霞女之旅

Xia's Journey

Taiwan Summer Diary 台湾夏日游 – Day 2 : Taipei City > Toucheng > Hua Lian

on September 15, 2013

Day 2 : 24 Aug 2013, Sat ~ Taipei City > Toucheng > Hua Lian

By 8am, we had checked out from our accommodation and were hurrying to the Taipei Bus Station to catch a bus to Hua Lian 花蓮.

On our way, we bought 4 sets of Tai Tie Bian Dang 台铁便(Taiwanese-style boxed lunch) for brunch. Each set costs NT $60 each and the plastic carrier costs NT $1. Generally, one would need to pay for carrier bags, be it at supermarts or convenience stores.

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Tai Tie Bian Dang 台铁便当 (Taiwanese-style boxed lunch)

As we were queuing for the bus, a man approached us from behind and suggested that we share a cab at NT $1,000 since there were 4 of us. We were able to board the cab immediately, without having to wait in line to board the bus. With the cab, we were also able to shave off 1 hour of travelling time.

As such, we decided to go for the cab instead. We shared the cab with another passenger and after a 1.5 hours ride, we were dropped off at Yi Lan train station.

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Took a cab to shave off some waiting and travelling time.

Outside Yi Lan train station, we found a nice shady spot to chomp on our boxed lunch.

The boxed lunch was actually quite yummy with a piece of pork cutlet, some salted vegetables, a braised egg and pickles.

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Yummzz Tai Tie Bian Dang 台铁便当 (Taiwanese-style boxed lunch). Pork Cutlet with braised egg, salted vegetables and pickles.

As we were resting after our lunch, Carren came running back and got us to hurry into the train station to board the on-coming train heading for Jiao Xi .

We did not even have time to purchase the train tickets as we ran onto the platform to board the on-coming train. We got off at Jiao Xi station and paid for our fares here instead (at NT $15 per pax). That really got our adrenalin pumped up after a sleepy morning cab ride.

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Was resting outside Yi Lan train station after lunch when Carren came running back to us. Rushed into the train station to catch a train to Jiao Xi train station.

From Jiao Xi station, there was a free shuttle service to the Lanyang Museum 蘭陽博物but it was going to be a 30 minutes wait. We opted to hail a cab at NT $250 to the Lanyang Museum instead.

And thankfully we did.

The Lanyang Museum had one of the most interesting architectures of our time!

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Arrives at Jiao Xi train station and was welcomed by this nice pavillion at the front of the train station. Took a cab from here to Lanyang Museum.

Lanyang Museum 蘭陽博物

The design of Lanyang Musuem was inspired by the cuestas commonly seen along the Bei Guan Coast.

Cuesta is a Spanish name for a geological formation in which rock layers gently slope up to an escarpment or a cliff and at this raised point the rock layers are exposed on their edges. These cuestas are unique geographical features of this region.

The museum adopts the geometric shapes of these cuestas as the roof protrudes from the ground at an angle of 20 degrees meeting a wall which rises from the ground at an angle of 70 degrees. These features enabled it to blend in with the surrounding geological features.

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Award Winning Design – the Lanyang Museum 蘭陽博物館

In August 2010, the museum received the highest honour in the Taiwanese architecture industry, the “Outstanding Award” at the Seventh Far Eastern Architectural Design Award.

Two months down the road in October 2010, the museum received the “First Prize in Taiwan Architecture Award”.

We had 45 minutes here before crossing over to the wharf to catch our ferry for dolphin sighting.

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The Cuestas-Inspired Lanyang Museum 蘭陽博物館

Name of Attraction

:

Lanyang Museum 蘭陽博物

Admission Charges

:

NT $100

Location

:

No. 750, Sec. 3, Qingyun Road, Toucheng Township, Yilan County 261, Taiwan.

26144 宜蘭縣頭城鎮青雲路三段 750

Operating Hours

:

9.00am to 5.00pm

How To Get Here

:

Free Shuttle Service from Jiao Xi train station.

Take Cab (NT $250) from Jiao Xi train station.

Dolphin Sighting

The dolphin sighting booths were located just across the Lanyang Museum. It costs NT $1,000 per pax and ran for about 2 hours from about 1.30pm to 3.30pm.

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Screams and Shouts from the other ferries indicated a sighting of the dolphins

We sailed a long way into the deep sea before we heard screams and shouts from other ferries. They had spotted the dolphins!

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Saw a school of the dolphins; Grandpa, Grandma, Daddy, Mummy and all…

It was not one, not two, but a school of them. The ferries tried to get as close as possible and we tried to get as many shots as we could. However, the dolphins were really fast and quite unpredictable bobbling in and out of the waters.

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Need a more powerful lens for dolphin sighting !

Name of Activity

:

Dolphin Sighting 宜蘭龜山島賞鯨

Admission Charges

:

NT $1,000

Location

:

No.41, Gangkou Rd., Toucheng Township, Yilan County 261, Taiwan

Ferry Departure Timings

:

6.30am, 9.00am, 12.30pm, 3.30pm

Contact Number

:

03-9789168, 0972-158756 (Cell)

How To Get Here

:

Across the river from Lanyang Museum

Wushi Hong Kong Seafood

As we ended our dolphin sighting, we crossed over to the eatery to cool off and had some snacks. We chose Wushi Hong Kong Seafood among the different eateries. This eatery had all the prices listed out and was transparent in their charges as opposed to the neighbouring eateries. Such ambiguity also meant having the risk of being in a “rubber-band” situation with exorbitant pricings.

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Lots of seafood restaurants around, but which one to choose from? We settled for Wushi Hong Kong Seafood cos they had all the prices listed unlike the other restaurants.

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Stir-fried Octopus for Tea-break.

