~ ~ References and Resources for people traveling to/in the eastern counties ~ ~
The population of Taidong (Taitung), Hualian (Hualien), and Yilan (Ilan, Gilan) taken together is only about 5% of the population of Taiwan, and since there aren’t many foreigners living and working here, either, there isn’t much information about this area on Forumosa. Also, whatever information has been posted at one time or another is hard to find since it is scattered through various threads (topics), some of which go back a few years. I started this thread as a list of local links to get all of that information on “one page”, but it has grown to include relevant information from other websites, hearsay, newspapers, and personal experience, as well. Do you happen to know anything about the eastern counties that you think might be useful for people traveling there? Please feel free to add it or, if you prefer that i add it to an already existing entry, please send it to me via a PM.
Note 1: The entries in this thread will be revised and expanded from time to time, as new information comes in, so please check here again once in a while. [Last edited 2011-10-14]
Note 2: A related thread, specifically aimed at people living (or planning to live) in one of the eastern counties, can be found in the forum “Living in Taiwan”, at viewtopic.php?t=84583
7 years ago, on the occasion of a business trip to Ilan County, i took the train to Taroko Village one afternoon and stayed overnight in a small hotel in Taroko Village. It was a weekday, and i was surprised that there were no other guests at the time, but the staff told me the hotel would be booked full over the weekend.
My plan was to go into Taroko Gorge the next day and take a bath in an outdoor hotspring (Wenshan Wenquan, 文山 溫泉) that had been recommended.
Unfortunately (maybe), i missed the morning bus to Tianxiang (天祥) (i overslept ) and instead took a taxi to the “eternal springs shrine” (長春祠). I had a good work-out walking up to the shrine and to another small shrine high up in the cliff (took an uncountable number of stairs to get there).
After coming back from the shrine i waited for the mid-day bus, went to Tianxiang (天祥), and walked from there to the hotspring.
Here is a short video showing what the access path and the outdoor basins of Wenshan Wenquan used to look like, taken by a guy from Singapore who apparently went there about 2 years after my visit: pogledaj.name/wenshan-hot-sp … WDDfO9r37s
The day i went, i had to catch the last byus back to Taroko Village and therefore only dipped my hands into the hot water, but i prominsed myself that i would return one day to take a bath. Then, in 2005, i learned that earlier that year some rocks had fallen in the hotspring area and that someone got killed, and so the park authorities had closedthe hotspring (it apparently is still closed)
There’s hope, Yuli ! It’s been an extremely rough time over the past year or so and I haven’t been able to put much time into rebuilding the site, but it is (slowly, but surely) happening. Actually, I needed the push! I should have it up and running again in the near future. The site address is:http://www.freewebs.com/athomeinhualien/
Pikachiu Net Cafe (比卡丘網咖)
中興路2段430號(東方大鎮), Taidong City
開封街 (Kai1 Feng1 Jie1) 302, Taidong City
1 hour for NT$15, 3 hours for NT$40
The 2 netcafes in Hualian that i have used myself are part of the 駭客網路 (Hai4 Le4 Wang3 Lu4 = Hackers Network):
No. 439, 福建街 (Fu2 Jian4 Jie1 / Fujian St.), Hualian City; Tel: 03-834-9993 (corner of 博愛街 (Bo2 Ai4 Jie1/ Bo’ai St.))
No. 72, 林森路 (Lin2 Sen1 Lu4 / Linsen Rd.), Hualian City; Tel: 03-831-0701
The same company (hacker-net.com.tw/) lists additional stores at the following locations:
No. 39, 國聯二路 (Guo2 Lian2 Er4 Lu4 / Guolian Rd.)., Hualian City; Tel: 03-834-1108
No. 2, 富安路 (Fu4 An1 Lu4 / Fu’an Rd.), Hualian City; Tel: 03-846-2345 (that is behind the train station, and you get to that street from Zhong1 Shan1 Lu4)
No. 67, 中華路二段 (Zhong1 Hua2 Er4 Lu4 / Zhonghua 2 Rd.), Ji’an township; Tel: 03-854-1691
Note: If you are passing through Hualien for a day and use one of those shops you may want to buy a 4-hour block of time for NT$50, but for anybody staying longer or visiting repeatedly the following would be a better deal: for NT$100 you can buy a rechargeable IC card, and the time registered on the chip in the card can be used in any increment, as it suits you. (Adding NT$100 to the card will give you 5.5 hours of time, for NT$300 you get 20 hours, and with NT$600 you are good for 50 hours).
[ What i’ve heard so far is that you can buy used phones or bring one from abroad (if it is compatble) and get pre-paid SIM cards to use those phones while you are in Taiwan. Will post more here when i have more details. ]
There is some information about at least one of the east coast areas in each of the following threads.
Useful search terms to find east coast related info in those threads: Taitung, Taidong, Hualien, Ilan, Yilan.