Taiwan Day 1: A Birthday Weekend Trip

3 March 2018 10,209 km / 6343 mi (map)

  • Added to Eric Scouten :: Travel on 12 May 2023
  • Taiwan 3

I’m spending the today and the next two days exploring the island nation of Taiwan.

Why? Well, hmmm … that’s interesting. I have a major birthday this weekend and I decided to give myself the gift of a new country visited. I didn’t want to spend a lot of time away (I’m saving my vacation time for later in the year) and the list of new countries I could visit via non-stop flight from Seattle is relatively short. Of those, Taiwan seemed most viable for a long-weekend trip, so here I am!

I flew EVA Air. If their goal was to get me to pay attention to the safety video in the middle of the night, kudos to whoever chose the interpretive dance approach:

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Seattle, Washington
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Seattle, Washington
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Seattle, Washington

We landed around 5:30am at Taipei’s airport and not much was open, notably not the rental car agency. At least at 6:00, I could get a familiar cup of coffee:

Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, Taoyuan City, Taiwan

I chose to head out from the city straight away. Over the mountains and to the hotel I had booked on the eastern shore. This led to some very fun and windy rural roads. It was still early enough that the fog hadn’t burned off yet:

Pinglin District, New Taipei City, Taiwan
Pinglin District, New Taipei City, Taiwan
Pinglin District, New Taipei City, Taiwan
Pinglin District, New Taipei City, Taiwan
Pinglin District, New Taipei City, Taiwan
Toucheng Township, Yilan County, Taiwan

Today’s exploration included a brief tour of Taroko National Park, rich with waterfalls and stunning mountainscapes. Facing a bit of jet lag, I decided to keep my exploration brief today and come back tomorrow.

North entrance to Taroko National Park, Taiwan
Lunch with a view! · Taroko National Park, Taiwan
Taroko National Park, Taiwan
Xiangde Temple, Taroko National Park, Taiwan
Eternal Spring Shrine, Taroko National Park, Taiwan

I got to my hotel early and, after unpacking a bit, I was looking forward to going through today’s photos. That’s when I made a rather unfortunate discovery:

I had forgotten to pack the power adapter for my laptop.

Uh oh.

I went to the hotel’s front desk to ask for advice. And there is where the adventure began.

It turns out that Hualien City doesn’t have any of the big-box electronics stores that we know from the US.

So, instead, I was encouraged to drive downtown (about 30km / 20 miles away), go to a particular intersection downtown, and there I would find a little mom-and-pop electronics store who might have the power adapter I needed. Oh, and I should go soon, because they won’t stay open late.

Hualien City, Taiwan

This is that corner. After a valient attempt at working through the language barriers, I learned that they didn’t have what I needed. But maybe this other store a block away might?

Still having not found the power adapter I needed, I did find it amusing to see the English words “Mr. Goose” amongst all the Chinese (which I can’t read).

Mr. Goose · Hualien City, Taiwan

The almost-but-not-quite what I need routine went on for a while.

I started getting really good at using Google Translate to describe the exact nuances of the power adapter I needed.

I’m happy to report that at the 11th store that I finally found the adapter I needed. And a few spare memory cards for my camera, too!

Xincheng Township, Hualien County, Taiwan

… and thus began the editing of photos.

While working on my photos just after dark, I heard this sing-song-y tune driving by. In the US, we might think the ice-cream truck is driving by. But … no. This is the garbage truck.

Xincheng Township, Hualien County, Taiwan

With that sweet lullaby, I shall bid adieu for tonight and share more adventures tomorrow!

Seattle, Washington, to Xincheng Township, Hualien County, Taiwan · 10,209 km / 6343 mi
(Mouse over or tap on the markers to see the photos there.)

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