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After being on hiatus for two slow unbearable years, I finally resume my travels. Except, my list has shrunken from the 500 million squared kilometers to the size of the 36 squared kilometers “ Formosa” island.
The image I found online of this gorgeous place is what inspired me to embark on this journey to find out how this island earned its “beautiful” name:
Turns out, I underestimated 36k square miles. Formosa is not easy to spot on a world map, but it takes us about 5 long hours from Taipei to get to Hualian. It’s not the hours that make the journey long, but the tunnels after tunnels of winding roads. With claustrophobia, 5 hours feel more like 12. At night, there are no street lights in the mountains. I do not recommend driving at night.
I pick a hotel for its accessibility but renting the whole 6- story building to ourselves is the best choice ever. Arriving at 1:00am tires even my “ash” out. Choosing a room from all 6 floors isn’t hard at all when the elevator takes me to each floor. I’m not an indecisive person, but the room with a Minion theme makes everything even easier. I don’t even have to bother to go check out the third floor and beyond. Maybe it’s the blessing from the minions, I sleep the night through for the first time in two years.
it feels so great to wake up after the sun. We have breakfast at Miaokou black tea where all drinks come out from a pipe.
We want to make it back before sunset to avoid night driving, so we hit the road right after breakfast. My destination, however, turned into this:
It was a miscommunication between us. The attraction on my list is actually in Pong Hu, not in Hua Lian. And Pong Hu isn’t accessible by car. Maybe next time. I snap a few photos that remind me of Hawaii. I guess that makes it worthwhile.
We stop by Joy of Land, where the 3rd Taiwan East Coast Land Art Festival is held with installation arts that combine the natural environment, geographic landscape, and spatial aesthetics of the East Coast National Scenic Area. The “shyt house” made with bamboo, cow’s shyt, and more is one that intrigued me.
Next stop is Fengbin, a skywalk on Xinfeng Tunnel that traverseses the cliff face and overlooks the Pacific Ocean. However, I’m not allowed admission due to my disability. Boo.
We lunch at Salty Lick, a charming American style BBQ house that serves up authentic BBQ meat dishes and pizzas. Driving back is probably not a good idea when itis hits, but probably safer than night driving again.
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