We headed out from our hotel mid-morning with the intention to travel a bit further down the coast before cutting across the mountains and then back up to Hualien to catch a train for our trip back to Taipei. The scooter gang was down to 3 members but they were rearing to go.
On our way down the coast we passed over the Tropic of Cancer and found a marker there, just in case we might have missed it.
Once over the mountains, we stopped in the town of Yuli for a light lunch.
Yuli is apparently famous for its “Yuli noodles” so we sampled some while were in town. We didn’t notice anything particularly special about them but they were good nonetheless. 🙂
Since we wanted to make sure we could get seats on the Express train from Hualien to Taipei, we decided to stop at the local train station to pick some up. Unfortunately, the Express trains were completely booked so we would have to take a longer route (more stops). We purchased the tickets and then headed out. Here is a view from the Yuli train station.
As we approached Hualien, my host’s tour guide cousin directed us to a detour where our scooter gang could rest a bit and enjoy some ice cream. The Hualien Sugar Factory used to be just that but in the early 2000s it was turned into a shopping / arts & crafts area.
The pond was a cooling place to relax before we mounted up to make the final push through Hualien to the scooter rental shop. Since I didn’t know my way through Hualien, it was great to have our guide pilot the car through the maze of streets and with all of the traffic and distractions.
We eventually made it to the scooter rental shop and said good-bye to our chariots (including the car) and walked toward the train station, which was nearby.
You can see the ominous-looking clouds over the mountains in the photo above. The forecast called for rain late in the afternoon and aside from a few sprinkles, were were very fortunate to miss the rain altogether.
We arrived a couple of hours early for our train home so we decided to see if there was another train or other transport we could take to get us in a bit earlier. Here are a few in our group trying to do just that.
Just in case you may be interested, here is a view of the main lobby of the Hualien train station, turned about 45 degrees to the right from the picture above.
We eventually settled on a trip that required a transfer to a bus for the second leg but would get us into Taipei earlier.
The trip to Luodong was paid for so all we had to do when we got to the bus station there was to show these tickets to the ticket office and they would assign us to the next bus. The bus was quite comfortable and since there was little traffic at that time of night we were able to get into Taipei a good hour before our original non-express train would have gotten us there.
And that’s it for our big Day 10 in Taiwan. We have only 1 more left before jetting off for Tokyo, which I’ll cover in the next post.