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Taroko in Dec!

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Singapore, Singapore
posts: 11
Taroko in Dec!

Hi All, my sisters and i are planning a 3D2N trip to Taroko in Dec, and have a few queries to be answered! pls help!

1) Accommodation? Min Su or low budget hotel? Are the Min Su-s safe? Highlight is the Taroko Gorge, so we're thinking if to stay in Taroko instead of Hualien. Apparently, i dont think there's any Min Su in Taroko.

2) Is it advisable to trek on our own instead of hiring cabbies/ join tours? cos think ll be less freedom with cabbie. Do we also get to choose our own trails to go, or jus follow his recommendations.

3) Weather in December. should be relatively cold by then. So should we have any kinda preparations beforehand?

4) Day/ Night activities. Other than sight-see, wat are the other activities that we can do? saw this link on whale-watching? where is it?

please help! thanks!

Camas, Washington
posts: 1,019
reviews: 97
1. Re: Taroko in Dec!

1. either minsu or hotel is fine, safe. there is only one established hotel in taroko that is the grand formosa hotel, not so cheap, and you have to eat there as there are no other restaurants. so better stay in hualien. only a half hour drive to taroko.

2. i would suggest a car hire or organized tour. you are not familiar with the trails, not safe on your own. your hotel or minsu can arrange for you. a few cabbies have been recommended here but not always satisfactory. we joined a hotel tour before, very nice. not so expensive.

3. generally colder and rainy. some trails may be closed due to bad weather. another reason i wouldn't suggesting going on your own.

4. sounds like whale/dolphin watch may be less eventful during dec. consider visiting ocean park, qixingtan (some taroko tours include that), and maybe a drive along the coastline.

Singapore, Singapore
posts: 11
2. Re: Taroko in Dec!

Thks Mimijj!! tt's very helpful information.

1) Any recommendations for Minsu? saw bbSunrise/ Stone house/ Roseland/ Rosegarden that are quite ok. in terms of location, n price, which would be more recommended?

2) We're planning to go Taroko for 2 days. Read tt 1 day is actually gd enuf. If really nothing to do there, any other places nearby or things to do that we can plan as back up?

Camas, Washington
posts: 1,019
reviews: 97
3. Re: Taroko in Dec!

1. we have not stayed at a minsu in hualien, but you can search this forum for info. we always stayed at park view hotel, the kids love the pools there.

Singapore, Singapore
posts: 11
4. Re: Taroko in Dec!

Geez, thks for the help Mimijj. :)

posts: 2
reviews: 4
5. Re: Taroko in Dec!

I will highly recommend that you hire a cab to bring you to Taroko Gorge. It was an amazing experience with Ms Gu our cabbie tour guide and it was worth every cent. We toured around with her for 2 days. Not only was she genuine, she was really hospitable. You can email her at mom88169@yahoo.com.tw or call her at 0935-083682.

Singapore, Singapore
posts: 11
6. Re: Taroko in Dec!

Nice. Thks! I think min Su themselves ll also provide tours right? We're now deciding between sunrise or stone house. Though sunrise one have to pay deposit. So we'll most likely go with stone's. Any comments?

posts: 1,251
reviews: 145
7. Re: Taroko in Dec!

Minsus don't run tour themselves. They can recommend cabbie for you. eg Stone typically recommends Chen Guangfa.

Singapore, Singapore
posts: 11
8. Re: Taroko in Dec!

i see. thks.

but they've got typhoons recently, fingers crossed tt everything ll be ok by December.

posts: 5
reviews: 6
9. Re: Taroko in Dec!

I just came back from Hualien a few days ago. I did a 3D2N stint as well. My recommendation is as follows.

Try to reach Hualien early on the first day, You MUST book for train tickets in advance and pay with a credit card, if you are heading to Hualien from Taipei (tripadvisor.in/ShowTopic-g297907-i10340-k375…) . Otherwise, you might end up with no train tickets. Travel time is about 2 to 2 and a half hours.

Book for a taxi to bring you ard Taroko Gorge, which is normally cover between 6 to 8 hours. I booked Miss Zhang (張紛華) (tiffany_935lk@yahoo.com.tw) (mobile: 0912-522118), and she was nice, friendly and helpful. Don't even consider doing it without a taxi driver because Taroko Gorge is huge. Sharing of cost with your sisters should make it quite affordable. By the way, it gets dark by 5.30pm in Taiwan, as we are now at the end of the year. If you can't book for a taxi in time, you can still get one at the train station.

Typically, you should finish your first day tour feeling exhausted by 6pm or so, head over to minsu, before going for dinner. Stone house is really out of the way, which is why i will recommend you to spend the 1st night at Rose garden (minsu) instead, as it is centrally located in the city of Hualien. Its website is http://www.roseland.com.tw/english.html . You will need to pay 50% of the room cost to book a room (1 night was 1600 TWD, and I paid 800 TWD being deposit). Shops in the city typically close at about 10.30pm, meaning that you can get to do some shopping after dinner.

I checked out of Rose garden at about noon time of the 2nd day, before heading over to 七星谭. I booked a room at Hotel Bayview for a 1 night stay. 七星谭 is really gorgeous, and I totally recommend you to spend a night there. The hotel is really nice, and also provides pick up service to and from the train station. I don't recommend you to spend a night in Taroko area, as you can cover it in one day itself, and staying there overnight is not really required.

Regarding clothings, I can safely say that you will be fine with a long sleeved top, together with a jacket of any sort.

Hope the above helps, and i'm sure you'll have a great time in Hualien :)

Edited: 1:50 pm, November 22, 2010
Singapore, Singapore
posts: 1
10. Re: Taroko in Dec!

May I know what is available to do around Bayview hotel? Also what can we do on the 2nd day after checking into Bayview hotel? I am thinking of booking a night stay at this hotel too. Thanks.