Thursday, January 17, 2013

Taroko Blah

Taiwan Vacation days 2 and 3 dawned cooler and rainy. We were pretty wiped from day-long transit to Hualien so opted out of strenuous tourist activity for exploring the town on foot. Breakfast was a curry at a Pakistani/Indian restaurant we happened to walk past. The proprietor was fairly curt to us but kept the Taiwanese customers laughing hysterically. My palak paneer included a slice of processed cheese!

Hualien township is fairly small and moderately interesting. I saw these cool things:

Dog and scooter standoff.
Road workers in Taiwan wear neon cone hats! (That's a cluster of them on the truck.)
Day 3 we woke up early and were herded on to a bus for our tour of the Taroko Gorge, which is half an hour outside of Hualien and one of Taiwan's biggest attractions.

My first (and lasting) impression of Taroko Gorge was pretty blah. If you're not from New Zealand and you haven't been to countries in Asia other than Korea it might be amazing but the drive through the Rimutakas is more interesting.

Add in:

I had the biggest headache of my liiiiiiife that day;
The tour was completely in Chinese when I had been repeatedly assured it was in English;

And you have one very bored and angry tourist in the back of the bus.

I mean, it's still pretty:

I enjoyed this:

Tom was also unimpressed:

Fortunately the sights improved as my painkillers kicked in. More another day.

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