In 2004, not only did we go to Japan for the first time, but it was also the first time I had been to Taiwan. And for the most part, I really hated it. The 95-degree weather with 75% humidity. How old everything was. How small, cramped, creaky, and dark our apartment was. That it was dirty and stinky in the city. That taxi drivers left me in post-traumatic shock with their aggressive swerving, tailgating, and erratic breaking. Thankfully we got out of the city for a bit. My parents took me to Hualien (花蓮), since they had never been before either. Hualien is famous for its beautiful coastline and for the Taroko Gorge (太魯閣). Taroko National Park is known for its winding marble tunnels and caves, which have been growing and metamorphosing for over 200 million years.
I know, I definitely seem like the happiest of campers. It’s just that I’ve always hated, loathed, and abhorred taking photos. Just…no. Not a thing for me.
Anywhoo, the upside of our trip to Hualien was the chance to stay at a newly-built, beautiful seaside resort that overlooked the Taiwanese coastline into the Atlantic Ocean. It almost seemed like a dream–white-washed with palm trees lining the property and a Grecian rose garden. I still remember the name of the resort: Bellevista. Although, I hear now that it’s been on rapid decline since its grand opening…
Maybe Taiwan wasn’t so bad after all; it was certainly beautiful!