霞女之旅

Xia's Journey

Taiwan Summer Diary 台湾夏日游 – Day 3 : Hua Lian > Yu Li

on September 19, 2013

Day 3 : 25 Aug 2013, Sun, Hua Lian > Yu Li

Rise and Shine as we cross over to this little shophouse opposite our accommodation for breakfast.

At the entrance of the shophouse, the staffs were kneading the dough, filling the Siew Mai’s and pan-frying the Guo Tie’s .

There was an intoxicating aroma of freshly pan-fried Guo Tie’s even before we stepped in.

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Intoxicating aroma of freshly pan-fried Guo Tie’s even before we stepped in… ; )

The shophouse was simple with limited seats, but there certainly were enough staffs to go around. We were so glad that our breakfast came in a jiffy because the aroma was so intoxicating, which made us really really hungry !  🙂

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Small Little Simple Shop with Great Food !

We had Jiu Cai Guo Tie, Cauli Flower Guo Tie, Siew Mai’s, Dan Bing and Jian Bao

All of them were great and not too greasy. But my personal favorite were the Siew Mai’s.

The Siew Mai’s here did not taste anything like our local Siew Mai’s. There was a sweet juice oozing out from the Siew Mai’s and I savoured traces of waterchestnut in there giving it the crunchy sensation.

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Making the Siew Mai’s… Yummzzz… ; p

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The Siew Mai filling. Super Yummyzz…

Name of Eatery

:

花蓮怡味餐

Cost of Meal

:

NT $191

Location

:

花蓮市南京街182

Operating Hours

:

5.00am to 12.00pm (Closed on Thursdays)

Ji An Qing Xiu Yuan 吉安慶修院

Starting off on our day tour, our cab driver brought us to this beautiful, old Japanese style Buddhist temple; Ji An Qing Xiu Yuan 吉安慶修院 although it wasn’t really in our itinerary.

Back in 1895, conflict arose between the Empire of Japan and the short-lived Republic of Formosa. The Japanese landed near Keelung on the northern coast of Taiwan on 29 May 1895, and in a five-month campaign swept southwards to Tainan.

The fall of Tainan on 21 October ended organised resistance to Japanese occupation, and inaugurated five decades of Japanese ruling in Taiwan until 1945.

Located on ZhongXing Road, this temple is a historical heritage preservation of the Japanese construction.

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Upon entering the temple, as in Japanese culture and customs, visitors should first stop at the waterpoint located at the entrance of the shrine to cleanse one’s hands and mouth before proceeding into the shrine in respect to the Gods.

The shrine was pretty crowded on the day we went, with little space to move around or shoot. We were also soaked in buckets with the merciless sun coming down on us.

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A shadow cast by the many lanterns hanging above near the entrance.

With the NT $30 entrance ticket, we were able to swop the ticket for a popsicle or hand-held fan. I got the latter as a momento, although it would have been perfect to wash off our perspirations with the popsicle.

As it was going to be a long day, we did not spend too much time here, and hurried along to the next location.

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4 tics to Ji An Qing Xiu Yuan 吉安慶修院

Name of Attraction

:

Hua Lian Ji An Qing Xiu Yuan 花蓮吉安慶修院

Admission Charges

:

NT $30 per pax

Location

:

Zhong Xing Road, 345-1, Hua Lian Xian, Taiwan

花蓮縣吉安鄉吉安村中興路 345-1

Operating Hours

:

9.00am to 5.30pm, Tuesdays to Sundays

Liyu Lake Stone Sculpture Park 鲤鱼

Along the route, we visited Liyu Lake Stone Sculpture Park 鲤鱼.

At 18km away from Hua Lian city, this lake is a beautiful reprise from the hustle and bustle of the city.

The Liyu lake which is located at the foot of the Liyu mountain, is about 1.6km in length and 930m in width, making it the largest inland lake in Hua Lian county.

In recent years, Liyu Lake has become a site of many varied recreational activities such as light-boat sailing, cycling and strolling.

There is a single-lane road encircling the lake and footpaths for strolling along the shore. The bicycle path that circles the lake is around 5 km long, and allows cyclists to fully experience the serenity of the lake and mountain from their bikes.

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Liyu Lake Stone Sculpture Park 鲤鱼潭

With the super scorching weather and our 10kg camera gears, we decided to give the strolling and cycling a pass.

