We woke up to a beautiful morning and ready to explore more of Hualien! After we left Chihsingtan beach, we stopped by at a few places before continuing our journey to Taitung.
#3 Lingzhi and Tea Art Centre
#4 Types of Lingzhi - "White Mushroom" for lungs, "Black Mushroom" for brain and kidney, "Yellow Mushroom" for spleen and intestines
#5 The princess of the Amis tribe explained why and how Lingzhi could benefit everyone's body from head to toe, and the benefits of consuming deer placenta! *omfgbbq*
#6 Wild Lingzhi Herbal Tea
#7 I've never thought these would be so expensive! I think one box of wild Lingzhi costs about NT$8000, if I'm not mistaken.
After an awkward interaction of refusals and skirted around the constant sales pitches, we eventually made it outside and back onto the coach.
#10 Tzu Chi Foundation
Nestled in the lush mountains outside Hualien, the abode is the spiritual and operational headquarters of the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation.
#11 We didn't want to enter the temple, so we hung out at the Japanese style garden instead.
#12 Hualien is the only place producing jade in Taiwan. After seeing the marble gorges in Taroko National Park, our tour guide insisted on taking us to visit the marble factory, which also sells Taiwan jade. Photography is prohibited inside the premises.
#13 A restaurant (surrounded by paddy fields) that serves Hakka food
#15 Goose Meat
I'm not sure if these are authentic Hakka cuisines.
The food here was delicious, much better compared to the restaurants we had been to and I remember I ended up having 3 bowls of soup.
Oh, I'm a Hakka by the way!
#26 Mama Tu Zongzi @ Ruisui Township
Our coach driver stopped somewhere along the Hualien - Taitung highway as our tour guide wanted to buy some zongzi (rice dumpling) for us all! According to him, this restaurant is known for its authentic rice dumplings, but I didn't really find anything too special about it.
#28 Xiuguluan River Rafting Center - stopped here to stretch our legs, eat our rice dumplings and empty our bladder.
#30 Vending machines are everywhere and offer a variety of drinks.
#32 I don't remember much about this place other than its lovely and colorful packaged confectioneries!
#34 Fuel up before heading to Taitung.
In many ways, Hualien is the opposite of Taipei. It's calm, it has a very mellow vibe, and the locals never seem to be in a hurry! The lifestyle is much more relaxed, the air quality is generally better, and there are not as many people either.
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