Taiwan Trip – Sanxiantai Bridge, spectacular Taroko Gorge and more

Early starts aren’t normally in my daily routine but today was an exception as we had a long day ahead of us. Looking out our bedroom window we could see it was another reasonably fine day.We enjoyed our buffet breakfast again and packed our gear up and headed downstairs to check out, ready to leave. We still were impressed with the way staff at the Taiwanese hotels would line up at the door to farewell departing tour coaches. This was no exception.Just down the road we saw these cute monkeys.At our first stop for the day in the coastal forest at Xiaoyeliu we encountered some more wildlife. This time it was hermit crabs. A government scientific project provides empty shells of different sizes in a location that the crabs frequent. They can easily exchange their shell for a larger size as they grow. We saw quite a bit of movement.A short walk to the foreshore allowed us to see some interesting rock formations.On our return to the coach we continued our drive north. Our next stop near Chenggong Township was the site of conglomerate rock outcrops.However it is far better known for an island just off-shore, known as the Three Immortals, and the Sanxiantai Bridge, an eight arch bridge joining it to the mainland. Back in October 2019 it was one of many fabulous places featured in a travel video entitled, Don’t Go To Taiwan. This can be found on YouTube. Given covid-19 was just taking a grip on travel we were lucky to be there on a day with very few other tourists.Yes we did walk all eight arches, even with the limited time we had available.Sadly we didn’t have time to continue onto the boardwalk to hike around the island.It was a really ruggedly beautiful location.On our return we headed over to this beach known as Pebble Beach for obvious reasons.Continuing up the coast we came to Fongbin Township where we ate delicious locally made pork and vegie buns for lunch. The unusual crater-like rock formations here were worth a look.About another hour further north we came to the Fanshuliao River Gorge. One side of the bridge the river cut into the gorge’s volcanic agglomeratewhilst on the other side there were low rolling hills, farms and a much gentler valley of soft sedimentary rock.After a quick look there we were back on the coach for nearly a further one and a half hours. We stopped in Sincheng Township, near Hualien airport, which is in the heart of the marble quarrying and processing region of Taiwan. We visited a display centre and showroom. Our guide, Alan, introduced us to a staff member who gave an informative talk and guided us through the display area. Sadly photos not permitted. However they certainly allowed us to spend our money in the showroom where they had lots of jewellery and larger artworks for sale. Yes Karen did find a ring she liked so here’s a snap of the happy shopper outside. They also had some whimsical statues at the entrance. After that it wasn’t long before we were turning into Taroko Gorge. A day of landscape highlights became even better, if that was possible. Although due to roadworks we did have to wait twenty minutes at one point on our way in. There are quite a few tunnels to travel through and some of the roads were only one lane wide. Some of the older roads had been turned into pedestrian access tunnels as we discovered when we reached Jinheng Bridge. The driver let us off there. Our guide Alan told us where we should walk and which way to go to meet up with the coach which would be further down the road in a bus park.Even though it was a fairly cloudy day the scenery was still very impressive.As the light was fading we clambered back onto the coach and within fifteen minutes we were at our hotel for the night, Silks Place Hotel, described as an upscale mountain hotel. The rooms were very modern and it was such a peaceful location. We ate in one of their restaurants that night – delicious food and well presented.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s