Hualien & Kaohsiung
Hualien is considered by many to the most beautiful place in Taiwan and I went there twice to meet one of my best friends that I had known since my University days William.
He moved to Hualien for teaching and I stayed by him and his family on the two occasions that I visited.
In Hualien county, Taroke Gorge is certainly a very beautiful place however much of the photos I took where from my first visit and pre-digital.
The town itself is mall and of great scenic beautiful although developers are threatening to override the town and a new highway has done nothing to help retain the the natural beauty of the region although transport times between Hualien and Taipei have been cut greatly.
On my second visit we went to the Shakadang Trail which is also known by its previous name the “Mysterious Valley Trail. It is a very beautiful place to go hiking.
I have visited Kaohsiung on three of my visits to Taiwan although one of those was because of a coming hurricane so forced me to leave Kinmen early.
Kaohsiung is am industrial city in the south again with colourful architecture and the love river which looks particularly nice at night My favourite part of Kaohsiung though has to be the Kaohsiung 85 Sky Tower. Until the Taipei 101 it was the tallest building in Taiwan It is architecturally interesting although second to the 101 building in my opinion, the design is based on the Chinese character for tall. Inside the views of the love river and Kaohsiung harbour were beautiful it was aided by good weather and perhaps because it was during a weekday it was not very busy.
On one visit I met my kind friend Frances. I can’t remember how long we have been in contact. At least 8 years. As she was going to Taipei later that day we could only meet for a short time.
As the hurricane was approaching all of the foreigners including myself sought flights to Taiwan and left, some to Taipei some to other cities. There was a rush and we were all on waiting lists. I didn’t want to leave but the day after the normal end date of the English camp I was due to fly to Taipei and then London so I had no time in the case of delay I was able to get a flight to Kaohsiung which I took as I have friends there and from there I was able to get on a train to Taipei (where flights were still operating) and onwards to London