In my obligatory stopover in Hualien City before going south, I ended up at a bar called the Surfer Lounge. Needless to say, it was a late start the next day. The earliest bus I could get was 11.30am, so I only actually started walking at around 1pm. It was the full heat of the summer day, and I didn’t move to fast, but I still very much enjoyed checking out my surroundings. It was classic northern Taidong County scenery: farms by the sea, and a string of little villages with a strong aboriginal flavor. In this part, there were many statues of chiefs, princesses, warriors and animals, which I guessed were legendary characters from the myths of the aboriginals who lived in the area.
One point of interest on this walk included the Basian Caves. These caves have some archeological remnants from the Chun-Pin Culture, which is the oldest known Paleolithic culture in Taiwan – as much as 15,000 years old. The caves themselves are fairly interesting. They are not deep but they’re impressive. One of them has been turned into a temple and is full of Buddhas, Guanyins and other gods.
I got into Changbin Township about five and decided to call it a day, as there was a nice cheap hotel with beach access winking at me and luring me in. I did the usual beer on the beach thing, enjoying the peacefulness, and then had some food in the little town center.
The east coast is studded with architectural dream homes, probably country retreats for wealth urbanites.