Hualien is our favourite place in Taiwan. It is close to beautiful scenery in Taroko Gorge, it is close to the ocean, and it is more relaxing (and more nature-y).
Our trip started in Taipei. We took the Taroko Express from Song Shan station to Hualien station.
Our journey began with some ok-tasting lunch boxes. More delicious food to come!
In the past, these lunch boxes were considered very good. One of the reasons were normally people didn’t eat very well compared to what they eat now. Nowadays you can buy lunch boxes that are a lot more delicious and bring them on the train.
One reason why we visited Hualien was because of Jason and Grace. My aunt knows them through a student.
Jason took us around Hualien last time we were back. Jason and Grace own a bed and breakfast. It is a beautiful, comfortable and cozy place.
If you go to Hualien, look them up! Jason and Grace are really thoughtful and we’ve never been disappointed on our Hualien trips with them. They are definitely great at planning interesting and fun activities!
Hualien Day 1
Jason took us to a creek in Hualien to find jade. It was tough. There were a lot of rocks that looked green in the creek. Jason guided us to find some jade. First, just look at the surface of the rocks, see if you notice any white-ish green rocks. Pick up any rocks that you suspect to be jade. Second, look under big rocks.
With Jason’s help, we found a bunch of jade!
Jason then took us to a DIY Jade Workshop. You get to process the jade, with the help of the workers.
They didn’t let us do the first step (cutting jade). Would be to dangerous.
Our last trip to Hualien was during the summer, so we did a lot of outdoor activities: hiking in Taroko Gorge, rafting, and whale-watching. This time it was the winter, and it rained a lot, so we did a lot of indoor activities, such as jade-processing, learning about Hakka culture and local aboriginal culture, going to old forestry sites etc.
To reward ourselves for our hard work (finding and processing jade), Jason took us to eat some yummy food:
And of course, after a long day of hard work, beer was needed! (Except I am allergic to something in alcohol, so I had little sips.)