|My travel companions for the day. Getting ideas at the visitors' centre outside Hualien train station, before deciding that Guangfu it shall be.|
We hopped onto a public bus as there happened to be one departing for Guangfu the moment we stepped out of the visitors' centre. The journey took well over an hour and being a lazy rainy day, we drifted off to Snoozeland for the most part. We alighted at a bus stop near Guangfu train station, and then proceeded there to check out information for visitors, as well as to check train timings back to Hualien.
|Guangfu train station|
|Tourism information map at Guangfu train station|
|This panel displays the list of tourist attractions and the corresponding distances from Guangfu train station|
|Train schedule - take a snapshot for handy reference when you need it|
After a brief discussion, we decided on going to Hualien Sugar Factory and Mataian Wetlands Ecological Park. Hualien Sugar Factory is located on Tangchang Street and is about a 15-20 min walk from the train station.
|Enroute to Hualien Sugar Factory|
In addition to its sugar products, the Hualien Sugar Factory is famous for producing around 30 naturally flavoured ice products. Many visitors passing through the town of Guangfu like to stop here to enjoy a generous serving of refreshing ice cream, right beside a carp-filled pond. Neat rows of Japanese-style dormitories can be found next to the sugar factory. These residences are made of cypress and were built for the factory employees during the Japanese Occupation. These well-preserved old buildings evoke a sense of nostalgia.
|Ice cream galore (Image obtained from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/taiwanadventures/5932643156/)|
|Well-preserved Japanese-style dormitories|
|Seeking shelter at the dormitory|
|Aboriginal handicraft on display at a gallery|
|Cultural exhibition room|
|Piping hot dumpling soup to warm us up on a cold rainy day|
|Approx 50 minute journey back to Hualien via Tze-Chiang Express. Train ticket cost NT$97.|
P.S. I think Mataian Wetlands Ecological Park would be a good place to visit during summertime. Here's a link to have a sneak peek of what to expect: http://blog.xuite.net/xalekd/940109/25933948-%E3%80%90%E8%8A%B1%E8%93%AE%E5%85%89%E5%BE%A9%E9%84%89%EF%BC%9A6%E4%B9%8B5%E3%80%91%E3%80%8C%E9%A6%AC%E5%A4%AA%E9%9E%8D%E6%BF%95%E5%9C%B0%E7%94%9F%E6%85%8B%E5%9C%92%E5%8D%80%E3%80%8D%E7%B6%93%E9%A9%97%E5%88%86%E4%BA%AB%EF%BD%9E%E5%80%BC%E5%BE%97%E5%8D%8A%E6%97%A5%E9%81%8A%EF%BC%88%E5%85%8D%E8%B2%BB%EF%BC%89