so thats what I had. And it was good. But it was $10, which is expensive for Taiwan. The price you pay for an actual table to sit at and shipping crate decor.
It did have big chunks of great quality beef, egg, real parmesan, and you cant see it but cherry tomatoes and brocolli. I enjoyed it a lot. I presume the black pasta is squid ink, they love squid here.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Final picture for the evening, another random street with many scooters. So dry. I might have to moisturize due to the total dryness.

Final picture for the evening, another random street with many scooters. So dry. I might have to moisturize due to the total dryness.


There are currently 5 comments - click to add

Brian on 2017-03-13 said:

Photos look great david


David on 2017-03-12 said:

My only mistake was to ask about clothes washing machine, and not washing clothes machine


Adriana on 2017-03-12 said:

yay dry weather. They like the neon in Taiwan too. Do you get lots of fumes from all the scooters? I take it that when you come back you will be practicing how to ask about washing machines. i think I need to do this too in Japanese.


bobule on 2017-03-12 said:

food looks great!


jenny on 2017-03-12 said:

Ok seen the runway, now want to see the planes yes and more shops.



Day 9 - Monday, 13 March 2017

Far from station

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!

A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - 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.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - 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.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Yep, more mountains.

Yep, more mountains.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - I then took a tour of the local markets.

I then took a tour of the local markets.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Followed by go sit on a cactus.

Followed by go sit on a cactus.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - 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.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - I saw this guy riding around like a maniac last night.

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


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - 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!


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - My old diesel loco.

My old diesel loco.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - The inside of my train has some nice silver archways to enjoy.

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


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - 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.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - And here I am in Taitung, outside the station. Excellent.

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


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - 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.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - 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.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - 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.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - 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.


Footpath observance

Taitung not only has footpaths, you can walk on them. People seem to observe the general rule that a footpath exists for people to walk along, and look in your stores, its somewhat of a miracle.
First impressions of the place suggest to me that it is a more modern, cleaner city than the better known Hualien. I am somewhat surprised, I read earlier today on Lonely Planet that 'Taitung has nothing of interest for the passing tourist to be concerned with'.
I guess that could turn out to be true, no ones coming to a place just to check out its amazing availability of footpaths.
Actually I have no idea what I plan to do here, I have to do some research and find out.

I can confirm that fighter jet are constantly buzzing the buildings in town, at night, they are lower here and closer to the city than in Hualien, it seems almost dangerous.
And as a true meaure of modernity (is that a word?) the place has a small mall of sorts as part of a 10 screen modern cinema complex, and a giant Sheraton hotel.

A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - General street scene. The footpaths under the buildings are clear and ready for walking!

General street scene. The footpaths under the buildings are clear and ready for walking!


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Some interesting looking youths in black clothes with hair like peacocks went down these stairs and into the apple bar, which was busy playing Linkin

Some interesting looking youths in black clothes with hair like peacocks went down these stairs and into the apple bar, which was busy playing Linkin Park or Creed or similar at window rattling volume.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Carrefour is here. They have them in Taipei also. Excellent multi level underground supermarket. Actually I first saw these in mainland China, before

Carrefour is here. They have them in Taipei also. Excellent multi level underground supermarket. Actually I first saw these in mainland China, before seeing them in France where they come from.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - The aforementioned Sheraton hotel. It did not come up in my results when I searched hotels which tells me its out of my price range, which is very low

The aforementioned Sheraton hotel. It did not come up in my results when I searched hotels which tells me its out of my price range, which is very low. I am notoriously cheap. Well, lots of people stay in hostels, but im not a 19 year old girl, despite the rumors.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - This is some kind of railway art park. The train used to come to here. Now it stops many miles away and you have to walk. Why does it not come here an

This is some kind of railway art park. The train used to come to here. Now it stops many miles away and you have to walk. Why does it not come here anymore? Stupidity.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - They have left some old trains out in the park. This is highly unusual. The doors are open on the carriages you can go right in, yet they are pristine

They have left some old trains out in the park. This is highly unusual. The doors are open on the carriages you can go right in, yet they are pristine, no graffiti inside or out.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - The small mall, it has a uniqlo, in case I need more plain clothes, which I do.

The small mall, it has a uniqlo, in case I need more plain clothes, which I do.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Nearby was an excellent looking multi level bakery. I wanted to go in but had not yet had my dinner had I had it or had then had. Maybe they will be o

Nearby was an excellent looking multi level bakery. I wanted to go in but had not yet had my dinner had I had it or had then had. Maybe they will be open before 10AM for breakfast? Unlikely, before 10 the only things open are Mcdonalds and Starbucks, and they only open at 8. Taiwanese people sleep in.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - This is the outside of my hotel, but it wasnt time to go to bed yet. It looks a lot like a Daiwa Roynet in Japan.

