Road trip through Scenic Taiwan – Hualien County

Road trip through Scenic Taiwan – Hualien County

As we drive away from Taipei towards Hualien, the tall buildings start to recede and lush greens start to take over. The mountains seem to be dripping with vine covered trees and fog is rolling over the peaks. The road hems the mountains edge to the coastline. The sights are so beautiful they almost distract you from the multiple near death experiences you have while trying to keep pace with the local drivers and not pull a Thelma and Louise.

We left Taipei immediately after picking up our rental car. Getting out of the Taipei was a little– eh, difficult. We pulled into two separate parking lots that must have been for locals and you needed a pass to lift the exit gate. Yup, once wasn’t enough for us. I mean, can’t a girl stop and get some candy without such nonsense!? Then there was the time we missed our exit and it took us on a 30 minute detour. ugh. But we did make it out of the hoopla of the city and into the stunning coastline and mountains of Hualien. 

Hualien, Taiwan, Mountains, Rice paddies, south east asia landscape, green mountains, road trip taiwan,

Hualien, Taiwan, Mountains, fishing, sea fishing , south east asia landscape, green mountains, road trip taiwan,

Hualien is a remarkable county that runs down most of Taiwan’s east coast. Though it is known for Taroko National Park, it is littered with hundreds of beautiful spots.  With the sea on your left and the mountains on your right, you never really know where to look or point your camera!

During our trip planning we could not decide on our route. Rt. 9 ran through the mountains, Rt. 11 took you along the steep cliffs and coastline. We came to the conclusion that we would just have to see both. So we wove in and out, in and out, stopping two nights in Hualien. Everything else we found on our way south to Maolin county.

Some of our stops in Hualien

Hualien, Taiwan, Mountains, south east asia landscape, green mountains, road trip taiwan, temple, colorful temple.
Taiwan has my favorite temples. The colors are so bright and bold. Completely different than any other place of worship I’ve been too.

Dai’s Dumplings

dai's Dumplings. Hualien, taiwan, pork dumpling soup,
Dai’s Dumplings in Hualien city are worth a stop.

Hualien Night Market

Hualien, Taiwan, Mountains, south east asia landscape, green mountains, road trip taiwan, nightmarket, carnival, bbq corn
Hualien’s night market was not our favorite but man this grilled corn was delicious!

Visit some old aboriginal homes.

Hualien, Taiwan, Mountains, south east asia landscape, green mountains, road trip taiwan, chickens, wild chickens
We came across an small aboriginal home and a few abandoned ones along the mountain road. Taiwan is a colorful place, even when deteriorating.

 

Hualien, Taiwan, Mountains, south east asia landscape, green mountains, road trip taiwan,

Lintienshan

Hualien, Taiwan, Mountains, south east asia landscape, green mountains, road trip taiwan,
The old logging village, Lintienshan, is an hour or so outside Hualien City is an interesting stop on the trip. Again, those colors ?

Hualien, Taiwan, Mountains, south east asia landscape, green mountains, road trip taiwan,

 

Hualien, Taiwan, Mountains, south east asia landscape, green mountains, road trip taiwan, hanging clothes in rain, aqua blue shirts

Shihtiping

Hualien, Taiwan, Mountains, south east asia landscape, green mountains, road trip taiwan, cliffs, couple, tourist, travel. landscape, Shihtiping
Shihtiping was our last stop before the sun set behind the rain clouds. We weren’t overly impressed but this is a major stop for the chinese tour buses. Luckily the weather was so poor all day it kept most places quiet.

 

I still have a few more Taiwan post to share with you, which I promise I will write more quickly.  If you have any questions just comment below and the rest of our Taiwan Itinerary can be found here!

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