We only allocated a short 1.5 days to Taiwan’s largest county – Hualien. Yes, I know, it sounds grossly disproportionate, so that’s why I don’t really have many posts about what we did in Hualien as well 😅. We almost didn’t get to check out the sights in downtown Hualien too, due to the plum rain for both nights we were there. So grateful the sun finally decided to show face on our last morning, so that we could have a glimpse of the beauty of the city before leaving for Taipei by train around 10.30 am. 🙂
这次的行程，我们只把1天半的时间留给台湾最大的县 —— 花莲。是的，我知道听起来不太对，花莲这么大，却只有这么少时间在这里？所以我也没太多关于花莲游的文章可以分享咯😄。本来连花莲市区的景点都没机会参观，都是因梅雨季打乱了我们在花莲市2晚的行程。幸好，太阳公公终于肯在我们离开花莲的最后一个早上露脸，让我们赶得及在搭乘火车前往台北前速游市区。😀
As promised during booking, our amicable 500KM Home host would drive us to Hualien train station after we check out to catch our train. Knowing that we didn’t get to see Hualien’s beautiful scenery in good weather conditions so far, Mrs Tsai suggested leaving the minsu earlier so that they could bring us on a quick drive to some nearby sights to take some photos.
Our first stop was Beibin Park, also known as Pacific Ocean Park, just a short walk from the minsu (but we took the car anyway). As it was a bright & sunny day, everything looked especially beautiful. Just like Taitung Seashore Park, Pacific Ocean Park has an area dedicated for public art pieces, & we posed for photos at the 3D landscape park.
After that, we strolled northwards along the park, to where the Shuguang (Dawn) Bridge is. The bridge is so named because as you stand on the bridge & look towards Pacific Ocean in the east, you will be able to catch the first glimpse of sunrise in Hualien City. Built during the Japanese Occupation, the bridge sprawled across Meilun River, part of the railway service connecting Hualien Port to Hualien City. After the railway service was abolished, the provincial government reconstructed the bridge to a wooden one. We crossed the bridge & arrived at Heping Square. The rustic bridge blended very well into the bright & clear skyline that morning, mesmerising spot!
然后，我们朝公园的北端前去，也就是曙光桥的所在地。站在桥上，面向东边的太平洋，就能欣赏到花莲市的第一道曙光，桥也因此得名。桥的前身为铁路路线花莲港支线的铁道桥 —— 米仑溪桥，建于日治时代，横跨美仑溪以联系花莲港和花莲市。该铁道支线被废除后，花莲县政府把它改造成木栈桥。越过曙光桥就能看到和平广场。古早味的木栈桥，加上蓝天白云倒影在清澈的美仑溪上，构成一幅撩人的风景线！
Lastly, we drove up to the famous Pine Garden established in 1942. During the Japanese Occupation, it served as a command centre, & is now the most well-preserved Japanese military structure in Hualien. Located at the highest point in Hualien City overlooking the Hualien Port & Pacific Ocean, it allowed the Japanese to command the battleships & fighter jets without much difficulty. Now, it provides visitors as a great vantage point for a bird’s eye view of the city. Coupled with the surrounding ancient pine trees, it is a gorgeous spot for all to relax & unwind. There is an admission fee of 50 TWD (~S$2.35) per pax before you could enter its compounds for a tour. Due to time constraint, we didn’t go in, so here are some photos we took of the historical Pine Garden.
& so, we ended our super quick tour of downtown Hualien, which lasted probably only 40 minutes or so. I can’t complain much because we didn’t expect to even have this short-lived “luxury”. Really grateful to our awesome 500KM Home host who went out of their way to end our short Hualien trip on this sweet note. I will allocate more time in Hualien next round to explore its alluring sights! 😉