Name of Eatery

:

Wushi Hong Kong Seafood 乌石港活海

Cost of Meal

:

NT $420

Location

:

No.31, Gangkou Rd., Toucheng Township, Yilan County 261, Taiwan

Jiao Xi to Hua Lian

As we had bought the train tickets from Jiao Xi to Hua Lian, we had to quickly get to the train station before our 5.30pm train ride. We had been on and off cabs numerous times and met various cab drivers since we started our trip. Most if not all of them were friendly and well-versed in their geography, history, culture, politics and even current affairs. They were almost like walking Trip Advisors.

We got onto the cab of this young driver and he was one of the friendliest and well-versed cab driver that we have come across. He gave us a lot of advice and tips and even gave us a run through of the upcoming events in Taiwan.
The return journey costs slightly more at NT $280 as we had ran into their “peak hour” ~ almost like our ERP. It didn’t cross across to me that there was “peak hour” in a little, rustic suburb like this!
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One of the friendliest cab driver we met on this trip

We collected our luggages from the train station and hopped onto the 1.5 hours train ride heading for Hua Lian. The 4 tickets from Jiao Xi to Hua Lian set us back with another NT $968.

It was pouring when we stepped foot in Hua Lian. We caught a cab costing NT $160 to the accommodation. It took us a while before we managed to find the accommodation.
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Downpour when we arrived Hua Lian

小而優日租套房.

When we arrived at the accommodation, it was situated in an old building. We had to open the gates at the foot of the building before getting into the lobby. It was as like we walked into the filming set of a Hong Kong drama. In Singapore public housing, we didn’t have to do that. It was quite a refreshing experience for the few of us.

When we got into the room, I squeaked! There was this huge, almost life-size teddy sitting in a corner of the room. I was full of excitement and delight at this huge, cuddly fella.

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Ohhhh… Such a lovely life-sized bear bear sitting in a corner of the room.

The room was clean, artistically furnished and spacious enough for the four of us. There was an ensuite bathroom and even a small little table with chairs for us to do our discussion and plannings.

The lady boss (Miss Huang) of the accommodation had converted two of her units to rent them out.

One of it, being a double room (2 paxs) and another being the double suite (4 paxs) that we had. Hence, if you are intending to rent a room here, you might need to contact her way before-hand as the rooms are popular and run out fast.

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Carren and Jason sitting on the little chairs with the boss of 小而優日租套房 – Miss Huang giving us advice and directions on how to move around the town.

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Can’t BEAR to leave this room

Name of Accommodation

:

小而優日租套房

Cost

:

NT $2,800 for a double suite, per room, per night (Sleeps 4 pax)

Location

:

No. 147 Nanjing Street, 4th Level, Unit 9.

Contact Number

:

+886 921 863 251

Email

:

hjpjlw@yahoo.com.tw

Hua Lian Night Market

Famished, we asked for directions to the night market. Not only did she give us advice on where to go and what to eat, she even drove and dropped us off at the night market.

Day 02 (2)

Dinner at Hua Lian night market

At the night market, all hell broke loose! We lost track of the calories-intake and went all out. We started with the chewy and yummy QQ Ball, followed by guava slices, a huge deep fried cuttlefish, beef steak, chicken chop, Xian Shui chicken 鹹水and ended with fruit juices. Most of the stalls had unbelievably long queues; one of which even had a 3-hours wait! Goshh… I could hardly believe my ears when I heard that. A 3-hours wait would meant supper and bed time for me. Haahaa…  🙂

Nevertheless, we had our fill before getting back to our accommodation to hit the sack.

SUMMARY OF OUR DAY EXPENSES :

ITEM

COST

Brunch = Tai Tie Bian Dang = NT $60 x 4 sets + NT $1 for carrier

NT $241 (4 sets)

Cab from Taipei city to Yi Lan train station

NT $1,000 (4 paxs)

Train tickets from Yi Lan to Jiao Xi = NT $15 x 4 paxs

NT $60

Storage of Luggage at Jiao Xi Train Station = NT $17 per pc x 4

NT $68

Cab Fare from Jiao Xi Train Station to Lanyang Musuem

NT $250 per cab

Entrance Fee to Lanyang Musuem

NT $100 per pax

Dolphin Sighting

NT $1,000 per pax

Seafood Tea–Break

NT $420 (4 paxs)

Cab Fare from Lanyang Musuem to Jiao Xi Train Station

NT $280 per cab

Train from Jiao Xi to Hua Lian NT $242 x 4 paxs

NT $968

Cab from Hua Lian train station to accommodation

NT $160 per cab

Accommodation (Double suite per room, per night)

NT $2,800 (4 paxs)

Dinner = Hua Lian night market

QQ Balls NT $20, Guava NT $60, Deep Fried Cuttlefish NT $60, Beef Steak & Chicken Chop NT $510, Xian Shui Ji NT $125, Fruit Juices NT $80.

NT $855

Cab from night market to accommodation

NT $140

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4 responses to “Taiwan Summer Diary 台湾夏日游 – Day 2 : Taipei City > Toucheng > Hua Lian

  1. Cynthia says:

    Hi!

    Chanced upon your blog and read that there is a luggage storage at Jiaoxi Train Station. Could you please share with me how big / small is the storage compartment? I tried to find details on their railway website but was not available. Appreciate your help!

    • xia says:

      Hi Cynthia ;

      There are storage cubicles at the station near the washrooms. There are different sizes at different prices. But generally, they are able to fit one or two backpack size.

      If you need a bigger storage, you can go to the train attendants where they will keep your luggages with them in their office for a nominal fee of NT 17 per piece of luggage. However do note that, since its being placed in an office, you would need to collect your luggages by 8pm latest, otherwise, you would either need to squeeze your luggage into the coin deposit storage or to lug it with you.

      Hope that helps.

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