Sunday, July 06, 2008

A very LONG post

The first two days of my Taipei trip were spent at home, mainly to spent more time with my Mil. On the 3rd day, Prince Charming and I left Taipei for the Northern part of Taiwan, Hualien (花蓮).

We took 自強號 from Taipei Train Station (台北火車站) and alighted at the Hualien Train Station (花蓮火車站). The journey took a wholesome of 3.5 hours, so majority of the time passengers are sleeping inside the cabin. It is always recommended that you bring/buy bentos in case you feel hungry in the midst of the journey, as the train does not cater any selling of bentos but biscuits instead.

We did not sleep much on the train so we managed to capture some of the nice sceneries. The below picture shows a large scale of Padi fields. There were some Corns at the side but we did not get to take them down in time. The sky was so amazingly blue!

When we reached Hualien, we were escorted to our 民宿 by the host 阿呈. As we were a little earlier than the expected time, the room was not ready yet, so 阿呈 suggested that we could take a tour around the area by riding on the bicycles provided. Prince Charming and I thus, cycled out from the 民宿 and toured around the place. The sun was soaring so fiercely up in the sky and I was feeling almost dehydrated.

We stopped at one of the eatery and had our lunch over there. We decided to go for 扁食 at <花蓮香扁食>. We ordered the below:

滷肉飯 Rice with Braised minced pork

紅油抄手 Wanton in chili oil

乾麵 Dry noodle

Besides the usual main dishes, you may also add in little appetizers.
We had the below:

涼拌小黃瓜 Preserved cucumbers

滷蛋與昆布 Braised egg with Seaweed

After our hearty meal, we cycled for almost 1 hour before heading back to our 民宿. We were sweaty and hot and I desperately wanted to have my shower right away! The heat was so much higher than Singapore!! 36 degree in Taipei and 37 in Hualien! God sake!

It was such a relief when we reached our 民宿. I like the way how the 民宿 was decorated because everything looks so so so cozy and there were many cute and nice ornaments that the host had. Oh, I forgot to mention that the host had 2 retro vehicles! He drove us back in his Volkswagen Beetle of 40 yrs and nothing was changed. It was a nice experiment really!

So now, the room! We really liked this room SO much! It has a 樓中樓 concept and it's really romantic :)

The romantic Balinese inspired room.
You get to see beautiful butterflies flying outside the room especially in the morning :)

The stairs leads you up the upper level where you can relax and
賞星(adore the stars) at night.

This is what you see right away when you reach the upper level - A swing!
The scenery behind the glass panels were awesome.

When you view through the glass panels, this is what you get to see.
Beautiful flowers and greenery.

The delicious breakfast catered :)

The special wooden Japanese style bath tub. The water are hot spring water, that were piped down to the 民宿, so you don't have to spent a single cent visiting hot spring hotels.

One of the cute ornaments found in the 民宿 - A retro Beetle car

Another ornament - A miniature retro Vespa

The whole image of 迴音谷, very nice and cozy.

This is the Volkswagen T2 I mentioned above. very CUTE! They call it 麵包車.

Basically, the 民宿 is cozy and a nice place for holidays. It's just so relaxing staying in that place! I am certain I would visit this 民宿 again if I'm going Hualien. Probably I'll stay in the other rooms or perhaps I might visit their other branch 迴音海 which is at the coastal area.

Now, Hualien's trip - Hot but beautiful. Hualien is a small city in the northern part of Taiwan and the weather is relatively much higher than those in Taipei. They have many natural creations especially the marbles ( 大理石). We went to the famous 太魯閣 and was amazed by god's creation.

The beautiful lake in 太魯閣. Clear blue water!

The weather was so good, even our shoes love tanning!

Next up, we headed to 七星潭, a coastal area in Hualien. The scenery is so nice and oh my, it's the pacific ocean! I can't believe I'm standing near the Pacific ocean. LOL!

Ain't that beautiful? The skies are indeed very blue.

It's just so nice sitting down, admiring the nice scenery.

After we left 七星潭, it was near to 5pm. We decided to go to 自強夜市 - The famous 夜市 in Hualien! It wasn't very big as we thought, I suppose they only had like not more than 10 stalls. Anyway, we weren't very hungry due to the hot weather, so we decided to try on 2 stalls - 棺材板 and 烤肉

花蓮法市棺材板 - It's basically a special French toast covered with
different kinds of ingredients

There are so many different kinds of 棺材板 to choose from - Savoury to sweet.

The little tins contains the different kinds of ingredients.