The 601m height Liyu Mountain has many forest footpaths which allow hikers to enjoy the stroll amidst the flora and the fauna and to immerse in the chattering of the feathered friends.

There is also a fully equipped campsite just several hundred meters south of the lake for camping enthusiasts.

With so many activities at the lake, it was such a shame that we did not have the luxury of time to enjoy all of them.

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Light-boat sailing, cycling, strolling, hiking etc. So many things to do, but no time for them… : (

Name of Attraction

:

Liyu Lake Stone Sculpture Park 鲤鱼

Admission Charges

:

Free of Charge

Location

:

No.100, Huantan N. Rd., Shoufeng Township, Hualian County 974,Taiwan

Take the road on the east side at 16K, Provincial Highway No.9 C

Operating Hours

:

8.30am to 5.30pm

春冰果

After being out and under the sun at Liyu Lake, what better way to battle this scorching weather than with a nice cold ice-cream?

As per Carren’s research, the sugarcane red bean ice cream was not too far away from where we were and we decided to head there.

Sugarcane Red Bean Ice Cream IMG_0107

Super Duper Hot Day and this is what we need…!!

As like any other eateries that we went, this place was packed and crowded with hungry, angry waiting customers. I think they need lots of these ice-creams to cool them down as we witness a scuffle between the staff and one of the “hot” customers.
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Super Duper Hot Day + Super Duper Crowded Eatery = Super Duper Angry Customers !

The ice of this ‘ice-cream’ was made from sugarcane extract and we saw canisters and canisters of them. Old school machines were in place to blend the condiments. They were seven condiments to choose from; red bean, green bean, yam, white fungus, pineapple, peanut and chin chow.

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Sugarcane Ice

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7 condiments to choose from

We bought two to share amongst the four of us and bought one for our driver too. We chose Yam with Red Bean and the other was White Fungus with Pineapple. The Yam and Red Bean felt like clouds in heaven as they melted in our mouths within seconds. The White Fungus with Pineapple was a nice, cool refreshing dessert in this blazing summer. A tub of two condiments costs NT $50.

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Machinised

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Sugarcane Ice + Red Bean + Yam AND Sugarcane Ice + White Fungus + Pineapple

Name of Eatery

:

春冰果

Cost of Meal

:

NT $150 @ NT $50 per tub of 2 condiments

Location

:

花蓮縣壽豐鄉壽豐路一段 79

Operating Hours

:

8.00am to 9.00pm (No sugarcane ice from Dec to March period)

Yun Shan Shui, 雲山水夢幻湖

Yun Shan Shui 雲山水was named Yun Shan Shui with the very simple fact that this location was exactly as it has been named.

Loosely translated as Clouds, Mountains and Water; this was the exact picturesque that one will see on a beautiful clear day; literal and ethereal ~  , and .

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Literal and Ethereal ~ 雲, 山 and 水

The lake was man-made to complement the clouds and mountains forming amazing reflections on the lake.

Beautiful and gorgeous were understatements to the location and does not do justice to this site. It was simply heaven on earth and a photographer’s paradise.

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雲, 山 , 水 and Balmy Coconut Trees

Name of Attraction

:

Yun Shan Shui 雲山水夢幻湖

Admission Charges

:

Free of Charge

Location

:

No. 12, Alley 201, Lane 2, Section 2, Fēngpíng Rd,Shoufeng Township, Hualian County, Taiwan 974

花蓮縣壽豐鄉豐坪村豐坪路二段 220112

 林鎮文史工作協/花手巾植物染工

We went down the roads a couple of times before we found the fabric dye workshop 花手巾植物染工and museum 林鎮文史工作協. These two buildings were adjacent to each other.

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Fabric Dye Workshop 花手巾植物染工坊

Occupying two levels of the building, the museum houses a collection of antiques ranging from CRT monitors to record player and old-school analog phones which my grandpa used to have.

There were also replicas of home settings and furnishings which brought back such nostalgic memories of yesterdays.

Fabric Dye Museum Collage

Days, Gone but Not Forgotten…

We walked across to the fabric dye workshop where fabric dyeing classes were conducted. Although it may not seem too complicated from dyeing the fabric to ironing them and sewing them into accessories, it was actually a pretty long and tedious process.