This is the outside of my hotel, but it wasnt time to go to bed yet. It looks a lot like a Daiwa Roynet in Japan.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Toms world is all over mainland China, and Taiwan. Dont let the media convince you they hate each other. One China is more real than not real. Theres

Toms world is all over mainland China, and Taiwan. Dont let the media convince you they hate each other. One China is more real than not real. Theres talk of building a tunnel again... a mere 300km.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Dinner tonight is kind of Japanese, kind of Korean, it is ginger pork with every kind of side dish. The most confusing thing is the cup with corn on t

Dinner tonight is kind of Japanese, kind of Korean, it is ginger pork with every kind of side dish. The most confusing thing is the cup with corn on top on the right.
I thought this was a soup or a drink, but after the bit of oil on top, its a custard. They provided a small spoon, so I thought it was dessert of some kind. But no, it is a savoury custard, with chunks of squid in it, at least I think it was squid.


A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - And finally, for my mother, a Mister Donut. Not tonight, I would rather go to the other place, and dinner was too large for donut dessert. I dont even

And finally, for my mother, a Mister Donut. Not tonight, I would rather go to the other place, and dinner was too large for donut dessert. I dont even like donuts.


There are currently 4 comments - click to add

Mother on 2017-03-13 said:

Well some groups of 2 people also don't want to see each other in the bathroom . You'll have to check out the Donutes and see if they are better than the donuts.


David on 2017-03-13 said:

Shihtiping is really hard to get to unless you have a car. Its also the stupidest spelling ever.

Those islands are hard to get to also, people generally fly.

As for the windows, I found the same in Japan, and the reason is simple, it stops groups of 20 people from sharing a room meant for 2.


jenny on 2017-03-13 said:

A plane at last.!


mother on 2017-03-13 said:

You didn't stop at Shihtiping!! i have been researching Taitung - will you be going to Green and Orchid islands to see penal colony and nuclear waste dump? Do all Taiwanese hotels have windows into bathrooms and why?



On page four I join the whale hunt.

Contents

Day 1 - Sunday, 5 March 2017
  Early morning late night flight
  Totally full and uncomfortable
  The boring photos continue
  The unprecedented 4th update
Day 2 - Monday, 6 March 2017
  Raining cats
  There are lots of Koreans in Japanese Taiwan
Day 3 - Tuesday, 7 March 2017
  One down
  Major rain no dampener
Day 4 - Wednesday, 8 March 2017
  Coat day
  Tomorrow is all new
Day 5 - Thursday, 9 March 2017
  Crap photos featuring trains
  Third world footpaths
Day 6 - Friday, 10 March 2017
  Engorged
  Surprise carnival
Day 7 - Saturday, 11 March 2017
  Cement factory rubbish dump beach
  Department store rain shelter
Day 8 - Sunday, 12 March 2017
  Cloudview
  Dry trip to station
Day 9 - Monday, 13 March 2017
  Far from station
  Footpath observance
Day 10 - Tuesday, 14 March 2017
  Rocky start
  Full of cake
Day 11 - Wednesday, 15 March 2017
  Museum run
  Lost in the swamp at night
Day 12 - Thursday, 16 March 2017
  Animal kingdom
  Bigger and brighter
Day 13 - Friday, 17 March 2017
  Razor wire defeat
  Accidental dream mall
Day 14 - Saturday, 18 March 2017
  So many gift shops
  Steak night
Day 15 - Sunday, 19 March 2017
  Sweating profusely
  Needed more time
Day 16 - Monday, 20 March 2017
  4 down 3 to go
  The old and the new
Day 17 - Tuesday, 21 March 2017
  Fort washing machine
  Chicken tower
Day 18 - Wednesday, 22 March 2017
  The museum cheap electric fans paid for
  Surprise parade
Day 19 - Thursday, 23 March 2017
  Next town over
  The modern north side
Day 20 - Friday, 24 March 2017
  Mountain village metropolis
  A quick run up a small mountain
Day 21 - Saturday, 25 March 2017
  Huge number of steps
  Ritual sacrafice
Day 22 - Sunday, 26 March 2017
  Lake saturation
  Global mormon offensive
Day 23 - Monday, 27 March 2017
  Final destination
  The best beef noodles in Taipei?
Day 24 - Tuesday, 28 March 2017
  Windy teapot
  Best ramen ever
Day 25 - Wednesday, 29 March 2017
  Three moutain rest day
  The first repeat
Day 26 - Thursday, 30 March 2017
  Ropes and ladders
  Still time for more beef noodle
Day 27 - Friday, 31 March 2017
  Indeed more beef noodle
  The end