Sunday, July 23, 2006

Taroko Gorge and Hualien City

Ryan (the Lost Spaceman, Highway 11 Magazine) was our guide to the queen city of the east coast. Although our visit was severely impacted by tropical hiccup storm Bilis, we enjoyed Hualien immensely. Not only did we get to explore a little way into fantastic Taroko Gorge, but we also fell in love with the mountain backdrop and open spaces of Hualien city. Ryan did a great job running down a hotel for us, and had some good tips on what to do in Taroko Gorge. I was fortunate to be able to have a beer with Ryan and his girlfriend Iris, who turned out to be seriously cute. No doubt bachelors all over the island will hang themselves in despair as Ryan has just announced their engagement (and congratulations to both of them -- I assume the first five children will all be named Michael, right?).

Taroko Gorge turned out to be As Advertized. The further you go in, the more beautiful it gets. Lie, cheat, or steal, but get over there for a look. Even better, take the highway over the mountains and into the gorge....

In Hualien we stayed at the Royal Hotel, a ten minute walk from the downtown restaurant and shopping area. Service was fantastic, staff were friendly, free internet and a loaner computer, and clean rooms. My parents heartily approved of the low rates. I'd like to thank Ryan for this excellent recommendation.

Enjoy my picture page of Hualien and Taroko Gorge.


Thoth Harris said...

Hey Michael,
First of all, Ryan is a pretty good looking guy himself, so it seems to fit. All the power to him. Congratulations to the fellow. Nobody should be jealous. Everything seems quite well in this best of possible worlds (well, over here, at any rate - maybe not in Lebanon, etc.).

Wow. The pics of Hulien and Taroko are a real treat. You are, as always a stupendous photograapher. Wow. But take a look at my recent shots. If you love Taiwan, really, you should. I love Fongyuan, and I guess now you can see why! Plus Miaoli County, since my girlfriend is still living there, and we checked out the high mountains there...

But the pictures you took of Hualien City's main part looked for the most part like some of your average Taiwanese medium-sized cities, or at least the one I lived in - Miaoli City, specifically speaking.

The pictures of Taroko I are what I find really impressive. And you manage to bring out the best in peoples faces and in interior spaces!

The dust storm, however is really something! It looks liek how it would look life if I visited Africa. Perhaps it would look like that. Perhaps not...

Wow. I love photos. And you help me see why!

Geoff said...

Michael, the photos were very very impressive. Many of the places I recognise and they have not changed much. I felt strong nostalgia.
I hope to return in 07.
The eternal shrine has such an overpowering "aura"...maybe my imagination. Such a beautiful place.
Thanks buddy...
Congratulations to Ryan, good looking bloke and a lovely lady too

The Spaceman said...

I'm a lazy message leaver. The pictures look great. i love to see what peiople photograph when they visit Hualien. It's interesting to see it through an outsider's eye.

Can't wait for the second round of beers.