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Looks easy, but its quite a long tedious process from dyeing the fabric, the ironing, cutting and sewing them into accessories.

Every item in the store was dyed and handmade. There were mobile covers, cushion covers, pouches, soft toys etc.

It was a small little shop, but I spent close to an hour in this shop, burning a hole in my pocket with NT $1,000. I wished we had left sooner because if I had loitered any longer, I may very well have bought up every single item in the store!

Fabric Dye Workshop Collage

Small Shop, but everything so cute…!!

Name of Attraction

:

林鎮文史工作協 / 花手巾植物染工

Admission Charges

:

Free of Charge

Location

:

花蓮縣鳳林鎮中華路164

Operating Hours

:

8.00am to 5.00pm daily

Man Mei Pig’s Trotters Restaurant 滿妹豬

By now, it was about 3.00pm. We had been in and out under the sun and could feel the toll on our shoulders and tummies. We didn’t need to drive too far to arrive at this Man Mei Pig’s Trotters Restaurant 滿妹豬.

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Man Mei Pig’s Trotters Restaurant 滿妹豬腳

We ordered a Zhu Jiao pig’s trotters, Zhu Chang pig’s intestines, and a stir-fried Shan Shu and a soup. My friends found me a small piece of meat since I do not take any of the trotters nor the insides.

I was eating in a  restaurant, but not eating the  .  That was akin to eating Chicken Rice without the Chicken, Bak Chor Mee without the Bak Chor… Hahaa… What an irony  🙂

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Eating in a 豬腳 restaurant, but not eating the 豬腳.

Although I did not try the pig’s trotters, my friends were full of praise for the well-simmered and tender Hakka style pig’s trotters that were braised in soy sauce and Chinese herbs. It was as like the pig’s trotters were surfing in their mouths.

Whilst their tummies were so happy and contented with the bak’s (pork), I was gleefully gobbling down my greens with rice and soup too.

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The Huge Stone Deco inside the restaurant… For Feng Shui…??

The restaurant walls and panels were plastered with photos, pictures and posters of celebrities, VIPs, patrons, cycling enthusiasts, tourists and also locals.

From the pictures, some came in their bicycles, some in motorbikes, some drove, some in cabs and some even organised huge 40 seater tour buses to get here to relish this specialty. (Thankfully, we did not bump into any tour buses when we were there, for if not, I could not imagine the amount of waiting time we need to spend).

All these popularity were but testament to their more than 40 years of culinary expertise and the extent of media reviews in Taiwan Gourmet programs.

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Photos plastered all over restaurant

Name of Eatery

:

Man Mei Pig’s Trotters Restaurant 滿妹豬

Cost of Meal

:

NT $840

Location

:

花蓮縣鳳林鎮長橋里萬森路 10

Operating Hours

:

9.00am to 8.00pm

Lin Tian Shan Forestry Center 林田山林業文化園

In the past, Lin Tian Shan Forestry Center 林田山林業文化園was the fourth largest forestry center in Taiwan. The other three largest forestry centers were Basian Mountain, Alishan and Taiping Mountain.

In 1938, Lin Tian Shan Forestry Center became a fully-functional lumbering community, and at its peak, there were 400 to 500 households, with a population of over 2,000 people.

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Lin Tian Shan Forestry Center 林田山林業文化園區

Lin Tian Shan’s lumber industry continued after Taiwan gained independence from Japan, but came to an end in 1991, when natural logging was forbidden.

Over the years, the forest work stations scaled down and merged, and employee organizations decreased. The once flourished Lin Tian Shan declined and become a tiny, quaint village.

A fire broke out in 2001 and destroyed a large section of the houses.

In an attempt to preserve this once-flourished lumbering site, some of the local historians joined forces with the Forestry Bureau to set up the Lin Tian Mountain Forestry Culture and History Center.

The center retains the traditional fire-fighting tools, daily living articles, lumbering machines and tools providing a complete testimony of Lin Tian Shan’s history.

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Was once a Lumbar Industry

Beside the History Center was the Wood Carving Gallery 木雕馆, which houses more than 30 wood sculptures. A step into this gallery and you will be awed by the intricate details on the wood sculptures.

