Taiwan is a small country in east Asia. Taiwanese are friendly and people in Japan & South East Asia like to travel to Taiwan. Because of this, most of the common attractions are always flooded with tourist. With some research done this time, I traveled to some of the less known places, and off the beaten path that no foreign tourist going. My trip this time concentrating on the southern & eastern part of the island. I first landed in Kaohsiung, the second largest capital of the country. I booked the hotel (Center Hotel) which located nearby MRT station Formosa Boulevard Station, which is very convenient to go anywhere in the city.
Location of Formosa Boulevard Station
On top of that, Formosa Boulevard Station is one of the most beautiful MRT stations in the world where it is known for its installation of The Dome of Light. Created by artist Narcissus Quagliata using individual pieces of stained glass, the colorful piece is the largest installation of its kind and takes spectators through a circular journey of human life.
After 1 day strolling in the city, we departed to Yuli, a small township in Hualien via train. Yuli is a very small township in the southern part of Hualien county. Since the location is on the east side of Taiwan, and less accessible compared to Taipei/ Kaohsiung, there is less foreign tourist here.
Location of Yuli
In Yuli, we stay in hotel 客亭好漾民宿 due to its location near to the train station and center of the city. The price is very cheap (NT1300/ night) during our visit. Furthermore, the room is very clean, spacious and comfortable.
One of the reasons I wanted to visit this small town as I came across beautiful images across the web, where there is a vast area covered with daylily. After intensive research, only I noticed that the view only appear in summer time, between Aug & Sept. Coincidentally , my travel time is right at this moment!!
Upon further investigation, actually there are two main area that famous for the daylily. The first one is located at Chi Ke Shan, 赤柯山 (Coordinate). We rented a bike in Yuli town a day before and made the departure on 6 am the next day. Summer time in Taiwan always come with Typhoon, and it's the major concern to us for every day. Luckily, the weather is good to us and there is no rain on that day. After around 40 min of bike journey, we reached Chi Ke Shan.
In fact, Chi Ke Shan is relatively a small place. So, after 2 hours, we went back to Yuli township. For the rest of the day, we just walk around in the city and looking for local foods.
The next day, we rented a car to go to Liu Shi Dan Shan , 六十石山 (coordinate), the 2nd destination which is famous for daylily . If you can make only to one place, I would suggest the latter. Liu Shi Dan Shan is located at higher altitude and more popular tourist destination. The road here is more suitable for car as compared to Chi Ki Shan's one. Again, the weather was nice to us, but the flower was yet to bloom in full. Good thing was, Liu Shi Dan Shan is huge and flowers were blooming beautifully in some parts.
After Liu Shi Dan Shan, the time was still early. It's around 12 pm. So we decided to go Jin Gang Road 金刚大道/ 長光梯田大道 (coordinate). It's one of our checklist as it's less popular even to the locals. It took us 1 hr road trip from Liu Shi Dan Shan. Upon landing, we settled our lunch with some foods bought from 7-11.
The nearby town is small and there wasn't much for us to do. So we headed back to south to visit Bolang Highway (coordinate), a very popular tourist spot. Farmer harvested the rice mostly in July. So it was our bet to hope that the rice was not harvested in Bolang, so we could have the best scenery possible. Upon reaching there, we could see most of the paddy fields the plants were mostly either at seedling or tillering stage. So our hopes for the best waned. Even though the view was not in its best, we were still grateful for the nice weather and relatively good view over there.
Back to Yuli town, I also had the opportunity to experience the best Stinky Toufu in Taiwan. However this came at a cost, where I'd have to wait for around 1+ hr due to the long queue.
The next day, we took train to JiuFen. Comparatively, JiuFen is a very famoust tourist destination, especially for the Japan/Korea/ China market. So we would have to re-adjust the expectation to enjoy the most for our trip!
Jiufen: The Real Life Spirited Away
JiuFen is a small old town on the hillside, 2 hrs away from Taipei. It's popular tourism destination in modern time because of its resemblance to the Japanese famous animation movie, Spirited Away back in year 2001.
Practically, there isn't much things to do in JiuFen except some nice view of the old streets & yummy foods. Staying only 1 night in JiuFen was the right choice we made. The next day, we prepared ourselves and headed to Taipei. In Taipei, we visited only a few destination spot. One of them is Long Shan Temple, for its interesting building structure and history.
Taiwan, is a very friendly country. Love this country ~