24 February 2013


We proceeded to the plum garden after lunch and passed by an impressive red bridge.

Cihmu Bridge (Loving Mother Bridge) was built to honor an aboriginal mother who waited for his son, who was drowned in the rapid river.  She waited for him by the river everyday for him to come back.  The bridge has a conspicuous Chinese style design in red color, with railings at each side made of pure marbles and two marble Chinese lion sculptures at each end.  Adjacent to the bridge, visitors may find two pavilions; Zhimu Pavilion (the Loving Mother Pavilion) and Lan Pavilion (Orchid Pavilion), that were established by the old presidents, Chiang, Kai-shek and Chiang Ching-kuo, to commemorate their mothers.

There are hundreds of plum trees covered with large quantity of plum blossoms with good scents.  The plum blossom is in full bloom every year from December till January and February of the following year.

A magnificent scene from the top of the hilltop pagoda

Hualien is situated at eastern coast of the Pacific Ocean.  After a long day tour relaxed by the beach and enjoyed the sea breeze and smell of the sea.

Squabbling!  What a day to do it.

23 February 2013


The highway path seems to be an endless aerie of turns.  The gorge is very narrow.  A walk through the Tunnel of Nine Turns gives access to enchanting scenes of the gorge, the river, the tunnel itself and the surrounding vegetation.

A warning sign!

This part of Taroko Gorge is composed of marble cliff faces covered with small holes where House swifts and Pacific swallows forage and nest here, giving the place the name of Swallow Grotto

17 February 2013


We took a 3-hour train from Taipei City to Hualien City where we booked a tourist guide to show us around the place.  Hualien is a small city with nothing much to offer but boost a remarkable amount of stone quarries.

Impressive scenery as we rode along.  The mountains were covered in a blanket of mist.

The first destination was the picturesque Long Spring Shrine.  This shrine is dedicated to the 226 people who died during the four year period in which the highway and tunnels were constructed.

Gorgeous shrine above waterfalls

This pagoda is right above the Eternal Spring Shrine with a Buddhist temple up there.

Taroko National Park

Lovely rocks brought down by the Luwi River

16 February 2013


My eldest girl's birthday fall on the 1st day of Chinese New Year and to lesser the hassle of buying a cake I baked a light Japanese strawberry cheesecake to celebrate the occasion.  Although the strawberries were expensive at this season, it was big and juicy.  Used 3 strawberries to mix with the cheese batter and used the rest to decorate the top of the cake.  Melt a piece of gelatine and brush over the strawberries.

11 February 2013


Steam dried oysters for Chinese New Year Eve dinner.  

Soak oysters till soft and marinate with ginger juice, mirin sauce, light soya sauce, Chinese wine and oil.  Sprinkle chopped garlic and ginger over oysters.  Steam over rice

03 February 2013


We were back in Taipei after Jiufen.  A place one must visit is the landmark of Taipei, TAIPEI 101 which is situated at Songgao Road, the Central Business District.  We took a MRT to Taipe City Hall Station, got off from Exit 3 and came up to busy streets of shopping paradise, with many shops and department stores on both sides of the road.

All malls provide a good scene of the city attractions

The tallest building in the world at present.

The mall with high end shops.  A multi-level shopping mall adjoining the tower houses hundreds of fashionable high-end stores, restaurants and clubs.

Book lover's paradise.  A cultural icon in Taiwan which offers 24-hour book shopping with wide selection of books and magazines in both English and Chinese.  The prices are generally cheap.  How I wish I have all the time to spend there and read.

A large food court at the basement with hundreds of stalls to choose from.  A set of herbal chicken mee-sua with vegetables.

Vibrant night life