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Such Intricate Details on the Wood Carvings

As we walked up the slope to the old railway tracks, there was a strong mysterious, historical feel in the air that engulfed us. It was simply pure serenity and peace.

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Strong mysterious, historical feel of the old railway tracks

Name of Attraction

:

Lin Tian Shan Forestry Center 林田山林業文化園

Admission Charges

:

Free of Charge

Location

:

No.20, Linsen Rd., Fenglin Township, Hualian County 975, Taiwan

Take the road on the west side at Man Mei Pig’s Trotter’s Restaurant, 244K, Provincial Highway No.9

Hua Lian Sugar Factory 花蓮觀光糖廠

Established in 1921 and being in operation for more than 90 years, there is a long history to the Hua Lian Sugar Factory 花蓮觀光糖廠 .

From the origins of providing granulated sugar, the Hua Lian Sugar Factory has now diversified to owning a department of frozen products which produces all flavours of popsicles and ice-cream.

Today, they have more than 30 types of flavoured ice-cream apart from sugar products. These ice-creams have been a big draw for both tourists and locals alike.

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Hua Lian Sugar Factory 花蓮觀光糖廠

There were several long queues when we arrived, a couple of queues for “payment” and some for “collection”.

The system was such that you would need to make the payment first before standing in line for collection. As there were four of us, we decided to do so simultaneously.

One of us stood in line for payment whilst I stood in line for collection despite that I did not have the “payment receipt” with me. Haahaa… Thankfully, by the time we got our ‘payment receipt’, it was almost time for us to collect our orders too.

Despite that this was our second ice-cream treat for the day, we ordered 3 Red Bean ice-cream, 1 Rum ice cream and 1 Yam ice-cream. And each of us had one ice-cream each! Yummzz…

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Second ice-cream for the day. Can i have one..?? Hehh Hehh… ; p

Name of Eatery

:

Hua Lian Sugar Factory 光復糖

Cost of Meal

:

NT $240

Location

:

No.19, Tangchang St., Guangfu Township, Hualian County 976, Taiwan (Take the road on the east side at 251.4K, Provincial Highway No.9 )

花蓮縣光復鄉大進村糖廠街 19  

Operating Hours

:

8.00am to 8.00pm

瓦拉米客

Our driver called it a day after he dropped us off at our accommodation 瓦拉米客 in Yu Li.

Although the lobby looked old and passé, the “young gal” at the reception was helpful and all smiles when we asked for free wifi and directions. She even suggested getting her ‘Dad’ to send us to the town area for our dinner as it was drizzling and it was quite a bit of walking to do. It turned out that she was the daughter of the accommodation owner.

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Our Accommodation in Yu Li – 瓦拉米客棧.

A small little family run business, the accommodation owner was a Doctor in their town’s hospital.

He has since retired and now volunteers for a medical centre not far away from their town. His wife was also in healthcare and their daughter (the young gal) having been inspired by her parents, is undertaking a pharmaceutical course in the university.

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Reception area at 瓦拉米客棧.

The hotel was not very well-furnished and the rooms were small and basic. But what was commendable was the impeccable service and kindness of this small little family run business.

The accommodation owner drove us to the Laundromat where we left our apparels, dropped us off at 玉里桥头面 for dinner and even went in search for us when he couldn’t find us at the eatery. He ‘found’ us at the Laundromat and waited with us for the apparels to be spinned dry before sending us back to the accommodation.

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A simple basic room – but friendliness and kindness of boss was so infectious.

Name of Accommodation

:

瓦拉米客

Cost

:

NT $1,200 for a twin room, per room, per night

Location

:

花蓮縣玉里鎮大同路 214

Contact Number

:

03-8883106, 03-8886681, 0933-486188 (cell)

Bobo 24-hours Coin Laundry

When Carren mentioned that she was sending her clothes to the laundry, I was excited. Ohh Woww… There is a laundry somewhere around?!

It has been ages since I did self-service laundry.

My good old memories of the self-service laundry was during my uni hostel days where we would throw our apparels into the machine on Saturday mornings, run them for 30 minutes before we put them into the dryer or out to sun if it was a beautiful summer.

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Bobo 24-hours Coin Laundry in Yu Li. How nice and tourist-friendly… I like !