Here's the 棺材板 we ordered. We had 蜜汁燻雞 (Honey smoked chicken).
Very yummy! *Drools*

We also had 烤肉串 and 烤雞排 but Prince Charming couldn't wait to eat them up, so he did not take any pictures of them :P

The next day, we checked out from the 民宿 and 阿呈 drove us to the Train station. As we are again earlier than expected timing, he recommended us to one of the restaurant that is within walking distance. The ambience of the restaurant was really nice :)

This is what you see when you look out from the windows.
Beautiful huh?

The layout of the restaurant. The furniture were all antiques!

They also had an outdoor area, nice isn't it?

They plant lotus at the outdoor area.

花生土司 Peanut butter toast

酥炸豆腐 Crispy Beancurd

肉燥麵 Mince pork noodles

甜不辣 Tempura

檸檬愛玉 and 古早奶茶

That marks the end of our Hualien trip and now back to Taipei. My friend, Rachel and her buddy, Ah Zhen came to Taipei too! We met up together and Rachel, being a fan of Jay Chou, we bought the both of them to the restaurant owned by Jay Chou.

That's the signboard - Mr J 義式廚房!

When you entered the restaurant, you will get to see Betty Boop and 方文山!

The restaurant isn't very big but they do have private dinning room.

I love this corner because of the sofa!

Appetizer - Munchies Combo 綜合拼盤

Ah Zhen's order - 義式臘腸焗麵 Baked Penne with Sausages

Rachel's order - 香烤海鮮奶油飯 Baked Seafood rice in Cream sauce

Mrs Kwok's order - 茄汁干貝蝦燉飯 Shrimp and Scallop Risotto

Mr Kwok's order - 明太子奶油麵 Spaghetti Mentaiko

We chose to top up NT $89 for a full course that consists of - Salad, soup, main dishes, desserts and drinks. The total came up to NT $2000. The food were not very fantastic but edible though. Well, it doesn't really matter since it's just an experience. Now I understand why my Mil love the Pasta mania in Singapore - They have BETTER pasta over there.

After the dinner, we took Rachel and Ah Zhen to Miramar 美麗華 where the famous Ferris wheel is.

Beautiful right? It's even nicer during sunset :)

Whooops, its such a LONG post! LOL~
Lastly, Happy 1st Year Wedding Anniversary!


夏り said...

looks so fun mrs kwok!! pretty scenery... ooohhlala

Happy Mrs Kwok said...

Hahah! If the weather's much cooler, it'll be more fun!

The weather spoil my mood for shopping and basically, I DID NOT BUY ANYTHING! Arghhh

Small Small Baker said...

Beautiful scenery! The 民宿 looks great!

Happy Mrs Kwok said...

Yes! Small Small baker, I only get to see your post last night :)

You should really visit 迴音谷~ It's a nice place for relaxation!
You can go during Sept where there are whales sighting activities going on.

Find a Free willy there :D

Anonymous said...

wah~~~ I wanna go!! *stomp feet* i wonder is yr hubby's photo taking skills that makes every shot looks so good, or the scenery and food and everything there soooooooo good! even those people on the street looks good! >.< i wanna go!! girl... staying in the 民宿 expensive mah? i wanna plan plan and head there! u two love birds went free and easy yea?

Happy Mrs Kwok said...

Hello Amanda,

Yeah, we went F&E for Hualien. Most probably, you can get urself a ticket to Taipei then booked a 3 days 2 night stay at Hualien.

All to do is to get urself a return rail ticket from Taipei to Hualien. Its fun!

Aimei said...

The place's so beautiful! I love this kind of cosy little 民宿...Next time wanna drag my bf to bring me there! Hehe...

daphne said...

hehe. a long post to make up for your lack of posts? LOL
Happy anni celebration as well! and such beautiful photos!!! Looks like a really fun trip.

Happy Mrs Kwok said...

Hi Aimei,

You sure must! I am sure your bf will love it :) Try going during Sept/Oct to catch the whales!

Hi Daphne,


It was indeed a nice trip minus the hot weather! I think I drank 10 gallons of water each day! ;)

zhengning said...

Looks like a fun trip!
Happy belated anniversary! :)

Happy Mrs Kwok said...

Thanks Zhengning :)

Anonymous said...

Hi mrs kwok,
saw your pics for hualian and minsu, looks nice. do you have the url for booking for the minsu, im thinking to go with my husband on apr period for 3 days 2 nights.hope to hear from you soon. thanks

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