Monday, April 25, 2005

Our Hualien Trip

P4210097, originally uploaded by jdgemm.

We returned from our Hualien trip last Friday night. Kate booked the trip which included luxury train return tickets, car rental (Toyota Vios), and 2 nights accommodation (1 at Grand Formasa Taroko, 1 at Bellevista) including breakfast. For 2 adults and 2 kids (1 baby) NT$16,000.

During the trip Griffon befriended a couple of girls, mother Taiwanese and father German. The father didn't come, but his mother did. I guess she makes the trip out to Taiwan every year.

I was really impressed by the level of German that the older girl Rebecca spoke. Her mother told us that she spends 3 months in Germany every year. No wonder. Anyway Griffon was smitten by both especially Rebecca. At the end of the trip she gave him this hand-drawn picture.

Travel bytes:

Luxury train was nice, but the food was sub-optimal. No kids meals and no kids cutlery to be found.

Hosin Car rental went smoothly. They picked us up at the train station, we went through the rules (400KM/day, same amount of gas when return) and inspection and off we went. After we returned the car they provided a taxi service back to the train station.

Hualien and Taroko gorge are as beautiful as ever. Nice thing about renting a car is you can stop wherever you like and get out and walk (which we often did).

The Grand Formasa Taroko hotel is getting a little long in the tooth. Also, since it's quite deep in the Gorge you're pretty much eating at one of the two restaurants in the hotel which are not so great and also expensive.

Buluowan Recreation is located within the gorge. Don't have lunch there. It's basically a scoop of rice and somone cutting open a bag of something and dumping it on the plate. Hidden above that is a hotel/resort that looks like it has a lot of potential.

The Bellevista is newer and nice. It's located very close to the Hualien Ocean Park. Seems like the staff is still getting their feet wet, but nice infrastructure.

Hualien Ocean Park
* Nice aquarium
* So-so rides
* Good dolphin and seal shows
* had lunch at salty samurai- would probably give it a miss next time.
* if you watch the parade, get a place in front of the pizza restaurant

* skip the mermaid and the castle shows


Anonymous James said...

Love your photos, Dal. I visited Haulien 2 weeks ago as well and I will upload them soon.

9:55 PM  
Blogger Dal G. said...

hey thanks James! Looking forward to seeing your pictures...

8:59 AM  
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