I found it rather “tourist-friendly” that this Laundromat was 24-hours, which meant that tourists (or even locals) could get their apparels washed and dried out within an hour, even in the wee hours of the night.

Our accommodation host dropped us here, as we place our apparels into the machine to run before sending us to 玉里桥头面 for dinner.

After our (unpleasant) dinner at the 玉里桥头面, we strolled back to the Laundromat to place our apparels into the dryers.

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Our Accommodation Host found us here and waited with us whilst our apparels were in the spin.

There were 2 small washing machines costing NT $40 for one wash, a medium size washing machine costing NT $60 and two big washing machines costing NT $100 per wash. There was a vending machine dispensing washing detergent, softener and even Dettol at NT $10 each. The dryers cost NT $20 per cycle. Most of the instructions on these machines are labelled in Chinese.
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2 small washing machines costing NT $40 for one wash, 1 medium size washing machine costing NT $60 and 2 big washing machines costing NT $100 per wash.

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Instructions and Labels are in CHINESE ! Gosh… I have some problems with them myself and thankful that my friends were around.

Name of Service

:

Bobo, 波波 24hr 自助洗衣店 (玉里店)

Cost

:

NT $70 => NT $40 (Wash) + NT $10 (Detergent) + NT $20 (Dryer)

Location

:

花蓮縣玉里鎮中山路一段 83, Hua Lian City 981

Operating Hours

:

24 hours

 

玉里桥头面

To check off another food haunt on Carren’s little black book, our accommodation host sent us to this popular 玉里桥头面.

It was a small, crowded eatery run by a husband and wife team.

They took orders, cleaned the tables, cooked the noodles, cut the meats, collected payment, returned the change etc using their same bare hands. I felt a lump in my throat as I looked on from where I sat.

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玉里桥头面 OR 玉里敲头面 … ??!! More like the latter…!!

Carren and Jason were picking out the items and I was nosy and went forward to have a look.

I took some pics and was told off rudely by the lady boss, saying that I did not ask for permission to take the pics. I was like….  %^@#&*%@!$^. This was the first rude Taiwanese I met during this trip.

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With so many orders, no wonder she’s so grouchy…. But look Ma… Bare Hands… !! Eeeerrrmmm… I shall not look.

After Carren and Jason had selected the items and asked the male boss, how much it costs, he shoved them off, asking them to go back to their seats and will deliver it to us when it was ready.

Inside, I was boiling.

Why in the world do we need to subject ourselves to such ridiculous, absurd atrocities when clearly we were paying customers?!

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Grumpy and unkind attitude. I have no qualms walking off and grab a cup noodle.

There were no prices listed out, no menus, no SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) etc. And we were not allowed to ask questions nor take pictures! When the food items came, I gave it a pass as most of them items were pig insides which I have no fancy for.

The noodles felt ‘normal’ and ‘passable’. I would have walked out from the eatery if not for my friends who were enthusiastic to try the noodles despite the treatment. To me, it was just another meal. I have no qualms settling for a cup noodle at the convenience store than to put up with such boorish attitudes. This was a TWO THUMBS DOWN from me! Having said that, this is just a personal review and does not represent the opinions of the general public nor my friends.

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Pig insides…. Eeekksss…

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The noodles taste as good as the bosses attitudes…

Name of Eatery

:

玉里桥头面

Cost of Meal

:

NT $400

Location

:

No. 126, Zhōngzhèng Rd, Yuli Township, Hualian County, Taiwan 981

花莲县玉里镇中正路 126

Operating Hours

:

6.30pm to 2.00am

SUMMARY OF OUR DAY EXPENSES :

ITEM

COST

Breakfast = Siew Mai & Guo Tie’s

NT $191 (4 paxs)

Admission Charges to Ji An Qing Xiu Yuan NT $30 x 4 paxs

NT $120

Ice Cream at 春冰果

NT $150 (3 tubs)

Lunch = at Man Mei Zhu Jiao

NT $840

Ice Cream at Hua Lian Sugar Factory

NT $240

Dinner = Yu Li Qiao Tou Mian

NT $400

Accommodation = Wa La Mi Ke

NT $2,400 for two twin-share rooms

Driver – One Day tour

NT $3,000 +

NT $300 tips

Laundry NT $40(Wash) + NT $10(Detergent) + NT $20(Dryer)

NT $70

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